There are moments when I realize that if there is a Big Brother monitoring the communications within my household, I’m in deep poop. In just one morning, Will and I collectively managed to make statements or participated in behavior that could be misconstrued by 3 – at least – different demographics as offensive.
1) During breakfast recently, we were enjoying my classically ugly pancakes and turkey bacon. We had the syrup out on the counter in front of us. As Stella is into identifying and discussing nearly everything, I guess she had seen the picture/logo on the bottle. It happened to be Aunt Jemima. Will decided she should learn to say “Aunt Jemima.” I know this is no big deal, but my imagination just took off into nightmare territory. I could picture my child pointing to the nice black cashier at the store up the street and calling her Aunt Jemima1. Will thought I was overreacting and could be construed as being racist by my overreaction. After all, this syrup company had chosen a woman of color as their mascot during a time when this was probably not popular, correct2? I retorted that short of Wikipedia’ing that company – or Quaker, as that seems to be the parent company – we could not take that fact for granted. From now on, it’s Log Cabin or Eggo syrup only in my house.
2) Shortly after breakfast, Stella asked for one of her “neckwaces” to play with, as she’s beginning to channel her girlie side. Usually she wears them for a short while and then begins to chew on it. This being Mardi gras territory, one of her neckwaces is a string of purple plastic beads. In this particular situation, I don’t think much of the chewing anymore, honestly. It’s one of those battles I choose not to fight in favor of the not spitting your milk out in the corner battle.
Anyway, as I attempted to get dressed, I heard Will hollering at her to stop chewing on her necklace. This was followed by the comment that “we don’t eat things made in China.” Now sure. Stella has no idea about the periodic flak involving Chinese products and the occasional poisoned pet food or high lead content in paint on toys. But I’m damned sure this statement would piss SOMEONE off.
3) Not 2.5 minutes later I tried to make the bed before getting dressed. I’ve mentioned that I have cats. Three very dumb cats. One of them is extra special. He’s my emotional pee-er, the one that has targeted my purse and most recently my Xmas tree skirt, in case very specific and glaring examples of specialnessis are required. In all honesty, I think he would have been better off by himself in a home with a very doting little old lady who would have held him all day and spoon fed him tuna in a milk of magnesia suspension. This cat is a furry nut. Usually, however, he tolerates me. In fact, most of his outbursts are a direct result to me not paying him enough attention or allowing the baby to look sideways at him.
I went to fling the blanket to fluff it and spread it across the bed when he happened to walk by. This, in turn, spooked him and he hissed at me in spectacular goofy fashion. It was just dumb. And then I got irritated and decided to “stomp” him out of the room. You know, when you stomp your foot loudly in the general direction of a misbehaving animal. Will asked if I had had an accident or needed help to which I replied that no, the cat was just a complete and utter imbecile. I’m sure this would have irritated someone who advocates for imbeciles or some wacko animal advocacy fringe group in California which from time to time tries to pass mandates banning the word “pet.”
Political correctness has run totally amok. With a few exceptions – genocide, rape, or child abuse stick out – we ought to be able to laugh at/about just about anything. Now being responsible for a kid – soon to be two – who is totally naïve and unaware of this, I live in a new sphere of paranoia. Will and I both enjoy a wide variety of people amongst our circle – all religions, colors, sexual orientations3. I’ve always considered myself equal opportunity; if you’re a decent, interesting person, cool. If not, a douche can be a douche no matter what they look like, where or how they pray, or if they prefer to share milkshakes with a man or woman. But this PC thing has made everyone a bit nuts. Just composing this blog has made me crazy. I’ve already proofread everything I’ve typed a dozen times and this will continue until – or even if – I hit “post.” I feel certain that just the fact that I thought these thoughts or typed these words is offending loads of people. It’s absurd.
One thing I’ve always felt very strongly about is that it’s imperative that people have a sense of humor. If you can’t laugh at yourself – or, and I’ll say it: other people – from time to time, you’re going to go nuts and be a total and complete fun sponge to be around. I’ve spent a hell of a lot of time in this blog painting myself in a less than attractive or delicate fashion. I’m just not cut out for such a rigidly PC world. So with a serious heart, I regret to inform you that my political candidacy is officially over before it’s begun. Thank goodness.
1 This, of course, is one of the occasions where my child’s pronunciation is perfection. There is no way you could explain it away with some lame explanation. “No ma’am. She wasn’t making a borderline insensitive remark. She merely told me I ain’t got the thyme in our basket.”
2 This is how crazy I think we’ve all become when it relates to this stuff. Or maybe it’s just me. Either way, my kid’s correct upbringing is at stake, and it’s important to me that I get this part right.
3 I’m reminded of that episode of Seinfeld. As if I should be interjecting “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”