Chrissy’s post about the election was beautiful. I don’t want to knock it off the top, but it seems that a month is far longer than a blog should have to go without a post. So allow me to engage you in a post-Thanksgiving post.
I admit, my ears are not as attuned to such things as they should be, but I didn’t really hear any fatphobic comments this Thanksgiving season, from my family. Which is an improvement. I heard some “health-conscious” ones, but my grandmother is diabetic, so I was less concerned than I might otherwise have been.
I did hear racist remarks. My cousin (she’s maybe a sophomore in high school) used the n-word.
I did hear sexist remarks. What else is new, really?
By and large, my holidays were alright, and I didn’t get too upset about anything, except my stepmother’s refusal to acknowledge the abusive relationship that is Twilight.
They were alright, that is, until yesterday, when I read about the Wal-Mart worker who was trampled. Again, I come face-to-face with the consumerism that I’ve learned to dread. My families are asking for Christmas lists. I don’t know what to tell them. I don’t really need anything. I have more “stuff” than I know what to do with. Yet they seem disappointed if they can’t put more material goods into my life. I don’t understand it. If there were something I needed, sure, go for it. All I really need is money for food.
I am planning to go the route of asking would-be gift-givers to donate money to charities instead. I don’t expect good reactions to that. I think I’ll get eye rolls and gift cards, instead. What is wrong, I wonder, with asking someone to donate to a charity? It’s what I spend my money on anyway.
It’s not like they listen when I tell them what I do want. Last year I specifically requested that they NOT purchase any Bath & Body Works items – it takes me ages to use them up and I get really sick of the heavy scents. I prefer unscented toiletries, if any at all (I only keep lotion around for emergencies; with my short hair I only need a simple shampoo, and am thinking of switching to the baking soda/vinegar routine; bar soap does it for me; etc.), yet my stocking ended up full of B&BW products. Which, after hanging onto for long enough to be sure I wouldn’t use them, ended up at Goodwill, unopened. I hate that I feel guilty about that.
I have so much. So much to be thankful for. I just want to stop spending it on me – on someone who has pretty much everything she needs – and start spending it on those who hunger and thirst and then die for lack of food and water. If I could take all the money in the entire USA that will be spent on useless junk this holiday season, it would be a lot of money. I would use it to help fund the hospitals that are sewing together the pieces of the women in the Congo who are being raped ceaselessly as a strategy of war. No longer would they have to crouch in a dirty warehouse, urine dribbling out of their bodies because their fistulas prevent them from keeping it inside. I would buy doctors and water and sanitation and a modicum of peace for those women and girls who have guns fired inside their vaginas.
I don’t need stuff. I am eternally thankful for that. All I want for Christmas is the same for others.