Friday, September 2, 2011

and I'm Craving...

Apparently seeing naked men and human feces has emboldened me.

Twice this week some things have come out of my mouth or flown off my fingers before I could even stop them. I surprised even myself.

Situation 1:
Ending a day long meeting, standing around with my boss and a Board member who at times makes people incredibly uncomfortable with inappropriate jokes or random statements. Not inappropriate like talking about boobies, more like offhand comments about euthanasia. Most of the time it takes the world a minute to understand it was supposed to be a joke. Part of me thinks he gets off on the shock, another part of me is pretty sure he's somewhere on the autism spectrum and completely misses the visual and social cues of the people looking horrified around him.

This was another one of those moments - his attempt to make a joke. So he says to us, "wow, I cannot wait until the day when government has complete control over my entire life and all of my actions and personal decisions."

Says me: "Well, if you were a girl, that time would be now."


He goes PURPLE. My boss chokes a little and thankfully decides she agrees with me. He sputters. We leave and have a glass of wine. I say I'm sorry but I'm not. Because its true. And to see this man blush, well, that was an unexpected bonus.

Situation 2:
Oh F*cefuck, why do I even bother?

A friend posted something on her wall yesterday afternoon bitching about the barrage of pregnancies and cravings that magically appeared in her feed. I wrote her a quick personal message basically saying, "F FB, let's go get some fries at the baseball game tonight." Soon enough though, the situation revealed itself as one of those ploys to get women to post something cryptic in their status updates and DON'T TELL THE BOYS only to say a week later, ha ha it was a joke, this was all for BREAST CANCER AWARENESS. Get it? Aren't we clever? We got you all talking and now you can talk about breast cancer.

One problem: the status update is supposed to say "I'm xx weeks and I'm craving xx" and there's a little formula you do with your birthday to fill in the xx's.

Because that's shocking, right? You're neighbors and friends won't know what's going on. Everyone will be confused and then you will say, oh I'm just kidding. This was for breast cancer AWARENESS. Get it?

I don't get it. I don't get it at all.

I tried to let it rest, shake it off, go enjoy my baseball game and fries. But the more I thought about it, the more it cut me to the core. So, I posted this:

I'm sorry. Explain to me how status updates related to gestation and pregnancy cravings promote "awareness?" Cancer is no joke. It's not cute. It's not funny. And FYI, a major long term effect of cancer treatment....infertility. This survivor is not playing along.

And then this:

And you're only supposed to share it with your female friends. Because, of course, in this magical world of FB, men don't get breast cancer.

And then I realized I just couldn't let last year's "awareness" theme go:

Last year, the theme was what's your bra color - which I 'm sure felt AWESOME for any breast cancer survivor who's been forced to have a mastectomy. I guess the point is to get people talking about cancer. I just wish the conversation were even remotely on point.

You know I take issue with the pink shit anyway. This isn't even getting into that. God knows I could rant about that. All. Day. I won't bore you. But there is SO MUCH that is wrong with this on so many levels.

So I decided to call it out. Because honey badger don't care.

Honey badger don't give a shit
. (that one's for you, L)


lostintranslation said...

Wohoo! Good for you on both accounts!

Btw, I got an FB invite for the breast cancer awareness adding shoe size and minutes it takes to do your hair (I didn't participate)... Are there regional versions for the same awareness campaign?

Heather said...

I like your FB status updates more than 99.9% of what is out there.

jill said...

I saw a fb status the other day with the "I'm _ weeks and craving _ " and was very confused. I've yet to see any cancer discussions on fb...

I agree, whoever came up with those cancer awareness campaigns needs to be slapped.

Nadine said...

That was you lady! I'm friends with another blogger who reposted what you wrote an it's going ALL OVER FB. You are a sensation.

Catherine W said...

Good - you SHOULD be a facebook sensation! And I love the honey badger!

Melissa N. said...

Good for you! I can't tell you how much I dislike those "funny, clever and cute" FB statuses. How about "irritating, distasteful, and irrelevant?" And I agree, I have yet to see one discussion about breast cancer.

Two Shorten the Road said...

Ohhh. This explains several puzzling FB posts I've seen recently. How completely stupid.

Hope's Mama said...

I hadn't seen any of those updates til you posted this. Now I've seen quite a few. With you all the way on this one. Ugh.

julia said...

I don't usually go in on the awareness bits, but I also never thought of the points you mention here. Thank you for a different perspective.

Gail said...

Hi, I really like your post, your writing, and your refreshing candor. As for the dimwit male's comment and your response: perfect! For the FB "stuff"--I totally am there. I was asked to participate from a dear friend, a cancer survivor too, so I did. Yet I feel pretty foolish (my kids are grown and the status just doesn't make sense for me) and anybody who really knows me knows that I would never, ever crave something like a Strawberry Pop Tart! EEeew, gross! But torn between feeling empathetic and oh, no, not another one!, I went for it. I'll know in a day or two whether I'll regret it or not.


Sue said...

Right on, Sister. I had the same reaction about the FB thing. Mel from Stirrup Queens had a post up about it. Since when do jokes about PG raise awareness about cancer? What about all the other cancers? What about all the other diseases that need awareness raised? Why is this the only one that gets talked about? (Okay, I'll stop ranting...)

Love what you said in the meeting, too. Awesome. :-)

Saku said...

Found your blog today, and spent most of the afternoon and evening reading. Thank you for your candor about your situation. I learned something about myself today and was reminded we often don't know what goes on in someone else's life.

I wondered what the update on FB that ended up in my updates was about. Not certain how they connect to cancer awareness. Seems ridiculous to post something that more than half of the population don't understand!

m said...

@lost - there very well could be regional translations on this theme. I'm not quite sure where they originate from or how they connect to any type of real awareness.

@nadine - our mutual friend is the bomb.

@catherine w- I am delighted to introduce you to the phenom of the honey badger. it's become a go to video for me and my co-workers.

@gail - I think you bring up an important issue here. It's the reason I held off for posting back on FB for as long as I did. What do you do when truly well meaning people play along? You don't want to diss them or make them gun-shy about participating in real advocacy in the future. And what DO you do when someone you care about asks you to do them a favor that may or may not make sense to you? I can completely understand wanting to post out of respect for another survivor who asks you to.

But I think its our responsibility to steer things in a more pro-active direction. If some of your friends or colleagues look at your strawberry pop tart post and go "what the hey?!?" I suggest casually dropping a link or two to any local or national charity that you support that treats breast cancer or offers screenings and say something like thanks for asking, this was the intention of the campaign, go here and learn more.

Even better: steer them here and ask them to make a donation so that women who will deal with breast cancer (or any cancer) in the future, have a fighting chance of preserving their fertility and having the pleasure of posting this post for real.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Good for you for speaking up -- on both accounts.

I think the people who started the FB thing are mistaking people discussing the stupidity of the stunt as actual awareness. Though no one walks away knowing anything more about cancer. Which, to me, is more revealing about their immaturity, their lack of ability to construct a true campaign, and their lack of empathy for others.

I am seriously glad you are still around. And I will be grabbing you for a chocolate run this fall/winter.

Mrs. H said...

Last year I must admit I took part in the cancer awarness stunt on FB but this year I didn't, cause it actually struck a nerve. I had a cancer scare last year turned out not to be, but I remember one of those fears looming in my head was cancer disease and treatment leading to infertility....go figure I got slapped with the infertility part anyway despite there being no cancer. But anyway, when I saw the stunt this year I autmatically thought it was I didn't participate. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

I don't get this cancer "awareness" thing at all... are they trying to get us to check our breasts for lumps by posting that status? Are they trying to get us to donate to a charity? Most people know about the existence of breast cancer... so in which direction is this supposed to mobilise us? I agree with you, it's distasteful, especially to survivors.

Smiling said...

"Oh F*cefuck, why do I even bother?"

Ah M, your commentary in person and online is spot on and sharp and witty and exactly what this world needs.

Really, some days I wonder why people think we need more awareness about something everyone really should be aware of... Sadly I think every single person reading any of those posts has been touched by cancer and probably somewhere along the way became aware of it's existence. Its not exactly a subtle thing, and sadly not a rare thing. I think most of us are aware of it.. why can't the conversation be moving more towards about what to do -- how to catch it early, what myths and assumptions are untrue, how to treat it and for those of us on the periphery a bit more, the all important how to support each other before, during and after.

I am so with you on those status updates. and oh how I'd like to have been in that board room. Finally a meeting people will remember!

Chickenpig said...

YAH!!!! Honey Badger Don't Care!!!

Awesome post! You are so exactly right. And a father of a very good friend of mine is fighting breast cancer right now. More men are getting breast cancer all the time, actually, and their fatality rate from the disease is much higher than women.

Kami said...

Some thoughts that went through my head as I read this post:

Amen Sister!
Good for you!
Spot on!