December 6, 2012 § 2 Comments
One day a woman was walking to work when she saw a man drinking coffee. The woman was absolutely scandalized. She went right up to the man and demanded, “Excuse me, but what do you think you’re doing?”
The man blinked and said, “Drinking coffee?”
“Exactly,” the woman said. “That is incredibly offensive to me and I need you to stop right this instant.”
“I – I don’t understand,” the man said.
“You see,” the woman told the man, “drinking coffee is against my religious beliefs. My religion forbids drinking coffee. That’s why I am so offended and horrified.”
The coffee-drinker stared at the woman, confused. “I’m so sorry that you took offense at my drinking coffee, but I still don’t understand what this has to do with me,” he said, frowning.
“You are violating my religious beliefs when you drink that coffee,” the woman said. “This is America, and we have freedom of religion here. You are not allowed to drink that coffee because that is against my religious freedom.”
The man looked bewildered. “Well,” he said, “I’m sorry if my drinking coffee is offensive to you, ma’am, but you are not allowed to impose your religious beliefs on me and call it your rights.”
“No, no, you don’t understand,” the woman replied. “My religious book – the doctrine that expressively forbids coffee drinking – is here, and I am going to quote it to you so you can see just how wrong it is.”
“That’s all well and fine,” the coffee-drinker told her, “but that is your book that guides your religion and your life. But I don’t belong to that religion, and so it does not run my life. Sorry.”
“So!” the woman said, “You drink that coffee because you hate my people and want to start a war on my religion?”
“No,” the man said, “I drink this coffee because this is America, and I have freedom of religion, too.”
And so the man went on his way, leaving the angry woman behind. And he drank his coffee because he lived in America and he had freedom of religion, too.
May 14, 2012 § Leave a comment
I have to prelude this by saying that I am around 5’10” and ungodly scrawny. It’s gross. I was born with a tiny bone structure that got stretched out when my genes decided to make me ungodly tall, too. It is almost impossible for me to gain weight and as a result, I have one or two health issues in addition to a couple of problems that are genetic. They’re not by any means serious, but they’re there.
Now, I can already see the angry thought bubbles coming from the heads of those of you who think I have nothing to complain about. But bear with me as I defend myself from strangers I have encountered and from people who think it’s okay to judge a book by its cover.
Every now and then when I’m out and about in public, I am on the receiving end of what I have classified as The Look. There are different variations of The Look. There are double takes, scowls, frowns, shaking of the heads, whispering to friends, and downright glares from people I have never met and never seen before in my life. These types of looks are the only ones I have noticed, for I’m usually in my own little world when I’m wandering around stores or ordering food or whatever, and I’m sure there are more. Now, 99.9% of the time I am treated like a normal human being so when I do get The Look, I am just baffled. I’m reminded of middle school, honestly. It’s hurtful and it’s irritating.
I have never had the misfortune of having a stranger come up to me completely out of the blue and say exactly what they are thinking to me, but oftentimes when I am introduced to people or am talking with friends of friends or distant relatives or whatever, I get comments that embarrass me and make me feel like a terrible person. Sometimes, it’s: “Wow, I wish I were you!” or “It’s not fair you’re so thin.” And the worst: “You should be grateful – the rest of us aren’t as lucky as you!” I know for the most part, they mean well by these comments. But for the record, they make me want to crawl into a hole and die.
The following is what I wish I could print out on a pamphlet and hand to the people who give me The Look or to those people who make those sorts of comments:
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to look me up and down and judge me even though you know nothing about me! Although I am not obligated to do this, let me explain to you why I look the way I look:
1) No, I am not anorexic or a desperate Hollywood wannabe! No, I don’t force myself to vomit or work out ten hours a day so all my bones stick out! I am a normal person who loves junk food and anything that comes out of a soda fountain. Not good enough? See below for a continued explanation:
2) I have an abnormal metabolism, as in, everything I eat is immediately burned within a short amount of time. You say that I’m lucky to have this? Well, it just so happens that I wish I could eat something and have it sustain me for more than twenty minutes. This is because I also have low blood sugar and low blood pressure. See? Now you know that not only do I eat, I eat a lot.
3) Another exiting fact about me is that my stomach is the most sensitive known to man. Awesome, right? Years of stomach problems practically destroyed my stomach lining so there are lots of foods I cannot eat without pain or discomfort. Anything greasy, oily, high in fat, etc. just makes me sick. In other words, as much as I love junk food, my body physically rejects it. If I tried to eat an entire quarter-pounder cheeseburger with everything on it in under an hour, I would be on the ground throwing my guts up for the rest of the day. (Aren’t you so glad you took this pamphlet?)
Now that you are up to date on my various medical problems, random stranger, why do you care what I look like?
I can see you are a beautiful and incredible person and you don’t look good when you’re scowling at someone else. I saw that smile you just gave to your friend. It’s lovely, and I’d much rather exchange one of those with you.
Let’s try this: You worry about yourself and I’ll worry about myself, how about that? I don’t judge a person based on how they look, and neither should you.
One of my favorite songs has a line from it that I try to implement in my life daily: Don’t judge a thing ‘till you know what’s inside it. In other words, it’s not our job to judge others based on how they look (nor is it our job to judge them, period, but that’s another post for another day).
So here is my conclusion to this blog post:
For those of you who think scrawny people are lucky, or anorexic, or certain conceited bitches that care way too much about their appearance – stop. Please. You make me sick and you make me sad. Speaking as someone who has gotten one hateful look in public too many, your judgment is so hurtful and it is so unnecessary. I fear that girls are the only ones on the receiving end of this uncalled-for hatred, which makes me wonder what on earth the magical land of Hollywood has done to this world.
You don’t know if a person is thin because she (or he) is anorexic and has serious confidence issues and needs help or if she was just born with a small bone structure or has a bunch of medical problems or simply works out and takes care of her body. This applies to anybody. You don’t know if the beautiful girl buying plus size clothes has a medical condition that dictates her weight or if she was blessed with a larger frame or if she eats because she is bullied at school and desperately needs a friend to talk to. And you know something, unless you are a dear friend of the person in question and genuinely care about that person’s well being, you don’t need to know. I don’t need to know. No one needs to know. It’s none of our business what anybody looks like.
I think society needs to stop focusing so much energy on the way a person looks, period. If a person is healthy and/or happy, that is all that matters. If a person if trying to be healthy by losing weight or gaining it or switching their diet or quitting using substances or whatever, congratulate them. Don’t judge them. It’s pretty simple.
The world is already a hard place to live in without us hating on each other based on how we look. We left those actions behind in middle school, guys. It’s time we figured it out and moved on, because the world is a much rougher place when unneeded judgment rules it.