In this episode: Lorelei discovers she may have a new spirit animal, finds she is losing patience with white fragility, and laments her lack of appreciation for brawny Scotsmen; if they are real Scotsmen (they may be American models in kilts for all she knows)
I Can Haz New Spirit Animal?
Having an invisible chronic illness really puts a damper on my otherwise exciting life. We’ve talked about that before, right? Although, I suppose it is exciting never to know exactly what you are up to on any given day, eh? It’s like a spinning wheel of fortune at a cardboard carnival. Will I reach my destination today? Oh look, I won three whole days in bed, all expenses NOT paid, but a bonus party in my cranium! Hooray! A couple of things I can generally count on though: Chronic Lateness and Low Energy.
Messaging with to my roommate who was encouraging me to do…..stuff:
Think of me as a sloth person. I have a huge, “to do” list, but it takes me a full day to climb down the tree just to drop my weekly poo.
And I realized that I had just summed myself up perfectly.
The entire first week of 2018 I’ve been homebound with tummy issues, pain, lack of energy and an extremely rude migraine. Leave it to me to start the new year, with a headache NOT caused by drinking.
Having a chronic illness has forced me to reframe how I do things. I’ve had to acknowledge that I am a lot slower now, that I won’t have the energy or capacity to get through my full “to-do” list everyday and often I’m lucky to be able to accomplish just one small thing. To my great and burning shame, I’m chronically late. I absolutely hate to be late, especially when someone is waiting. Often, I have to put off an important thing for days which not only frustrates me. It doesn’t make other people very happy with me either, though often, they are incredibly gracious about it. I’m constantly trying to operate with a spoon deficit.
Admittedly, I have just become a sloth person. I will get the thing done, done well even; eventually. It’s just going to take me as long as it takes me. We all have to deal with that. If I’m going to be a sloth person though, I wish I could just take one shit a week. That would be so convenient.
Oh, The Sloths And Arrows Of White Fragility
Another thing I seem to be sloth-like about is letting go. I’m better now about getting rid of toxic people and bigoted people, but annoying people? THEM I cling to like a sloth on a limb! I keep saying, “I gotta hit that unfriend button.” Then I get squeamish and don’t follow through. I have a couple of friends who suffer from shallowness and white fragility. It’s painful. One in particular, has a mental illness, gets defensive at the slightest challenge and folds in on herself like a wormhole tied in a bow. In the past we were very close and I just can’t bring myself to walk away just yet.
The other delicate snowflake is really just extremely shallow. She used to be fat. She lost a lot of weight and now obsesses about what she doesn’t eat (I was so good) and fat shames others while bragging about her “improved” figure. It’s all about, “Where’s the party?” and “Where am I going dancing tonight?” It’s mostly benign but every once in a while she plays the, “I don’t understand why this is offensive, important, such a big deal for people of color” card.
Every single time, people patiently explain to her why her comment was white centric or even racist and she becomes defensive. Then her fragile white friends who don’t see color or believe in privilege come to her defense and wax poetic about her reasonableness while other people start to call her and them out. Eventually, she starts to wail about how mean people are to her. She will say, “I was just trying to understaaaaand.” Sometimes it doesn’t get to that point. Sometimes she will just erase her post or replace it with something she thinks is placating. Once she replaced a post about how she didn’t think the film, Get Out was all that and what was everyone so excited about. When a few of us explained why, she deleted the post and a few hours later posted how amazing and groundbreaking it was. *snort*
I don’t remember her being so shallow and ignorant before she lost weight and became obsessed with staying thin. She acts the mean girl, so bored and gossiping about people who have been nothing but kind to her. We have dozens of lovely friends in common and they all seem to genuinely like her which makes me feel like a jerk about my contempt. I don’t know how they can’t see it. I have made a few attempts to gently talk to her about her racist remarks or the cruel comments she makes to others, for example; a mutual friend posted recently about severe depression and while everyone else made supportive and empathetic comments she bragged about how she never feels like that anymore! Any time I have tried she has shut me down or deleted the conversation. Then she will vague post about how true friends are straight with one another. That if someone has a problem, they should confront her, not just unfriend her without saying why. So, I feel obligated to wait until I’m brave enough to say why, even though it’s obvious she’s not open to it.
On her birthday, she said she was going to karaoke to “channel her inner Queen Latifah.” I didn’t comment to her, but I mused on my own Facebook page,
How does a white person have an inner black person? I’m not going to say I have an inner Bernie Mac, Octavia Spencer, Diana Ross, etc. Perhaps one could just NOT. Perhaps one could decide not to be obtuse, insensitive, and entitled AGAIN, and pick a talented white person for their insides to “channel..
Still Jonesing For Scotland
On a lighter topic, and in a less sloth-like moment I went to buy a calendar, like I do at Pegasus Oakland’s big sale every year. And like I do every year, I looked for a calendar with pictures of Scotland. It is the impossible dream, but I could not be more determined than delusional Don Quixote looking for a damsel to save. As usual I find a plethora of travel themes: Spain, France, Paris, Provence, Italy, Greece, India, London, The UK (a collection of everything BUT Scotland), Ireland, but no damn Scotland.
I ask the clerk, just in case, “Do you have a Scottish themed calendar this year?”
“Well, we have, Kilty Pleasures.…”
“Um. I was thinking more along the lines of breathtaking scenery and a few of those wooly Scottish cows, rather than manly beefcake.”
The captions were silly and made me chuckle, but I passed. My friends are always popping up with photos of stereotypically hot men, chiseled and muscular, often bearded and I’m just left cold. I’m the weirdo who’s more interested in the kilts than the fellas. Hee hee. And OMG. I think a calendar of actual bagpipes would be cool. Don’t get me wrong, I like fellas but tall, beefy and hairy just doesn’t do it. I’m an aberration.
Instead, I got a Tarot theme calendar. None of the cards pictured are half-nekked with photoshop enhanced muscles.
Hmm. Maybe I’m not a sloth. Maybe I’m a bear.
Quote by James Thurber, “It is better to have loafed and lost than never to have loafed at all.
“True; loafing, like dawdling is a high art form!
This image is, “Loafing Bear” by Rick Allen
Kenspeckle Letterpress has some wonderful art which can be purchased through: