When I was a kid, I used to spend a lot of time wondering if everyone saw orange the way *I* see orange. I can look at orange and call it orange, but is my orange your orange? (You call it orange, also, because that’s all you’ve ever known as orange, but what if your brain processes it differently than mine?) ((I promise I’m not high right now.)) Similarly, I associate green and red with Christmas. You might, too. BUT, you might see green and red the way *I* see blue and yellow.
I have spent many hours thinking about the moment when the discovery is made that everyone’s orange is not the same. “What?! Your orange is my BLUE, and your blue is my RED?! We can’t unsee it that way, so we just have to keep on trucking knowing that we’re seeing things completely differently!”
(I married a man who is color blind. His green is my red. He makes all of the time spent thinking about colors 100% worthwhile. “You honestly see those Christmas lights as green?! Oh my God, I feel like we’re in on the secret! Babies! Let’s have them!”)
I probably spend a little too much time on Facebook, and I handle my “wall” the same way I would handle a wall in my house. If you hang a Soundgarden poster in my family room, I’m probably going to take it down. I won’t think less of you for liking Soundgarden, but I don’t necessarily want Soundgarden to take up space on my wall. Similarly, if you hang up a poster that says something to the effect of “I don’t think your gay friends should be able to get married!”, I will quickly remove that poster for two reasons. 1. I disagree with you 100%. 2. My kids like you, but they’re still too young to figure out that you can love a person yet despise their notions. I don’t want them to 1. Not like you because they disagree with you, or worse, 2. Decide to blindly agree with you without thinking it through just because they DO like you.
Oh. You’re using the Bible to back up your claim that it’s NOT okay to help those in need? And YOU get to decide who is worthy of charity and who is not?
I love you like crazy, but your green is not my green.
Wait. You HATE President Obama and you say he HATES America (fists banging on the table!) and you’re really PISSED about this whole healthcare thing and you’re going to put up silly little posters about how you DID build your company and RAWR!!! CHIK-FIL-A APPRECIATION DAY!!!
You look really pretty today, but your orange is not my orange.
With this being an election year, my friends and family are being very vocal about what they believe. Some are vocal by using their actual voices. Some are more passively vocal and choose to hang posters on my wall. (Figuratively! No one has actually shown up at my door with thumbtacks. (I have a No Solicitors sign on my door. With that said, this woman once came to my door and told me that she’s NOT a solicitor. She’s a CANDIDATE! I still laugh and laugh about that. I WILL say that I’ll probably vote for her because I tend to agree with most of her ideas, but I ALSO like the fact that her opponent walked up to my front door and then walked away after reading the sign.))
I’m not saying that my orange is Orange or that my green is Green. I look silly when I fold my arms across my chest and get all scowly. (Most people do, don’t you think?)
This is what I know: If I see you standing out in the rain, I will offer you an umbrella. I don’t care if you’re rich or poor or black or white or straight or gay or old or young. I used to have three umbrellas in my car. I’m now down to one. (I have several public bus stops near my house. Sometimes it rains.)
This is what I know: If, during a friendly conversation, you tell me that you will disown your child if she “says she’s gay”, I will offer you an umbrella if you’re caught out in the rain, but I will definitely not nod my head and agree with you. AND, I will actually choose your child OVER you if she needs a friend someday.
This is what I know: I attend church regularly. It’s a church that builds homes for the homeless and makes sandwiches for the hungry and sends mosquito nets to areas where people are suffering from malaria. It’s a church that welcomes everyone. Everyone. EVERYONE. It’s a church that doesn’t suggest you vote a certain way. It’s a church that encourages you to think and engage in dialogue and love your neighbor. (This is sometimes hard for me, being that I live next door to one of the top ten crabbiest women in America. (I am not making this up.)) It might not be like your church, but its Orange walls are my Orange walls. (It doesn’t have orange walls. I think you know what I’m saying over here.)
I’m 880 words in, and I just want you to know that I think you’re the tops regardless of who you vote for or who you love. With that said, I’ll be trucking along over here in the corner supporting my gay friends and my president and eating eggplant fries and drinking sweet tea and trying like hell to love my crabby neighbor.
*Meredith just came up and asked what I’m writing about. I answered with, “I’m not really sure. I just feel like I need to get some stuff off of my chest, so I’m giving myself 30 minutes to puke words.” Her answer? “Well, then you should probably name it Hippopotamus pencil pouches and two packages of disappearing purple glue for a dollar. That’s how we roll.” I probably should, and I probably did.