Tag Archives: religion

Sometimes, judging can come in handy

6 Aug

I overheard a pack of girls talking behind me today.

“He goes, ‘I will pay you five thousand dollars to spend the night with me.’ and she was like ‘Ew, no, you’re the ShamWow guy.’ “

This happened on my way down to the beach at Horsetooth Reservoir outside of Fort Collins, Colorado, which is about 20 minutes from where I now live as of 4 days ago. ..More on that later.

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It got me thinking about this ShamWow guy. I’m sure you know who he is; the guy seems to have a neck-craning tendency along with just having a troublesome face in general, plus those eyebrows. I’m guessing he was probably the kid who sat in the middle of his seventh grade class drawing unicorns while all of the cool kids sat in the back flinging spitty pieces of paper at the back of his neck, which actually might explain the craned neck tendency.

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Anyway, I thought to myself, “It’s really no surprise that Mr. ShamWow tried to bribe a 20-something girl from Colorado into having sex with him. He kind of looks like a d*ck, and probably has a lot of free time on his hands outside of filming ShamWow commercials in which to bribe young girls and snort cocaine.”

At that moment, I learned something about myself: I am a seriously judgmental motherf*cker. I’m not sure exactly when I became like this, but it may have started the day that I got punched by a drunk homeless guy while I was waiting for the bus at a train station. We had been “talking” about his radio (he had been sputtering on about “FM” and “radio”) and I got tired of saying “What? I can’t really understand you” when I guess he got mad and decided to take it out on my face. I stood up and yelled “WHY DID YOU DO THAT,” ran inside and started crying like a baby… he staggered across the highway towards the Motel 6 while I sat in the back of the police car, still crying.

After that, I no longer bought candy bars for smelly people standing outside of 7-11’s, or made eye contact with kids my age sitting on a sidewalk with a dog and a cardboard sign. Basically, drunken radio-man made me assume that all homeless people were threats that should be avoided.

Due to being brainwashed by Catholic high school, it’s always been in the back of my mind that judging people is BAD. It’s just something that stuck around because maybe I agreed with it as a moral thing rather than a religious teaching. (Please note that I’ve been an atheist since about 10th grade).

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But sometimes judging can come in handy. Like when you want to determine whether someone is white trash, you can use these visual cues:

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I’ve been known to attend white trash parties

White Trash Checklist

Clothing: Bud Light/Coors Light swag, sleeveless tee-shirt, denim carpenter shorts positioned low on the hips, bikini top + cutoffs when 20+ miles outside of swimming areas

Accessories: Wallet chain, cigarette behind ear, hunting hat, Sketchers sneakers, Busch Light can, bicep tattoo or tramp stamp, belly button piercing + overweight, “sport” sunglasses

Activities: Feeding soda to children, listening to Creed, buying cigarello’s at Tedeschi’s, referring to a cigarette as a “butt”, hanging out at Wendy’s

Or if you want to know whether someone will make a good boyfriend or girlfriend:

Problematic Significant Other Checklist

Activities: Recycles stuffed animals from past relationships for new relationships, works part-time, fights with parent(s) in front of you, lives with parents

(Unfortunately, I formed these assumptions AFTER breaking up with the guy that helped me form them.. so they came a bit too late. But they’re definitely useful for the future.)

So… I don’t feel so bad about being judgmental anymore. After reflecting, most of my judgments are actually keeping me safer by helping me avoid punches in the face, white trash, and unappealing boyfriends. And that’s just fine with me.

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A Discreet Atheist’s Thoughts on Haiti

14 Jan

“Why does God do these things?”

(I don’t believe in God.) Last night, an 89 year-old woman at the nursing home my Mom works at asked her this question. My Mom, a part-time Catholic, responded with the usual shpiel — God made us, God made all things, whatever happens to us and whatever we do is beyond His control.

I am a covert atheist. I don’t wear devil horns to bed, I don’t roll my eyes when others talk about a higher power, and I consider the Bible a pretty good read. The reason I don’t advertise the fact that I don’t believe in God is because I feel that it limits the pool of people I can interact with. If you don’t believe me, you’ve never been to Catholic school.

Though I am not God-fearing, the disaster in Haiti has nonetheless stirred up some strong feelings on my part. I feel deep sorrow for those that lie in rubble waiting to be found. I can’t imagine how slow time passes when a family member or friend is missing. When I see news reports of people walking through the streets, I wonder what it would feel like to have no home to return to and no grasp on privacy or comfort for an untold amount of time.

Sitting on my couch in my bathrobe with a hot cup of coffee by my side, I feel guilty. When I Google “How to help Haiti,” all I see are links for donation websites. Years ago, I remember reading somewhere that the greatest aid to disaster relief is often in manpower, not in money. I wish there was something I could physically do to help. Last year, a friend of mine joined AmeriCorps, and I remember looking into it, then getting caught up in schoolwork and applications to internships. I’ve always felt that I shouldn’t be selfish about my youth — though I’m only 5’3″, I’m strong, smart, and diligent. I graduate college this May. Though it’s not much help for Haiti right now, I’m going to look into joining the Peace Corps.

My thoughts go out to the people suffering the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti.

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