In the tradition of Twisty Faster, I will incorporate into this post a rather unrelated set of pictures I will title “fun things to do in cemetaries, at farms, and with cameras when one doesn’t have children”
Gentle readers, have you ever done any petitioning work? Hoo boy, nothing makes a good-hearted radical loathe humanity more than a few hours spent in some god-awful mainstream location collecting signatures for one worthy cause or another. Even on a great day the vast majority of Americans give me mild hives, so petitioning is always an exercise in extended tongue-biting. Recently I did a few days’ of signature-collectin’ to get my friend Margaret on the ballot for Town Council (see below).
Out of desperation, I usually ended up at the most hellish spot in town – the supermarket. I will unhesitatingly tell you that I do not shop at the supermarket and look down on people who do. Except for the occasional condoms-&-party mints run, I stay the hell away from that pit of fear. (Though I only indulge once a week or so, I am fucking addicted to party mints. It’s pathetic. Sometimes I want to snort them, because shoving massive quantities in my mouth doesn’t get them into my bloodstream fast enough.)
Anyway! If it weren’t for kind elderly people who are always willing to listen to any spiel, I don’t know if I could go on. Youngish couples of a non-white complexion are the next best bet. Cute women my age who might like my skirt can sometimes be good for a signature. Cute boys are usually not registered to vote – fuckers! Middle-class middle-aged people, especially whities, are, completely unsurprisingly, always the worst. That one fact pretty much explains why Democrats, the party supposedly by and for middle-class middle-aged white people (Republicans are for upper class white people and the Green Party should properly be for everyone else) suck in such a hardcore fashion—their core constituency is made up of apolitical douchebags.
The subcategory of white middle class women with children (90% of whom are federally mandated to wear Crocs at all times, have you noticed?) are, without a doubt, the VERY WORST group of people in the world when it comes to little things like safeguarding our democracy by signing a petition to ensure that third-party candidates get on ballots.
I hereby dub these women “Crocsmamas.” But can I just say first that this whole petitioning thing is a fiasco that perfectly exemplifies the toiletosity of our democracy? Thanks, Democrats and Republicans, for excluding third parties to such an extent that the only way to get on the ballot is by the torturous process of petitioning for every election. I registered as a Green when the Green Party was on the ballot, and what a slap in the face it was when we lost it shortly thereafter.
So first before I even get to the damn supermarket I’m already irritated by even needing to petition at all, and these Crocsmamas with their baby-Crocs wearin’ kids are not helping my mood in any way. Because I am achingly polite to everyone I come across while doing political work, let me take this space to say all the things I didn’t say to these ladies. Most of them dismiss me with a curt head shake and a sneer that says “Can’t you see I’m busy raising a family? I’m doing the most important thing a woman can do! Why would you even bother me with your stupid let’s-elect-progressives-who-will-ensure-that-our-children-breathe-relatively-clean-air-and-don’t-die-in-a-nuclear-holocaust petition! I have a God Bless America magnet on my car – I’m already doing my part!”
Crocsmamas of the world, here is what I say to you:*
-Ha ha! I’m so happy not to have kids I’m toting to the fucking supermarket! After this I think I’ll go home to my pristine house full of hard corners, fragile antiques and exposed wires and read Judy Blume books in the bathtub for four hours while drinking an entire bottle of sake. Suck it, breeders!
-Oh my god your shoes are hideous.
-Oh my god your child’s shoes are hideous.
-Your child looks like a small monkey. Except with more wrinkles. What’s the deal with those super wrinkly babies? They terrify me!
-Thanks for completely ignoring me. Fuck you too!
-Shouldn’t you be the one demographic that is jumping to sign my petition? I’m going to die in 70 or so years and I won’t have any spawn to care about, but I still somehow care about the kind of world I’ll leave behind. By not signing my petition — or even deigning to stop pushing your Crocsmamamobile and listening to me for one goddamn minute of your sad little AmericaTM life, you are teaching your kids exactly the opposite of what you should be teaching them.
-I know you’ve just come home from work to your little snotball’s ballet lessons to a teacher’s conference and now just want to grab a quick shit dinner before running home to do errands and collapsing and your husband doesn’t help out and blah blah and I JUST DON’T GIVE A SHIT. I mean, I care about working women, and equal parenting and all that, really and truly. It takes a village, yeah yeah yeah. But you’ve made some choices, ladies. And while in a global kind of way I’ve got your back and I’m totally there for those carefully-screened friends of mine who are thoughtfully bringing up babies, some baby mommas are just fucking nuts and your ridiculous sense of entitlement turns me off so horribly that I can’t even stand to breathe your same air.
-What THE FUCK is in your cart?
*First I guess I should say a few standard disclosures: some of my best friends are breeders, and I think raising progressive kids is a total mitzvah if done right and you don’t have more than two (what’s up with lefties with 4 kids? Yo – planet-consuming Americans are the number #1 problem we face as a species here, dudes.)One of the reasons I’ve decided not to have kids is that I’m just not up for it. It’s a super hard job and I totally respect that. If I did have kids, though, I would be the kind of mother who would never use her kids as an excuse to push work onto non-breeder womens in volunteer groups. I would respect their choices! Do you hear me, breeder women in volunteer groups with me?
(I slightly edited this post on Sept 12, 2007 and wrote somewhat of an apology for it that can be found here).