April 23, 2010

You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover

I'm 41.  I subscribe to Ready Made magazine.  I enjoy bands like Ben Folds, Kings of Leon, and My Morning Jacket.  I own Naot shoes and shop at Anthropologie.  I love tofu, vegetarian, and any sort of "ethnic" food you can imagine.  I do not follow any one religion.  I am pro-choice, anti-death penalty, and a staunch advocate of gay rights.

I'm 41.  I wear "Mom" jeans.  I loves me a good steak.  I love my country and I feel blessed to live here.  I have mixed views on global warming.  I LOVE Lynrd Skynrd and the Allman Brothers.  I grew up Presbyterian and have wonderful memories of my childhood church.  I support our troops.  I am a stay-at-home "housewife" and artist.

So, which paragraph is the real me?


How many of you out there are in the same predicament as I?  I certainly do not fit any mold; by appearance alone, I'm willing to bet that 9 out of 10 people asked would say I was a Republican, went to church every Sunday, and had 2.8 kids (none of these things are true, by the by).  Not that there is anything at all wrong with the above statements; they just don't describe who I am.  But come on, let's face it - we all pigeonhole, don't we?  I know I do.

I've been guilty of thinking someone agrees with my point of view, only to find out later they felt the exact opposite.  Just because someone may have the same interests as I do doesn't mean that we're soul mates.  I have my opinions, they have theirs, and that should be that.  If only we could agree to disagree.

I would guess that if it were feasible, and we could do a very detailed poll of every person over the age of 21 living in the US, we would find that we're not all that different in the big scheme of things.  Sure, we may have differing views on some topics, but in order for our country to end this divisiveness we need to look for the common ground.  An example:  words like "patriot" and "liberty" should not be co-opted by one faction of the population.  They're becoming dirty words to many who may not agree with certain points of view (such as myself).  What constitutes patriotism, anyway?  If you would've asked a million people on September 12, 2001 if they were patriots, you would've had 999,998 yeses, regardless of topical opinions or party affiliation.  What's different now?  Because my opinions differ from others', does that make me love my country less?  Please.

I'm going to continue to rock the Mom jeans, read my neo-hipster magazines, and eat tofu AND steak.  Because no matter who you think I am, I am an American.  I will continue to love it, but I may just leave it someday (Toronto, here we come!).  Because I live here, I have that choice.  God/Allah/Jehovah/Whoever Bless America.  :D


  1. you go, Mel! I totally agree with you; pigeonholing (is that a word?) is a bad thing, and can lead to worse things. And certain groups using those words to mean "you must agree with everything we stand for or else you are NOT ___ (fill in the blank with patriotic, whatever) is a baaaaad thing, and totally not true. In my opinion, those kinds of people/groups saying "If you're not FOR me then you must be AGAINST me" is a cop-out, because that's their excuse not to LISTEN to all of what the other person is saying.

  2. What a thoughtful and though-provoking post!

  3. Thank you both. I was prompted to write this because my across-the-street neighbor has a "Liberty" flag hanging instead of an American flag, and it's just so irritating. Thanks for listening! :D