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photo by Sheri Dixon

Sunday, May 5, 2013

"Oh, You're a _____, So You Must Be a ______!"

Labels. Gotta love 'em.

Why am I so hard for people to figure out? I'm not a stereotype, I'm not a cartoon character, I don't fall easily into one single category of anything. But I'm also nothing special, except to those who love me, and that's A-OK by me.

Specialness is way over-rated.

Lemme give you a 'fer instance'.

We home school.

In order for our little homeschool co-op to hold weekly meetings in a suitably sized facility, we had to prove we have liability insurance. Homeschool groups can get liability insurance from the TX homeschool legal defense group IF your group has 10 active members of the legal defense group. We had 9.

So we joined up- paid our $75 and became members.

So we could have our co-op.

Our group's name is Denton Area Secular Homeschoolers. DASH. Heavy on the secular. Oh, sure we meet in a church building, but it's the Universal Unitarian church so here in TX that doesn't really count.

Since joining the legal defense group, I get emails and the monthly magazine, and every last bit of all correspondence has to do with the difficulties and tribulations of being CHRISTIAN homeschoolers in a sinful and SECULAR world.

Seriously. Not one stinking word about how the secular homeschoolers are viewed by the Christian homeschool community. Hippies, communists, gays, multi-racial families, single parent households, scientists...Not that any of those descriptions are incorrect, mind you- but they're all said either the same way you'd say, "trailer trash" or in hushed tones as though to utter the words aloud would be to invoke the demons of evolution.

I'd say that us secular homeschoolers were being persecuted, but the Christians have got that word's dance card plumb filled up.

Here's another one.

Gun control.

I believe in it. Strongly, loudly and proudly. Absofuckinglutely there should be restrictions on who owns 'em, requirements to show mental stability and proficiency, and outright bans on anything that's manufactured with the sole purpose of killing a lot of people in the blink of an eye. Because if you need an AR with a 100-round clip to hunt a deer you really should starve to death.

Do I think all guns need to be confiscated? Am I prone to the vapors if anyone suggests that my family be armed?

Nope. Between the 3 of us we have 6 guns. Ward has his dad's shotgun and 357 Magnum, Alec has a .22 rifle and an antique Mauser Joe gave him and I've got 2 Ruger .22 handguns that are tools used to dispatch injured livestock and kill snakes who have been proven guilty of poultry-napping (eggs or babies).

One more for fun.

"Those welfare families".

There's a really clever little thing going around the interwebs that says something like, "Since I have to support a welfare family, the least they can do is send me a photo I can put up on my fridge".

Awesome clever. And people repeat it and wink and agree with it and look at me like, "I know, right? Can I get an AMEN?"

Because they know that we're good hard-working white folk who have been employed most or all of our adult lives.

But to their shock, I just ask 'em if they want a color photo or black and white and I'll get it right to 'em.

Because here's the lineup of people who live here on our place-
Me- working full time and have been since I was 16. I'm 53.

Ward- worked full time since he got out of college till cancer, heart disease and diabetes all got together and started dismantling him piece by piece with the help of MD Anderson. He's now on SS Disability. He's 61.

Alec- gets a check every month because his dad's on SS Disability.

Joe- worked full time and then retired at 65. He gets social security and his Veteran's check for losing his hearing blowing shit up in the name of Uncle Sam. He's 70.

Edna- worked her entire life from age 13 on. Retired at 65 and gets her social security check (less than $900) to live on...period. She's 93.

So four. Four out of five of us is receiving a 'government check'.

That makes us an official "welfare family".

When I lay that out, people are really embarrassed and say, "Hey- I wasn't talking about YOU GUYS" and that gives me an opportunity to point out that then they are obviously hella-racist. Of course they deny it.

Politically?

I grew up conservative Republican and the majority of my family are still there. I evolved once I moved down here and became first a poor single woman and then the wife of a man with terrible money-sucking medical issues.

Briefly identified Democrat till I realized they have become what conservative Republicans used to be before conservative Republicans turned all batshit crazy.

Did I vote for Obama (twice)? Yep.

Do I hate some of his policies? With a white-hot hatred.

The ACA did not go far enough- there needed to be a public option to cut the stranglehold the insurance companies have on the patients. The bankers responsible for the '08 crash need to be IN PRISON. The drone program is beyond vile.

No, I shouldn't have voted for Romney- that would've been much much worse.

No, I shouldn't have just sat out the elections because there wasn't a perfect candidate- life isn't about waiting for the perfect One, it's about compromise and being willing to take small steps forward rather than giant leaps backwards.

Living in the Red droplet of confederate blood beating strong in the heart of East Texas, people will spit out at me, "Yer one o' them liberal Democrats, ain'tcha?" and I diffuse that neatly by telling them I am NOT a liberal Democrat- I'm so far to the left of that I can't even see liberal Democrats in my rear view mirror.

Religiously?

Raised Lutheran (ALC, not Missouri synod- we were allowed to sing and dance and...smile) but started questioning in high school, boomeranged back into the fold during my first marriage's death throes in an attempt to 'be the helpmeet god wanted me to be' for my alcoholic abusive husband and finally said "Screw this. I'm living my life in a moral, joyful and GOD-FREE way from now on" and have been much more at peace ever since. Life is actually MORE precious and glorious now than it was when I was a 'believer' instead of the dark maw of despair the church wants you to think it is for us 'heatherns'.

Like I said- I'm nothing special. I'd wager that MOST people are like me- not so easily put into boxes and neatly categorized.

None of us are 100% one thing, through and through.

And I try to remember that in my dealings with Tea Partiers and Conservative Republicans and Fundamental Christians.

I mostly succeed in seeing the humanity through the labels.

But do they?




5 comments:

  1. Well, I can't agree with some of your thoughts, but I will tell you that I recognize the secular homeschooler part. I live in the Bible belt, and am a Christian, but that is not why I homeschool. It is so hard to find information, resources, and such locally that are aimed at secular homeschoolers. One place online that I found was www.SecularHomeschool.com. It was refreshing to find a community of people who homeschooled for other than religious reasons. I don't want to be persecuted because I am a secular homeschooler!

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  2. Thank you, Linda- we've had very good luck with the Oak Meadow curriculum and have used only that since 1st grade (Alec's going into the 9th grade in the fall)

    It's also why we drive 3 hours one way to be part of the Denton home school group- there are some Christians in it and we meet at a church, but it's NOT a bible based group.

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  3. So, I found you while searching for a local (localish at least) caviary(I'm in Gladewater, outside of Longview). I have to say I'm shocked! A sane person in this area! Haha j/k, kind of. I'm not originally from the area and I've never come across such hate and judgemental ppl in my life! Normally so friendly and helpful unless a certain few topics come up and its like night and day. I don't get it. Anyways, even though we've never met or anything it's nice to know there's others out there! ;^p

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  4. Hi, Krissy! Good to meet you- one of my bestest friends is in Gladewater :)

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  5. Nice to meet you as well :). That's really cool! I wonder if I know them at all? Probably not, I don't know many people here. It is a small town though!

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