Turn and Face the Strange Ch-Ch-Changes

Yes, I know that I’ve been a terrible blogger. I know this may be hard to believe, but I actually have written several different blogs over the past few months, but I just never got around to posting them. This is my own fault. I’ve just had so much to say that I felt like I couldn’t say it all, if that makes any sense.
The past four months have been the busiest I believe I’ve ever had, since college at least. I’ve experienced many changes over that past while, many of them for the better, some of them borderline devastating for me. I should have been blogging about it all as it was happening, at least I had enough going on as to provide something interesting to read.
First off, I’ve finally completely broken out of my “shell”, the one that I’ve hidden behind so long because it brings a safety and familiarity that I so wanted to cling to, and at the same time felt so trapped by. Many of the changes that I’ve made over the past few months may seem so very trivial to many people. I know they are. Things that most women simply consider ordinary, routine, for me were life changing events. I believe that I have mentioned already that I have gotten brave enough to begin wearing pants in public. This in itself was a big, terrifying deal for me. I’ve also gotten the courage to not only cut but to dye my hair, something I’ve wanted to do since high school. It’s amazing how much more confident I feel finally becoming “Denise”. I feel like the person I’ve wanted to be for years, and I love the person I’ve become. I got my ears pierced, which growing up was a huge “no no” for girls in my religion.

IMG_20140430_105235IMG_20140501_133311 My eventual goal is to have a pin up thing going on. Shut up. A girl can dream.

I hate that I’ve found that the entire “I’m an educated, independent woman, and I don’t need no man!” persona that I’ve worked so hard to cultivate isn’t entirely true. Another huge change that has happened is that I’ve finally found someone. It’s so strange for me to be someone’s girlfriend after so many years alone. It’s odd being loved by someone else. It’s even odder having someone love me for exactly who I am: flaws, general awkwardness, tendency to overreact and stress too much, and all. Part of me almost feels weak for how much happier I’ve been now that I’ve found my “him”. His name is Robert, and he’s what I was looking for. He’s a gamer and a Whovian. He’s a cosplayer and a D&D player that is by far nerdier than I could ever strive to be, and I love him for that. He moved in with me about two weeks ago from his home in Jacksonville. As terrified as I’ve been of relationships, I know that this should feel like we’re moving too quickly, but I’m not as afraid as I would have been in the past. This feels right with him. He makes me feel more confident in who I am. In a way, it was his support that gave me the courage to FINALLY truly step out. He gave me the courage to be who I am.

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He’s so handsome to me, even with the damn mustache. :3

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IMG_20140323_140703Hi. We’re a couple. Look at us in front of this castle. Yes, we were at Disney World. Be jealous, peasants!

My time in Orlando for Megacon was amazing. I know that this should have been something I blogged about over a month and a half ago. I know that I’ve been slack, and I’m not expecting to continue that original deal that was made about my blog. That’s fine. I know that I haven’t kept up my end of this bargain, however I feel that I need to say all of this for my own sake. I’m a complete mess right now, and I just want to talk, even if it’s just to the vast vacuum of the internet. Even if it’s a one sided conversation to myself.
I found out last week that I am being laid off from my job. This has hurt me more than I ever thought possible. I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of a break down, just trying to keep my head above water. I’m the kind of person that has to have a plan. I have to know what I’m doing, where I am going, how I’m going to get there. Right now the next few months are a mystery to me, and I’m terrified. I hate how worthless the fact that I was let go makes me feel. I hate that I feel I wasn’t actually given the opportunity to teach this year with the program I have been doing. I am a good teacher. I love helping children. This year has been hard work wise, and I still haven’t let it sink in that I won’t be here next year. Simply being in my classroom breaks my heart. That’s was one of the hardest parts of the entire ordeal. Not only was I told I was being let go, but I have to show up for three more weeks. I have to come to the school every single day and see not only my children, the vast majority of whom I have come to love so much, even though I began the year convinced that they were heathens, every one. I have to show my face in front of my coworkers, most of whom already know that has happened and either give me pitying looks, or smirks of satisfaction. They now know they’re safe. I was voted “the weakest link” I suppose. I wasn’t even told WHY I am being laid off. When I asked I was simply told “We don’t have to tell you because you’re not tenured.” I’m hoping that’s the reason. I wasn’t the only lay off, and everyone they’ve let go didn’t have tenure, but this makes it no easier. I know that this is simply rambling, but I’m so scared, and I don’t know what I’m going to do.
I have decided one thing, however. Yes, I’m giving myself time to mourn over the loss of my job, but when it comes down to it, I WILL be happy. I can be stronger than I give myself credit for being. I WILL be stronger than I give myself credit for being. So much of my life is finally looking up. I finally felt like the pieces of my life that had became so broken over the past few years were finally falling back together. I was finally feeling genuinely happy for the first time in a long time.
I was told by someone when I told them of my job situation that essentially this was God bringing me down to size. I was told essentially that I was being punished for my behavior. I just can’t find it in myself to believe that. Bad things happen to bad people, yes, but they happen to good people as well. I don’t feel like I’m a bad person. Quite the contrary, actually, I will prove to myself that I’m strong. I will prove to myself that I’m worth it. I will also continue to cease to care what others think.
I know that this has all been ramblings. I’ll post something more coherent later. I just have so much on my mind that it’s like I’m unable to contain it all. I will be better at posting on here. Not for any trips or rewards, honestly I don’t feel as if I deserve them anymore. I’ve neglected my part of the deal. I want to post more simply because I love doing it, even though my months long absence may suggest otherwise.
Anyway, for today, have a wonderful week, dear readers. This girl is going to see Lady Gaga tomorrow, so I have a costume to get together. I need to look like a “Little Monster”.

Above all:
I will choose to be happy. I tend to let the bad things overshadow my good. I have too many people who love me, and I’ve got too amazing of a support system not to be happy. My mother always says happiness is a choice. I choose happy.

IMG_20140505_070332In unrelated news, boyfriend and I adopted a furbaby! Everyone meet Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All. (Or Stormy, since her full name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.)

Slitherin to You

One thing I love about my seemingly permanent spinsterhood is the fact that I can throw myself head-first, completely into my fandoms. The fact that I’m single doesn’t keep me from being in love. Quite the contrary. I am whole heartedly, irrevocably in love with several people. Trouble is, each of these people happen to be fictional. One of my pet fictional crushes is everyone’s favorite brooding potions instructor, Professor Snape.

This love for Snape is something that I used to be ashamed of. I used to hide my love under the proverbial bushel, but no more, I tell you! I have one friend in particular from Second Life that I used to discuss our hidden loves with our “Snapie Poo” with. (Yes, I have a Second Life. Don’t hate me, ’cause you ain’t me.) She was the only one that understood. I simply wanted to share some of our Snape conversations. That is all.

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This May Be One of the Hardest Posts I’ll Write

Okay, I really want all of my dear readers to watch this video. I also want to say that in this, I’m not saying that I’m “coming out of my closet” in terms of being a homosexual. (So, Mama, you can calm your heart attack.) I watched this video for the first time about two months ago, and when I did I cried. It hit very close to home for me. No, I’ve never had to struggle with coming out of the “gay closet” they way that several of my close friends have, but I have definitely been hiding in my own closet for a long time now.
I’ve mentioned several times that I’ve stopped going to church on here before. I realize that. This is the only public medium on which I’ve been comfortable talking about this transition period, at least to some extent. Whenever I first mentioned the fact that I wanted to take a break from my religion and just be “normal” for a bit, I found that the friends that I was most comfortable talking about this with were one of my gay friends and a fellow “fag hag” friend of mine. After talking about this with them at length, much of the time tearfully, telling them how terrified these feelings made me because I knew that quitting would guarantee my being shunned by not only many of the friends I grew up with, but I was afraid by most of my own family, my friend Catie simply said that it sounded like the fears most of our gay friends had before they came out. This comparison was so accurate it floored me. I was facing having to tell everyone that I love that I wanted to live a lifestyle different than the one that I had been raised to live. I was saying that the person that I want to be is someone that so many people that I care about will disapprove of.
I made a huge step over the past two weeks in “coming out”. I had my hair cut on New Year’s Eve. I know that for most people this sounds like something so trivial, but for me it was a huge step, one that I can’t just take back. This was the first time it had been cut in eighteen years, since we started the church when I was a little girl. I also wore pants to work for the first time. I’ve never worn them in my town before. Leaving the house in them scared me to death. I was so worried about what people would think. What they would say… Who they would tell.
This has been a very long, drawn out process for me. It has been so far from easy. The thing that I was so afraid of has happened. I’ve lost people, people that I care about very much. I know that many relationships that I have had so much faith in have been irreparably damaged. This is something that has become easier for me over the past year, though. Yes, these people have left an aching hole in me, but I genuinely love who I am. I do. The one person that has made this the most difficult is my younger brother. We’ve always been close, my brother and I. I’ve always considered him one of my very best friends in the world, without question.
The changes that the past couple of years have brought on not only our family unit as a whole, but on us as people has been devastating on all of us. We just handle this hurt differently. I know that he vehemently hates the changes in me that he knows about so far, and that kills me. He is the type of person that feels responsible for so much more than he should, and he often feels the need to fix others, keep us “in line”, so to speak. To him, fixing me means returning me to the person that I’ve always been. He’s told me countless times that I need to return to the church, to be like I was before. He tells me that the reason that I’m depressed, unhappy, listless, etc is because I’ve fallen away from our faith. Yes, I still believe what I was taught growing up, and a part of me will always love it, but that just isn’t what I feel will fix me this time, not right now. So much of the stress I’ve faced over this past year is trying to keep from hurting him. My actions have all affected me, but he takes them so personally. Every change, everything that is different about me, he sees as a personal attack. This kills me. Telling him how I really feel, trying to explain that this is who I am now is my “closet”. Coming out of it, having that conversation terrifies me more than I can say.
I know that all of these things may sound so very trivial to you, but this is the hardest thing I’ve ever, ever done. Hard is not relative, hard is hard.

My Imaginary Wedding

I have a horrible habit of becoming nocturnal during extended school breaks, so here I am. I laid for an hour desperately trying to find sleep, but my body was like “lol, nope.” So, again, here I am.

As obsessed as I was with the idea of marriage when I was younger, the more I grow up and the closer I become to officially becoming a spinster, the more okay I become with the idea of being single. I think that some combination of my parents divorcing last year and the idea of HAVING to find a husband being my sole purpose has turned me off to the idea of commitment. Pssh. I’ve got too much to do before I work on becoming a Mrs. (or a girlfriend for that matter.)

Now, I’m not thrilled with the idea of being married, but I really want to have a wedding. Trust me, there’s a difference. I want the pretty dress. I want to plan the wedding, please, I find myself planning this imaginary wedding that I want so badly already. Whenever I hear a song that I particularly like, I decide that it will be perfect for my imaginary wedding. Seriously, I’ve got this under control already. This shiz is planned. Now, don’t think I’m doing this in some creepy, chick-flick, making fake scrapbooks kind of way, but growing up, so much emphasis was put on the wedding that I would someday have, that it’s a hard habit to break. (Not only that, but it’s fun to me. Seriously, one of my dear readers, pay me to plan your wedding. I’m quite good.) 

Of course, so many “perfect” wedding ideas have come and gone since I graduated high school. At one time it looked like this wedding may one day become a tangible thing. (Thank goodness it didn’t. I’m much too selfish to be a wife.) At the time my “perfect” wedding was green, black, and white with polka dots, lots of polka dots. Then, when my wedding did, in fact, become imaginary, I decided that I was all about simple elegance. My colors were to be black and white, and I my central theme that I planned to decorate around was black lace. Then, of course, I wanted to channel Marie Antoinette. Of course, my mom told me not to tell people that my wedding theme was Marie Antoinette, since she was beheaded, so I was to tell people that the theme was “pre-Revolutionary France”. I loved saying that simply because it sounded so bougie. After the bougie weddings came the Alice in Wonderland theme. I wanted it as ridiculous as possible with a tea party themed reception. Now, I’m definitely going with steampunk. I want all of my imaginary guests at my imaginary wedding as over the top as possible. (I still may use a touch of Alice.) It will be fabulous.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGuau204JZY

The only constant between all of the wedding ideas is that I WILL someday walk down the isle to this song. It’s perfect.

Yes, yes I have the corny Pinterest wedding board. I’m a single white girl. This is what we do.

Just for the record, this didn’t just completely come from nowhere. I’m to be in my first wedding in a month. I’m so incredibly excited!  There’s a masquerade theme, and it will be amazing. I promise, when the day comes I will post pictures.

The Lamentations of a Fat Girl With a Lap Band

I have always been a big girl. I’m not one of those who can boast being small until puberty, or growing up chubby and losing all of the weight at some point in grade school. No, I’ve always been a “fat girl”. In a lot of ways, this has become something that I have actively embraced over the years. (Yes, yes, I know that I do this as a defense mechanism. I beat you to that observation.) For example, in high school my friends and I decided that we wanted to create a “gang”. We wanted the name to be something that represented who we were, something that we could identify with. So, of course, we decided to be called the “Fat White Chicks”. We ended up with thirty-some-odd members of both genders and a few different nationalities. We would walk the hallways spouting our “gang” motto “FWC pride, yo!” (Do gangs actually have mottos? I’m not overly familiar with the culture. I mean, I’m sure from that you can judge that we miserably failed at being a gang. I digress.) Also, in high school my LiveJournal username was fatgirlsarefun. I swear, that was me. I even had a tshirt that I made that said “Fat girls are beautiful.” on the front and “I am beautiful.” on the back. I ended up with a ridiculous number of people asking me to make them a shirt just like mine.

I’ve said all of that to say this, I was so worried about only being identified as “that fat girl” that I made that who I am. I was bullied and made fun of so much in school that I one day decided to beat the other kids to it. It took the fun out of making fun of me if I was making fun of myself. I know that my weight is a result of my actions, but it’s something that I have struggled with all of my life. I once had someone I was very close to get mad at me, telling me that the only reason I was as big as I was is because I had no will power, no self control. Obviously if I had a weight problem it’s because I wanted to have a weight problem. I mean, really, I should have just turned it off. Become thinner simply by willing myself so. I do understand that a lot of the problem IS a matter of will power. I just believe that if weight issues are something that you, personally, have never struggled with, you can’t know what someone that does struggle with weight problems is going through. (Seriously, this person wore a small. I should have sat on them.)

In 2010, my mother and I decided to make go to Mexico and have lap band surgery. We did our research and we knew of a couple of people who had had success after receiving the band. I do have to say, since the actual surgery I have lost a considerable amount of weight.

ImageHere I was intentionally creeping on a friend’s senior pictures. I was also about 320 pounds.

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Here I was at my work “Tacky Christmas Day” last month. I’m at 275-280 now, depending on the day. Whether or not you can tell a difference, I can, and this makes me very proud of myself.

Here was the biggest problem I faced after my surgery, for some reason the weight did not simply fall off on its own. It turns out that I still have to do work in order to get weight off.  Continue reading

The “Be Happy” Initiative

Okay, okay. I know that I’ve already done the “I know everyone is doing this, so this is all I’ll say about the new year coming” thing. I’m a chatty kid, so I’ve thought of more I’d like to say on the subject. Just deal for a few minutes.

The past two years have undoubtedly been the worst of my life. I can honestly say that no one thing has made them so, it seems that it’s been more a situation of things coming together to be the perfect storm of everything changing and feeling like my world as I knew it fell apart. I know that comparatively speaking, a lot of people have it worse than me. I really understand this. I don’t intend to do the angsty “My life is hard and no one understands me!” nonsense. I also heard something else about a month ago that really resonated with me. Hurting is not relative, hurting is hurting. Yes, there are different kinds of hurt, but hurt is hurt. At this point, very little of my circumstances are what they were two years ago. I also understand that this is a part of growing up. I’ve just learned that growing up is a bit more difficult than I thought that it would be.

I’ve mentioned the church that I grew up in and the fact that I’ve fallen away from it already, and I’m sure I’ve also mentioned how hard this is. I had to lose contact with people that I love very much because of this. It’s caused problems in my own family, and that kills me. The thing is, it’s not that I made any fundamental changes in who I am as a person, but I’ve slowly tried to become more comfortable with myself. Leaving the church was hard. Easily one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. It’s been a long process, and I’ve still got a ways to go. People that I love will continue to be hurt by my actions, and I’m trying my hardest to do everything in a way to cause as little pain for others as possible. Hurting others is the last thing I want to do.

You may be wondering what this has to do with the new year. I know I’ve already made the cutesy honey badger reference to 2014, but I want to go into more detail.

I have one resolution for the coming year. I will be happier and more secure in who I am.

Yes, I need to lose weight. I do the whole “I’m going to the gym and becoming healthier! Woo!” thing every stinking year. Just like the vast majority of fat girls that make themselves this promise, it always lasts for about a week and a half. So, my goal is to be happy. Ultimately, I know I’ll be happier if I get some of the weight off. I also know that if I continuously berate myself over every plateau and every week that I feel I haven’t made enough progress or have eaten badly, I will be miserable. I will become healthier. I will eventually lose this weight. I will, however, also work to love myself more as I am while still trying to improve.

In some ways I will be more selfish this coming year. I don’t mean this the way you’re thinking, I promise. What I mean is that I will learn to say no to people. I’m so worried about hurting people and what they think of me that I tend to let myself be a doormat. Fixing this will be part of the “Be Happy” initiative.

Basically, I’m going to be Denise. I like who I am. It’s time to start acting like it. The coming year will be what I make it. I will work to stop dwelling on the disappointments of my past and start thinking more about the amazing things that can be in my future if I’ll let them be.

Allons-y.

I’ve Got a Long Night of Doctor Who in Store

I’ve noticed that if he’s good for nothing else, my brother does an excellent job finding friends for me. I know this may sound odd, but in more than one instance I’ve ended up becoming good, nay, best friends with ex girlfriends of his. Usually, he dates the kind of people that I am friends with, so as a result I’ve developed lasting friendships with his exes, even after his relationships are over. I say this because my Katie, an ex of his, is staying the night with me, and we’re catching her up on alllll of the Doctor Who she’s missed. (I.E the 50th and Christmas special. My heart hurts for her for not seeing them yet! And, I’ll admit my watching them with her is partially selfish as well. She’s my only whovian friend here. I have so much I want to talk about!) Then, we’re marathoning season 7. We’re going to weep, laugh, and fangirl together. Huzzah.

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I love me some KT.

I’ve finally enrolled for my classes for the spring semester. I’m very nervous. I’ve signed up for four classes for spring, because I wasn’t totally sure that I could get all of my financial aid in February. This is important because Denise is paying off some bills so that she has more of a chance of being able to afford to live on her own in a few months. Don’t judge me. The struggle is real, dear readers. (Yes. Yes, that just happened.)

One last thing before I leave you for my Doctors. I keep feeling sorry for myself because I haven’t lost much weight in the past few weeks, but I’m maintaining at 30 pounds. I’ve decided that maintaining 30 through my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc is pretty spectacular. So kudos to myself. Yeah. I’ll worry about the gym and getting past this plateau now that the holidays are over.

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Here’s after returning from DragonCon in September to today. 

I’m Not Dead

Although you may have come to believe this to be the case. I have been out of town for the past week celebrating the holidays with my family. I hope, dear readers, that your holidays were as pleasant as my own were. I spent a quiet week with my mother and my brother. It was really nice. It felt like old times again, for the most part, at least. I was absolutely thrilled that my brother not only appreciated but seemed to really love the gift that I got for him. I was honestly worried that he would refuse to take it, but he enjoyed it. We talked and laughed just like we did for so many years while we were all together, at home. The week was a nice reprieve. You’ll be proud of me. I’m not going to recount every single gift that I received in detail, but everything was wonderful. 

Next year is quickly catching up with us. I’d be kidding myself if I were to believe that I was the only blogger talking about 2014 and the things that they hope that it will bring, and talking about the past year, whether with fond memories or distaste. I can honestly say that I can not stress enough how excited I am to see 2013 go. I feel that I greet each new year the same way, but I have very high hopes for next year. Ever year I make the same promises, but I’m not giving up on that hope. I WILL make changes in both myself and my circumstances in the next twelve months. I will work to make myself someone that I can be proud of. I will work to keep and/or mend the relationships I have as well as mold new ones with the people that I’ve yet to meet but I know will someday be important to me. My friends, this next year will be amazing. I’m not making any real resolutions, as I would fail at those endeavors in less than a month, but I can tell you that my goal for 2014 is to become more like the honey badger. (If that statement doesn’t make sense, by all means, click the link provided.)

I AM going to shamelessly brag for a moment. I bought myself a Nintendo DS earlier this week, and I wanted a case to put it in. I wanted a sleeve to put it in. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to find a Doctor Who sleeve locally, so I made my own. Don’t judge me. I’m ridiculously proud of this thing. Image

Forget the Rest of That Nonsense

This will forever, unequivocally be my very favorite video on the internet. There are so many things that make this the best. I mean, there is Mr. David Tennant, who I am convinced is the most perfect being that has ever graced the Earth with their presence. Not only is he there, but he’s using his actual accent. While I love his accent on the show, it just doesn’t compare to his Scottish accent. That, AND he’s playing an English teacher. Everyone knows that English teachers are the very best people. (Not that I’m biased or anything.) Also, I desperately want to be friends with Catherine Tate. She’s easily one of my favorite people. She’s wonderful. I love her character, Lauren. I swear I’ve taught Lauren before. It’s nice to know that that kid is the same all over the world. Of course, my “Laurens” definitely couldn’t quote Shakespeare.
I’ve had to make a conscious effort to do it, but I’m much more in the Christmas spirit this year than I have been the past few years. I think it’s mostly because I’m so incredibly excited about the things that I got for my family and friends.

One of my good friends has small children. I found the hardcover of this book and I couldn’t resist buying it for her. I laughed so much. I read it to her, but my reading didn’t compare to Samuel L. Jackson’s.

While I’m excited for the actual celebration, I can’t deny that I’m a little nervous about the possibility of dealing with a few situations that I’ve been carefully avoiding over the past few weeks. I avoid confrontation like the plague, and my goal is to make it through the holidays with as little of it as possible.

I just finished my small Christmas celebration with my dad and his girlfriend. I love being so predictable in what I’d like in that everyone does an awesome job choosing things for me that I adore. Tonight was no exception. I have a pair of exploding Tardis tights on, which I can tell are definitely going to become one of my favorite parts of my wardrobe, and a lot more Doctor Who goodies. I’m a lucky girl.
If I haven’t mentioned this enough, I’m so glad to finally have a relationship with my dad after so long. It’s nice. Also, Ms. Laura, his girlfriend, is someone that I like more each time I’m around her.
This may win the award for most disjointed entry yet, but I cooked a meal for them. The messy kitchen downstairs is calling for my attention.

I Have Every Right to Do This

I hate feeling like a cliche, and I don’t like feeling like I’m jumping on a band wagon for the sake of taking a ride on said band wagon with everyone else. Though, alas, now I’m irritated, so you’ll have to be subjected to the Denise take on an issue that I can already tell we’re going to be quite tired of very soon.

Living in the (very) deep South, I’ve been sick to death of hearing about the rednecks of Duck Dynasty for the better part of a year. The show has taken off and been marketed in this area in a big way. There is an entire section of the local Walmart dedicated to the show’s merchandise. I’m so incredibly tired of it. It being the sensation that it is, I wasn’t at all surprised to see that my Facebook news feed had absolutely blown up with thoughts on the fact that one of the cast members has been kicked from the show for statements that he made in an article for GQ. I know my fair share of very right-wing Christians, so I was pretty sure that I knew the comments that he made to put everyone else in such an uproar. After reading the actual interview, however, I was shocked at just how backward many of his comments actually were.

Phil Robertson on his family and their faith:
“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television… You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

Phil on sin:
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong… Sin becomes fine… Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.. It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

On his violent past: 
During Phil’s darkest days, in the early 1970s, he had to flee the state of Arkansas after he badly beat up a bar owner and the guy’s wife. Kay Robertson persuaded the bar owner not to press charges in exchange for most of the Robertsons’ life savings. (“A hefty price,” he notes in his memoir.) I ask Phil if he ever repented for that, as he wants America to repent—if he ever tracked down the bar owner and his wife to apologize for the assault. He shakes his head. “I didn’t dredge anything back up. I just put it behind me.” As far as Phil is concerned, he was literally born again. Old Phil—the guy with the booze and the pills—died a long time ago, and New Phil sees no need to apologize for him: “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

On the future of the show:
“Let’s face it,” he says. “Three, four, five years, we’re out of here. You know what I’m saying? It’s a TV show. This thing ain’t gonna last forever. No way.”

On sacrificing their privacy in order to spread the good word:
“For the sake of the Gospel, it was worth it… All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”

On why he voted Romney in 2012:
“If I’m lost at three o’clock in a major metropolitan area…I ask myself: Where would I rather be trying to walk with my wife and children? One of the guys who’s running for president is out of Chicago, Illinois, and the other one is from Salt Lake City, Utah. [Editor's note: Romney is from Boston, not Salt Lake City.] Where would I rather be turned around at three o’clock in the morning? I opted for Salt Lake City. I think it would be safer.”

On growing up in pre-civil-rights-era Louisiana:
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Don’t get me wrong, all of these statements are things that I’ve heard from people before, but wow. I’m not even going to attempt to address these comments individually; this entry would be much longer than you’d care to read, I assure you. There are, however, a few things that I would like to address about this current “Southerners saying backward things” scandal.

So many people that I know are posting and sharing statuses about how the man is being “persecuted for being a Christian”. I know that this feels like such an easy justification for his actions while painting the network at villains. I’m sorry, this just isn’t the case. The man lost his job because he works for a major television network and he said things that they deemed offensive. The powers that be are far more interested in not looking like the man’s opinions reflect their own. Many of the things he said in the interview went beyond Christian beliefs and wandered into the territory of hate, in my opinion. A&E isn’t interested in sticking it to the Christian faith. From what I understand, if this were the case, they would have been pulled off the air quite a while ago. What the network is interested in, rather, is their own public relations and bottom line.

Another thing that has many of my southern comrades up in arms is the fact that the concept of freedom of speech is being attacked. this is absolutely not what is happening. He expressed an opinion, and, if you’ll notice, the United States’ government did nothing to punish him for expressing those opinions, no matter how hate filled said opinions may be. If freedom of speech was being attacked in this manner, the people of Westboro Baptist would have been locked away many years ago, waiting on relatives to bring them hate cakes with files baked into them.

Image

Mmm. Tastes like the disappointment of the American people.
(I won’t admit how long I scoured the internet for a picture close to what I saw in my head.)

No, freedom of speech saves individuals from the worry of Big Brother stepping in when your thoughts are expressed. this doesn’t limit private corporations from letting someone go for comments they made. In some cases, it doesn’t even limit government entities from firing someone after they say something that controversial. As a public school teacher, let’s go on a rant about race and sexual orientation and see if I don’t end up with a bit of legal trouble on my hands. Please, I’ve met people who keep their orientation a secret as adults for fear of repercussion at work. Doesn’t that go against their freedom of expression as well? People lose jobs over the wrong thing being said all of the time, the only thing that makes this any different is the fact that this person is in the public eye.

44027872All of the THIS. I need to start simply posting this on people’s Facebook statuses.

Yes, we all have opinions. This doesn’t mean, however that these opinions need to be stated all of the time. I may think that you smell like raw onions and your shirt is absolutely hideous. If I believe that, does that mean I should say it? People are also using the fact that he’s from South Louisiana to justify his actions. Fun fact: I am too. Does this mean I should say things about how happy people were as they worked in the fields before the days of civil rights as well? No. The answer is no.

Honestly, for all of the outrage that the poor fans of this show are feeling, this may be one of the best things that happened to this family from a purely financial standpoint. Look at the attention that Chick-Fil-a and Paula Deen received after their respective scandals. The fans worried that the millions of dollars that they already had may not be enough, or people wanting to take a small political stand of their own and show support rallied around and spent money like it was going out of style. I honestly feel that this was a strategic move by the network because, God, it’s not like that show wasn’t getting enough freaking attention.

It’s funny to me, (and it’s the thing that was the catalyst for this entire rant…) a friend posted an article on Facebook about this situation that included the statements that Phil made. I usually try not to express many opinions about anything that could possibly be construed as offensive on Facebook, but I left a comment that said “Wow. I thought they were idiots. Now, I’m sure of it.” or something along those lines. Another woman that this friend knows made a comment back about how they are NOT idiots, etc, and she then referenced a status in which she spoke of his freedom of speech, etc. It was funny to me that she made a snotty comment to me about sharing an opinion and then immediately justified this man’s right to share his opinions without repercussion.

One opinion that I will freely share: Their beards are the worst. That says a lot. I usually am a fan of beards.