Recently, I had a break down and an AH HA moment.
I broke down and went to Burger King.
Sometimes, I just need some Onion Rings with Zesty Sauce.
Of course, I went to the drive through (less likely to be seen at slumming at the BK). After the order taker read my order back to me, he/she asked if I'd like to show my support to the troops and donate a dollar to the VFW.
ARGH. I'd have loved to have a picture of my face at that moment.
Anyone who knows me, knows A) That is the line I use to pressure people to donate to various causes (show your support to the troops! Kids with cancer! People who can't afford food!) and B) I HATE constantly hitting people up for donations. Most of these "causes" are run by CEO's who make enough money that fast food to them is a Bison Burger flown in from Montana.
Here's my favorite quote about charities: "What starts as a cause, quickly becomes a business and then turns into a racket." - Eric Hoffer.
So, damn. I said, "YES, I will donate." Anyone who knows me also knows I love and support the military. And dogs. And police. And bacon.
But mostly I agreed to donate because I was afraid they'd spit in my food if I didn't. Because, though I try NOT TO JUDGE people who don't donate, I become highly annoyed by people who have purchased VENTI Starbucks and are wearing designer clothes and buying organic gluten free food but can't afford A DOLLAR to help Children With Cancer.
Then, I pull up to the fast food window. The cashier has horribly chipped blue finger nail polish. And very short hair. I can't tell if he/she is a girl/boy.
This bothered me.
It bothered me that it bothered me.
But I've noticed it a-lot lately...not being able to identify if the person is a boy/girl. Man/Woman.
And who am I to judge? I do extremely creative and "LOOK AT ME NOW!" things to my body.
A few days prior to Burger King, a friend had complained to me that the police department he worked for kept changing the rules. Or worse, that the rules applied to some of the people and not ALL of the people.
"I work in job that is constantly changing moment from moment. I want to have rules that I can count on. I want to know, ok, this is the situation, these are the steps to follow."
My Burger King journey was after the attacks on Dallas Police Officers and prior to the attack on Nice, France.
I was feeling out of sorts after the Dallas attack. I was angry. I was frustrated that I grew up (and lived all over the USA) and racism was not a part of my life. We did not see color. We saw stupidity. Of all colors and races and genders. And suddenly, in the last few years, we are a country divided.
Black VS White. Religion Vs Spirituality. Science VS Common Sense. Gays Vs Traditionalist. Fat Girls Vs Skinny Girls. Everyone VS Police. Liberals. Progressives. Conservatives. Tea Party. No Party. Country Music Vs Alternative. Gamers V Gamer Gaters. Patriots Fans and EVERYONE ELSE.
For a country that seems really eager to promote "NO LABELS!" everyone sure is busy labeling.
And by trying to NOT be a male/female, you are, in fact, defining yourself.
Now, here is why it bothers me.
I was a paramedic (I know, I mention it a million times). I understand chaos. I thrived on it. But, just as much as I loved it; it was so very important to know I had a partner I could count on. That I could count on the police. The firefighers.
There was STRUCTURE.
What's happening in society today is there is so much upheaval, chaos, and most of it is SELF INFLICTED. By listening to the media and believing them over common sense. Over our own experience.
Yes, life is all about challenges. Rising up to meet whatever life dishes out. But damn, is it not enough that we have nature, cancer, health problems, to deal with? (And must we believe every video-taped (edited) tape we see?)
People might say, WE DONT LIKE RULES! (I am not a big fan), HOWEVER, many of those very people who claim to hate "rules" and 'tradition' are science addicts. They can repeat theories. Math equations.
Does this make sense people?
And when horrible tragedies happen - like in Nice, France, don't labels come in real handy? When one is in the midst of chaos; one looks for the uniform of police, EMS, doctors, firefighters.
Easily identifiable. An anchor during rough seas.
And here is society and culture encouraging young people, easily influenced people, to not identify with a gender. It's become the trendy thing. But as someone who has taken many cues and tried on many trends (not Tinder though! Thank God!), this is a trend that is (almost!) as harmful has fake boobs.
Don't buy into the hype. Don't by into the "freedom to not identify!"
It only causes confusion. It makes people feel broken. And when people feel broken, they read everything they can on the subject; forums, facebook, books, magazines! They turn to drugs (prescribed, legal, or illegal). They go to therapy; all in order to feel better.
Not "identifying" is not liberating, it's debilitating.
There is nothing wrong with tradition, people. It took me a long time to learn that.
It also took me a long time to get that Burger King Zesty Sauce out of my system.
Learn from my mistakes!