Have you ever noticed that some of the most terrifying mothers out there are the super-pumped eco-friendly ones? They’re like MEAN. But not with their mouths. Only their EYES…
But they still say it:
What? You don’t dress your kid in all organic hemp?!?!? What is wrong with you? They should call CPS.
Are you driving a freaking EXPEDITION? What are you, Satan? Where are your horns? Where’s your hybrid? Your Prius? Your bicycle, Goddamnit.
Do I detect a PLASTIC BAG in our presence? I’m sorry. We can’t be friends.
Um, your baby is holding a non-wooden rattle. Aren’t you going to DO SOMETHING? DO SOMETHING NOW BEFORE SHE DIES!
Not all of them. Obviously. But some. You know what I’m talking about.
Sometimes I feel this grip of fear when I pack plastic Pampers in my bag, headed to a mother’s group, for fear of the eyeballs that may bore down into my soul — oh my god. The landfills. THE LANDFILLS PEOPLE.
And I know they’re right. But still. No need to be a dick.
Some of us are horrible people who can’t be eco-friendly ALL THE TIME.
And some of us are perfect.
You know who you are.
Recently I Googled “eco-friendly party favors” because Rocket’s 7th birthday is coming up and I would like to not buy a plastic goody bag full of plastic crap made in China that costs too much and nobody wants or plays with anyway. I’m trying to do my part, people. I am.
Anyway, I found a blog post on the topic and read through the comments. One of the comments was this one:
“NO, my son does NOT come home with green favors, not even from parties given by hybrid-driving, organic eating folks. And, I’m somewhat well known for my “Just Say No to Cheap Plastic Crap” post about environmentally unfriendly party favors. So I just stand there at the parties, trying not to look too exasperated or to be impolite…judge not….but yikes, it makes me crazy what my son brings home.”
And I was thinking “holy hell, lady. That’s so uncool. But I know you. I’ve met you. And you suck.” and then I thought ” Mother Earth called. She wants you to stop being such a douchebag.” But I changed it to “asshole” because I thought maybe that’s more appropriate.
Because here’s the thing. Even if your cause is hip and noble and right, if you walk around belittling and dehumanizing people for not backing your cause completely – or not doing it well enough – you’re still a dick.
And in my opinion, there is nobody more annoying than an enlightened dick.
Because it’s the jerk shrouded in education, depth, profundity. It’s Asshole with an Edge. It’s mean people with data and goodness and “progressiveness” backing their game.
I just vomited a little in my mouth.
Standing there at somebody’s birthday party clothed in an impenetrable air of superiority, looking down on the miserable specimens handing out crap plastic party favors, makes this woman part of the very problem she claims to be working against. To me, there is no difference between the snobbery displayed in the materialistic label-whoring types who figure earth can go fuck itself because we’re all here to grab what we can and die… and that of the super-powered eco-friendly attachment parenting Nazis. It’s self-centeredness and judgment and superiority. Period.
Allow me to illustrate:
Woman 1: “Oh my God. Your purse isn’t Prada. Your car is cheap and old. Your kid is dirty and dressed in Old Navy. I’m so much better than you.”
Woman 2: “Oh my God. Your purse isn’t recycled materials. Your car is not a Prius. Your kid is eating non-organic food and wearing Old Navy. I’m so much better than you.”
You see? Same damn thing.
New label. Same douchebaggery. New angle. Same ego.
And I happen to have evidence that the good Mother Earth thinks these people are douchebags. How do I know? Because she told me.
She told me by pouring her rains on the eco-friendly and the polluters alike. Her flowers don’t shun the faces of those who choose “plastic” at the check-out line. Her oceans cool people who eat fast food and Whole Foods, without regard. And her mountains call to the SUV drivers just as clearly as to the Prius drivers in North Face and Tevas, eating homemade granola from locally sourced oats. Or whatever.
Oh yeah, I said it. I geeked out on you, completely. Damn hippie. But I love this planet. I believe the earth is the source of my soul and my spirit and someday I’ll return to her arms. To me there is no division between the words “god” and “earth” and “love.”
What? You didn’t know I was a total and complete freaking hippie? That’s probably because there’s Dawn on my kitchen sink and not the biodegradable stuff. Whatever. Dawn gets the stains out of my wool carpet. DON’T HATE.
Is it hypocritical for me to say I love the earth while driving an SUV? Maybe. But check this out. I’m also just a flawed human. I am hypocritical and contradictory and confused and lost and just trying to make small changes one minute at a time, slowly do a little more a little better. And in the process, I’m trying not to be an asshole.
I have a friend, Penny, who is very passionate about her family not being exposed to chemicals. Rather than use plastic bags, she like made these wrapper things out of muslin and beeswax…she’s created all these super inventive ways to not use chemicals. But you know what? When she tells me about the shit she’s doing I feel inspired, enlightened, empowered. Like I’m being taught something, shown something new and exciting and compelling. She doesn’t judge me for using Ziplock. She doesn’t stare at me in disdain when I whip out the Cheetos. She has chosen to live her life in a certain way and if I want to hear about it, she tells me about it, without hatred or pretense.
And that, I think, is what makes change. We do our best in our small circles, create ripples in the waters around us, lead by example, teach with patience. And when we’re standing there at a party and some kid hands our kid a goody bag full of junk, and he’s smiling and proud to be giving that gift, we take it, with genuine joy in our hearts, because we get to be there with humanity and live and receive…and we redouble our efforts. We love a little harder. We devote ourselves more to the cause we know to be true and right. And we trust that our efforts are making some difference, somewhere. Or they will, someday.
Cause I’ll tell you what. I want to be more like my friend. I hear about her super interesting solutions for bathing and cleaning and eating and I’m like “Dude. Janelle. You should try that. She’s telling you how to do it. Try it. See what happens.”
Mother Earth called about her, too. She said “Rock on, sista’. That’s what I’m talking about.”
Really, it all gets back to my trusty comment policy and life philosophy: Try not to be a dick.
And by the way, I found a great idea for cheap, “green” party favors. We’re painting little clay pots during the party and putting plants in them for the kids to take home.
Take that, evil party-favor lady.