Sunday, August 22, 2010

In Which I Am Tired Of Giving A Crap

I care about a lot of stuff. Sometimes it is overwhelming, to be honest. I recycle and compost and buy as much organic/grassfed/locavore/sustainably farmed/humanely slaughtered food as I can. I clean with earth-friendly products when possible and I shop at consignment/secondhand shops a lot to avoid contributing to mass consumption of goods. I read articles about parabens and BPA and sulfates and now even buying shampoo and canned tomatoes can be exhausting. A friend with a fledgeling Mary Kay business reached out to me to see if I'd host a party, but the cosmetics are so full of chemicals I'm trying to avoid that I had to decline, so now I feel like the asshole who stole her pink Cadillac and used it to run over her dreams.

But it all really matters to me. It matters a lot for a whole bunch of reasons and even though my daughter's kindergarten teacher had to have a talk with her about why it is inappropriate to discuss the factory-farmed meat at McDonald's with the rest of the students, I am proud to be raising socially aware little people. (Secretly, I can't wait to hear when happens when she goes to school in November and says, "Mama is out of town deer hunting this weekend because deer are such a sustainable form of meat.")

Honestly, it's a good thing they're pretty kids because they're destined to be weird.

Right now we're having a dilemma over the Boy Scouts. On a local level, I think the Boy Scouts are awesome. AlmondBoy - aside from the nail polish and love of Disney Princesses - is your Classic Model of boy. He likes hitting things with other things and cars and explosions and mud and frogs and...I don't know. Stereotypical Y-chromosome junk. But on a national level, the anti-gay policies of the Boy Scouts repulse and anger me. And so Mr. Marzipan and I are not going to let him join. Which sucks, because AlmondGirl really wants to be a Girl Scout which I support and endorse because they are progressive and inclusive and don't make you mention God, but I just can't let my blue-eyed boy march around in Cub Scout gear.

And the thing is that I really want to. I want to give him this instead of it being one more thing to tell his therapist about his uptight mother years down the road. And I grew up Orthodox Jewish and I have all but completely eradicated all traces of that, so of course now I worry that my kids are going to grow up and eat McNuggets while they drive endangered-animal-fueled Hummers over gay people. I want to sigh and say, "Well, it's not like they protest same sex marriage at meetings or anything," but I just can't do it. And it sucks that this is even an issue, really, but that's a frothing rant for another day.

So we're looking into alternatives and I'm feeling pissed off at the Boy Scouts for being such medieval douchebags and at myself for caring and at the country in general for tolerating this kind of thing in a "well, the back of the bus is still the bus, Miss Parks" kind of way and I really think that if I find one more thing to angst about, my brain is going to liquefy and run out my ears.


  1. I am very excited the new post is up! I hope it won't be another month before the next one.

  2. Sounds like your brain has already run out of your ears. I'm a Boy Scout leader, and I don't agree with the stand on homosexuality that some in the BSA take. However, that's not how we run our troop, and I don't know of many that do. Shop around for a Pack/Troop. Ask their leaders how they feel.
    And sorry if belief in God offends you. The BSA wants their members to have a belief in a supreme being. Too bad if the Girl Scouts have abandoned that.

  3. You know what, it's just as equally likely that your kids will grow up proud that you taught them to take a stand. Glad that you didn't implicate them in an organization which has an institutional stance that is reprehensible and happy that they ate well (and boy do I know your kids must eat well).

    Sure they'll probably learn to sneak a few mcnuggets behind your back too, but I don't think your son is going to be as traumatized by this as you are. I bet you find him something else just as great to participate in. It is okay to relax standards sometimes, but when it comes to the values that are biggies to us, I think it's also important to show our kids that we walk the talk.

  4. Libby, thanks for all of the encouragement. I hope to stay on top of it better.

    Kevin, I understand that things on a local level are not necessarily refelctive of the organization's values at a national level, but the fact is that by allowing my son to join, I am condoning the national policy. I'm not really sure how that indicates that my brain has "already run out of my ears." I've always believed that standing up for one's beliefs is a mark of sound reasoning, rather than allowing cognitive dissonance to rule in place of honoring my beliefs. And I understand that the Boy Scouts require belief in a supreme being. It doesn't offend me, but it also doesn't coincide with our family's beliefs. Belief in a god doesn't make one any more moral. I know that empirically because otherwise, the Boy Scouts would not be taking the stance that they do on homosexuality. It's a shame though, because there is much good done by the organization otherwise.

    Spryngtree, thanks for the kind words. Of course they'll sneak around and we do ease up quite a bit as they get older and can be counted on to understand the difference between "always, sometimes, and never" foods. (Almond Girl ate unearthly popsicles all summer at camp with no chiding from me.)

    I hope they'll understand what we've been trying to do.