My Week 9 – Jehovah’s Witnesses, Weird Ideas, and Girl Lego

Sunday: I worry about becoming a Jehovah’s Witness by default.

So the other day, Ken and I were getting ready to visit his parents. I came downstairs, and he had the door open, talking to someone. Being nosy like I am, I went to the door to see who it was. A woman I’d never seen before said this to me: “Hi Suzanne! Ken was just telling me that you two are about to go on a trip today!” She seemed very personable—behind her was a pretty, blonde teenaged girl who smiled encouragingly. What the hell? Then I realized that Ken was holding a couple of pamphlets, and everything clicked alarmingly into place. See, a few years ago, the Jehovah’s Witnesses came by our house. I was never comfortable with the usual reaction that many people have to this circumstance, which is generally to tell them to piss off and shut the door in their faces, so I politely took a pamphlet, thanked them, and wished them a good day. In retrospect, I think option A might have been the better choice, because now they come by regularly, and they know me BY NAME. Let me just point out that the woman who came to our house this week was a complete stranger, yet she had the intel on us, like a religious Mata Hari. It occurred to me at this point that they quite possibly imagine me as a new recruit. “Her dog licked me this time,” they might report back. “It’s a good sign—tell Jehovah that she could be one of the 144,000, and let Bob know he probably just lost his spot in Jehovah heaven.”

But I don’t want to be a Jehovah’s Witness. That sounds really whiny and self-centred, since I’d be such a victory for them and all, but there are some serious drawbacks to joining them. First and foremost, I like Christmas, and I hear that you can’t celebrate Christmas or your birthday either if you’re JW. What kind of f-ed up religion is THAT? No Christmas or birthday presents? Presents are great—even Jesus got presents. Second, they don’t drink. Right away, I foresee a problem with this—I would almost immediately rebel, and it would become obvious really quickly. “Hey did you see that sign of the apocalypse?” “Uh, no sorry, I was opening another bottle of wine…” (Actually, I just looked this up and they ARE allowed to drink in ‘moderation’, but unless ‘moderation’ means ‘as much as I want’, it’s pretty much a deal-breaker.) And lastly, and maybe most importantly, I could never get Ken to buy into whatever the JWs believe in, so he’d have to leave me. And I say it like that because I have no plan to move, so he would have to get an apartment. But I’m a sucker for door to door salespeople, this is the problem. Once, Ken and I had some people over, and we were drinking ‘moderately’ when a guy came to the door selling golf packages to a local country club. Here’s the conversation:

Me: Ken, this is a great deal. I’m totally buying one of these.
Ken: But we don’t golf.
Me: Yes, we do. We’ve golfed.
Ken: We went golfing once. And you were more interested in driving the cart than hitting the ball.
Me: You’re crazy. I love golf.
Ken: *rolls eyes*

So I bought the golf package. It’s still on my desk, two years later. I think it’s expired. Which brings me back to the fact that, just as I’m a lousy country club member, I would also be a terrible Witness. I would suck at going door to door and talking up Jehovah to people. I think it’s pretty well-known by now, if you read my blog, that I don’t have the best conversational skills. I couldn’t even sell Avon, and people LIKE Avon. I’d be like “We have some great specials this week”, give them a Watchtower and take off before they had a chance to yell at me. (By the way, this week’s edition of The Watchtower is “Satan—is he real?” The article starts, “Like carbon monoxide, Satan is invisible, very hard to detect, and extremely dangerous.” So if my carbon monoxide detector goes off, does that mean Satan is in my house? Should I call the fire department or a priest?) Ultimately, since I just don’t have it in me to be rude to people who are so pleasant (even though they are secretly scheming for my eternal soul), I think the best thing to do is leave a recycling bin on the porch full of wrapping paper, ribbons, and liquor bottles, and train the dog to stop licking strangers. Otherwise, I’ll be coming to a neighbourhood near you soon.

Wednesday: I think about weird things.
Here are some of the weird things that I think about.

1) There’s been a lot of road kill lately, and it made me wonder—exactly how far past the “best before date” does a piece of road kill have to be before the vultures won’t eat it? When they’re like “Ooh, that raccoon smells a bit dodgy—better give it a pass, Frank.” Can vultures GET food poisoning, or is that just their job—to eat what no one else can, like nature’s garburator? I don’t know what it is about vultures, but they creep me out, especially the way you can always tell if there’s something about to die in a field because the vultures are circling, like harbingers of doom. I once saw a vulture fly into an opening in the top of someone’s barn, and all I could think was if it was my barn, I would leave in the night without any belongings, because the vultures were trying to tell me something.

2) Why would anyone put up a sign advertising an “Animal Zoo”? I saw this sign the other day, and my first thought was “As opposed to what?” What other kind of zoo is there? An insect zoo? Is it to differentiate itself from a Petting Zoo, letting people know that these animals are NOT the type you would want to pet? Like vultures? Anyway, I googled the definition of ‘zoo’, and it can also be this: “a situation characterized by confusion and disorder”. So maybe the sign was a warning. I envisioned people running around a small rural property, bumping into each other, swearing, acting all crazy, no one knowing what was going on. Now that’s a zoo I’d pay money to see, even if it DOES sound just like a shopping mall on Black Friday (see next topic).

3) Whose idea was it to have Black Friday on the same day as Buy Nothing Day? Isn’t this a paradox or something? And in case you’re wondering what Black Friday is, see the definition for ‘zoo’, above. Since when do we have Black Friday in Canada? And why would we want to anyway? I just googled Black Friday (yeah, I loves da google), and the first thing that came up was “The Worst Black Friday Deaths and Injuries of All Time”. AND THERE WERE 40 OF THEM. So Canadian stores are actively promoting an event where people run the risk of getting killed over a discount on a flat screen TV. I foresee 50 years from now, when Black Friday is a culling event a la The Hunger Games—each village has a lottery, and one lucky teenager gets sent to the mall to fight to the death for home electronics.

Saturday: I discover that Girl Lego is really sucky (or maybe super-cunning).

So I forgot to order our Lego Advent Calendar this year (no, this is not a joke). But last night I was on one of those Buy and Sell groups where someone had a new Lego Advent Calendar for sale, and I was immediately all over it. “But”, the woman cautioned, “it’s Girl Lego.” I was like “So? What difference does it make?” and I bought it today. Unfortunately, I was misled by my own naiveté, which had caused me to envision a bulldozer driven by a yellow lady Lego instead of a yellow man Lego. No, gentle reader, the difference is much bigger than that. I knew when I saw that the title on the box said Lego Friends, and the “I” was DOTTED WITH A HEART that I was going to be pretty pissed. Here’s what I bought. Two female dolls, and their little doll house. The “Lego” figures look like Polly Pockets, or miniature Barbies, NOT those awesome Lego guys with the pointy heads you can put helmets and stuff on. They apparently live together and like to cook in their kitchen with the blender and mixing bowl that comes with the kit. They have a pink and purple couch, a pink and purple toboggan, pink presents, and a white kitty cat who is wearing a purple collar with a pink heart on it. And the worst part is virtually nothing needs to be assembled. I could forgive the colour scheme and the cutesy hearts, because assembly is the great equalizer. However, Lego seems to think that girls are too clumsy or stupid to put things together the way boys can, so almost everything is preassembled for them. Anyway, I was shocked that in 2014, this kind of blatant sexism still exists, that according to Lego, all girls like hearts, the colours purple and pink exclusively, kitty cats, and cooking, and have trouble with manual dexterity. But on the box, there’s a warning that the kit isn’t suitable for children under 3—Lego claims it’s because of a choking hazard, but I think this just gives all of us a chance to make sure our little girls play with lots of regular “boy” Lego before they turn three and have to be exposed to the ridiculous world of Lego stereotypes. Then again, when I examined the scene on the box more closely, the two girls are obviously living together, cosying up on the couch to exchange pink presents, and are planning to host a dinner party with their kitty. Could Lego, in an extremely subtle and subversive way, have created the first Lego Lesbian Couple? Kudos, Lego—maybe I was wrong about you after all.

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