Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Part 1

I am a follower of Jesus, I was once a pastor, and I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for being homophobic.  

I'm sorry that through my actions and words people who are struggling with and hiding their sexuality were meant to feel silenced and shameful and less than.  

I'm sorry for trying to "pray the gay away", and for buying into the ex-gay theory.  However well intentioned, I acknowledge I was part of the problem.  After years of prayer, conversations, and study I recognize I was in the wrong.  I'm sorry for acting like you needed to be fixed.  

I'm sorry for elevating the example of a heterosexual, married couple as the ultimate goal and making you feel alienated.  

I'm sorry that even though none of it sat well with me, that I felt there must be a better way, after having a revelation in 2004 about the beauty of atonement, reading Acts 10 where it says, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” and having a personally profound change of heart, I still promoted homophobia by not speaking up.  I’m sorry for being a closeted ally.  I’m sorry for leaning on my privilege as a cis-gendered person and figuring it was someone else’s cause to take up.

I’m sorry that it’s taken some of us a really long time to figure this out.

I’m sorry that you felt the need to choose between your affections and your faith.  I’m sorry that I haven’t been more open about my support of equal marriage rights.  I’m sorry that my silence has come at a great cost to you, because equal rights opponents aren’t afraid to speak their minds.

Someone I know says, “The church has been the main source of hatred, misunderstanding, suffering, and division in regards to the gay community for more than 100 years.  If all we do is love them, help them, support them, unconditionally, and shut our mouths for the next 100 years then perhaps we have earned the right to speak again.”

There is so much more to this revelation than a quick post, and I haven't come to conclusions in a vacuum.  In fact, the very wording and posting of my opinion here has been revised and edited for well over two years.  Some won't be happy with it.  Many will disagree with it.  I sincerely hope that I can continue to find in them love, acceptance, and relationship despite differing opinions and that the lines of communication and debate will remain open.  But this post isn't primarily for them.  It's for you.  For you, I'm speaking up.  

I support you, I celebrate you, I love you.  Because love is love.

Some things that have helped:

Sunday, October 23, 2016

hello? it's me.

I think it's fair to say that the art of listening is in trouble.  There's nothing new I can even say on the subject, since there's literally a TED playlist on the issue (which, by the way, I highly recommend, even if you just watch this one by Celeste Headlee) and I don't presume to think I'm going to solve the problem on my little blog.


Listening, at it's very basic level, is assigning importance to the person who is communicating.  When my twin girls cough and sputter whilst munching on carpet Cheerios* I (usually) check on them to make sure they aren't choking.  They are important to me.

When someone isn't listening to what is being said the presumption is that they don't care about the person speaking.  Like if you're picking your nose and daydreaming, or simultaneously texting, or choreographing a dance to your favourite Adele song, or sleeping.  Or saying "wrong" in the middle of their sentences.

Sometimes we listen, sometimes we don't.  That's human.  What irks me in the propensity to claim that you've listened, that you've designated importance to the person who is communicating, when you haven't.  Be honest.  If you haven't listened, if you have no intention of listening, don't confuse it with actual listening.

It's my belief that this simple understanding would solve, like, 89.7% of the world's problems.

* Exactly what you might think.  Cheerios scattered like petting zoo feed on and around the carpet area of our living room.  Don't judge.  We have twins.  It keeps them happy.

Friday, February 27, 2015

BOGO: a true story

I receive, on average, 30 emails a day from retailers that I have (voluntarily) signed up to receive information from.  It makes me feel like I can shop my inbox.  It drives my husband crazy.

Over the past few months (let's be honest, perhaps years?) I've noticed that Old Navy often has a sale on a particular brand of clothes.  Recently, I found it interesting that American Eagle sold the same brand.

Andrew and I were lying in bed the other night when I saw an Target ad featuring the same brand, and I decided to look it up online.

Then it hit me.

I turned to Andrew, my phone still in my hand, and asked, "Lover, do you know what BOGO means?"

"Buy one, get one."

And I clapped my hands over my face in shame.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

fear and loathing on facebook

Maybe it's just the circles I run in, but I'm seeing a lot of opposition to the new sex education curriculum proposed in Ontario.

Like, a lot.  

Like, I miss the good old days of global warming and vaccine conspiracies plugging up my Facebook wall.

The problem with these protestations is not that people have differing opinions but that these opinions are not often their own.  This will not be a post on the intricacies of the curriculum itself but rather directed to those who don't take the time to read the curriculum itself in order to familiarize themselves with the intricacies.

There's a word for stealing other people's ideas in lieu of using original, creative arguments: plagiarism.

And is that what we want to pass on to our kids as an ideal way of living?  Do we want them to grow into adulthood thinking that a broken-telephone-system of hearsay and rumour and fear-mongering and assumptions and clouded understanding is the best way to make an opinion? 

Isn't the opposite of education, ignorance?

I become weary of the SIGN THIS PETITION and MEET ME AT THE PROTEST and WRITE YOUR MPP NOW invitations because when there really is a valid issue to sign a petition for, or protest, or write our MPP about, I feel as if our voice will be tuned out.  

There are too many legitimately appalling issues that we should be taking steps to reform.  Rational, engaging, tolerant and fair education curriculum isn't one of them.

If you're still hot under the collar, try these ideas:
  1. Believe in yourself.  You are an intelligent person, and extremely qualified in the area of childrearing if you are, indeed, rearing a child.  So give those eyeballs a rub, connect them to that beautiful brain and read the curriculum.  Yes, it's lengthy.  But, let's face it, if you're hot under the collar you're most likely focusing on the sexy bits (frankly, you should read it for its incredible overall approach to fostering mental, physical and emotional health rather than just "command+F" phrases like "anal sex").  But, whatever.  Just read it.
  2. If you would like a balanced view on the subject, instead of bouncing your ideas off of people who share the same ideas, take a teacher out for a coffee.  Actually, take a teacher out for a coffee anyway.  They work damn hard.  And, contrary to some opinions, are not hell-bent on perverting your child.  If you can't commit to coffee, at least give them a hug.
  3. If you still want something to post on your Facebook wall, after all that self-education and coffee and hugging, try this brilliant article.
  4. While you're on a curriculum high, try thinking of other areas than sex ed where your child could benefit from additional education at home.  Are the history lessons Western-centric?  Are the literature selections male-centric?  Are the mathematic exercises devoid of real-life financial applications?
  5. Feel free to write a member of the government, and try making it nice.  Encourage your city counsellor, your MP, and your MPP for all the hard work they put into making your life a little better.  It doesn't matter if you voted for them or believe in their politics.  For extra bonus points, send a quick email to Premier Kathleen Wynne thanking her for doing a job that you would never want to do.
But, if you can't do all six, just read the curriculum.  And use Facebook to post pictures of your adorable, creative, educated family.

“Fear is the path to the dark side.  Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering." - Yoda 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

ugly truth

This morning, my husband sent me a link to an image of Uma Thurman's (recently?) renovated face.  It looks great.  But it doesn't look like Uma.  Uma's face, as Mia Wallace and Poison Ivy and Fantine and Emma Peel and Beatrix Kiddo, is gone.

The sadness I felt as I stared at this new Uma face and tried to find Uma in it was the same as when I stared at Renee Zellweger's face and tried to find Renee in it.  Like looking at one of those "magic eye" stereograms popular in grade school.

What scares me about plastic surgery is not its availability, popularity, aggressive marketing at the back of every fashion magazine, or even the horror stories of botched jobs.  What scares me is that Uma and Renee, talented, gorgeous, wealthy, acclaimed, beloved, and renown, somewhere along the way, thought they were ugly.

Although I (and my husband) are philosophically opposed to cosmetic surgery, and I doubt I'd ever have the budget available to have myself overhauled even if I was for it, I know that I'm not immune to the feeling of ugliness.  Just because Uma and Renee did something about it and I probably won't doesn't make me better and them worse.  We're similar in our struggles and similar in our feeling of ugliness.

If Uma and Renee thought their beautiful, beautiful faces were ugly, what hope to the rest of us have?

So here's a possible remedy.  I've broken it up into three parts.

  1. If you know a woman, love a woman, sleep with a woman, are friends with a woman, or are related to a woman, tell them they're beautiful.  Be honest.  Be specific.  Be persistent.  Be poetic.  Be brave.  If you tell a woman "You're pretty" they may not believe you, but they'll find it hard to argue with "I love how restful and radiant you looked in the sunlight yesterday afternoon".
  2. If you are a woman, believe it.  Don't look for opportunities to negate a compliment.  If your husband tells you he loves your face without makeup on try to imagine why he would, even if it seems impossible.  When your daughter tells you she loves you because you're squishy, accept that you are the zenith of womanly beauty to her.
  3. Finally, shut your beautiful face about your ugliness.  There will always be "flaws".  They will multiply.  But unless you want to carve them out with a knife and suffer losing all sorts of character, personality, responsiveness, and cellular integrity in the process, it's time to embrace and shut up about them.  When you say you hate your legs a little part dies inside your friends who thought your legs superior to theirs.
Happy Valentine's Day, you pretty people.

Monday, January 05, 2015

1/wk, wk 1

It's 2015.

I like making goals.

This year, one of my goals is to do one house project per week.  52 house projects in total (some are two week long projects, know, numbers have to be crunched, etc.).

I thought up this "one per week" (which goes by the street name "1/wk") idea since New Year's goals/resolutions can be daunting, and by daunting I mean tackled vehemently for the first three months of the year, then felt guilty about for the next three months, then utterly forgotten, then only vaguely remembered around Christmas.  CYCLE COMPLETE.  This way, if a week is missed because of illness or lack of energy or too much wine or something more noble, a new, fresh, exciting week is just around the corner and, with it, another chance to complete a goal.

If you're still reading, you:
a) used to read my blog and are wondering where I went,
b) also like making goals,
c) have a house, with projects that need doing,
d) are sitting at a desk in a cubicle around 3:00 p.m., a.k.a. "I'm So Bored I'll Click Every Link I Come Across" o'clock,
or e) all of the above.

Week 1: Hip Nautical Curtain Tie-Backs For Under $30*

Time required: 10 minutes

Materials required:
  • rope (Michaels)
  • galvanized cleat (Canadian Tire) (helps if is miss-priced)
  • roll of twine (Dollarama)
  • glue gun (Walmart)
  • scissors, or very sharp teeth 
I'm providing my retail sources not because I believe in them as retailers, but because I wholeheartedly believe that home improvement and especially DIY projects should not only be affordable but cheap.  It's part of the fun. 

Technically, you also need a few screws, washers, and a screwdriver but I just raided my garage for these items and you can't raid my garage for these items as well.  You have to find your own.

Here's the final product, since the image is worth a thousand step-by-step...steps.  If you have questions, please feel free to ask in the comments.  Otherwise, it's pretty straight forward.  

This is how legit-non-fancy I am.  Under the aforementioned DIY project is our empty luggage waiting to be taken outside to the garage since we just unpacked from a staycation.  Outside the sliding door is a Little Free Library which my brother made me for Christmas.  Another 1/wk project - stay tuned.

*  My parents own a sailboat so, for me, this project is sentimental as well as practical.  Feel free to copy if sailing isn't your thing, or if you want it to be your thing, or you've been perusing any one of the 3,498,201 websites, blogs, and apps and notice that the nautical theme is So Hot Right Now.

Monday, June 30, 2014

by the numbers

If months spent trying to conceive were otherwise spent in education, I'd have my Masters. An MA of TTC.

Half of our six year marriage has been lived out under its influence.

Babe Ruth famously had a total lifetime strikeout record of 1,330  and an inspirational home run record of 714, a ratio of nearly 2:1. Would we still be as encouraged if his average was 32:1?

Or tens of millions to nil, our monthly average?

It's always lingering, sometimes peripherally, sometimes blatantly, like a housefly blessed with longevity.

I've felt as it has eroded my time, my patience, my plans, my determination, my hope, my confidence, my optimism, my faith, and, at times, the quality if not the quantity of our intimacy.

I've developed a second pattern of irritability and weepiness during my cycle, mid-way, around ovulation.

It's been the reason behind quitting one job, and the reason behind acquiring another.

But then I look at Hugo, my Hugo, and wonder simultaneously how I could ever think of quitting, and wonder how I could ever complain when friends of mine don't have even one, and wonder if he will know what it's like to have a sibling who shares his DNA, and wonder if that even should matter, and wonder why it still does.

Because if pregnancy to us is like winning the lottery, what is the statistical likelihood that we will win it twice?