Wednesday, February 2, 2011

the animals are comin' two by two, the elephant and the kangaroo

There's a person I know who I think Heavenly Father has brought into my life for the express purpose of showing me what a hateful person I am. Don't worry, it's nobody you know.

In her are all my most unattractive habits laid bare and magnified. It's what I imagine it would be like to know Gwyneth Paltrow. An insufferable know-it-all full of self-aggrandizing speeches about how sugar makes her sick to her stomach, she makes her biscuits with all whole-wheat flour, their family doesn't watch TV, she's going to homeschool her children so they won't be "labeled," she and her husband enjoy reading the dictionary, she just doesn't understand why she would need a cell phone, kombucha this, permaculture that, blah blah blah blah.

I like those causes. I think they make for healthy, happy people. But I get a distinct feeling every time we talk that she's trying to show me how much better my life would be if I just followed her example. I resent being proselyted to in this sniffy, self-righteous manner. You can imagine the horrified soul-searching I've had to do to determine just how many people I have treated in a similar fashion. So let me say this: I am so sorry. Please forgive me.

I think there are stages to discipleship. First there is exposure to the new idea, followed by conversion, adoption of its tenets, rabid proselyting, then realizing how offensive you have become, then shutting up. I'm spending a lot more time in the shutting up stage than I used to, and I hope it translates to me being better company. I should live my crunchiness like I live my religion. Par exemple, I don't discuss my faith on here, except when it's germane to the topic. I assume that you guys know by now that I'm a Mormon, and if you get a hankering to be one too you'll let me know. Not because I want to be grasping and stingy, or because it's not important to me, or because I don't believe it, but because people don't like it when you assume that whatever their deal is isn't making them happy--not TRULY happy. Nobody likes the schoolmarm.

I realize that I lectured everybody just last week about eating cruelty-free meat, and since I, too, am an insufferable know-it-all there's no way I'm going to never scold again. But here's to baby steps toward being the UnGwyneth.

Now I'm off to do a cleanse so I can feel more, you know, centered. I find I'm more present as a woman when I don't have toxins clouding my aura. You don't cleanse, do you? I didn't think so--you just seem so scattered and negative.


highdeekay said...

I can't believe you just blogged about me! Oh, wait, that would be the anti-me.

I totally agree with your stages of discipleship. I have really found that to be true. I'm much less insufferable (does that make me more sufferable?) about certain things than when I was a lofty grad student.

Funny how growing up really means learning you know nothing.

Tori said...

But I like it when you are scolding. And doesn't it mean that you are not that same horrible person because you recognize that you might be? The whole self-awareness thing plays a huge part in how insufferable a person is, I think.

Funny you wrote this, though. I spent all day yesterday in a funk because a friend of mine wrote a blog post about all the stupid things people more "mainstream" than her do with their kids, and proceeded to list basically everything I have recently discussed with her.

Jenny said...

For reals? Are you doing a cleanse? If you really are, I want to know what you are doing. Seriously. I'd rather have you as my friend than Gwyneth any day!

Sarah said...

I think you're hilarious, and I like that you know a lot of stuff and share a lot of what you know with those of us who don't because now we're knowing it and sharing it and everyone benefits. Good luck cleansing, eh?

tipsybaker said...

You typically seed your lectures with lots of dark humor, which makes all the difference.
Just calling it "scolding," for instance.
I was in a kitchen boutique a few days ago and they had a little hand-written sign in front of these fancy shrink-wrapped frosted cookies and it said, "Gwyneth knows about these already. Shouldn't you?"
Like that's an INCENTIVE to buy them?

kacy faulconer said...

I'm going to make a big change--but only one. Should I become a Mormon OR get into whole foods? YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE ONE.

Kidding. Already Mormon. But it makes you think.