People to worship my gods… but a little respect would be nice.
* * *
My parents are taking the kids to Plymouth for Halloween, and, as expected, this week leading up to the big day has been full of putting together costumes. This evening, my stepmom called, and we had the following conversation.
Stepmom: Okay-- so what are the kids going to be for Halloween again?
Me: Gravity Falls-- it's a TV show. Chicken and Mate are dressing up too.
Stepmom: Not you?
Me: There's not really a character I could play. I'm wearing a purple zombie T-shirt-- you know, the Joss Whedon zombie who goes "Grr… Argh…"
Stepmom: I don't know who that is.
Me: Uh, you know-- produced Buffy and Firefly and, like, the Avengers!
Stepmom: STill don't know. Whatever.
Me: Well, anyway, he's sort of a god.
Stepmom: Well, to you maybe. Anyway, make sure the kids have name tags for their characters because people ask me and I can't remember.
Me: Uh, yeah. Sure.
* * *
So anyway-- I hung up, and tried to analyze the source of my irritation.
And I think it's this.
I have watched Disney nature flicks from Chimpanzee to Big Cats to Monkey Kingdom. I have seen Mythbusters, at least one Twilight Movie, and Little Red Riding Hood in the theater. I have listened to Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Earnest and Celestine. Oh yeah-- and The Illusionist. Kim Possible, Phineas and Ferb, The Mighty Fuckin' Morphin' Power Rangers and holy fuck, not one, not two, but fifty-gazunga versions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IN THE FUCKING THEATER, not to mention That Guy With the Glasses, Game Theory, video game competition commentary, 107 True Facts About Naruto, HOLY FUCKIN' GOD, PIXELS for sweet Goddess's sake.
And I have tried, through boredom, cynicism, and more popcorn than one human should gorge on, never to make my kids feel like insignificant douche-pickles because of the gods they worship.
Apparently, this was because I knew how it felt to be an insignificant douche-pickle, a stranger, a changeling baby under a fuckin' mushroom, because I worshipped at the feet of different idols than my parents.
It makes me want to eat a fuckin' pizza, that's how it feels.
And I remember a long time ago, when Chicken gave my friend's daughter one of the Mexican print dresses my parents had brought back from Puerto Vallarta. It was bright purple and pink, and Chicken loved it dearly but it didn't fit anymore, and my friend's daughter twirled in it and said, "Look, mommy! Isn't it pretty?"
And my friend said, "Jesus, Jenny, it's the ugliest thing I've ever seen. I'm not taking that home."
And I lost a lot of respect for her that day, because her daughter was CRUSHED. And Chicken felt sort of shitty too.
So, life lesson number 523-- hard earned, with a lot of philosophy and binge eating, and I'm just dishing this one out for free.
I don't expect people to worship my gods--although, honestly, a little happy, healthy proselytizing of, say, yarn, or yarn websites or maybe my favorite gay romance author is more of a "friendly neighbor sharing" sort of thing than it is expectation of worship. As they used to say when they'd drag us kicking and screaming to to Bible study because our parents wanted free daycare, "We're just spreading the good news."
But it's okay if they don't worship-- it's not required for friendship or any other ship for that matter. If someone is a quilter or a sewer or a jet-skiier and not a knitter, well, A. More yarn for me, and B. They have different stories and that's always awesome.
I am fine worshiping my own gods-- just as long as nobody shits all over them. To love a person is to respect their gods. It's as simple as that.
So there you go. Put that one right next to "Don't expect boys of a certain age to smell any way but heinous and try not to shame them for the stench coming off their feet and pits: It's not their fault." Respecting your children's gods is something that will make you feel better about your relationship with your children--#truefax.