Skinny Shaming and Reverse Racism

Disclaimer: There’s a LOT of cursing in this blog post, so if you’re sensitive to that, please close it up and walk away. I’m on a truth rant, and it ain’t pretty.
There seems to be this growing idea that “skinny shaming” is a big problem. It reminds me of when white people cry about “reverse racism”. Are you kidding me? Somebody was mean to you because you’re white…and somehow this entitles you to the same rage that’s 400 years in the making.
Suck it up, Buttercup.
I have no fucks to give about your hurt feelings. I just don’t.
I’ll say it again.
Black Lives Matter exists because for 400 years, they didn’t matter at all.
Suddenly they’re getting a comeuppance and you’re a delicate little flower of white privilege, crying for a safe space. Shut the fuck up. I’ll tell you where you can put your safety pin.
ANYWAY…BACK TO MY POINT
So, I’m scrolling through this morning, and I see an article by Cracked (which I used to love, but they’re getting so political lately…ugh. Don’t get me started on politics). Anyhoo, one of the points of this article was about skinny shaming.
Because waaaah.
I scroll through the comments (because I felt like getting pissed off, apparently) and saw the usual.
You know what I saw.
Interestingly, there were a few thin women that actually were compassionate and responded by saying “I’ll take skinny shaming – being told to eat a cheeseburger is NOT similar to what overweight people go through”.
So, yay them!
However, there were obviously some pro-fat-shamers. One guy’s comment was literally “I’m pro-fat-shaming”.
So, I copied the article image header to paste here, as well as my own comment, just for your enjoyment.
 
Because I’m a giver.
 
Here’s my comment:
 
“I’ve never seen entire websites or blogs dedicated to wishing eradication of all skinny people, where people come just to rant about how hideous they are. The commenters here who acknowledge that it isn’t the same are correct. Being told every day to eat something is not as hurtful as being told you’re a worthless, lazy, slovenly, filthy piece of human garbage and you should kill yourself.
While the pressure to be thin can’t be fun for an already thin person, you have to multiply it by a hundred to imagine how it feels to an overweight person. Study after study after study has shown that shaming, embarrassing and guilting a person to lose weight does not work. The ONLY thing it does is create a more intense feeling of shame, making them want to hide – and NOT go to the gym or get help – why should they? They’re embarrassed to even be alive in that shell that won’t work right.
Sure, there are some of you who recognize that SOMETIMES it is a medical problem. But if you dug a little deeper, you’d see that is more often the case than you know. Hormonal issues like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Endometriosis, massive imbalances of thyroid hormones and estrogen & progesterone levels are only a few that affect women (and those are just the ones I’ve been diagnosed with). People with these issues aren’t JUST dealing with weight because of them. Each of these has a ton of other symptoms that you don’t hear about (or care to), because all you can SEE is the weight. What you DON’T SEE is the problem, and people just love to use that for everything else BUT weight – because its such an obvious visual symptom of a greater problem. I literally have 10 days a month when I don’t have debilitating ovarian cramps.
I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks skinny people get shamed on the same level as fat people are delusional.
Do people still open doors for you, or do they open them for a thin woman and let it shut in your face?
If you walk into a restaurant, do you overhear people say, “There goes all the food!”?
If you’re dating someone, does he refuse to introduce you to his family & friends, for fear of being shamed himself?
Have you been turned down for a job you KNOW you’re overqualified for, because they don’t want a skinny person representing the company?
Have you had anyone ask you when you’re due, reminding you of the fact that you’re infertile and will NEVER be a mother because of the hormone problems that caused all your weight gain?
Have you been told you’d be pretty if only…?
Or that your ALLERGIES would magically disappear if you dropped some weight?
Or that you’d have to settle for a pittance in a lawsuit, because being fat makes you an unsympathetic victim?
Do people cringe and mutter under their breath when you get on a plane, even though they’re nowhere near as uncomfortable as you, having to ask for a seatbelt extension and PRAYING you have a free middle seat so you don’t have to spend the entire flight with your wretched body tensed up as much as you can so you’re less bothersome to others?
Shop in the juniors section…How about having people ask your friends if you have to have your clothes specially made because you’re so fat?
Are you afraid to eat in public?
Can you sit on a regular barstool without fear of either falling or breaking it and being publicly humiliated?
Does your entire existence revolve around what you’re not allowed to eat and finding ways to exercise where no one can see you, because you’re afraid some asshole will take a picture of you and put it online to make fun of you?
And its all because your fucking body won’t make hormones right, and you can’t afford the meds to help you?
Are you told by society that not only are you unacceptable because of something you actually have very little control over, but that you should DIE because NO ONE wants to LOOK AT YOU????
No. You’re told to eat more, and poked in the ribs.
Sure, that’s totally the same thing.”
*End of my comment on that page.
Here’s a scenario for you:
Me & my thin friend go out to a restaurant.
She orders a cheeseburger, fries and a diet coke.
I order tea and a chef salad.
Its 3 pm. I haven’t eaten today, and she’s eaten a stack of pancakes for breakfast.
Other customers look me in the eyes and shake their heads in disgust.
How DARE I eat food…in public, no less?
Or, we go out to eat and order the same thing.
Other customers look me in the eyes and shake their heads in disgust.
I never go to buffets, because its a waste. I wouldn’t be caught dead going back up there, and I barely fill my plate to begin with.
Whoever I’m with will go back 3 times.
Does anyone look at them with disgust? Nope.
The absolute worst that will happen is a sympathetic look of, “Oh, poor thing needs to eat more. Good for her.”
But I order a salad, and the expression says it all – “Good. Ya fat bitch.” and they shake their heads in disgust.
But yeah, skinny shaming is a problem.
When society at large accepts you, acknowledges you as human, and bends over backwards to open doors for you (literally and figuratively), and even PRAISES your thinness, you don’t get to bitch about the random shit people say about you being too skinny.
Talk to me when your very existence is seen as a scourge on humanity, and no one is afraid to openly stare and make assumptions about your CHARACTER.
THIS is how society treats thin and fat – in movies, television, websites, social media, magazines, and in REAL LIFE situations:
You’re too thin?
Poor thing. You must be starving yourself. Eat something. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to be so thin, honey. Eat something. What? You can’t gain weight? OMG, that must be SO HARD for you! I can see your ribs, girl. Eat something. Wow! You’re so thin! How do you do it? Well, be careful…that may not be healthy. Eat a little more protein.
You’re too fat?
Gross. You’re disgusting, lazy and do nothing but stuff your fat face all fucking day. God, you make me sick. Why don’t you do society a favor and kill yourself already? Ever hear of a gym, fatty? Don’t break the chair, lard ass. How’d you fit out your front door? You’re a drain on the economy. Taxpayers have to shell out millions because you can’t control your junk food habit. How could anyone be attracted to you? Buy two plane tickets, and don’t you dare sit next to me. Do you even bathe? Your grocery bill must be insane. Buy a treadmill, fatass. Its called DIET and EXERCISE, sloth! Hey, come visit my “I HATE FAT PEOPLE” blog/website/Facebook page/Instagram.
Or the ones who CARE about you and STILL have no idea how their words come across…
Have you tried (9,437 fill-in-the-blanks)? Maybe you should (9,437 fill-in-the-blanks)? Thanks for the presumptuous, unsolicited advice on a extremely personal and painful part of my life with absolutely ZERO idea of what its like.
After looking for about 3 nanoseconds, the first link that popped up in Google when I typed in “I hate fat” (the drop down choices were: people, chicks, acceptance – nothing whatsoever in reference to food, dieting, recipes, mind you) was this:
Why I hate fat people, and why you should, too
Here is an excerpt from this guy’s dissertation (emphasis my own):
Fat people are more of a parody of humans than actual human beings. Being stupid, they somehow don’t understand this, and often delude themselves into thinking they’re actually attractive.
They smell. Once your body reaches a certain weight, daily life becomes a struggle. Simple things like going to the bathroom and being able to wipe yourself become impossible to do without help. Simple tasks elevate your heart rate and make you sweat. You can imagine that the combination of these things makes people beyond a certain weight smell horrible.
They’re lazy. Since they’re out of shape and overweight, any level of exertion beyond sitting and/or eating is torture to them. Instead of fixing the problem by putting down their forks and moving around more, they avoid nearly all forms of exertion like the plague, which means that they can’t really get anything done, and people around them end up having to pick up their slack. This is worsened by fat people in the armed forces and police forces, where fitness is important.

They’re stupid. Studies have shown that obesity literally damages your brain, and I find that very easy to accept, since fat people say some of the dumbest shit I have ever heard. This is actually good in a way, because it makes their lies utterly transparent.

They’re quitters. They have no willpower at all, which is one of the main reasons why they remain fat. Becoming healthy requires a lifestyle change, but they are completely unwilling to do anything beyond some short term crazy fad diet, or take some pills, or get a gastric bypass so that overeating becomes harder for them to do. They look for the easiest laziest way out, and they act like it’s not their fault when they inevitably fail.

-They’re a burden. They take handicap spots and mobility scooters away from people with legitimate disabilities. They drain the healthcare system. They make waiting times for emergency care take longer for people with real problems. They take up too much space on buses and airplanes, often to the point that they are nearly suffocating the people unfortunate enough to have to sit next to them. The worst part is that being fat is avoidable, since being fat is the result of all the choices you make on a daily basis. And yet fat people like to claim that their weight doesn’t affect other people.

-They’re destroying the environment and causing unnecessary suffering….”

 

I could post more from this post, as this wasn’t even half of it, but I can’t stand to read any more. But the funnest part is the comments. Here are just a few of the kudos this guy received in the hundreds of like-minded commenters:

Fucking bravo, man. You put it into words that I couldn’t even think of myself because I’m an inarticulate piece of shit. When my boyfriend asks me again why I hate fat people, I will show him this.
They’re delusional and destructive. They want the fruits of labor without the actual labor. With being lazy, they expect the same reward for someone who worked for it (ex. Taking care of the body to be attractive) What do they do? They demand everyone else to lower standards to cater to fat people who no work ethic or body ethic.
To the fats who read and thought “oh well he doesn’t mean me then, I don’t do X so I’m not like those other disgusting fatties” I want you to know that you’re wrong. You do at least half, probably most and likely all of these things.
Genius. This needs to be spread around the web.
My boyfriend is a shitlord but he’s just not as upfront about it and he still views them as people. I’m trying to show him the light.
Still think skinny shaming is just as bad as fat shaming? That was just one site. Just the first one that came up. There are literally thousands of them. People like this won’t usually say these things out loud in public, but they think them and they’ll say them online and you can see it in their eyes and hear it in stage whispers every fucking day. THESE people are the guy next to you on the bus. The cashier at the boutique. Your waiter. Your stepmother.
And if you think like this and assume we fatties don’t know? You’re wrong.
Or if you’re skinny and occasionally get “haters”…read all that shit again and then whine at me about your problems.
I’ll tell you what…..
Find me a group of “normal” sized people who hate skinny people this much.
I’ll make it easy. Find just a dozen. 12 people.
They can’t be fat, though. They have to be “normal” sized, because we’re talking about society’s ‘norm’ doing all the shaming.
Go ahead. Show me how bad it is. I’ll wait.
Oh, by the way, if you type “I hate skinny” into Google, your choices are “jeans” and “pants”.
Carry on…

Get Your Face Out Of My Face

I wanted to post the Anais Nin quote about mermaids and shallow living, but I feel like too much attention is always on the mermaid part – and never the true meaning of that statement.
 
I’m in my head today. Bored of the Kardashian-esque world I live in, where everyone is so…self. I’m drowning in the shallow end, waiting for someone to say something interesting or revolutionary.
 
I want to hear ideas and dreams and concepts instead of ‘look what I ate’ or ‘look at my face’ for the 900th time.
 
Godblessamerica, somebody say or post something deeper. Open my mind. Show me something real. REAL.
I’m so sick to DEATH of the daily selfies, I have already screamed and I’m not sure if I can stop. Fuck. I mean, who the hell are you to blast your mug in my feed every effing day? Why do you think the world needs at least one photo of you per 24 hours? WHY?
SHUT. UP.
Look, we’re all vain to one degree or another. But good God, this is insane. This Facebook group I’m in – there are about 3-4 chicks who are so thirsty it is almost shocking. They’re not outright posting boobs, but cleavage for sure. I have no issues with the pics – I just don’t understand why it has to be every fucking day. WITH. OUT. FAIL.
We KNOW what the fuck you look like, princess. Geezus. At what point do you think there MIGHT be enough ‘likes’ to make you feel okay about being you? And could ya stop with the “OMG, you’re TOOOOOO SWEEEEEEEEEEEET!!”
Really? You’re so surprised someone would say you’re pretty?
Because that’s not why you put that there?
Just like yesterday.
And the day before that.
And the day before that.
And all of the days before that too.
I’m one of the admins, and I’m about to go off on this. I can’t handle it. I don’t watch reality tv, because I loathe narcissistic behavior. The “LOOK AT ME” culture is insane. Shut the fuck up and DO SOMETHING.
I’ve never encountered this. I don’t keep friends who do this. They’re too busy living life. I’m on Facebook WAAAAAY more than my friends, and yet I still don’t post pictures of myself THAT often.
Post pictures of your kids. Your dog. Your car. Your boat. I don’t care. Just STOP shoving your face in my face. I find it offensive that you insist on loading up ANYONE’S Facebook feed with that shit.
Do you seriously have that low of a self-worth? That you have to get adoration and approval from strangers?
GET HELP.
You could post a thousand (more) photos of your face, and still not have gotten enough hugs as a kid. Pull up your big girl panties and get a therapist. Go see a movie. Read a fucking book. Talk to people about the movie and the book.
Just do anything BESIDES take more pictures of yourself and throw them in my face. Bitch, I KNOW what you look like.
Gaaaah.
Okay, I think I’ve gotten it out for real this time.

Be. Be Double You

I’ve avoided writing an entire blog piece about this, because it incites a visceral reaction – and not a good one. It typically brings up memories long fought to keep buried underneath all the mental and emotional work I’ve done to rise above them and not let them rule my life.

Recently, I joined a few groups/communities on Facebook. Yeah. The F word, again. I know, I know. The cause of many a night, tossing & turning over what I should’ve said to that one troll or relative. Moving on…The groups are/were dedicated to the BBW/BHM public. I was looking for some motivational, community attitudes regarding size acceptance.

In case you’re reading this and don’t know, here’s what those acronyms stand for:

BBW – Big, Beautiful Women

BHM – Big, Handsome Men

What I found was all but motivational. What I found in these groups was a tendency for the men to consistently ask what sexual positions the women in the group preferred, and the women just encouraged it. WHAT? Yeah, that’s right. So much for empowering ourselves. So much for taking a stand and insisting that men see us as more than our bodies. And so much for making sure society stops labeling all fat women as easy, because we’re desperate.

Do yourself a favor and don’t google anything about fat women being easy. You won’t like what you read. In fact, don’t google anything about fat women at all, unless you add the words “body positivity” or “fat acceptance” or “size equality” or something. And even then, do so with the understanding that the world just is what it is, and it isn’t going to change unless we show them. Each of us.

There are articles, blog posts, Facebook pages and even entire websites dedicated to the sole purpose of making fun of, demeaning, and hating fat people. Don’t go find them, unless you’re prepared to spend the next couple of days crying in the shower.

I’ve dropped all but one group, as it genuinely has the potential to be something more. When I say more, what I mean is that it has potential to impact lives – maybe only peripherally, but impact nonetheless. There’s more of an energy there (at least with the admins, of which I am one) of trying to do away with the fetishization (totally just made up that word) of fat women.

Honestly, I am so sick to death of the idea that big women are inherently easier to bed, because we have to take what we can get. The thing is, until we redirect the focus onto WHO we are, instead of what we will or won’t do in the bedroom (and how quickly we’ll go there), society’s view of us won’t change.

Unfortunately, I see a lot of women who don’t realize how prevalent this stereotype is. It is 100% as commonly believed as the assumption that fat people eat constantly and are lazy. And even more unfortunate is the sad, sad truth that when women of ANY size make themselves appear to be sexually promiscuous, we feed into that ridiculous assumption, which is, in FACT, a part of the hideous rape culture, because we’re saying that we are FIRST and FOREMOST a sexual object, and THEN a really good person…so just get to know us after we say all kinds of way sexual stuff, mmmkay?

Yes, being fat comes with a whole set of personal esteem issues. We fight harder to be heard, and to be seen as more than our bodies’ extra pounds. We have to dress better, be cleaner, work harder to get the same wage (yes, its true), and generally are forced to assert ourselves as HUMAN BEINGS. We have to be louder than our bodies are big, if we want to be taken seriously.

Hey, I didn’t make the rules, and I’m not making this up.

So when these women post memes/pictures/quizzes WITHIN these groups that call attention to sex, as if the group page is their own personal Tinder account, I can’t help but shake my head in sad, sad wonder. I want to ask them, “But who are you?”

I want to shout at them to… tell me something about YOU. Not the attention you crave so badly that you’re willing to ignore the obvious fact that by posting this crap, you’ve just held a sign over your head that says “I’M ONE OF THOSE EASY FAT GIRLS! I AM ONLY AS VALUABLE AS THE SEX I CAN PROVIDE! PAY ATTENTION TO ME! LOVE ME, DAMMIT, BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE WILL! DO YA WANNA SEE BOOBS? I GOT BOOBS!”

Tell me about the princess you were and how she became the mighty woman I see dying to scratch the surface. I can hardly see her, because you’re holding a stereotype over her face. Stop posting memes about sex and start posting something real – something that graces us with your presence, not your heaving hormones.

Maybe its because I’m 42, and got my partying done in my 20’s and 30’s. Truthfully, I’ve been down that exact road. With men, I behaved exactly that way for too long than I’d care to admit. I waited on the guy who wasn’t ever going to love me. Like 9 of them. I’ve been there. I doted on someone who couldn’t be bothered to even call or text to cancel a date – just left me hanging. And then, when he finally deigned to grace me with his presence, I made damn sure I was ALL he wanted me to be. I made myself irresistible to him in every way that made him say all the things.

It made me feel powerful.

Until he did it again.

And again.

And again.

I’m pretty stubborn, so it took a while to learn that lesson. Like, several years and several men. Sad. And the thing is, when I finally started to realize the pattern, I could no longer distinguish between low self worth being the cause or the affect of that behavior.

Guess what… It was both.

There’s nothing empowering about creating a sexual persona that masks your heart and mind as the truth of who you are.

Read that sentence again.

One more time.

I’m sincerely hoping that this group, this community, really does steer the focus to more, ACTUAL empowering things…Like the stores that are getting rid of the “plus-size” departments in favor of just putting all sizes on the same rack. The fashion designer who chooses her models by their inspirational contributions to society (no matter their size) and designs clothes to fit that model – and that model walks the runway at Fashion Week. The fantastic new ad campaign by Lane Bryant and the amazing new show “This Is Us”, which features a plus-size woman in a real dramatic role – and NOT as the comedic sidekick or butt of anyone’s jokes.

These are signs of changes being made – not to promote obesity as healthy, but to love and accept each other and OURSELVES as we ARE, whatever part of our individual life journey we’re currently walking through. Fat shaming is the last socially acceptable form of prejudice, and its rampant…

It is absolutely up to us to break through that garbage – including and especially the one about super-charged sexuality being tied to low self worth. Because it is true in a lot of ways – The question is this:  Is that how you really want to be seen?

Are you the sum total of your hormones –  or are you a vital, thinking, breathing, emotional, giving, passionate, selfless, vibrant amazing and unique woman with a voice that deserves to be heard?

Look, I acknowledge that we’re all adults here. Do you, baby. But do a favor for those of us who want to be seen and heard for more than what’s between our legs, please?

Keep that shit on your Tinder profile and your Plenty Of Fish app photos. Stop feeding the beast that society wants to use as a justification for the things they do and say about fat people that are so, so very wrong.

Be more than that, ladies. You’re making the rest of us look bad.

Politi-Book

I’m thinking I will be “unfollowing” and blocking some links on Facebook to avoid the disappointment, bewilderment and slow burning rage at the political situation there. Not “unfriending”, mind you. I still like you. For now…
There’s no good way to avoid the “I smelled something rank” face when I read some things people post and re-post, and I’m struggling not to respond. Not zen, y’all.
Do you guys realize you sound EXACTLY like the other guys?
I’m talking to both sides here, by the way.
But what’s really got me down is the religious aspect. I grew up in the church, so yeah, I love Jesus too. And my political leanings have always been more conservative – but not all.  I have a huge problem with the Christians spreading lies – even more so than atheists, because not only do you know better, but your so-called moral compass should be closer to those Christian values you claim. When you re-post something that you haven’t double or triple checked, you’re lying.
I saw a post today (I won’t say who re-posted it), originally posted by The Conservative Tribune. The headline was “BOOM – Rush (Limbaugh) Reveals Michelle’s (Obama) Perverted Past! Michelle did NOT think this would come out!”
Whaaaaa? Michelle Obama is a pervert?
Do you know what that article actually talked about?
I was floored by how despicable this website is, after reading this.
See for yourself.
Here are some direct quotes, copied and pasted:
“It’s not locker room talk. I don’t know men who talk that way. Decent men do not talk that way. What Trump was talking about was sexual assault,” Michelle Obama said during a visit to New Hampshire.
Rush’s response?

“Men brag, and she is telling people that she doesn’t know men who brag. You know the people that have been to the White House?” Rush said. (WARNING: Some of the language here and later in the story may be offensive to some readers.)

 

“How about some of the rappers that talk about their b****** and their hos have performed such lyrics in the White House?  But she doesn’t know men who talk and sing about sexual assault. It’s all over hip-hop lyrics and has been for a while!

 

“So is assault on the police a feature of some hip-hop lyrics, and it’s been performed at the White House. But she doesn’t know men who talk that way. She doesn’t know decent guys who talk that way.”

 

 Limbaugh also brought up a “sermon” by the Obamas’ former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

“Yeah, I guess Michelle Obama wasn’t there when the Rev. Wright was talking about Bill Clinton,” Rush said “You remember what Rev. Wright said about Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky? … ‘And Bill and Monica Lewinsky was riding dirty. Yeah, chickens have come home to roost, baby.’ ‘Bill was riding dirty,’ and the population, the congregation went nuts.”

 

And while Rush didn’t mention her, let’s not forget Michelle’s BFF, Beyonce. Here are some of her lyrical exploits.

 

(Quotes lyrics from some Beyoncé songs)

 

*End article quotes*

 

Okay, wait… So she likes Beyoncé and her former pastor talked smack and she said she doesn’t know any DECENT men who talk that way. Not that she doesn’t know men who brag. That’s not what she said. Like, not even a little bit.

 

This is what I’m talking about, folks. You want the world to see your point of view as Christian value-oriented, but you read and repost an article that, by ANY rational standard, is total crap?

 

How does listening to Beyoncé or rappers make her have a PERVERTED past?

Do YOU, or have you EVER listened to ANY artist whose lyrics are questionable?

 

How does something her former pastor said make her have a PERVERTED past?

Are YOU responsible for anything your former pastor has ever said?

 

How does saying that decent men don’t talk that way make her have a PERVERTED past?

Do you NOT agree with the fact that decent men don’t talk that way?

 

Look, This was ONE article, used just for an example. Its rampant on BOTH sides of this awful divided line, even within parties. Which is why I’m voting for the other guy, or not at all, because I just cannot justify in my own heart and soul casting a ballot FOR any person with whom I find such duplicitous, greedy, unethical character flaws.

 

I do not want to ever have to say I voted for a person that I so strongly believe should NOT lead this country. That goes for both of them, in case you were wondering.

 

You’re not even bothering any more to see if the stuff you post and re-post is actually truthful, from any legitimate source, and assuming because you share a political party with someone they MUST be Godly….?????

 

And frankly, my youthful ideals of voting straight Republican across the board have actually been demolished by the fact that religious people are backing terrible, awful, unethical people, AND by the sheer fact that when I say something against one candidate, everyone assumes I’ve crossed party lines and goes on the attack and participates in slander just as bad as they accuse others of doing to THIER candidate.

 

I mean seriously, how on earth do you expect the rest of the world to change their minds about God, when you are personally passing along JUST AS MANY lies and chains of gossip as you claim the “other guys” on the left are doing?

 

I’m just done, y’all. I’m sick to death of people telling me “don’t drink the kool-aid” and “don’t believe the left-wing media“, when the vast majority of people saying that are conservatives, spreading just as much (if not more) absolute salacious garbage.

 

That’s not Christian at all.

 

On that note, I’ll leave you with this food for thought (and I highlighted my favorites):

1 Timothy 2:1-2

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, Godly and dignified in every way.

 

Titus 3:9

But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissentions and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.

 

Matthew 6:24

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

 

Titus 1:6-9

If anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered, a drunkard or violent or  greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

 

Psalm 146:3

Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.

 

2 Timothy 2:24-25

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.

 

Final word – Think carefully about the vitriol you spread. You may be turning someone against the beliefs you hold so dear. Also, you’re starting to sound kinda Westboro-ish.

 

 

Best Day Ever

Remember when you were a little kid, and there was just no better day than your birthday?

Its really the best day ever.

Well, besides Christmas of course. With all its sparkle and excitement in the air that everyone seems to share…

But your birthday was just a little bit better, because it was all about you. Magical, wonderful you. Growing up. Everyone and everything was all about you and how special you are when you’re a little kid and its your birthday.

First, you’re excited to be 6 because you’ll be old enough for school.

Then you’re thrilled about those double digits.

Thirteen…A teenager! Gaaaah!!

16…come on, 16….I wanna DRIIIIVVVEEEE!!!

Then, mystical, magical, grown-up, nobody-can-tell-me-what-to-do EIGHTEEN! A real ADULT, DAMMIT! I can do what I want!

Of course, 21 is soon to follow. And oh, to be 21. You can go OUT to all the FUN places and DRINK all the ADULT THINGS…Yesssssss!

After that, its all bullshit.

Around then, you’ve realized the presents have dwindled. The attention has waned a bit. The “especially special” feeling begins to dissipate year after year.

You still want to do something…hang out with friends. Grasping at the magic of the birthday like the tail end of a balloon string

Somewhere in your mid 30’s, you start dreading that day a little. You don’t really realize when it happened. There was no Ah-Ha! moment when you told yourself it wasn’t fun anymore, this whole ‘getting-older’ thing.

After 40. Well, that just blows.

I haven’t truly looked forward to a birthday in a very, very long time. The idea of being one year older , when you’re young, practically sings with possibility of the future… and somewhere along the way, it becomes a day that speaks of all that’s happened in the past.

Where did it all go? The time? The years? The sweetness of the unknown?

I look in the mirror and I wonder where she went. That girl who dreamed all the time about the future. She disappeared, and I didn’t even notice.

On Wednesday, I’ll be 42. Clearly, I’m looking forward to it.

I want to look forward to it again. Just one more time. I think that’s my birthday wish – just to enjoy my birthday (also to spend it in a pool with some fruity, frozen drinky-drinks – that is a big wish that I have every day of my life, from April to November, but most especially in July). Deep down, I still wish for that sweetness. The magic. The best day ever.

Who knows?

Maybe it will be.

Hmm. I guess maybe she didn’t disappear completely.

 

Fickle Mind

It’s funny what the mind remembers.

There are snippets of time we’d all like to erase from our memories. Words said in anger and words heard by our very souls that may or may not have been said. Fleeting emotions that we wish we could forget, always competing with ones to which we desperately want to cling.

We forget so much, don’t we? Memories are fickle things. Or, I suppose, the mind has an odd way of picking and choosing what stays with you and what gets tossed aside like a crumpled receipt found at the bottom of a handbag. Why does the world stop at the strangest times to leave an imprint on your conscience? Some of those memories are so clear for no particular reason. No argument. No tragedy. No outpouring of loving words you’ve been waiting to hear.

I remember standing on the sofa, looking over the pass-through into the kitchen on my third birthday. My mother was making a Mickey Mouse birthday cake, and I wasn’t supposed to be peeking. I remember the sound of my little hands, slowly tearing the wrapping paper on my Christmas presents later that year, and Mom getting impatient with me. I don’t remember being the least bit aware that she was in labor with my sister Holly, which is why she wanted me to hurry up – she needed to get to the hospital.

The sound of the empty gurney that crossed my parents’ Saltillo tile floor…and the sound of its wheels crossing back, heavy with my mother’s lifeless form, just hours after the cancer finally took her from us.

The moment I realized the man I loved was living a double life and had never intended a life with me, and my heart shattered, almost audibly. I can still hear the sound of the mirrored box I’d had engraved with our song for him, hitting the floor where I threw it, the glass breaking into what seemed like a million pieces.

I can easily recall the smell of the plastic on my new Barbie doll when I changed her into a swimsuit to take into the little blue pool on our back patio, and pretending she was a mermaid.

The feeling of the cream and gold painted wood finial on my canopy bed (with no canopy), as I held it in my hand and sang into it for my audience of dolls & stuffed animals along to the soundtrack of Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”…Once Upon a Dream

When my nephew Samuel was around two years old, I was in Nashville visiting my sister and her family. They lived in a mobile home, and Sam’s room was down the hall, the doorway visible from the living room sofa. Holly told Sam to pick up the toys he’d dragged into the hall, just outside his door. She kept walking, leaving him standing in a circle of his toys. I was watching him from the sofa, and he looked at his toys on the floor around his chubby little feet, dropped down onto his diapered butt and said to no one in particular, “But…. I’m not happy“.

There are times when I cannot bring to my mind the sound of my mother’s voice. It takes me longer and longer to pull it from the deep corridors of stored memory, like a hard drive searching for a document filed in an unknown location, saved almost too long ago. I feel myself beginning to panic, and feel enormous guilt wash over me like a wave that almost takes me under.

To pull myself out of that panicked guilt, I close my eyes and remember her skin. She had the softest skin. I used to press my face into the inside of her forearm. Even into adulthood, I did this out of a habit formed when I was very small. As much as I’d love to find words to describe that scent, there are none. The skin there was soft and cool to the touch, and gave me comfort to my very bones.

It’s funny what the mind remembers…

 

 

Withdrawal

I’ve made it exactly one day without Facebook. It was surprisingly easy, until around 11pm. The book ended. There was nothing on television. The dogs were falling asleep. No one was answering calls or texts.

Thank goodness for Hulu. I found a movie to watch. Whew! I almost caved.

Almost.

Today, I delivered a disc of photos to a friend and stayed for a visit with their new baby. Then I went to see another friend who was widowed last year, and her two little girls. She gave me a small dresser that a neighbor had given her, so I could get creative and paint it.

PROJECT!!!!

As much as I prefer solitude much of the time (which is what made Facebook so attractive), it was refreshing to have conversations with people right in front of me.

I think I’ll do it again tomorrow, and maybe a couple more times this week.

Still gonna download a boatload of books, though.

Radio Silence

“Alcohol. The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” – Homer Simpson

At least I think it was Homer Simpson. Whatever.

This quote came to mind today, after finishing my Kindle book and getting back onto Facebook. I got right back off (again), and turned on the television. Nope. Can’t do that either, right now. Facebook is as informative as it is addictive, if that’s your main source of keeping up with people in a world where we don’t call each other on the phone anymore.

But right now?

It’s all too much.

Facebook is a shield behind which many people can be righteously indignant and say all kinds of things that they wouldn’t ordinarily say to a crowd of people. I’m including myself, but to a lesser degree, because well, if you’ve met me… I’m without filter most of the time. Oh sure, I have my church voice (not cursing) – but my personality doesn’t change according to the atmosphere. I say what’s on my mind. Sometimes (a lot of times), that gets people riled up and pissed off and maybe even let down.

I am unapologetically bold. I don’t hint. I rarely sugarcoat. I generally know damned well that what I say isn’t going to go over well with everyone, all the time. I’m apparently hilarious to some people because of this. And I genuinely give no fudges (See? Church voice.). Honestly, it means nothing to me that speaking the truth will upset people. Good. Be upset. Maybe it’ll open your eyes to a new way of thinking. Or maybe you’ll just think I’m a bitch. Either way, I’m not going to hide who I am…or cower behind any worry that someone won’t like me anymore.

Girl, bye.

That being said, I also know when I’m too incensed to keep arguing. When I am passionate about something, or irate about a truth that I know so deep in my soul that I cannot and will not be shaken, there comes a point where I have to step back to avoid explosion.

Facebook has brought me to that point in the last couple of days. I just can’t anymore. I’ve been so upset and so angry that my head hurts from clenching my jaw, even in my fitful sleep. I’m scared to death for my black friends, and at the point of asking them all to stay home and don’t drive anywhere, and offering myself as a taxi service – because my skin won’t get me killed. And maybe you’ll be safer if my lily white ass is in the car with you.

But the filth I’m seeing on Facebook…ohmygod. The denial, the whines of how the media is to blame for how upset everyone is because racism isn’t that big a deal because it doesn’t really happen as much as the media says and all lives matter…. ohmygodstopit.

Black Lives Matter ideal isn’t, hasn’t been and was never meant to be exclusionary. Frankly, the comparison to cancer is pretty spot on. I’m not going to go screaming into a breast cancer awareness rally about how cholangiocarcinoma (the one that killed my mom) matters too, dammit. Nobody would ever say it didn’t. But they’re fighting for a cure for this one, because someone they love is suffering. It really is that simple.

And then the sniper shootings…Lord Jesus, help us! How desperately hurtful to the communities across this nation. Not only is it senseless and unjustified, it just takes more fathers and mothers from their babies, and the maniac(s) responsible have just completely defeated a cause that was worth a righteous anger, because NOW law enforcement has even more reason to be overly cautious to a point of making it all worse. Now, the questionable ones who needed to use restraint have even more reason in their hearts to be afraid of the black community.

Good going, asshole.

The denial and the vitriol, the arguing and the anger is making me physically ill. I’m at a point of desperate, depressing hurt for my black friends and desperately let down by people who share my skin tone. I’m riding a fence here, because ignorance isn’t always intentional. Experience, and lack thereof, will absolutely dictate how a person perceives the world. We are each the sum of our own experiences.

I used to think the way they think, until I spent more time with people who live in a different world than the one I grew up in. I spent time with them in public places and witnessed what they’d been saying for years that I had always dismissed as, at the very least, exaggerated. For a while, it was so, so subtle that I almost didn’t catch it. Then there was that moment…the one where I thought, “Wait. Did that just happen?”. I looked at my friend, and she didn’t bat an eye, so I thought maybe I was wrong. So I asked her later if my perception was off. “No,” she said, “but you just get used to it. Could be worse.”

So then I started paying attention.

It happened so much more. Things that could be blown off as coincidence before I’d started paying attention, no longer could be. I had to examine myself on such a gut-wrenching level…and then had to work to expose my own heart and my own misgivings and my own denials…and then forgive myself and vow to do and be better, and to speak up on behalf of those who are just used to it.

What made me even sadder still, was how many times my black friends asked me NOT to say anything, because it would only cause trouble.

But back to Facebook. My point here is that I have to forgive those who don’t have the same experiences as myself. Nothing can be done to change that, which means nothing can be done to change their minds. I can’t make anyone see what I’ve seen, or force anyone to look deeply enough into their own heart and subconscious to experience a paradigm shift. Its something that will hopefully come in time. God knows nothing’s going to change much anytime soon, so there’ll be plenty of opportunity. 

Until then, I want to like the people that I love. So until this dies down a bit, I’m taking a break from the pain of that fence riding that Facebook is forcing me into – it ain’t a nice feeling, y’all.

Facebook (the only social media I actually use with any regularity) is currently exposing many painful truths, while simultaneously bringing out the devil in us all.

Disillusioned

I woke up this morning to immediately see a news clip about the second shooting (Philando Castile). I then saw a Facebook post on it, and watched the video. I was on my phone reading a Kindle book, so was constantly updated and checking new stuff on there pretty often today. I’ve been just broken hearted and so exhausted with worry and prayer all day. I’m not exaggerating when I say I broke down at least 4 times today.
 
I’ve seen a ton of posts that popped up in my feed, in addition to responses to my own… and now this evening, I’m seeing many people who were silent all day suddenly posting about the snipers in Dallas.
And that brought a whole new set of observations that took me by surprise.
 
While I’m just as sickened by Dallas as I am by the other events in the last 48 hours (and obviously praying for them to catch the shooters before anyone else gets hurt), I’m even sadder to see the large number of people who’ve said nothing about the first two horrific shootings, not for two whole days….but are suddenly outraged about the snipers and posting support and prayers on their pages.
Facebook is all aflutter with support and talk and posts and comments and prayers for the Dallas police officers – from people who have said NOTHING for two days. Not just nothing…like, purposefully avoided any talk of the shootings of black men (one of which had no gun, and one of which was following officer’s instructions), the teenaged boy unable to contain is grief for his dad, or the toddler trying to comfort her mommy after a police officer shot his weapon into a car, INCHES from where she sat – probably sprayed with the blood of her mother’s boyfriend. Not one word.
Then the news hits that a white man in North Carolina is pointing a shotgun at passing cars, and when officers successfully unarm him (without incident), he pulls a pistol on them…and they unarm him a second time – without incident.
How? How is that possible?
Yet still nothing to contribute. No comment on how that obviously incredibly dangerous, two-weapon fiasco was handled so well that no one got even a scratch, but two black men ended up dead – with one gun not found and one (legal, permitted and made known to the officer) never drawn. Not one word.
 
But then the cops get shot at in Dallas…and these same people have so very much to say.
Its just an observation, but trust me when I tell you its noticeable and confirms how I feel about the fact that so many people are in denial about racism and its subtlety.
It shows when you say nothing.
It shows when you argue that it isn’t a big deal or that its imagined.
It shows when you’re sad and worried about the police being shot at, but not about the citizens being shot at.
It shows when your cries are not about the children who are now fatherless and have just learned to fear police, but instead to cry out “What about this white guy or that white guy”, as if there hasn’t been a problem for a couple of centuries and now everyone truly IS equal…?
It shows when you talk about how all lives matter in response to the plight of the black community, instead of every single time there’s an injustice.
It shows when your automatic response to public outrage at an obviously racially motivated crime is to immediately ask “What about black-on-black crime? Huh? Huh?”
It shows when you say you’re not racist because you have black friends, but its really one or two that you know from work or church and had lunch with once.
It shows when you say things like “for a black guy” to qualify an individual’s worth…as if he’s already got a strike against him.
 
Because guess what… He does. Your mindset. My mindset. We’re all guilty of preconceived notions about people who visually don’t match what we see in the mirror, or the God we worship, or the people we love. It doesn’t change the fact that we are ALL God’s children, created in HIS image, for HIS glory.
 
I saw a video today of a Jane Elliot experiment. If you don’t know who she is, look her up on YouTube and watch some stuff. Very enlightening. One of the participants, a teacher, spoke of a student in her class who’d gotten a severe cut on her face. She admitted that, as she bandaged the child’s face, she was surprised to see that the flesh beneath the broken skin was pink. Like her own. “I don’t know what I expected…black, maybe?”.
Yet she left the experiment STILL convinced that she completely understood racism and that her life was devoid of it.
I feel like that’s what I’ve witnessed in my multiple views of posts and comments today. White folks would love to think that racism died with the end of the Civil Rights movement. and really just want everyone to stop talking about it.
But can you at least ask yourself why you feel it necessary to defend everyone BUT black people? And just for one example – Can you just admit to yourself that, as much as you want the right to bear arms, that you fear a black man’s right to do the same?
Of COURSE all lives matter… But as I’ve quoted (and I think the quote can be attributed to Jane Elliot) several times today – Black Lives Matter wouldn’t be necessary if we hadn’t had 300 years of “Black Lives Don’t Matter” and “Black Lives Matter Less“.
Today was an eye-opener. I was already feeling pretty bad about what’s going on in the world, but Facebook today has made me see even clearer that there are some things I just don’t want to know about the people I know.
Like seeing a celebrity in real life. Image tainted. Can’t unsee it.
And now my guard is up, because I know something about you that you don’t even know about yourself…or at least won’t acknowledge.

Shut up. Shut up. SHUT UP!

I’m writing on my phone because my computer needs repair at the moment, but I couldn’t stand another second without putting my thoughts into words here.

All day long, I have seen posts about the Orlando club shooting. Obviously, because its huge news… But what has struck a nerve is the content of the posts. A staggering 9 out of 10 of them are polarized views of gun control, politics, presidential candidates and the ever-elusive “gay agenda”.

I’m floored by the insensitivity. I’m floored at the number of people who immediately jumped on Facebook, Twitter and the like, for the SOLE PURPOSE of vitriol.

I’m stunned that there are so many of you who skated right past the pain, making a beeline for the social media platform. Do you realize you skipped the appropriate amount of shock and grief, and went right to the fighting, bitching and whining?

Stop it. Just shut up.

All I can think about are the mothers, fathers, friends and loved ones gathered in hospital corridors, waiting to hear if their child, friend or brother is alive…or waiting to identify their bodies.

Do you think they’re thinking about politics right now? I doubt it. Right now, they just want the hell to stop…the horrific limbo of not knowing if or when they’ll bury their sons and daughters.

They’re making phone calls to tell other family members and friends that yes, he or she is gone from this earth forever.

They’re crying out in pain and exhaustion, deeper anguish than most of us know.

Shame on you. Shame on all of you. Get your head right up out of your collective butts, and get to praying for these fellow humans who are standing in a nightmare from which they cannot awaken.

Keep your gun control debating, Obama/Trump/Clinton hating/loving, “gay agenda” spouting, anti-this-or-that nonsense to yourself for just a little while and think about the young, vibrant lives lost. Gunned down because they went out dancing on a Saturday night. Hiding in bathrooms, texting their moms to say they were scared.

Think about that for just a minute. You’re hanging out at home, watching a movie on a Saturday night while you’ve got laundry going. Your phone vibrates. After folding the socks from your last washed load, you pick it up…

Its your 22 year old baby boy. “Mom, I’m scared. Call the police. There’s a man with a gun. I’m going to die.”

That happened not quite 48 hours ago. I feel pretty certain that mom is not in the frame of mind to call her congressman. Have some respect.

Shut your trap, still your typing fingers and go donate blood, for God’s sake. Quit posting memes.

Look, I get it. You’re mad and sad. Fine. We’re all mad and sad. But this social media monster is grossly lacking in humility and respect, and its making me sick.

Fifty people are dead. Your memes don’t mean two cents. Talk about that garbage next week – we all know it ain’t going anywhere. Now is not the time.

Just. Shut. Up.