Ten Things that Suck About the Holidays

1. Babies.  There will always be babies on your flight(s).  My day before Thanksgiving flight had five–count them–FIVE screaming babies.  Thankfully it was only a 90 minute flight.  (There truly is a god.)

2. Weird Family Members.  You have a to spend a lot of time trapped in small places with (awkward, annoying, or odd-smelling) family members.  Not only are you stuck next to Uncle Bill (who always hugs you just a little too long when you see him), but now you have to hold on to your sister’s/brother’s/cousin’s child who you’re pretty sure just dropped the baby equivalent of a nuclear bomb in his diaper.

3. Relationships.  Are you married?  Are you dating?  Are you going to get engaged soon?  You should have kids!  When are you having kids?  Why are you single?  Where is your boyfriend?  Why didn’t you bring your girlfriend?

4. There is never enough Egg Nog.  Or there’s only enough Nog without any rum.  And who really wants Nog with no rum?

5. Fake Wars.  The “Keep the Christ in Christmas” people are back.  Just when you were getting over your rage from their obnoxious and nearly-constant Facebook posts from last holiday season, here they come again.  Y’all are in the majority, Christians.  Nobody is trying to take Jesus away from you.  Calm the eff down. Some of us Jews/Muslims/Buddhists/Atheists/Secular Humanists want to be friendly and wish you joy.  Just accept it nicely and move on.

6. Shopping.  There is so much shopping to do.  It’s expensive and all the people surrounding you in the store are terrible.

7. Mistletoe. This is a dumb tradition. And it can get really awkward when you’re at Christmas parties with your ex-boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, booty-calls, etc.  I don’t want to kiss people I don’t know.  I don’t want to kiss most people.  Please don’t make me kiss anyone.

8. Wrapping Paper.  I hate wrapping paper.  It is awful and wasteful and messy and wasteful and expensive and wasteful.  It’s not good for the environment.  It’s not good for anything.  BUT HOW ELSE AM I SUPPOSED TO PRESENT THIS CRAP I BOUGHT PEOPLE?  I know, I know… I could re-purpose an old t-shirt.  I could use some bags or newspaper – and I’ve done that.

9. Stressed Parents.  Specifically, parents who are stressed and in public places with their children.  The children are being awful.  A few days ago, I saw two kids sitting in a cart, one kid was beating his sister in the head with a box; she just took it.  She was too tired to fight off his awfulness.  Kids are crazy.  Parents are tired.  They will hit you with a cart and not think twice about it.  They probably won’t think once about it.  They don’t care about you; they just want to buy a damn barbie and leave.

10. Fatness.  You will get fatter, and then you have to go back to work – fatter.

Remember Jesus when you’re pooping

Evangelicals make it a point to spread the “word of God” everywhere. Including, it now seems, at a public bathroom near you.

image

Taken in a public bathroom, June 19th

The last thing I want to think about when I’m doing my bathroom business is what Jesus would do. He’d probably shit just like everyone else, but I’m pretty sure it’s not necessary for me to be thinking about that while I am. I thought church was all weird about bathroom stuff anyhow; at the very least it’s weird about bathroom-related anatomy. So why put pamphlets–and not even one, but FOUR–on the TP dispenser? C’mon! Don’t make it so easy for me to make jokes about wiping my ass with your nonsense. And furthermore, you’re accosting me with Bible-thumping in the most private of places. But I guess Evangelicals in general have a demonstrated interest in ladyparts these days (and about our discussion of them), so why not the ladies’ room, right? REALLY. Give a sister a break.

On Men’s Rights

With all these recent political debates going about women’s health issues and so-called gay rights (ahem, Equal Rights, ahem), I thought it was only fair to question the rights of white, middle class males.  Hell, I’ll question the rights of all males!  That’s what we’re doing now, right?  We’re just picking a group at random and taking away everything they deserve, or steadily denying their obvious rights.  Great!  Men are first on my chopping block.

Editor’s Note:

Before we get started, I want to clarify the point of this post…

I understand that this blog might seem largely anti-man; it is meant to be a heavy-handed metaphor.  When someone says, “Men shouldn’t have the right to vote,” people can easily react with, “Well, that’s ridiculous and stupid.  We would never take away men’s right to vote just because they’re men.”  That’s what I’m going for…  If it is easy to see that we wouldn’t want to deny men’s rights simply based on their manliness, I hope it is easy to see that others shouldn’t be denied rights on equally basic identities.  We’re not confused as to whether or not sex is a choice in a man, but we are confused about the “choice” of things like sexuality, marriage, and abortion.  Personally, I don’t care if someone thinks being gay is a choice or not, either way, the rights should be provided.  I get to choose if I want to be a liberal, or an English major, or a girlfriend.  I want to also choose whether or not I can become a wife of a wife, or the wife of a husband.

I attacked men as an example.  I do not think men are solely or wholly responsible for these issues that exist in American politics.  That would be highly irresponsible.  I believe that men are historically given more power, more say, and more of a share when it comes to politics and political movement.  That does not, however, implicate all males as guilty parties in some kind of conspiracy.  It simply means that men tend to have more power.  This is why I chose to use men as a group.  Of course men won’t lose their rights.  That will never happen.  That’s why I thought it could be powerful.  This post is not meant to actually assert that men are evil and shouldn’t vote; it is simply a reframing of what seems to be rather random stripping of rights.  Birth control, for example, is suddenly up for debate again, and I think that is just as ridiculous as denying men the right to vote. 

 

Men should not have the right to vote.

  1. Because a man’s place is in the army.
  2. Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.
  3. Because if men should adopt peaceable methods, women will no longer look up to them.
  4. Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms, and drums.
  5. Because men are too emotional to vote.  Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them particularly unfit for the task of government.

Men should have to register all emissions of a bodily nature. 

These emissions could have fertilized eggs, and are therefore alive.  Thus, any time a man commits murder by ejaculating somewhere besides a vagina, he should have to report the lost lives to the government.  If accidental, the man will simply be shamed and forced to live with the guilt.  If his emission is a purposeful (likely porn-inspired) event, he will be prosecuted for obstruction of life.  He will be forced to wear wooden undergarments for up to one year per emission.

Since birth control has suddenly become so controversial, it only seems right that we protect the rights of sperm denied the chance to swim into a cervix to burrow into a lady’s egg, and possibly create a possibly viable fetus.

Men should be punished for thinking the below things are “always lies.”

Sometimes women tell the truth.  Not all women are trying to get pregnant.  Some women don’t want kids, and a lot of women don’t want them for a long time.  For a lot women, the words, “I’m not mad,” mean that she is not mad.

Men should have to write essays of explanation to everyone they bang, and to everyone they know about they people they bang. 

As a woman, if I choose to sleep with anyone, I am opening myself up to all kinds of judgment.  There are so many political ties to my vagina, and I believe a man ought to have the same level of political tape to get through for banging someone.

P.S. – Sarcasm is a powerful tool we use against powerful tools.

On Marriage Equality

First, let’s get one thing straight (pun intended), this issue is Marriage Equality, not Gay Marriage.  Calling this issue “Gay Marriage” implies that gay people are getting something special – like a Big & Tall store which is a special place for big and tall dudes.  People have the right to choose who they love.  Americans are allowed to get married, if they are both consenting, unrelated, free-willed adults… but only if they are of the opposite sex.  Wait?  Don’t we all deserve the freedom to marry whoever we would like (assuming we want to marry an adult who also wants to marry us)?  Don’t we?

Second, let’s celebrate the fact that the 9th Circuit Court in California overturned Prop 8: meaning they ruled that California cannot ban gay marriage (marriage equality).  Prop 8 Decision!  More on the decision HERE and HERE!  This deserves a few major YAYs!  I’m so happy, proud, excited, and relieved.  This shouldn’t be so hard.  This should be simple.  Gay people should have equal rights to marriage in every state.

Bigots hate.  Hate is evil.  The gay community does not deserve hatred; they are humans (the regular kind) and they deserve every single right a straight person has.  People deserve to be treated like people.  American people ought to be treated as if they are American (again, the regular kind).

Ever wonder why there isn’t a straight community?  It’s because they don’t have all that much in common, and it’s also because they aren’t being denied their rights, so they don’t have to unite.  Not all gay people are the same; shocking, right?  Just like not all people are the same.  WOW.  Yet, they still deserve the same rights.

I’m just so sick of hearing people argue about Marriage Equality.  It shouldn’t be open for argument.  This should be a cut-and-dry equal rights decision.  Of course gay marriage should be legal.  Of course it is simply marriage.  Of course we should all have the same rights.  This is America, right?  Freedom of religion… Freedom from religion…

Arguing against marriage equality because a religion doesn’t endorse homosexuality should be a clear false start.  This isn’t a “Christian Nation;” you are welcome to be a Christian in America, and most Christians realize that accepting and loving their fellow humans is a major part of their religion, and so they don’t attack gay people.  Don’t hide behind a religion, you’re not a Christian, you’re a bigot.  Also, religion doesn’t mean a thing in American government.

A few more things:

1. How is a straight marriage threatened by a gay marriage?  Straight marriages seem fine even through all the mail-order brides, arranged marriages, divorces, cheating, abuse…  People still get married.  Marriage will be fine.

2. Why do you care so much what gay people do?

3. Gay people also feel love…

4. How would you feel if the government took away all marriages?

5. How do you feel about inter-racial marriages?  That’s a no-brainer, right?  Of course people of different races can marry!  Think about it!  We left that up to the states and it turned out SO well.  Wait a second…

Finally, in 50 years, I believe strongly that we will look back on our nation’s past and hang our heads in shame that people in this country resisted Marriage Equality.  This is a civil rights issue.  Someday, this will seem like it should have been so easy because it should be an easy decision to make.

Imaginary Person #1: Should gay people be allowed to marry?
Imaginary Person #2: Are they consenting adults of sound mind?
Imaginary Person #1: Yes.
Imaginary Person #2: Oh, well, then… Duh, YES!

I’m tired of being ashamed of our currently bigoted country.

Please Don’t Ask Me About Jesus

It happens at least once every year. Somebody asks me something about Jesus.

Have you accepted the LORD Jesus Christ as your personal savior?

Can I pray for/with you?

Do you believe in God?

Do you call yourself a Christian?

These are complicated questions. And they’re really personal questions. Sometimes they are asked of me antagonistically, and, like most other people, I resent those kinds of interactions. More often than not, however, I think they’re asked in order to get me to “come home” to God. Or something.

I think I hate these kinds of questions mostly because I don’t have an easy answer for them. And although I happen to think that that’s just fine, the person/people asking never seem to think it is.

Take today, for example. I was approached by a young blonde woman and her two friends. “Hi!” she said, cheerily. I hesitated. I was in my university’s student union and had already been approached by a guy selling candy bars for some club or camp and a girl who was looking for her backpack she claimed she’d left at the table where I was sitting (and I’m pretty sure she thought I nabbed it). I just didn’t want to deal with anyone; I was busy getting work done.

“Hello.”

“My name’s Heather!” she stuck out her hand, and also introduced her two friends, an Asian girl about my height, and a slightly shorter brunette. I shook her hand. I was still hesitating somewhat. What did they want? I didn’t want to donate to something. I don’t make enough as a grad student teaching assistant to afford to donate to anything right now except the “keep Kate sheltered and fed fund.” “What’s your name?” she prompted.

“I’m Kate,” I answered. “Are you…” I paused and scanned their faces, “advertising for something?”

“Well, actually,” said the blonde, “we’re just telling people about our Bible reading club…”

That was when she lost me. I hear “bible,” “Jesus,” “God,” or “Christian,” and I immediately start panicking and looking for a way to get away from whoever has just begun talking to me. It’s nothing personal; it’s just that every religious person who has ever approached me has tried their darndest (and I mean their DARNDEST) to get me to declare my unabashed love for the big JC, or something. I’m never disrespectful, but I’m firm. I just don’t feel it’s necessary to share my own religious insecurities and ponderings with complete strangers, to be perfectly blunt.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my religious identity and for a long time. I was raised Catholic by a mother who converted when I was five and an Episcopalian-turned-atheist/agnostic father. I’m now dating a Jew, and we’ve talked about conversion. I don’t know exactly what possessed me to stop the blonde midsentence with the words, “Oh, I’m Jewish,” but I did it.

Now the accuracy or inaccuracy of that statement is up for grabs. However, I’m headed to temple tomorrow morning, so I think that at least lends some veracity to it. At any rate, it wasn’t anything these girls had said to me up until that point that made or makes me angry. It’s what they followed my statement with.

“Oh, hereditary or practicing?” asked the Asian girl. My brain scrambled. “Both,” I lied. Only about the first half. But really, what kind of question is that? It seems a little personal for a stranger to be asking me what ethnicity and religion, simultaneously, I lay a claim to. What right does she have to even ask? She should have left it at whatever I said and moved on to greener pastures.

But then came the real kicker. “Well, thanks for telling us the truth! Have a nice day!” The blonde was bubbly as ever. I wished them good luck and turned back to my work. It didn’t dawn on me until a few minutes had passed that she was implying I was a liar. So maybe I kind of was. No one I’m blood related to professes Judaism. But I am actively thinking about conversion and I am going to temple tomorrow. So maybe it’s a trade off. Besides, the question caught me utterly off-guard.

BUT STILL. How dare you passively-aggressively imply that I’m a liar?

This isn’t the worst interaction I’ve had with evangelicals. Not even close (one time I ran into a guy who literally would not take no for an answer and followed me down the block. Then he wanted to add me on Facebook. I gave him a fake name: Kate Johnson. He had the audacity to ask whether I was telling him the truth.)

Christians who are forward about their faith don’t have some sort of monopoly on truth-telling. Why imply that everything I say is a lie? And furthermore, even if it is, did it ever occur to y’all to quit asking me incredibly personal questions? Yeah. That’s what I thought.

I’m bringing my AK-47 to the Christmas Party

We are, after all, in a war, right? To save Christmas… Oh, we aren’t?

You’ll excuse my momentary rhetorical strategy of playing dumb, but the idea that there is some sort of ideological war against your Yule log is absurd.

Christmas is pervasive. It’s everywhere. I’ve seen complaints about this being referred to as the “Holiday Season” and otherwise intelligent folks getting all up-in-arms when someone wishes them “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” What gives, people?

I like to wish people a Merry Christmas. Sometimes I wish them a Happy Holiday(s). Sometimes I just say, “Enjoy the Holiday!” Once in a great while I may even pull out the “Happy Christmas.” (That’s only if you’re real lucky). In the past few years, I’ve become accustomed to wishing one half of my family a “Happy Hanukkah/Chanukah.” (Depending on their spelling preference, of course.) This doesn’t mean I’m some kind of Christmas-hating heathen. It just means my world view isn’t dominated by people who only celebrate the same holiday I do in the winter. Happy Holidays is just an easy way of covering all the bases. Instead of assuming someone is a Christian, you can still spread the joy of the season that comprises many holidays for people in all walks of life by saying “Happy Holidays.” You cover Christians, Jews, people who celebrate Kwanzaa, winter solstice-celebrating folks, atheists, and other groups. Instead of asking someone to identify themselves, which takes time and is, quite frankly, kind of rude, you can just wish them “Happy Holidays,” and hope that you made their day a little brighter.

If there’s one thing people need to recognize amidst all the celebrating by gorging ourselves and racking up a bunch of credit card debt on crap we probably don’t need but that makes us happy, is that Christmas has become a secularized holiday in addition to a religious one, and in both worlds the point is to bring joy to other people during a period of celebration (of togetherness, if you’re not religious, and of Jesus’s birth if you’re a Christian). So instead of outlining all the ways you’re different from (and apparently superior to) all the other folks who have holidays to celebrate during this time, maybe you should be more concerned with making sure everyone shares in the joy that marks this time of year by wishing people a happy holiday, whichever one they choose to celebrate.

10 Things That Make You Sound Like a Major Asshole

  1. “There’s something wrong in this country when gays can openly serve in the military, but ‘our’ children cannot openly celebrate Christmas.”  Rick Perry is an asshole, obviously.  The first problem here is that these two things are not related.  Gay people don’t hate Christmas.  Most Christians who celebrate Christmas also don’t hate or feel threatened by gay people.  Rick Perry is a crazy person who is trying to criminalize homosexuality while hiding behind his religion.  Suck it, Rick.
  2. If you are a dude and you call a girl a tease simply because she wouldn’t bang you for buying her a drink, it’s going to make you sound like an asshole.  Actually, just expecting this to happen (if it you just think it) makes you an asshole.  You don’t even have to say it to anyone.
  3. You just complained that your parents won’t pay for your phone/car/trip/etc.  You’re a grown-up.  You have to buy your own shit, asshole.
  4. You just complained about the phone/car/trip/etc. that your parents bought you.  Only assholes complain about gifts.  This isn’t “My Super Sweet Sixteen;” this is real life.  In real life, if someone buys you a new phone, a car (new or used), or pays for other nice shit for you, you thank them profusely and you keep your mouth shut about the color/brand/make.  It was free to you.  It’s a gift.  Get over yourself, asshole.
  5. You say the following to your friends to help make them more cultured: “Well, I’m not claiming to be an expert, but while I was in Paris/London/Europe/Madrid/etc… All the locals did/said/wore [insert random, judgmental, and terrible idea].”  Unless you’re really being earnest, you probably just made yourself sound like an asshole.
  6. Calling yourself a visionary.  No thanks, asshole.
  7. You complain about what other people are drinking around you.  “Oh god, is EVERYONE drinking Bud Light? Kill me.”  “How can people drink Sam Adams and take themselves seriously?”  “I’m so over beer; now, I just drink artisan wines…”  We get it.  You’re cultured.  No one is forcing you to drink anything, asshole, so shut up and enjoy your $100 hotel-sized bottle of wine.
  8. Your facebook status is about your Hummer/BMW/Mercedes/etc. and how much you hate.  Basically anytime you’re complaining about how rich you are, you sound like a major asshole.  This includes complaining about poor people, protesters, homeless people, and the like.  This also includes being annoyed because your flight to your vacation was delayed, or that your limo wasn’t as big as you expected.
  9. You think a lot of girls are obsessed with you.  Hey asshole, unless you’re Ryan Gosling, you’re wrong.  The only one obsessed with you is you, asshole.
  10. You complain about other ethnicities, nationalities, and races.  You are the major-est, biggest asshole of all.  Congratulations, Captain Asshole!

Stop Having Babies. Seriously.

I have never watched TLC’s “19 and Counting.” However, my boyfriend left the TV on the Today Show when he left this morning, and I happened to catch a segment with a family that was expecting their twentieth child.

WHAT THE HELL!? I immediately used the google machine to find out who these “Duggar” people were… and found their TLC show website. Oh my god. There are so many things wrong with having that many children when modern medicine has advanced far enough to keep most, if not all, of our offspring alive. A twenty-two person family is ridiculous. And some of those kids are having GRANDKIDS. How old are they, like 23? Good god, give it a rest–aren’t you already sick of never having a life and only knowing the noise of a crying child in your home? Get a dog or something for pete’s sake.

Additionally, the mom must have been pregnant with very little time non-preggers for the last twenty years. Who wants to be endlessly pregnant for two decades, and have to take care of all the kids you popped out along the way? If that’s not a living hell, I don’t know what is. Unless you are an attention whore and love the praise you get for being knocked up (because everyone who gets knocked up is apparently a saint. Way to go!).

If these people didn’t have a TV show, there’s no way they wouldn’t be living in or near poverty, unless they were independently wealthy. Giant families like this often rely on the generosity of others to pay their bills, buy clothes for their kids, and feed their family. This is not a cut against their work ethic or anything–just simple math. A family of twenty two is more like a small colony. Your family is four times bigger than what is already considered a large family (two parents, three kids). What really irritates me is that these people could easily avoid a giant family. It’s called birth control pills. Or a condom. Seriously. You’re not going to hell for it, and it’s more responsible to actually be able to raise the kids you popped out instead of making your older children raise the younger ones.

I just don’t understand the logic behind being perpetually pregnant and having a ton of kids. Just don’t. Seriously. Adopt some kids who need a home if you want a ton of kids. Having twenty children is just irresponsible and selfish.