Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism


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Public education culture

It’s funny how different school experiences can be. As I’m a movie lover, I watch pretty much every movie I can get my hands on. Most movies we watch over here are American movies (though there are plenty of great European movies as well). Sometimes, these movies show “high school life” and “college life” in the US.

The funny thing is: Everything I believe to know about American schools is from movies. Like, that there are different groups: The drama club and the footballers and the cheerleaders. And then, everybody eats in a cafeteria, but who sits with whom is a big deal. And students wear specific clothing that outs them as a member of a specific group. This is also true for college, but there’s more: Some people are there because they are good footballers (what?!). Also, you have to take a lot of classes that have nothing to do with your major. People live in dorms and throw parties every other day.

Sounds grotesque? Well, that’s actually what I believe. Sometimes I wonder if it’s true because my school experience in Europe has been vastly different.

First off, there weren’t any “groups”. You generally were a group with the people in your year. You hang out with different people and it’s rare that someone is labelled in a specific way (except extreme nerds – but they’re generally still accepted). You have a group of friends, obviously, but these people aren’t necessarily your friends because you share extracurricular activities with them. In fact, there are next to none extracurricular activities. School is school, and free time is your own business. Of course we still have clubs over here, like a football club or something, but they are independent of the school you’re attending, so you might not meet a single person in your football group who also goes to your school.

Cafeterias are also different because schools here generally don’t have cafeterias. Schools out at 1 PM so nobody really needs lunch. The entire cafeteria deal is literally non-existent. This may change (or may have already changed) for some school forms but not for the one I attended. After school, you go home, eat lunch, do your homework, and then meet friends or go to your private clubs. It appears that school has a much more central spot in American teen’s lives because it takes up so much time of the day.

Overall, I had a very positive school experience. It wasn’t that peer-pressure thing homeschooling circles make it out to be. Actually, school here is much less central, and therefore much less influential in how teens design their lives and activities. Not that schools are bad here – remember that we actually go to school one year longer here than kids in the US (that is, 13 years instead of 12). Either way, all in all I can say that I’m happy I attended a public school once in my life. It was a great experience and thoroughly changed my views of public school education. School is always what you make out of it.

Likewise,  university is not what I thought it would be. I think this is something many people experience, but still. For one, there’s again the lack of extracurricular activities. Universities offer education, not hobbies. People are very particular when it comes to separating this. I think this may be because the German mindset is generally one of “keeping work and privacy separate”. I don’t think this is intrinsically bad, it’s just different from the US where it appears that privacy and public life (education-wise) are mixed a lot more. Either way, university is strictly about education and not much beyond that.

I read that some colleges or universities in the US require students to live on-campus for some time. There’s nothing like that here. I think people would be angry if they had to move due to university rules (again, job and privacy). Where you live, what you do, is your business – or your problem. This, of course, may be the reason why there are very few “college type parties”. I mean, I think if you live in a dorm it’s easier to throw a big party because you’re all in the clean-up together. When students live in their own apartments, they are often hesitant about inviting lots of people because they know they will have to clean up the mess themselves. It’s not that there aren’t any parties, but I’ve never seen an “American-sized” college party like in the movies. Or maybe they just really don’t exist in the US.

I think, on a more general level, life and culture differs vastly. I sometimes wish I could go to an American University for a semester to see what it’s really like. But then again, that’s not a financial option because I couldn’t afford tuition fees. I guess I will have to rely on movies and on the few lucky friends I have who get stipends for being super-smart (I don’t mean to sound jealous, by the way, these people work very hard for what they get!).

My personal University experience, again, is a very positive one. Cultural differences aside, I doubt that the home school circles really tell the truth about whatever they say about public education. It might not be for everyone, sure, but it’s certainly not a bad choice for most.

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Feeling comfortable

Buying clothes was such a battle around here. First off, the sizes are different, and even if you think that the sizes are the same as the US sizes (say, it says “medium” on the label), believe me, they’re not the same. You’re in for an epic session of trying stuff on. But the worst thing, by far the worst, was when I had to go shopping with friends.

Shopping by myself was kind of easy. I simply never bought anything because everything I saw was too revealing. Simple as that!

Now, despite my friends’ knowledge of my background, they were unable to internalize what “modesty” meant for me. They didn’t get it, and even when I explained why something was not okay, they didn’t see why it wouldn’t be ok.

I remember a shopping trip with my best friend who picked out some things for me (because I was unable to find anything that I thought I would be able to wear). She had picked out a cute pink shirt that has some flowery ruffles on the shoulders. I tried it on and felt terrible. It had a revealing neckline – two fingers below the collarbone. I told my friend, who was waiting in front of the curtain for my signal, that I couldn’t wear this.  She was surprised to hear that I found the neckline too deep, but because I’m so skinny, she didn’t per se question this – she wanted to see it. So she lifted the curtain just a bit, which caused me to hiss at her viciously and pull the curtain closed with a violent force that hurt her hand, all while screaming “What are you doing?!”. I was convinced that once the curtain was lifted, all men (in the H&M women’s section, lol) would immediately stare at me. Kind of like zombies in a movie, when they smell blood, you know?

When I think back to those times, I usually don’t remember the negative feelings as much. I rather feel regret at not buying a particularly nice top, or dress, or skirt. I once didn’t buy a dress that I was convinced showed off my back too much. Now I sometimes wish I had bought it, because it was unique and pretty. Ah well.

It’s funny how similar yet different we all are. After reading Melissa’s post on clothing, I realized that I’m not like that at all. I love things that are typically considered “feminine”. I think the most important area is make up. I wasn’t allowed make up growing up and have developed a sick passion for it ever since moving to Germany. I love dark eye make ups and red lipsticks. I love looking vampy, or “femme fatale”. I love changing my hair – colors, cuts, styles. I don’t believe this is due to my upbringing, I think it’s more of a rebellion sort of thing. But in a way, Melissa and I are still the same. We don’t care about what others may think. Being yourself, doing things that are fun to you, make you feel good, even when it’s not conforming with norms is really what it comes down to. I like to showcase my obscenely red lipstick at 2 PM. Screw your social rules. I’m happy with it, and if you’re not, you are free to look the other way.


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Of free-ing the free?

I’m all for women’s rights, freedom and equality. If you look at the issue from all angles, you’ll realize that equality is easier said than done, and that sexism is not necessarily the result of religion but rather a symptom of a general disease, whether a community is religious or not.

Especially or “western” mindset makes us believe that we are the good guys, our way of doing things is the right way, and everyone who doesn’t do it this way is either a madman or an oppressed, weak woman. In this sense, we’re really not that different from all the “madmen” we want to protect women from.

I think this becomes especially evident if you look at the ways many westerners view the Islam, and especially muslim women. A woman who covers her hair is necessarily oppressed and needs our help to be set free. We cannot imagine that any sane person would choose to wear a hair covering because she wants to, Instead, us western, “civilized” and “free” women think we have to stand up for our “sisters” and free them. And if they tell us that they aren’t actually oppressed – well, they’re brainwashed. We have to show them the light.

The result of this is more often than not some sort of movement that instead of uniting women for a common cause tends to dig even deeper canyons between us. Take, for example, the “Femen” movement. All things aside of good intentions, strong women and important political causes. These are women who demonstrate against the oppression and objectification of women by going naked. This is somewhat similar to trying to extinguish a fire by pouring gas into it, in my opinion. In a world where women are objectified in every way possible, is there really a way to get a point across if you make yourself another object? Sure it gets the attention. But what do you think is going to happen in the minds of men who see these women? Are they going to think “Oh, that woman demonstrates against the exploitation of women as sex objects”, or are they going to think “Oh my gosh, BOOBS!”?

While I didn’t mind femen too much when they first started, I started to disagree completely with their methods when they started demonstrating against Islam. I’m not a muslim and have no interest in this religion (or any other, for that matter), and to be honest, I don’t care much whether you are a muslim or not (do whatever rocks your boat), but I don’t think it’s ok that a group of western women comes along as the knights in, well, no armor, I guess, to “free” women they have never asked if they actually need their help. I know plenty of muslims (there are very many in Germany). Some of them cover their hair, others don’t. Some are religious, others not. Some drink and eat pork, others don’t eat pork because they don’t like the taste (not for religious reasons, I was told pork is a taste you have to acquire), some stick to religious laws concerning their diet. Either way, it’s ok to do whatever you feel is right. One of the girls I study with wears a hjiab. She also cares about women’s rights. What makes us think that women who cover their hair are too stupid to free themselves? What makes us think that they’ll end up being thankful for helping them by demonstrating naked?

Even personally, I feel insulted. I used to be oppressed and brainwashed, but I don’t want some woman who hasn’t experienced the same thing to strip down naked and yell “freedom” in my name. It’s not the right way to appeal to the people you want to convince. If you said you’re going naked because you’d rather be naked than wear fur, I can understand why you would protest naked. But that’s not what’s happening here. What is happening is the idea that nakedness is the ultimate way to get what you want, to convince people. Sounds familiar? To me, that sounds about as terrible as any other form of oppression. Do I really want a freedom that we had to undress for? Do I really want to convince people by turning into an object that only gets the attention because it is a highly sexualized form of protest, often causing people to forget why you are undressing?

I think this entire discussion is a very difficult one. Of course there are brainwashed, oppressed women who could use some help. I was one of them. These women aren’t a phenomenon of Islam but a phenomenon of general society, and victims to men all over the world. On the other hand, plenty of women are well able to make these decisions for themselves, and don’t need our help – don’t need help at all because there isn’t a problem to begin with.

I think what should be remembered is that we need to move away from our western ideal of “freedom”. Freedom comes in many colors. Freedom includes the choice of dress, the choice of religion, and yes, also the choice to live a life that might not conform with our image of how women should live. Finding the balance is probably the biggest problem in all this. How do I balance helping women who really need help and hurting perfectly fine women because I demonize their way of life as “oppression”? I don’t have an answer to that, but if I find one, I certainly won’t be writing it on my bare breasts (and I ask you not to do that in anyone’s name either, unless you have their permission to do so).


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In which we get a mention

We got a mention in one of the fanciest magazines in the world of purity cults: Leslie Ludy’s Set Apart Girl (July/August issue, Article on page 27ff). Well, it’s not actually Leslie writing about this. It’s an “Anonymous Warrior Poet”, which is a Ludy term for a man who resembles King David, I believe.

The fact that this is written by an “anonymous” person is problematic to me. Now, I do not want to point fingers here, but… I read the set apart girl magazine every time a new issue comes out. I read all of Leslie’s articles. I read all of the “Warrior Poet” articles. The styles resemble each other strongly. I do not believe that this series of articles is written by a different person each time. I also think that Leslie’s writing and the Warrior Poet’s articles resemble each other in respect to style. Just throwing that out there.

Anyway. This months’ warrior poet (following “WP”) is concerned, very concerned. Why? Blogs. Let me quote him:

“And now – I have observed – many of my peers, who were once zealous advocates for purity, restraint, holiness, and waiting on God for their future spouse are now throwing in the towel on the whole idea. Numerous blogs have been written by young men and women who “believed the lie” of the whole “purity thing.” They rant to high heaven that all the purity rings and courtship lectures ruined their ability to interact with the opposite sex. They cross their arms in a teenage huff when they hear certain relationship books or authors mentioned. They write blogs expounding their angst and how they “removed their ring” because it was just a fuddy-duddy way of dealing with sexuality, and, with rolling eyes say, “it doesn’t work anyhow.”

What WP is doing here is far from an objective description of the ex-purity cult blogging scene. He uses several ways to label these bloggers as teenagers at mind. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s not a very “loving” thing to do for a christian. Labeling us teenagers is the equivalent of calling us unreasonable and immature – he blames the way we feel on the fact that our hormones are raging and we don’t know what’s good for us anyway. Teenagers! *eyeroll*

I don’t know how well-read you are when it comes to ex-purity cult blogs. Most bloggers are well past their 20s. Many are married and have children. Calling grown adults teenagers degrades us into a position in which we are considered to be unreliable, blabbling out of pure spite. Actually, the quote above denies us that our negative emotions towards the purity cult are reasonable.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being called unreasonable in such a flowery way when I complain about serious and real hurt. I don’t think my feelings about this issue come from one single experience.

By the way: Certain books and authors? Who could that be? But let’s move on:

“They make viral youtube videos that accentuate all the ridicoulousness our parents told us about these matters.”

He did it! He’s talking about the parents! What he’s basically doing here is telling all those good, pure girls “Look! These guys are making fun of YOUR parents and the values THEY believe in! You have to honor your parents! If you believe anything they say, you are one of these people who makes fun of YOUR parents!”.

“They say that it ruined their ability to have healthy guy/girl interaction.”

Here, he actually mentions an important aspect: Many feel that the purity teachings ruined their ability to interact with men/women. So far so good. But where is his argument against this? I read the article four times now, and I cannot find a single sentence in which he explains why this isn’t true. Please, go read it yourself and comment if you find it. It kind of feels like WP wants to make sure that his readers know this isn’t so, but he can’t go into detail. Why? Maybe because he himself has very little experience with women. Maybe because he doesn’t know how to relate to them. Maybe because the definition of “healthy” is very subjective – what is normal to me may be weird to you.

“I have a hunch that what is behind all this angst, and all this disgruntled blogging, and all this huffiness is an attitude of self-justification.”

The worst sin of all: Selfishness! Of course that’s what it is. We are selfish. We failed, and because we are selfish, we need a good reason for our selfishness. Everything we say is to justify our failures. Especially in Ludy-ism, selfishness is high up on the sin scale. Basically every sin is in some way based on a person’s selfishness (including, for example, homosexuality, masturbation, physical contact before marriage – I read the books and listened to the sermons).

“My concern, as a Warrior Poet in the making, is that a whole generation of young women will be led into a compromised and self-justifying lifestyle that is based wholly upon the sarcastic cynicism and bad experience of those around them.”

WP is in fact concerned that this pattern of relationships, which can be so convenient for men, will collapse due to women starting to think for themselves. The counter-culture the christian fundamentalists develop stands and falls with the participation of women. Ultimately, it is women who have to give up their entire identity in this pattern. If a woman refuses to become a mere extension of the man’s existence, none of the beliefs and patterns would fall into place anymore. The obsession to fix the problems people have, always have had, by following a certain pattern is very clear in this article.

In the end, I think the fact that our blogs got a mention in such a popular magazine among young conservatives is telling. There obviously has been some effect, some change, just something going on. Are they scared of us? No, probably not, but they feel they need to address the issue in some way, so I guess there is some progress.

Whatever it is, it seems as if the blogging scene is opening up to them as a new battleground for their “war of cultures”. Maybe we will see and hear some interesting articles and speeches about the blogging scene in the future. Let’s wait and see.


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What is feminism to me?

I recently read a rage-filled fundamentalist post on women’s right to vote (and that women should not have that right) and I secretly thanked feminism for allowing me to be an individual in this society – or any society really.

So what does feminism mean to me? Does it mean “Yay I get to wear pants”? Sure, but that’s really just a side-joke.

It means my husband cannot quit MY job when he thinks I don’t do enough housework. He does not have the ability to cage me at the home and to rob me of my means to make money both for me and for my children (and potentially for him). It means that I will not suffer from the fact that I have no job experience, resulting in the fact that I have only two life choices: Divorce and poverty, or an unhappy marriage. It gives me the security that I have abilities which people are willing to pay money for.

It also means that I can get higher education. I can study at university in order to improve my market value and in order to improve my knowledge. It gives me a chance to decide what and who I want to be. It gives me the security that when everything is lost, my education will still be there.

It means that I can vote. I can vote for the candidate with the best program, the greatest vision, who shares my opinion or, yes, the candidate I find physically attractive. That’s how it is. It means that my opinion will count even if my justification for these opinions is based on superficial issues like looks. I’m not saying this is a good call, but that’s how it is: You cannot chose whether you like an opinion or not, you’ll have to live with others having them.

It means also that I can own things, buy things, make contracts and be a liable person by law. I do not disappear in the existence of my husband once I say “I do”. I am still allowed to exist as a person of my own. This is why I despise people who say things like “Mr and Mrs John Smith”. There is no Mrs John Smith. There might be Mrs Jane Smith.

Feminism means that my body is mine and nobody else’s. Not my husband’s. Not my child’s. MINE. I can do with it as I please. I can pierce it, draw on it, take it where ever I want. I can sleep with whom I want, at any time, or not. It protects me from being raped by my husband without appropriate punishment. It protects me from being forced to do things I do not want to do.

Feminism in its core gives me individuality at the core. It makes me a person with dreams, rights and a future. Feminism makes me human. It makes me – me, just as I want myself to be.

When the patriarchs express that feminism is evil, it is not the feminism they hate. It’s not the pants and the rights they hate. It is precisely the individuality.

Fundamentalist christianity cannot survive in an environment where there is individuality. Everybody must conform to rules and values for it to work. Everybody must submit, men and women alike. Those who do not submit are those who risk the system. Kids who talk back. Women who work. Men who have feelings. Individuals outside that perfect, Pearl-esque set of rules. Conform or be damned. Conform or suffer. Conform or die. Individuality? Uncheck that box as soon as possible. Die to yourself and move the remaining empty shell by the rules of the great puppet-master. Get on the stage and play your role, and by all means, hope it’s over soon.

I am here, reading, writing, thinking. Not because of anything the patriarchs did but because of something the feminists did. They made me what I am today. Thank you for that.


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It’s time for us to be Hobbits

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Once upon a time there were two little hobbit girls, a blonde and a red-haired one, living next door. Their land was beautiful and every day was filled with joy.

Then, one day, their hobbit parents met evil Lord G, who gave them the order to give each girl The Ring. The parents did as told. They said to the girls: “You must guard this Ring with all your being. This will give you power. This will make you special. Without it, you are nothing.” And, despite the fact that the girls didn’t really know what the fuzz was about, they accepted the Rings and proudly wore them.

They grew older together, and their friendship was still strong. And finally, one day, a handsome young man hobbit asked for the blonde hobbit girl’s hand in marriage, and for her Ring. At first the hobbit girls were excited, but it didn’t last long.

As they sat together, one day at the lake, the blonde hobbit girl expressed her grief to her friend: “I do not want to give this Ring away. It makes me strong and powerful. It makes me special. It makes me …. better than everybody else.” The red-haired hobbit girl was shocked. What was her friend saying?

You see, the blonde hobbit girl was blinded by the power the Ring gave her. She enjoyed walking around with it, people staring at her hand, people telling her how strong she was for taking the burden to wear that Ring. The red-haired hobbit girl felt the burden constantly. She did not like that people stared at her Ring, knew what it implied. She liked what it stood for, but she could not understand why she would need a Ring to be the person she wanted to be.

The closer the wedding day came, the worse the blonde hobbit girl acted. She was angry and mean, and she started to despite her hobbit fiance, who would soon take her Ring away. “My precious” she started to hiss, “it’s mine. Nobody can take it from me!” Oh yes, the hobbit girl was acting real strange.

The red-haired hobbit girl realized that she did not want to be this way. She decided to run away at night to destroy her Ring, so she could be free again. Free to do what felt right, without needing a Ring to signify it. So she packed her bags and left.

Soon after leaving her family, she came into deserted land, burned soil and a raging war and, far away from a high mountain, a looming eye watching her each and every step. And she knew the eye would soon send troops after her, to bring her back, to make her keep the Ring.

“I need a sword”, she realized. Lucky enough, she found a group of Elfs who were willing to help her. And even though she was imitated by their beauty and strength, she decided to follow them. And she realized that hobbit girls who had gone before her probably had not had the Elfs to help them. Yes, she was very lucky to have found a new group of friends.

Their travels were long and exhausting. Through deserts and over mountains they travelled, until they finally reached the volcano were she could destroy her Ring. And as she stepped into it, the flames bursting next to her, she realized that this was it.

The second the dropped the Ring into the fire, she finally felt its spell lift off her. She finally felt free. And even though she knew she could never return home, she was eager to see the new life waiting for her.

The blonde hobbit, meanwhile, got married and never forgave her husband for stealing her Ring. From time to time, on those lonely evenings, she sits and stares at the Ring in her hand, angry at the world and herself for not being honorable enough anymore to wear it. “My precious”, she hisses then, “you will be worn again – soon.”

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I think it’s time for all of us to be little red-haired hobbits. It’s not about abandoning values, it’s about abandoning structures used to rule over you, used to control you, used to make you feel bad. It’s not easy to just let go and give up things that are important to you in order to live a self-governed life.

If you are a young woman still struggling, I highly encourage you to reevaluate the tools used to keep you in control. If you already threw your ring into the fire, don’t tire of being an Elf – aka helping the other hobbits along the way.

Yes, I have a great passion for Lord of the Rings. Watch it! If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it asap! If you already have, watch it again asap!


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The (polished) lives of others

I remember dreaming about life the way I had seen it in those P/QF books and magazines and occasional home making blogs. It’s funny because it was never that way at our house. But I always thought that one day, I would live one of those beautiful lives.

I’d have a pantry filled with homemade juices and marmalade and sauces and relishes. I’d have a beautiful, antique and yet modern kitchen. I’d have a great view from my kitchen windows, and I’d wear a beautiful apron. I’d be… hm. One of those fairytale housewives, I guess.

My life would be quiet, relaxed. I’d be busy decorating a beautiful home, not really worrying about money and how to get by. My husband would be thrilled to see my newest crafty decoration idea and I’d have people come over for tea, who would praise my exquisite taste and the heavenly homemade biscuits.

My living room would have one of those open fire places and no TV in it, a beautiful sofa and a large bookshelf with old books – funny enough, that shelf was filled with books I wasn’t encouraged to read. But hey, who cares, they were only decoration anyway. They would show my guests how polished my education was, how knowledgable and ‘classical’ I was. After all, those classics are the center of a good education!

Yes, people would be impressed by my family and me. After tea, the female guests would offer to help me in the kitchen, but I’d say no. I’d offer them to come to the kitchen with me anyway, and then I would show them the many jars filled with strawberry-vanilla-lemon jelly and blackberry-cherry marmalade and tomato relish (my secret ingredient was a red, sweet apple). They’d look at the jars and go “How on earth do you manage?” and I would just smile and say “Oh, you know, I just can’t stand not using up the things we grow in our garden.” (just to point them to the fact that I had a rich garden). I would fill up the plates with more biscuits, different kinds, and gracefully fly back into the living room, or the dining room. There’d be fresh flowers everywhere. And the women would ask me where I got this and that, where my antique teacups were from, and I would have a different story about everything, an amazing, magical, filled with adventure story.

And yes, my kids. How well-behaved they were, and how clean and neat and obedient and whatnot. How tidy their rooms were, how tidy the house was, how lush the gardens! Yes, I was truly the Proverbs 31 woman.

At the end of the day, my tall dark and handsome husband, who made assloads of money doing something real godly, would put his hands on my shoulders and gently kiss my neck and whisper that I was truly the wife of his dreams and no other even came close to me.

Yes, I would enjoy those moments that made me feel so superior to everybody else. I would brag about it, discreetly, a constant, charming smile on my face, my beautiful hair naturally falling perfectly on my shoulders, my dress so polished and modern. My beautiful husband and kids, my beautiful self, my beautiful home. Oh everything would be beauty. And I would walk past the other P/QF trailer trash and show them that if you REALLY had God in your life, you could be the same. No, they weren’t as godly as I was. They weren’t. I was the true picture of what God did for his followers. Yes, I was better. Better than all of them. I was more sacred, had more godly beauty, more blessed. And they would know, and they’d crawl back into their messy holes and beg God for forgiveness for whatever they had done to deserve less than me.

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Thinking back, this makes me despise myself. I always dreamed to be one of those women. You know them, they are in every church. Except, back then, I was the trailer trash girl, crawling back into her hole and into her messy life, wondering why God didn’t give us the money and space we needed, why it was always too much for us to do, why, no matter how hard we tried, we could never have the fancy china and the old books and the crafty ideas.

I was filled up with rage because God didn’t keep his promise. And then we were there, left in the dark, looking at those polished lives of the woman who were truly graceful and blessed.

We were the ones envying gardens and staring at the beautiful kitchens. We were the ones to be gifted that strawberry-vanilla-lemon jelly, with a pitying smile and a “I got more than we can eat!”, or that tomato relish, with a wink and a “A big, ripe, red apple is the secret ingredient!”.

I was the one of the sideline, knowing that they were better, and hoping that I’d join them one day.

It’s not just purity that’s turned into a contest. It’s all of it. Who’s the purest, who has the most godly, most proverbs-31 house with the beautiful stuff in it, who has the best husband, who has most blessings from god.

I was despicable. I’m happy I’m out of that pressure. I don’t have to despise anybody anymore – not the poor P/QF families who think that they don’t need all that stuff to be happy (but actually, they do), not the families who can boast with their blessings of beauty and craftiness and tidiness. I pity them, even. Because both sides are never satisfied. Both sides are striving to show everybody what God can do by hoarding up blessings, both in form of children and of possessions. They think they are beyond materialism, but they aren’t. In fact, they sell it as “Godly, beautiful, set apart feminine lifestyle”.

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As I am writing this, I’m sitting on my made bed, covered  in h&m sheets (I love them!), a room filled with stuff that was gifted to me, that I fixed up. That doesn’t quite fit, is always a little off. Now, I will go into my old but homely kitchen, take two cups out of the shelf – two different looking ones, because we do not have two cups of the same design on that shelf – and make a cup of coffee with my good old-fashioned coffee machine. One for me, one for my roommate. And then, who knows. Maybe we’ll just go shopping. Because, fortunately, we do not have a garden to harvest, jellies to cook, or cookies to bake. No, we are free of all those pressures – at least for today.

I hear the new cafe has amazing cookies. Maybe we’ll try those.