I’m Cranky: Pink Ribbons and Religion are Getting on my Nerves

I woke up with a UTI yesterday. In case you are unaware UTI is an acronym for crotch on fire. At 10am I took a Tramadol, it’s the first time I’ve taken a narcotic in over a year. In case you were wondering the pain was so outrageous that I didn’t even get loaded. Sad really.

After visiting the doctor and getting my antibiotics and a hug it was time to head off to visit Kelsie. I haven’t seen her since the mastectomy. I’m not good with drains and they were hanging off her chest for a good ten days. For the first chemo treatment she wanted to be with her husband. I suppose that’s understandable…

After finishing at the doc (about 11.30) I texted to ask if I could bring anything. The reply I got was exactly this:

I’m sure jamba juice goes against all that you find sane and holy and it is full of sugar and bullshit but it sounds kind of good to me right now. Can you bring me one?

Jamba Juice happend to be caddy corner to my doctor’s office. As I crossed the street I realized that I’d eaten nothing but narcotics and it was almost noon so I stumbled into the salad place next door. I got in line and it took me about five minutes to peruse the menu to find a salad I could either order or modify to make it work with my Previlean plan. After five minutes the line had moved not one inch. After ten minutes I began chatting with the women behind me about what might be gluten free. They didn’t know that latke’s are made with flour. Fifteen minutes later I realized that Daphne was in line in front of me. We both groaned and imagined what her husband the chef would say about the horrific service.

After twenty minutes I placed my order and sat with Daphne and her friend to wait. And wait. Another ten minutes rolls past and I leave my book with Daphne and go to get the Jamba Juice. When I get there the line is outrageously long because their computers are down. The whirring sounds wreak havoc on my already frayed nerves while I wait again. Kelsie has asked for one of three flavors, the first two are seasonal and it requires the children working the counter to ask the slightly older manager if they can make them. The child counterperson is apologetic and we settle on Pomegranate Poison. I get the trough sized milkshake because it’s a very hot day and I’m worried that it will be watery when I get to Kelsie.

Now I’m headed across town to bring Kelsie her melting concoction and trying to eat a salad without wearing it. Lucky for me traffic on the 101 is moving at about 15 miles an hour. It’s noon on a Wednesday, what else could I expect?

I arrive an hour later than I’d planned and I was delighted to see her look so okay. And then I saw her breasts. They look good but they’re odd. They’re the wrong shape because she’s got tissue expanders in there and not actual implants. Where nipples should be there are surgical scars, one is a few inches long, another almost a foot and it wraps around her side. This is when my own chest aches because when I look at her clothed it’s all okay but when I look at skin being stretched to cover dual amputations my heart is heavy and cancer is something I can see.

Then the stories start and getting us to shut up is impossible. Most sentences start with, “My family is way more annoying/crazy than yours…” and we agree that the world is fucked up and everyone outside of the room is a lesser being, husbands and children are exempt not because they are as smart as we are or as emotionally sound as we are but because they are going to spend enough time with us that we can right their wrongs. We are smug. We are ridiculous and we covered in snorting, snoring, smelly Boston Terriers who capture love through our hands rubbing their bellies and repay us with noxious fumes. It’s all as it should be with bitches farting all over me.

Kelsie has terrible stomach pains but they pass quickly. It’s the only insight I have to how truly horrible she must feel. I just keep rubbing the dog’s belly and waiting for it to pass until we’re both spent and it’s time to get the kids from camp.

In the car I turn on the radio and there’s a religious war in America. The right is sure that the left are heathens and the left cannot figure out which religious group they’re fighting so they fight them all.

I’m not sure if I’m sad or angry. I don’t know how historians will write the chapter we’re living but it’s as grim to me as McCarthyism and as important as the civil rights movement of my mother’s youth. I’m livid that we don’t have healthcare for every American but that we’re still fighting W’s war against Islam. We run a very real risk of having a man in the White House who is more concerned with his next life than this one and who undoubtedly will assign Supreme Court Justices who cater to the LDS beliefs. When I go home there will ads on every website for Mormon.org, they are trying to prove they are not a cult. Everyone is in a cult, pick your poison.

I know that many of my readers are devout and I know that you are probably very publicly pro life so I need to speak to you directly and I need you to read these words and know that it’s true. If you are anti-abortion and devout [fill in the blank] and you have a daughter she is the most at risk woman in America today. If your dinner table conversation includes telling your children that a zygote is a baby when your daughters are pregnant (and statistically some of them will be) she may get an abortion. As of this moment she may be able to get to Planned Parenthood or some other clinic, but if you think that your daughters will have access with a President Romney you’re sadly mistaken. Your daughters are precisely the girls who will risk their lives to have an abortion. Some of them will die. If you’re comfortable waiting for your afterlife to be with your children then go right down the path they’re leading you.

I’m cranky. My nerves are frayed and I’m tired of false piety being flung my way. I don’t care who you pray to. Just stop being an asshole in this life and stop punishing our daughters.

Comments 16

  1. Wow, this is more than a rant because it is packed with so much for all of us to think about. What a strong friend you have and how lucky she is to have you and how scary is it that the weight of the world and our future is in the hands of this next election.

  2. Your crankiness is superbly expressed! The anti-choice comments you got on the former post were maddening. Let’s see what happens with this one.  I do admire your bravery, Jessica!

  3. Jessica, I read your blog all the time from Australia (met you once through my sister and your friend, Katherine) and I never comment, but this has finally made me put my fingers to the keyboard. You are brave, and you speak much sense.

  4. Good rant.  When did this country go of the rails the way it has? My Canadian friends look at the US and just shake their heads at our refusal to implement universal health care coverage.  They can not imagine how people live without it.  You’re spot on with each position you’ve taken, and well said.

  5. I knew I was going to love this post the moment I read this: “I woke up with a UTI yesterday. In case you are unaware UTI is an acronym for crotch on fire.” I think you’re at your best (hell, we probably all are) when you write these no-bullshit, honest posts. Our politicians should take note.

  6.  a.fucking.men. I’ve been getting really pissed lately about how this religious war is translating not only to a war on women’s rights, but also an excuse for spreading hate. There’s no other way to describe what companies like Chick-fil-a, and anti-gay-marriage people like Mittens are spreading right now. It’s hate, plain and simple. Last I checked, being hateful wasn’t good for anyone in this life or any other…

  7. “Then the stories start and getting us to shut up is impossible.”This is the best definition of girlfriends I’ve read. 

    Religion gets on my nerves all the time, and during this election year I would like to smack every candidate that uses it for something that it shouldn’t be. I think everyone has lost common sense. 

  8. About 2 months ago… I walked away from “organized” religion. Did I walk away from God? No. Just the politics that come along with trying to worship amongst other believers in a building. There’s no “come as you are”. There’s “come as we want you to… or be an outcast.” These days… I’m enjoying Sundays with my children i our own way and I feel much less cranky. Thanks Jess.

  9. My daughter is turning 16 tomorrow, and her boyfriend is heading off to college in two weeks, so every day before she sees him we have a talk about how today is not going to be the day she loses her virginity. She’s adamant that she’s not ready and it won’t be anytime soon, but I got a little nervous because yesterday, clear out of the blue she mentioned that if she did get pregnant, she’d have an abortion. I told her I would drive her. And I was raised a strict Catholic. I don’t want her to be a 50-year old virgin, but I’m really glad she’s planning on waiting. I certainly wouldn’t wNt her forced to go to some back alley doctor.

  10. loved running into you.  it was the most disorganized food service.  And yes, your jamba juice took so long I called you to say I could no longer watch your stuff because I had to pick up my son and then you came in.  Good news, you looked great, great to see you and we will golf in the fall.

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