Today the city was like a skating rink. Seriously, if you had seen me walking from my door to the sidewalk, you would have thought I was a ninety-year-old woman who had lost her walker. Or some kind of demented penguin. The only way to move forward is to stretch both arms out (for balance, you know) and shuffle forward, one step at a time. It made me all nostalgic for my broomball days.
Something I don't think I'll ever be nostalgic for is Earpiece Charlie's face. Yes, the Saint John crew looks to be back for good, and everybody's favourite anti-choicer had himself camped in front of my window for a large part of the morning. JB closed her blinds in her office so Charlie and his sign couldn't stare in at patients while they made their payments, so instead he stands outside my window, staring in at me and the plant (I don't know if he realizes none of the patients can see him from the waiting room).
SL likes to sort of tease Charlie, by staring back at him or giving him a big grin and a thumbs up, but I don't really know how to deal with him. I find the other protesters amusing, but Charlie just makes me so ANGRY. He must know how threatening he looks - how dare he use that against women, to shame them? I try to be a non-violent person (in thought and action), but I just want to grab his stupid fucking sign and pummel him with it. Sometimes it is very difficult for me to forgive people for being so ignorant.
And that brings me to what I have been thinking about today, which is religious people. There are a couple prejudices I have about certain categories of people, and when I happen to meet someone who falls in one of those categories, I find it difficult to know how to talk to them. An example would be people who met their SO through online dating. This is entirely a fault of mine, and something I need to work on. I'm just trying to explain where I'm coming from.
Another of these prejudices is people who are really into their religion. I'm talking here about people who treat their religion as anything else but personal beliefs that they have. I can't handle it when people try to push their religion on to others, however they try to do that. This includes otherwise charitable "missionary work". I don't think it's good to try and "save" others. I think it's ignorant, colonialist and patronizing. This prejudice comes in no small part from some personal family issues I have inherited, which I am obviously not going to get into here.
I think that when people fail to "save" people (ie make everyone believe what they believe), they resort to using their own moral standards to make other people feel inferior. This is, obviously, where the protesters come in. I'm trying so hard not to judge them as people, but instead judge their actions - it's so difficult. I would like to quote from the Office: "I hate so much about what you choose to be". That's about where I'm at. But with less laughter.
I just think it's either terribly ignorant, or terribly judgmental, to call someone out for doing something that YOU believe is wrong. And yes, I realize I'm an extreme hypocrite because I'm doing the same thing right now. It's like one of those pictures of a picture of a picture of a picture, etc. I know there's a way I could express these feelings more articulately, and more kindly, but this is the effect the protesters have on people who value women as people. It makes us so angry we can't even speak. It makes us want to take a permanent marker and write "ASSHOLE" in big red letters across the foreheads of these middle-aged white men who DARE to judge us and our decisions. It makes us, in other words, want to stoop to their level. It is a difficult internal struggle, let me tell you.
I guess that's a little insight into why I blog - because without at least this one outlet, I would probably be running away from a red-festooned protester right now, with the marker in my hand, laughing maniacally. We who fight such ignorance and appalling abuses of logic have to find some way to keep ourselves sane.