Thursday, September 07, 2006

Soap Box

Last night Mom ran out of her house, disturbed by the frightened noises of their horses. In her driveway was a van. "I'm with a youth group," said the man. "We're on a scavenger hunt and we need a picture with a horse in it." Thinking the man was asking permission, my Mom began to offer her assistance. And then she saw twelve figures running through her yard. And suddenly it all made sense. The horses ran in frantic circles, frothing and frightened. Provoked. These people came without permission, trespassed, scared the horses, stole a picture, and had the audacity to act as if they had a right. "It's OK. I'm with a youth group."

I don't mind people with faith.

What I mind is when "faith" becomes a blanket... an excuse to do wrong.

But before you peg this as one of those kind of conversations, hear me out. It's not a problem of religion. It's a problem of PEOPLE. It's in police officers who speed and drive drunk, or government officials who embezzle, teachers who do their students harm, and parents who never care for their kids. "Church Member." "Police Officer." "Government Official." "Teacher." "Parent." These are TITLES. They do not always reflect what kind of people use them.

It's like that one stupid blonde that ruined it for all the smart blondes.

What title do you wear? How do you use it to reflect who you are? I tell people I work for a beer distributor. Instantly they think I'm a Bud Girl. They picture me walking around in a skimpy outfit handing out free beer. "I can see that," they say. So I fall back on the "House Owner" title in hopes that my IQ will raise up a little. "Did Daddy buy that for you?"

I walk into a local bakery. "Do you believe Jesus is our savior?" The cashier behind the counter asks, leaning in to watch my face. I take a step back. "Are you not going to give me my sandwich if I say 'No'?" She laughs and pulls out a flyer. "We're having a cookout at my church. But you have to be 'saved' to attend." I'm not saying I don't believe in Jesus, but WHY do I have to fall under that classification for you to respect me? I left without my sandwich.

It's how I felt when I heard the blogger-Mom's were choosing cliques at the convention. Does the title "Mom" necessarily mean she's a good parent? Does it mean she's a better writer? Why do we do this? We take titles. We assume someone wearing a title will behave in a certain way. We walk around collecting them like hats and leaning on them like crutches. But do they really define anything?

Spam Mail:
Acclaim Tightness from Mirabel Hood Thank you! I think.
Bigotry Vise from Rasmus Hensley
Readjust from Natalia Mckee

Not Far From The Tree:
Mom: Sorry I didn't call you back. We had to take Big Bit to the store to get a baby doll.
Tink: A what?!
Mom: And he was being stubborn. I told him to just grab a Barbie, but he really wanted this other one.
Tink: You took my 13 year old brother to the store to get a BABY DOLL?
Mom: Uh huh. It's really cute too. It's got blue eyes and-
Tink: -a baby doll?
Mom: Aren't you listening?
Tink: I hear you. I'm just having trouble understanding.
Mom: It even got curly hair-
Tink: -MOM!
Mom: What?
Tink: WHY did Big Bit want a baby doll?
Mom: I didn't tell you? He needs it for a book project.
Tink: Holy crap woman. I'm getting off the phone now.
Mom: What did I say?

I'm working on a new chapter of DOT right now. Look for updates in a little bit.


At 07 September, 2006, Blogger Chris said...

Titles leading people to think that they are entitled?

A book project that requires a baby doll?! More details, please! I'm confuddled.

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger Tink said...

Chris: "Titles leading people to think that they are entitled?" LMAO! You just said in one sentence what it took me a whole post to say.

They have to read a report and have props. Big Bit just read "The City Of Ember." A story about people who live in a dying city surrounded by darkness. No idea what that has to do with a baby doll... But then again, I didn't read the book yet. ;)

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger Jay said...

Tuesday I was walking in the park instead of on the treadmil cause it was so nice outside. I walked passed some guy who aksed "how ya doin?". I said "fine how are you doing" He answers "The good Lord gave me the strength to get out of bed this morning so I could become closer to Jesus" ... I just said "whatever gets you out of bed man". LOL

As for titles, it used to just be "white guy entitlement syndrome", but it has spread to so many different people. We have an entitlement society. It's annoying.

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger mrspao said...

I'm a bit freaked out by your bakery lady. I would never ever say something like that to someone. It is just wrong!

So is trespassing without permission. Some people are just idiots.

A baby doll? Big Bit?!

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger mamalujo1 said...

"We walk around collecting them like hats and leaning on them like crutches." That's beautiful, and true.

I do think we need to have titles, categories, ways to organize ourselves and our perception of others. Think of how messy it would be if there were no classifications (You ARE the list person, right!?) It's when those organizational tools become crutches, allow one to make wrong assumptions, or just become lazy about knowing others that they lose their effectiveness and validity. I've got a lot of titles (lawyer, father, husband, STUDMUFFIN) but don't you dare grab only one as defining me (well, maybe studmuffin).

So they can define, and be very helpful, but they can also limit and obscure. This was a thought-provoking post, and I'm betting you may get some heat. Fun! BTW, LOVE the CD.

At 07 September, 2006, Anonymous mamatulip said...

Tink, get outta my head. I started thinking about things along the same lines as this post when I saw a cop speed up from behind me, put his cherries on and drive down the middle of the road during a high-traffic hour in order to avoid waiting, like the rest of us non-cops, for the traffic to like, actually move. Why was he doing that? Because of his title.

I'd have been FURIOUS if I were your mother...those people had no right to jump on her property, church group or not. That's called TRESSPASSING and it doesn't matter if you believe in the Lord or not, it's wrong.

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger Tink said...

Jay: Around here there's more "white guy dancing" than entitlement issues. I am so sick of the f'n cabbage patch. ;)

MrsPao: Yeah she freaked me out too. I thought about asking to see a manager, because you know THEY wouldn't have approved. But in the end I just wanted to get out of there as quick as possible.

"A baby doll? Big Bit?!" See? I felt like the universe had turned inside out or something.

Studmuffin: I know, I'm the list QUEEN lol. The perfect example being the post before this one. But I started realizing last night that we put too much faith in these titles. We think they mean more than they really do. Like that CD for example. What kind of music do you think it is? Most of it was labeled under "Rock." Does it sound like rock to you? The title doesn't mean anything. If anything, it leads you to imply too much.

"This was a thought-provoking post, and I'm betting you may get some heat." I like it SPICY! he he. It's been too quite on the Blogosphere. Let's mix it up a little shall we?

Mama T: But I like your head. It's all warm and cozy.

She IS furious. Now because of this incident, and others like it, they're going to take out a loan so they can fence the rest of the wooded lot and put up "NO TRESPASSING" signs. It irritates me because it should be obvious. They shouldn't have to advertise it.

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger Betty said...

A young woman came up to me in a Barnes & Noble one day, and asked me if I knew where I was going when I die. I told her I had a more immediate problem. I couldn't find the mystery section. Then, I went to the manager. Seems there were about four girls there, annoying the customers, and they were trying to get rid of them. I can't think of a faster way to clear a room - or a store - than to let this kind of thing happen.

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger EE said...

Oh wow, you hit the nail on the head Tink! I loved what you had to say about 'titles that entitle'. It's so freaking TRUE!

LOL at your convo w/ you mom.

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger Mignon said...

I used to say "I'm an engineer" but that's worse than yelling out "I have herpes." Now I got nothin. (But in my mind I call myself a writer.)

Yes, sometimes I just don't like people. Especially overly-earnest or entitled people.

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger Mike Y said...


I am simply horrified at what you've described. And I'm so thankful for your perspective on it.

Frankly, I am one of those "born-again" Christians you might hear about. But I take my title very seriously and originally my site had the purpose of exposing the fakes.

As a Christian, I do not believe there is a proper way to have a "Youth scavenger hunt" out of my church. The church's purpose isn't to have scavenger hunts, bake sales and so forth.

Also, my faith tells me that I am to respect you and others who may whole heartedly disagree with me. This doesn't mean that I embrace your beliefs, but I'm to embrace you. Uh... not literally. (Don't hurt me Hoop).

And unlike the woman at the bakery, I would more than welcome you to my cookout. In fact, you would be my honored guest and I wouldn't even share my faith and beliefs with you unless you asked me or invited me to do so. PERIOD. There are times I may say things via explanation, but I'm not a big fan of tossing things out to have them batted down. And for those who would disagree with me and suggest we're to be preaching to everyone... GO POUND SAND... and then go read you bible. It's just not the case.

As far as the police is concerned and others, I'm with you there too. Now, when I see a cop flip on his lights to go through traffic, I give him the benefit of doubt that it's legit. I do not go around second guessing motives. But blatant disregard for anyone is an instant ticket to the top of my bad list.

I believe in hospitality. I believe in helping those who CANNOT help themselves and who cannot do anything in return for me. I believe in quiet charity. I believe in loving my enemies. I strive to get around with all my fellow man, and not just the ones who agree with me. I used to speed like crazy, but I enjoy driving the speed limit these days. Life is not all about ME. And I could go on.

Tink, I am sorry you and your mom dealt with that. If you have a flyer, I'd be more than happy to discuss things with the pastor at the church for your mom. As a former pastor and evangelist, I can be kind, firm and convincing. Same goes for the church holding the cookout.

Stories like these make me ashamed to be associated with such people. And rest assured, I suffer from guilt by association on a regular basis. The primary reason for changing my daily blog format was to get around such individuals and to be there for my friends-- for you and others.

Thank you for not lumping me in the same category. That alone is quite refreshing and a blessing. It's definitely not what I am used to.

Now on to the funny stuff:

A baby doll??? That is just too funny! LOL!

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger Katherine said...

Oooh, great post today! I hope your mom gave them "what for!" I also wrote about authority figures (church asshats, specifically) who abuse their power (in this case, under the guise of religion.) Gah, spare us from so many crazy people with their entitlement complexes running around in this world.

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

How did you achieve such wisdom at such a young age??

"It isn't a problem of religion but people." Them are good words, Tink

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger Chelle Y. said...

Tink, I hate to admit that I was once one of those "annoying" youth kids. Thankfully, I learned how to respect others and what they believe in life.

I loved your reaction to your brother and the baby-doll! Haha!

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger Peevish said...

Yep, you said it. Some people give you a label and are angry/surprised when you don't act according to their perception of that label, and some people give themselves a label and seem to think that gives them a whole range of rights. Gaaah.

At 07 September, 2006, Blogger F&W said...

GREAT post. There's nothing more to say about it. It is a GREAT post. (Okay, and I agree wholeheartedly with what you wrote... I guess I did have something more to say!)

D'you know I think you are an incredibly gifted writer and I've never even been over to Twisted Tink? (something I want to do one day in a BIIIIGGG marathon session).

At 08 September, 2006, Blogger Cheryl said...

The title thing...catagorizing people...well it burns me personally in my own application. Foo says it does apply to behavirors of certainly people, like the SUV, soccer mom types on cell phones driving erratically. My personal label of being "disabled" does not fit. The first thing you think of is some gimpified, crumbled up old person who doesn't do much but drool. I, on the other hand, consider myself "inconvenienced." That equates to being slowed down (just a tad) by the fact that I have to use 4 very expensive titanium wheels versus 2 legs. I drive, work, clean my own house, cook, am intelligent with a master's degree I earned at night while working full-time and (believe it or not) I have sex! Guess that blows the lid off the title disabled, doesn't it!

Personally, I give everyone the benefit of the doubt whatever their title. If you fit the stereotype after I've gotten to know you, fine. Otherwise, show me what you got! I'm open to all possibilities.

As far as BigBit and the doll, you really need to explain that further. I'm clueless. But if the guy wants a doll, why not? I played with GI Joe. Of course, he and Barbie had this thing going. She wanted a macho, studly man. ;)

At 08 September, 2006, Blogger Kim: The Mom, The Myth said...

Well, I'm a blogger and a mom (and sometimes the two collide), but I'd hang out with you, Tink.

At 08 September, 2006, Blogger Alien said...

I'm a few of the things you mentioned... a blogger... a mom... But really, I'd say my predominant title is "Bitch". And frankly, I'm having a real hard time keeping it in check today. LMAO! Not at you though. YOU I love. :)

Steve told me yesterday that he watched two guys in an ambulance fly past with their lights and sirens on. About a mile up the road, he saw the same guys in the same ambulance in a Burger King parking lot, walking in to get lunch. Nice. Real effing nice.

At 08 September, 2006, Blogger graymama said...

That's why there are parts of my life I don't share. The ideas and judgements that go with labels drive me NUTS!

At 08 September, 2006, Blogger Rude Cactus said...

Generalizations are always scary, deceptive things. So are clowns.

At 08 September, 2006, Blogger Newt said...

Great post Tink. I loved it (as usual). The favorite one I get called is DINK (double income no kids). Of course it always comes from people with more kids than they need, in bad to worse marriages, with no time to even comb their hair. So, I let the DINK slide because I know they are just bitter and angry about their own life and need to take it out on me. The carefree one with a household full of furry house trained children and a husband that adores me.

At 08 September, 2006, Blogger Foo said...

I imagine "I'm with a youth group" was meant to reassure your mom that the kids were clean, wholesome sorts who weren't there to cause her harm. That doesn't excuse their trespassing.

Heck, I get ticked off when people come by the house walking their dogs on leashes so long that, really, what's the point? The dogs come up into the yard, crap all over my trees, and then it's, "Oh, I would have picked it up but I didn't want to come into your yard."

My title would have to be "geek". Socially awkward. Smart enough to be constantly frustrated by at least three quarters of the rest of my fellow humans. Not smart or ruthless enough to be filthy rich enough that I don't have to contend with those three quarters.

They picture me walking around in a skimpy outfit handing out free beer.

Great. Now I've got that image stuck in my head. Which wouldn't be a bad thing, except I'm happily married. Now I feel an obligation to drink antifreeze and try to kill off those particular brain cells.

At 08 September, 2006, Anonymous sarah said...

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in the garage makes you a car.

If that person was from a youth group, it would have been much better for them and for him if he'd taken time to get a clue and be a better example to those youths by stopping them from jumping the fence. What a dillhole.

And as a Mom, I have to say, the self-congratulatory bloggers who house their entire sense of worth on that one title drive me up a damn wall. They are half the cause of all the worries from women who fear that having children causes you to give up your identity, or at least turn into a complete dillhole.

At 08 September, 2006, Blogger Alien said...

Sarah, LOL at "dillhole". I hate dillholes.

I once had a single, childless friend of mine tell me that seeing me (as a mom) gave her hope that you could still be a mom and be "cool" and not act all "mom like". I took it as a COMPLETE compliment (which is how she meant it). I AM a mom. But if you just met me and I didn't tell you that, you'd probably never know. And I kind of like it like that. :)

At 08 September, 2006, Blogger Arabella said...

Wait a don't give out free beer????

Just kidding. I totally agree that many people suck.

At 08 September, 2006, Blogger Pixie LaRouge said...

I'm surprised that no one noticed the similarities in the trespassing teens and the nosy sandwichbitch. Prying is trespassing, too. Stay off my property, stay out of my beliefs. Heck, I'm a Christian, born again and everything. That's MY choice. Your choice is your choice and we're good. Don't tell me I'm wrong; I won't tell you you're wrong. And I would NEVER go to a cookout like that!

Stepping off the soapbox now, since we all seem to be in agreement, anyway...

As for Bigbit and the doll... I'm speechless. Although I'm dying to check out the book :)

At 09 September, 2006, Anonymous TB said...

Word, sistah.


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