I know it has been awhile, but here is the conclusion to Accountability.
Dr. Nancy Ann Blur’s death was written up in the press as a heroic tragedy reminiscent of Shakespearean times. Almost every paper claimed the pressures of her highly important job had finally captured her and she just snapped. After seeing another woman who was unfit to be a mother, they conjectured, she had just given up hope that the youth of this nation could be saved, so she had ended her life on that warm April afternoon. So many people had witnessed the event live on television and because of the gruesome nature of what had transpired, the news showed it again and again in case anybody had missed it. The front page of The Denver Post had actually captured a still of the event showing the gore flying up behind her as she began to slump towards the ground, one eye open and one eye already closed. It was the talk of the nation. What could have driven a woman, respected and loved by millions, to such a horrendous act to end her life? People could only speculate on what the truth behind the matter was.
The People’s Network did a little more investigation than the other networks did. For some reason, every other reporter there forgot about the main reason they traveled all around the city of Denver and not one of them interviewed me about my involvement in the story. They only stayed focused on the act Dr. Blur performed. The People’s Network remembered the name of Rachael Britva and made sure to include an interview with me in their broadcast. They believed this would give them some insight as to what actually happened. I told them my side of the story. I even went as far as to give them all of the paperwork I had about how Dr. Blur and Sam Hogston were a part of a scandal that would bring down the National Caring and Loving Behavior Act forever. They broadcasted all of this information, and they thought they had the scoop over every other sensationalized network and newspaper out there. Once again, the People’s Network was dismissed as a propagandist who tried to create something terrible out of someone else’s tragedy. Other newscasters and reporters wouldn’t even look at the evidence because they thought it was just another conspiracy theory by a second rate news organization. They believed there was no way the American people would accept this information as true.
That was the saddest part of this whole story, the way the truth was so easily dismissed. Most news organizations gave the story some credence by talking about it a little bit. It was usually sandwiched in between information about the return of the McRibb sandwich or what the president was planning to have for dinner when he invited the Green Bay Packers to the White House. A couple of people even spent as much as two minutes on the story.
The explanation they gave was rather clear. Even if the information the People’s Network presented was true, it wasn’t what was best for the nation. The media went on to explain that the precepts laid out in the National Caring and Loving Behavior Act were exactly what the nation needed. Mothers had been given too much leniency in the past and the standards held these people accountable for the first time ever. It also made it easy for the common man to understand the way the mothers were being graded for their performance. It consolidated everything a mother did into one simple number that could be understood by everyone. There was no need to complicate things with individual reports pinpointing exactly what it was each mother was doing wrong while raising their children. Who had time for all of that nonsense anyway, especially when there were more important things to worry about such as which movie broke box office records the previous weekend? The People’s Network was lambasted by all of the other media outlets as trying to tarnish the name of a true American patriot. It was so bad that the network’s already pitiful ratings dropped even further and nobody would claim to have ever watched the network at any time in their lifetime.
Things were not much better for me. Dr. Nancy Ann Blur was kind enough to finish the report on me before she went off and killed herself. It was lying nicely on her desk. Officer Provata read through it while I was waiting for a ride back to my home. I never got that ride home because I was immediately arrested after he finished reading the report. The event was not met with any fanfare because the circus had packed up and gone back home by the time he had reached this part of his duty.
Luckily, I was not sent back to the Capital Limited Re-education Center. Brandon was nice enough to fill out the paperwork to make sure I would be excluded from the assessment’s findings. Part of the deal he had to make while doing this was to divorce me and once again my name was changed back to Rachael Ervaring. I was not allowed to have contact with any children in a mothering capacity again which officially took me off the dating market for the rest of my life. I was okay with this ruling because the experiences over the last couple of years taught me that being a mother was hard work. I knew this was true beforehand but with all of the bureaucracy now accompanying it, it made it almost impossible for a woman to do what they needed to in order to make sure children were raised in a proper manner. I felt sorry for Ben and Katie because they would now become a part of the system and would eventually live their lives as mindless individuals perpetuating the situation instead of propelling us into a brighter future. My heart still ached to see Zach and Lindsey again but I knew that would never be possible. I had nothing to remember them by except my own memories. It made my heart ache every time I saw a young brother and sister and it made me wonder what my children were doing with their lives now.
The government was kind enough not to leave me completely helpless. They did find me a job. That’s why I’m talking to you in this break room right now. Being a nurse isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I was even lucky enough to be placed on the maternity ward floor. I get to see new life being brought into this world every day, and even though I do have my moments of heartache, there are enough moments of joy to make the job bearable. I’m no longer responsible for a child and it pains me when I see a first time mother cradle her child in her arms. She looks down at the helpless young innocent being and wishes the best for it, but I know the truth of her situation. She will be subjected to so many laws and regulations she won’t know what it means to be a good mother by the time the child turns two. The child will take over the control of the household and the woman will just go through the motions thinking she is doing the right thing, but in the long run the Department of Motherhood will find an excuse as to why this woman is not doing her job properly. She will be removed from the one thing she loves more than anything in this world and she will be disillusioned into believing that if she plays the game, she will be able to return to her family. But this is a lie. This doesn’t benefit the people who are really in charge. The people who are in charge will manipulate the rules to work it toward their advantage. They won’t care whose spirit they crush in the process. The sad thing is they will wave the flag of Capitalism and patriotic pride in the process and in a sad, pathetic way these are the gods they truly pay homage to.
It pains my heart to see this happening in my maternity ward every day. These mothers’ true expressions of joy are going to be dismantled within the next few years. I feel sorry for those mothers, but there are the other women who come into my ward that bring me happiness because I know what they will eventually go through. These are the women who gave mothering a bad name in the first place. They never cared about their children and they never will. It doesn’t matter what laws you put in place to combat this, they will always find a way around it. There will always be people out there who will work the system towards their advantage as long as there is a system out there to work. It also doesn’t matter what job you look at; there are always individuals who do an outstanding job and then there are the ones who just try to get by. Of course, there are always the ones who just do a terrible job, but why should the ones who try to do a great job suffer for the actions of the ones who don’t care? I wish the laws this country created focused on rewarding the ones who do a good job instead of trying to punish everybody to prevent the bottom dwellers from doing a poor job. Even though I don’t agree with the current system, I do enjoy watching justice being handed out when it is deserved.
Just the other day, I was given a surprise. I couldn’t believe that of all the people coming into my maternity ward, it would be Palin. After all the pain she caused me with her attitude and sense of entitlement, Palin had arrived to have her baby delivered at the hospital where I worked. Not only that, but she brought Dustin with her to witness the event. I could hear her screaming as she was being pushed into the lobby in a wheelchair, “EPIDERMAL!”
It brought me back eight years when I was in the same situation, and even though on that date I was in a lot of pain, it wasn’t as much pain as she had caused me two years ago. She hadn’t seen me yet as I grabbed a clipboard and walked up behind her wheelchair. She grunted out air as Dustin tried to pat her back and calm her down, “It will be okay hon…”
“Oh my God, nobody told me it would hurt this fucking much,” Palin screamed as reached her hand back, and gripped her boyfriend’s bicep tightly. He collapsed onto the ground as her nails clenched firmly in the soft flesh of his arm. She dragged him to face her and screamed at him, “Make the pain fucking stop!” She continued her short hesitating grunts. The commotion finally reached the threshold of Dr. Laura Ripetizione’s office as she opened the door and stepped out into the lobby.
You know who Laura is even if you never had contact with her. She’s the one walking around this ward like she owns the place. She was given a job here by the Department of Motherhood. In fact, I understand every maternity ward in the country has a person just like her with an office somewhere nearby. Their job is quite simple. They are here to assess the new mothers as they give birth. They want to make sure the women are giving birth in a manner reflective of the standards of the National Caring and Loving Behavior Act. Because the law makers need to believe they are doing something for the greater good of the commonwealth, they have tightened up the rules behind the act to make them even more stringent than they were when I was a mother. The research had shown that the standards were not changing the landscape of motherhood the way they hoped these regulations would. In fact, the research showed there had been a decline in the performance of mothers. Instead of getting rid of the law, they thought it was better to make it stricter, and with only two people voting against it in the Senate and twelve doing the same in the House of Representatives, the law passed. Now mothers were assessed twice a year and it only took one grade of non-proficiency for the mother to be taken in for re-education. Husbands were also required to pay more money for the re-education process because more and more of the Capital Limited Re-education Centers were being filled to capacity and the Department of Motherhood needed more capital in order to build more re-education centers.
The Mother Mall was also becoming very popular. Some of the larger cities had up to ten Mother Malls in their city limits, with Los Angeles having fifteen. Denver was still a little behind the other markets with only five. These huge stores were also popping up in the smaller communities of the country. You can find them now in the smaller rural areas and sometimes in the middle of nowhere. It was this new restructuring of the act that brought Laura to our hospital. And of course when she heard Palin screaming bloody murder out in our lobby she had to remove herself from her office and find out what all of the ruckus was about.
Laura adjusted her glasses on the bridge of her nose with a replica of Mr. Clicky-Pen. Every assessor was given one of these pens in respect of the now legendary Dr. Blur. Laura tucked her clipboard more firmly into her breasts as she assessed the scene. She walked over to where Palin held her boyfriend in her terror grip. Dr. Ripetizione looked at me for answers, “What exactly is going on here?”
“I’m sorry about the commotion Dr. Ripetizione, but I have just arrived at the scene myself.”
Palin heard the single word she knew to be the most important word she ever heard, “You’re a doctor?” She had released Dustin from her death grip and swerved around to look Dr. Ripetizione in her eyes, “I need this brat out of me NOW!!!!!”
Mr. Replica Clicky-Pen said, “Click, scratch, scratch,” as Dr. Ripetizione shook her head.
“My, my. Standard Number Four: Proper, loving shelter shall be supplied to everyone under the legal care of the mother.”
I couldn’t tell if the moisture rolling down Palin’s face was from the sweat of her labors or from a tear because of the pain, but Palin’s eyes grew large in disbelief. “Are you kidding me? Are you a fucking doctor or not?”
Dr. Ripetizione rolled her gaze down her nose to Palin’s panting frame. “I’m not that kind of doctor. I’m a doctor of sociology and a prominent influence in your government.”
Palin looked around for Dustin, but couldn’t find him because he snuck closer to the exit of the hospital, so instead she asked anybody who would listen, “Why am I talking to a fucking politician?”
I believe Dr. Ripetizione was truly surprised by Palin’s response. “Because in a couple of hours, I will be the most important person in your life.” She whipped out a packet from her clipboard and presented it to Palin. I’ve personally actually been forced to read it at one time in my life and I’m here to tell you that you are not really missing anything if you never get to peruse its contents. Of course when I read it, it was a binder, but they have condensed it to pamphlet form now. The name is still the same, How to be a Better Mother, and it still holds the standards and Motherhood’s Ten Commandments. As far as I’m concerned, it is still garbage, but it was nice to see it presented to Palin in such a manner.
She grabbed the pamphlet and looked at it, “How to be a Better Mother. Why would I need to be a better mother? I’ve never been a mother before.”
Laura smiled, “That just means you can’t be anything more than better.”
Palin looked up at me and I tried to avoid eye contact. “Is this for fucking real?”
Instead of answering her, I handed her a clipboard of my own with some paperwork on it. “Ma’am, we just need you to fill this out so we can check you in.”
“Are you kidding me?” She looked right at me when she asked the question. I couldn’t avoid eye contact any longer, and I saw the instant recognition. Her mouth dropped and all of the blood in face quickly rushed out. All she could say was, “Oh, fuck.”
Mr. Replica Clicky-Pen continued to scratch away as Palin sat on the wheelchair with the clipboard in her lap. I gave Palin a pen for her to fill out the forms. It dropped through her limp hand and landed next to the clipboard in her lap. I continued to act normal, “When you have all of that filled out, you can turn it in at the nurse’s station right over there. That’s where I’ll be waiting to check you in. Afterward the doctor will be able to see you.”
I walked away and for the first time since I had known Palin, she was speechless. Dr. Ripetizione continued to go over the new standards with Palin as she started to fill out the paperwork. It was fun watching her go through the pain of contractions as she was getting lectured by someone from the Department of Motherhood and trying to fill out the information all at the same time. Dustin had disappeared completely. It must have been stressful to live under the thumb of Palin, and when he found an opportunity to escape he took it. Even though I was pretty sure the child about to be brought into the world was his, I doubt if he would ever have contact with it. It wasn’t his responsibility and he would never be held accountable for the child’s upbringing. That commitment would fall on Palin’s shoulders and she was starting to realize her life was going to change dramatically. It was great to see her get her comeuppance. It put a smile on my face to see her struggle and know the next few years would be difficult for her. I made it even a little more difficult for her by going on break just as she started to wheel herself over to the nurse’s station. I bet she’s still out there right now hoping somebody will come along and take care of her while Dr. Ripetizione continues lecturing her.
Even though I am enjoying my little bit of revenge, there is a part of me that feels a little regret for the situation Palin is going through. Don’t get me wrong; she deserves everything she’s getting. The National Caring and Loving Behavior Act in some bizarre way might even help her become a better mother by taking away the child when the government discovers how terrible a mother she really is. But this isn’t the part of the episode that bothers me. There are probably hundreds of mothers out there who are a hundred times better than what Palin will be. And for all of those hundreds of mothers, there is a Palin out there to give motherhood a bad name. Because of these Palins out there, all the other mothers have to now be held accountable to the same level of absurdity. The other mothers are doing their jobs of raising their children. Yes, they struggle some times, but that doesn’t mean they need some government organization looking down upon them telling them how to run every aspect of their lives. All the other mothers are now being lumped in with the Palins and are being treated like bad mothers. There has to be a better way of holding the terrible mothers accountable without having to restrict the integrity of the good mothers. If the government doesn’t figure it out soon, each proceeding generation will be worse off because this cookie cutter mentality of raising children will only produce more generations of mindless individuals who will not be able to think for themselves, but feel entitled to everything they have not worked for.
I know you are sitting there getting tired of listening to some older lady ramble on about her opinions because she was never able to live up to the simple standards laid out in the first place, but I ask you to look at all of the information out there to determine for yourself if this is really the best way to raise the youth of America. Is America really a better place ever since the National Caring and Loving Behavior Act was delivered unto the masses? Is America still competitive with other nations or have they lost a step? Are children really more interested in the world around them or are they gravitating towards cheap easy entertainment to numb their minds and their existence? Are mothers really trying to live up to these standards or are they leaving this noble profession in droves because they are fed up with the bureaucracy behind the law? Does the government constantly try to find a way to come into a family and instill their own ideals and agendas? Are more and more husbands running off to pay for a service that was at one time considered a free right? I guess the best question I have for you is: Do you feel freer now because of this law?
Of course, I can answer all of those questions for you, and you might be right in saying I might be a little jaded after my experiences, but I believe if you look at it all with an objective mind you will come to the same conclusion I have. This law needs to be repealed.
But now you are sitting there asking what you can do about it. That’s a good question. I tried to fight it once and I got my ass kicked. This experience has made me a gun-shy veteran of a war against an absurd law, and sitting here in this break room may make it look like I have given up on the cause. You might be right. Sometimes I feel I have given everything I can, and there is no more I can give. Maybe, I need to get off of my soapbox and continue the fight. Even though bad things occurred in my life because of my battle that doesn’t mean the next time won’t be different. I might even be able to make a bigger impact than I did the first time around. If I just continue to sit here in a break room and complain behind closed doors, I am not really solving the problem. In all actuality, I’m probably contributing to the problem more than I am to the solution. Maybe it is time for me to take the fight to the next level and never stop until I have achieved my goal. Even if I don’t achieve that goal, at least I can say I have given it my best shot. I can die happy knowing I tried to do some good in this world instead of sitting on my butt and hoping that someday what I want just happens to fall into place.
Maybe I need to tell my story to more people, and by telling my story to you today, I have maybe changed one person’s mind about what is wrong with this law. Maybe I can reach more people by telling my story at larger venues and writing it down so others can read it. Maybe I can come up with solutions to the problems affecting mothers rather than just complaining about the ones I don’t agree with. My revolution might not have been successful to begin with, but that doesn’t mean I should give up on the cause.
Thank you for listening to my story and making me realize the next steps I need to take in this ongoing battle. Maybe you can help in the cause. You could be a game changer. What’s your name?