Icky feelings in your tum-tum do not dictate what’s right

A few weeks ago a young feller was recalling an interweb exchange he had, in which he floored someone with a story that was meant to provide an airtight case for moral ambiguity. I don’t really remember the details of the story, but it was something to do with a man with cancer (or who had a kid with cancer?) deciding to rob a bank because he would either 1) get the money or 2) be killed and his kid would get his life insurance money. Something like that. The young feller told me, victory shining in his eyes, “So who’s wrong- the man, or the police officers who shot him?”

I can’t stand stories like this. They’re meant to guilt you out of condemning the bad action. “Wow,” we’re supposed to exclaim, “I never considered that people who do bad things may have a personal history that made them think they had no choice in the matter! Or that they could do bad for good reasons!” The Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie taps into this too. The movie gives you the context to the Joker’s background, which is so disturbing and sad that you almost cheer for him as he *SPOILER* murders all those meanies who bullied him.

But the thing is – you can understand the reasons behind someone’s evil actions.. or feel sorry for them… or see how the people they are murdering or stealing from or otherwise victimizing are also evil themselves… but that still doesn’t make their actions good or right.* Violence is violence, evil is evil, bad is bad. Other violence, other evil, and other bad doesn’t necessarily cancel it out. Even if you feel sympathetic towards them.

In the same vein – I wrote a blog post a while back begging women to not post public pictures of their bosoms while breastfeeding. I provided multiple excellent examples to demonstrate my point. Some of those examples were a little crude. They weren’t crude for crude’s sake- I used them to demonstrate points like “privacy doesn’t equal shame.” A few of my readers expressed dismay and disgust that I made those comparisons, saying things like, “Making that comparison is just.. ew.” Like a disgust reaction from them was enough to negate my entire argument. Poppycock! I’m not trying to be a jerk, seriously. But just because a comparison is upsetting, gross, weird, or triggering doesn’t mean the comparison doesn’t hold true.

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This cannot be your moral guidepost!

The point is, my fellas** and fellos, that sometimes what is right and true is upsetting, and sometimes what is wrong won’t be upsetting. I don’t like many truths, like Kesha removing the ‘$’ from her name. I’m not super bothered by other wrongs, like when a woman murders her cheating husband. Our degree of tum tum hurt, upsettedness, or anger is not an argument against.. anything. Our tummies are not our Truthometer. Just because some jerk blogger is using intentionally provocative examples to drive their point home does not mean they’re wrong.

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*I’m talking on the level of personal morality not a nation or political system. I think the United States taking out Osama Bin Laden was justifiable and right.

**I just realized what a feminine sounding word “fellas” is, even though it traditionally refers to menfolk. From now on, I demand that men be “fellos” and women be “fellas” for the sake of continuity and parallelism in the English language!

 

 

7 things you should never say to a friend getting over a break-up

People go through break-ups. Some break-ups are dramatic, others are just kind of awkward, but they all suck. Sometimes the suckiness is assuaged by the bright company and uplifting words of a friend. Sometimes the suckiness is exacerbated by the oppressive company and joy-sucking words of a … friend?

Yes! Many times well-meaning friends are the ones that make the getting-over-them process all the more torturous.

Here are seven things you may find yourself saying to friends after a break-up that are guaranteed to pick at their heart sores and help the bad feels fester.

1. “Just saw [exes name] at Applebee’s.”

Creeping Joel Mchale GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

No one needs their riveting documentary on organic kumquat farming* interrupted by a text from you telling them about an ex sighting. Did the ex look good? That will make your friend feel foolish for still having residual sadness. Did the ex look bad? That will make your friend feel guilty and consider reaching out, which we all know would be disastrous. There’s just no purpose in it. Put down your phone and stop creepin!

2. “I’m surprised you stayed with them for as long as you did.”

Will Ferrell What An Idiot GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

This sort of statement just tells your friend you think they were a desperate loser. Your friend is already mourning the time lost on romanticals with their ex, and you’re just rubbing salt on the wound.

3. Have you thought about taking a break from dating?”

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If your friend is one of those people who plunged into their first long term relationship in 3rd grade and still hasn’t come up for air, maybe this would be a legit question. Keep in mind that for many people,  being in a relationship is the exception to the single-as-a-dollar-bill  rule. So suggesting they take an official break from something they just timidly forayed into is silly and unwarranted.

4. “I never thought they were good for you.”

This is like telling your friend “I knew you would be hurt all along. I know better than you. Told ya so!” Too little too late!

5.  “You are probably sad because you guys were a great fit.”

Why Would You Say That New Girl GIF by hero0fwar - Find & Share on GIPHY

Thanks, Captain Obvs! Does your friend need to remember all the reasons they are missing the ex boo? They are now going to sob themselves to sleep thinking about how they’ll never find someone else with so much life-mate potential.

6. “Have you considered online dating?”

Oh Brother Whatever GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

If your friend was born after 1958, chances are they have considered online dating. But that’s not really the point anyway. A grieving friend does not need your pedanticism or problem solving, they need someone to listen for a while, give them a hug and say “that sucks, I’m sorry,” and then hand them a puppy.

7. “If you think this is bad, just wait until you experience a break up after 30!”

Sad Will Ferrell GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

What’s worse than complain-bragging?  Grief bragging! Which is in actuality grief dismissal. As I told someone once, “Knowing there’s a broken leg out there doesn’t make my stubbed toe hurt less.”

 

Which friend are you – an uplifting bright sunbeam or oppressive joy-sucking drizzle ? Study these seven, examine yourself, repent, and walk toward the light! 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*everyone grieves differently!

 

Wise is as wise does

I don’t like to brag, but my friends tell me* I’m wise.

Seriously. I remember always being the uber-responsible, already-thinking-seriously-about-the-future kind of person, even in frickin’ middle school. Adults marveled at my maturity.

 

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Actual picture of me in middle school, lolz (pixabay)

 

Now I think my age has caught up with – maybe surpassed, snarky peeps would argue – my maturity level. But if you told me about your probs, I could probably drop a few truth bombs on ya. If you listened to me process my life, I would probably land on the right decision eventually. If you handed me some wisdom nuggets, I would very likely recognize them as wise.

But lately I’ve wondering.. then why all the Gallofoolery?

For realz. Especially when I look back on the last few years, there were some things I said or did … Sometimes not just once, I’m talking chronically! … that are just.. foolish.

What’s most upsetting is that I *knew* better.

I mean seriously.. I’ve been reading over some of my blog posts (e.g. this one, and this one) that I wrote a while ago (I know, I know.. shut up), and there’s some really solid wisdom in some of them, impo. Did I listen to my own advice? Um no… in some instances I did exactly what I advised my readers to not do. *le sigh* Yep, in that sense, I’m an ultra hypocrite.

So why have I, your esteemed Gallosage clothed in linens of wisdom – surrounded by smart, kind, wise people – been acting the fool??

Wellll, it comes down to this: knowing what’s wise doesn’t automatically translate into 1) the ability or 2) the will to do so.

That’s right, y’all. I usually get amazing advice – agree with it wholeheartedly as the best path forward – and then promptly ignore it. Why? Cuz I don’t wanna, that’s why. Or, I try. I try SO hard.. for a day or two. And then usually, my feels start barking so loudly that I’ll do practically anything to appease them and quiet their yapping. And lo, I collapse in a heap of shattered self-idealizations.

What is the path forward? Eh, if I knew 100%, I probably wouldn’t be writing this. But some things I’ve been thinking about —-

  • Awareness that my wisdom lapses are hardly ever informational. I’m gonna name it so I can disclaim it: sometimes it’s totes rebellion, sometimes it’s totes lack of effort, sometimes a little of both. But I don’t want to fool myself into thinking I need to listen to another 5 sermons or read more theology books before I can move forward.
  • Praying that I would have a heart that craves what’s good. Not just for me, but for everyone who I come into contact with. I want my feels to align with my noggin’.
  • Keepin’ it real with select people who I trust and who strike that unicorn blend of never rejecting me for being a fool but also never enabling my foolery.

That’s all I have rn … if you have ever found yourself full of knowledge that doesn’t translate into your actions, let me know what’s helped you actually be your ideals!

Word to yer mamas!

– Gallo

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

* notet this quote is from the movie Emma. Also, who are we kidding.. I love to brag.