We’ve reached an age where every social event has become incredibly stressful, insecure about our adulting abilities we sit around comparing and acting like the high school kids we should no longer be.
“Have you tried MY diet? It’s the best because it is supported by this evolutionary biology theory I don’t really know how to explain!”
“And what DID you do for YOUR wedding because I really think my flowers were the best?”
“I just think everyone should buy my water bottle, if they love the earth, of course.”
We sound like walking ads and it’s more than a little oppressive. We write off anyone who fails to support our way of being and as things get increasingly exclusive, where the new buzzword is basically the password to a speakeasy to represent “wokeness,” we isolate ourselves from the people we should care about. There are so many things we now regulate each other about that have nothing to do with us.
Hint: most things are none of your business
Who cares why your last name is what it is, a big issue for the feminist movement (I’m going through a divorce so it is now Charles, but the fact that I had to explain that ad nauseum was driving me nuts).
I still don’t care who you fuck and why. And I’ll never, ever, tell you how to eat or what to wear.
What I’m saying is that I think I speak for lots of us when I say that it’s getting exhausting justifying choices when they don’t hurt anyone. You should be free to do what your want unless your freedom directly impedes the freedom of others. No one is being oppressed by their friend’s birth plan so maybe we don’t need to care.
Repeat after me: “I’m happy for you! What’s that like?”
Then listen. That’s all you need to say.
You shouldn’t have to feel superior to someone to feel good about yourself.
My biggest problem with most social spaces is the degree to which we rely on comparing ourselves to others in order to connect. This might be why we impose our values on others. The trouble with being obsessed with the social hierarchy is that positionality is always fragile, so we spend our lives looking out for the person who will knock us off the pedestal, in this paranoid world, every act that differs from what we ourselves would do becomes a threat to our mere existence.
No one is free when we all have to play this game. Freedom has a price, it requires that you care about the freedom of others.
You can love people for who they are or hate them for who they are not, so in this context what I am suggesting is this need to impose who we are on others is in fact a form of hate. From the perspective of a poor person, too often the rich directly assume we are just deformed versions of them that need to be changed but there is so much good here they can’t see (and maybe we shouldn’t let THEM see it unless they are super down for the team). Why don’t you try to learn from others before assuming you have the right action? Have you considered the possibility that there are messed up aspects to your culture too?
Our obsession with “improvement” has caused us to be blind to the good in others and to different perspectives. It’s dehumanizing for all of us. Instead of getting to know others for who they are and enhancing their strengths, we take a deficit perspective with our fellow man that blinds us to what’s truly beautiful in humanity. I’m done thinking of myself in terms of what is wrong, I’m going to focus on what is right.
In adulthood this comes from a position of insecurity and weakness and we conform accordingly. You damn conformists! Just kidding, conform if it suits you but the last time I checked and I do check periodically, this is still a free country. If we don’t do everything just like our friends we are likely to be “chewed out” in the most boring manner possible.
“Don’t wear that or no man will want you.”
“Mmm, those cleaning products are bad for the environment, you do care about the environment don’t you?”
“My clothes are hand stitched by blind monks because it’s better than sweatshop labor and I’m superior.”
From now on, I suggest saying: “it’s all right, I’ve been chewed out before.” Then just walk away.
This need to project our beliefs and values, this FOMO, I heard about, has got to go. Who gives a shit what everyone else is doing? How are you doing?
There are too many ways of being on this strange little planet of ours to continue to insist we all be the same.
Obviously if someone does something that impedes your ability to live your life or directly hurts you call them out. BUT! you aren’t allowed to play six degrees of intellectual masturbation to switch my words around to suit your needs.
Don’t get it twisted.
If they aren’t stopping you from living your truth, it’s probably not your business what they are doing. Also, I still have a B12 deficiency so I’m going to need everyone to back off my eating habits.
“Politics are personal” needs to start meaning, “personally, I think we should all shut up and feed people.” Instead of “every purchase I make shows how woke I am.”
Your purchases are not a measure of wokeness and no one should be bragging about these things anyway. The next time people want to brag to me, what I want to hear is “Heather, I totally fed like a hundred people this weekend.” Or “Heather, I read the coolest book to these school children.” Or “Heather, I’m studying deep mysteries.” Shit like that. Fight the ads, mostly by ignoring them and getting some work done.
My friendship comes with a free speech zone and a judgment free zone (and since I can already hear the protests, pedophila impedes on the freedom of the kids involved, you sick bastards), so long as you don’t inflict any damage on me. I suggest everyone apply these standards to themselves because the truth is that life is long, people change and what is trendy right now is no longer relevant tomorrow. Lifelong friendships take work through the years and odds are your friends are going to act like assholes from time to time or they might say something stupid on occasion. You can’t keep cutting people out for failing to reflect your reality. This is just part of adulting. We aren’t in high school anymore, no one cares what clique you sit with, and we have work to do.
Nowadays I only give advice when asked or if I think someone is in serious danger. I’m compulsively honest in a way that gets me in trouble but I do that as a act of love. Otherwise, I try to just respond with “do you, boo!” and “I’m super happy for you” and then I just listen. I learn more this way and if you know me, you know that’s the true addiction I suffer from.
So for the love of God, can we please stop behaving like ads and then getting offended when people disagree with us? It’s stressful hanging out with friends these days and the last thing we all need is more isolation. Does every party have to be work and some sort of comparison fest or can we please get together, cheer each other on and drink your liquor of choice while having fun?
I’m doing my best to be the light, I could use all the help I can get.
“So do you, boos.”
“I’m sure your napkins for your wedding are going to be beautiful/ecological/a statement piece.”
“I saw this cool piece of art the other day and have been listening to music, do you want to her about it? How are your kids? How is work? ”
That’s how our conversations are always going to go.
With all the love, of course.
I’m serious about that whole liquor of choice thing.