My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Once again, some forum drama leads me to another set of thoughts that I'm going to plop here in the blog.

After several rounds of discussion and disagreement, someone declared that I am a mindless sheep and that she is able to think for herself, because she is religious and I am not.  I think her argument was that I'm brainwashed by the liberal media or something.  When some other liberal popped up and started quoting bible versus and prayers commonly spoken amongst the religious community, such as "The lord is my shepherd".  Ha!  And that a preacher usually refers to his congregation as his "flock".  Ha ha!  Clearly, she has willingly declared herself to be one of the lords sheep many times throughout her life.

This got me thinking about how many things come out of our mouths that we just kind of recite mindlessly, never really thinking about what the words mean.  And wow, are there a lot of them!

"Every breath you take"  Damn that's creepy.
"Hungry like the wolf"  Holy crap, he's stalking and going to rape that woman!
"And if I die before I wake, pray the lord my soul to take"  Really?  We're planning to randomly die in our sleep?

My mother is a singer.  She was offered a record contract as a teenager, but being a good girl in the late 50's her father turned it down due to the kind of life it might have lead to.  So she's been singing in various barbershop groups for decades.  I was raised on a combination of ragtime, jazz, show tunes, and unfortunately, barbershop.  And my voice is exactly like my mothers.  So while some mothers like to braid their daughters hair, my mother got giddy over singing with me.  She taught me this song with 2 short versus, and we would switch off who would sing the lead line, and who would sing the harmony part.  We sang this damned little ditty pretty much every time my mother wanted to kill a few minutes during a drive in the car.  Someone please tell me you know the tune to this too so I don't feel like such a freak:
I know, you belong, to somebody else,
but tonight, you belong to me.
I know, with the dawn, that you, will be gone,
but tonight, you belong, to me.
When I was about 25, it suddenly occurred to me what I had been singing about since I was able to speak.  I can't believe my mother had me singing about being someones booty call!  WTF Mom!

The big one to me is the Pledge of Allegiance.  To my non-American readers, when I was in school (and I'm assuming this still happens), children all stand up at the beginning of their day, put their hands over their hearts, face the flag, and recite the following in a very monotone, robotic voice, all pauses are preprogrammed:

I pledge allegiance
to the flag
of the United States of America
And to the republic
for which it stands
one nation
under god*
with liberty, and justice for all.
How many times in your childhood did you say that?  And if you were asked if you had ever taken a oath of a loyalty to this country, would you answer yes?  Well, ya did.  Every school day morning for years.

What is the point of this practice?  The people speaking this oath have no clue as to what they are saying!  They learned this poem phonetically, it hardly ever clicks that they are saying actual words, and they certainly don't comprehend what the words mean, or what it means to say them.  And if you want to argue that it does matter, that pledging your allegiance is important, why do kids have to do this every single day?

I gave my husband my wedding vows one day, several years ago, and I don't have to recite them every morning when I wake up to still be held to the promises within those vows.  So why do American children have to recite this every day?  Wasn't once enough?  Did their allegiance fade over the last 24 hours and it needs to be renewed?  Goodness, how do we ever remain American over summer vacation when months go by without reciting this!

Some time when I was in junior high, it just dawned on me what this was.  That this was like a brainwashing technique.  That we were swearing our allegiance, almost without our consent since we were made to do it without understanding it, every day since we were really little.  I refused to say it again after that and just stood silently so I didn't make a spectacle of my personal objection.  I figured that when I was older, I would be better educated on the various countries out there and when I could choose for myself who deserved my allegiance, I would swear it again at that time, when it actually meant something.

So tell me in the comments.  What things have come out of your mouth, be it a song, a poem, a prayer, or whatever, that just shocked you the day you realized what you were actually saying?

*For any American who uses this line to try to prove that America is a Christian nation, learn your history.  This line was added during the McCarthy era as a big "fuck you" to the soviets.  The soviets were discarding religion and McCarthy types wanted to remind them that we are different in any way possible, so they added this stupid line into the pledge of allegiance, much in the same way that Bush renamed french fries "Freedom Fries" when he was pissed off at the french.  Americans were too afraid of being labeled a communist that no one argued with this stupid crap and it's been a pointless part of the poem ever since.


  1. Like a Virgin was my favorite song when I was 7. Ummm.....?

    I live in NYC and work in a school. We do not say the pledge of allegiance anymore because the word god is in it. This changed about 6 years ago. Its a shame that kids don't know what it means, even if we didn't know what it meant either. They won't have the knowledge to even reflect on it in the future.

    And my rule of thumb with people, even if I disagree and I think their comments or beliefs seem ignorant, I let it be. Because if I was to turn around and bash their beliefs because I thought might were better or right...well, then I would be a hypocrite. Everyone has a right to state their opinion.

  2. "Because I said so and I'm the mommy, that's why!" :) I used to hate that, even as a young child. Why should I do anything just because YOU say so? I did stop and re phrase in a manner that was a little less mommified.

    I love that song, btw. Eddie Vedder does a beautiful rendition of it on his album Ukelele Songs with some female singer whose name escapes me. My mom was a music/vocal minor in college and she still sings in a concert choir. When we were kids she sang show tunes to us at night. "Fish gotta swim..birds gotta fly..I've got to love one man 'til I die...can't help lovin' that man of mine" :) I sing Eidelweiss to my kids every night, but I don't have my mother's voice or years of vocal training.

  3. Well, I never knew that about the Pledge of Allegiance! You learn something new every day.

    We used to have to say the Lord's Prayer every day in Assembly. I can quote it still, word for word, but I don't think I've ever analysed it. It just is.....learning things by rote is not a good thing, is it?


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