In Which I Show My Puritanical Side

I, like quite a few Americans today, have ancestors who arrived in the Americas on the Mayflower. In addition to those pilgrims, my French background comes from Huguenots- persecuted Protestants who left France for the New World. Along with the Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish and borderline Dutch-German in me, it clearly seems I'm just one big Protestant stew of an American! That, however, is just one side of me. My mother's side seems to be a bit more clear cut, or perhaps just less researched, being that my dad's mom does a lot of genealogy. I get a lot more German from my mom, but the overwhelming influence in my heritage -indeed the largest single nationality by a long shot- is Irish.

Ireland is now a huge hotspot for immigrants, being a high-tech developing country in western Europe, so it makes sense that my ancestors came to America way back when Ireland was a huge source of emigrants in the time of the Potato Famine. Now everyone wants to live in Ireland. Back then, only the British overlords weren't starving. It's true. Most of my genealogy goes back as American a long ways. I even have a bit of Cherokee in me. But that's not really what I want to talk about, now that I've done this quick-but-thorough overview of my heritage. Now I just want to talk about those Puritans I started with, or rather how their uprightness shows through in me today.

1. I avoid drugs and can't help looking down on those who don't. No offense to all you smokers and drinkers out there, but I think what you do is just plain stupid. Not only are cigarettes, alcohol and all those other substances unhealthy for you, but I see absolutely no positive effect in them. Trust me, I've drunk alcohol, and I don't plan on doing so again. I've had sips of beer (which tasted like crap) and I had quite a bit of wine and alcoholic cider in France, all of which just gave me headaches. There's not even a point to drinking alcohol. Just have cider or grape juice and it'll taste much better. If you think it's cool to be mentally inhibited, you're hanging out with the wrong people.

 When I say drugs, that's including a lot more than you might think at first. "Energy drinks," coffee, and other sources of caffeine are a new wave of addiction for the young. Energy drinks don't give you energy. For one, they taste like crap (a common theme), and any boost of energy you get out of them will be made up for with crashes and dependency, as well as the need to drink more and more to give you that wonderful energy. Why not stay clean and have natural bursts of energy? I can pull all-nighters all the time and I don't have to drink a dozen cans of Mountain Dew to do it. In fact I don't think I've ever had more than a few sips of MD in my life. I never have pop at all, aside from the occaisional root beer for the sake of a float. And oh no- I'm not stopping here. I don't drink coffee, I don't drink tea, I try to stay away from chocolate, and, of course, I stay wide away from painkillers or other medicine unless it's prescribed for me. Go ahead and tell me if you think I'm a bit extreme.

2. I dislike bodily mutilation and variation. I couldn't help frowning to myself every time my little sister has gone to get her ears pierced. (I think it's been three times?) She doesn't have three seperate piercings on each ear, of course -she's had the piercings grow over twice- but I still don't think girls should feel obligated to stick jewelry into themselves, even if it's pretty harmless in the flabby part of one's ear. It should come as no surprise that piercings in other parts of the body just leave me in shocked disapproval. Even having piercings higher up on the ear is unhealthy. The nose- how uncomfortable is it to use a tissue? The tongue and lip- you get a lot a tooth damage from those. Other places- horrible! And of course, with all of them- infection! That brings me to another lovely topic of infection- tatoos. All I ask is- WHY? I can't think of a single thing that I would want permanently injected into my skin. It's not aesthetically pleasing! And who knows how much you'll regret it as you age. Maybe I should put Jesus on my shin. That'd be pleasant, having that ink in there. I'll go out on the soccer field and yell "the power of Christ compels you!" with every kick.

Last and probably least, I dislike la maquillage, as they say en France. Sure, if it was a cultural pressure for guys to wear makeup I might put some on occaisionally myself, but I really think girls should lay off it most of the time. You don't need makeup to look beautiful! I don't see how it can be comfortable to slather stuff on your face and leave it there all day. It may very well result in skin problems, which was exactly what you were probably trying to cover up in the first place! Keep your skin clean and it'll be beautiful. There's no reason to hide anything; you're just lying. I think that does it for my list of peeves. Please let me in on how much of a fun-crushing snob I am. I'll just put it all back on those pilgrims.

Comments

  1. I'm not going to call you a snob. In fact, I'm going to thank you, because until now, I was sure I was the only person of my generation who felt the same way.

    Drugs and alcohol are just stupid, as you said. My only experience with alocohol was an accident, and not a very fun one, much like you. There's one energy drink that I've ever enjoyed, and it's only sold in one place in the entire town. Coffee, tea, most medicine - not for me. But...I do eat chocolate. <3

    I got my ears peirced when I was seven, but after a few years I just stopped waering them. The holes still remain, but...I just don't want to. And if someone else has them in a...sensitive area, I can't help but think less of them. Because one - it's painful and uncomfortable, two - even if you're the village whore, not enough people will see it to make it worthwhile, and three - even if I do have the misfortune of having to see it, it's still not even attractive.

    And makeup is just too much of a hassle, with too little reward. If there's any guy in the WORLD who determines how attractive I am by how long my eyelashes or how shiny my lips are, (which I doubt) I don't need him.

    Beautiful post, Peter.

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  2. I thought that my daughters who are your age are the only people of your generation to feel as they do!

    I have a tattoo. My first husband was a jerk. I got a tattoo which he gave me money for for my birthday, and showed it to him. He flipped. "Officer's wives don't get tattoos!" I told him he was right and shoved the papers at him. I had wanted a tiger with blood on it on my chest but the lady (at Larry Allen's studio in Anchorage) said that she LOVED doing hummingbirds and morning glories and ohhh-- I had such pretty skin! I thank God for her whenever I get a compliment on it even though it is 18 years old now and a bit faded. While I don't regret it, when one of my daughter's friends wanted to get Betty Boop tattoo'd on, I asked her if she had a piece of art that she was 100% certain that she wanted on her bedroom wall until she died. She decided not to get it. I needed the tatt to make the distinction in my mind and on my body.

    In the 1980's, we wore make-up all the time. 12 years ago, a boyfriend was making out with me on my couch and he started muttering, "Mary. . . Estee. . . Lori-elle. . . Bonnie Belle. . ." I didn't catch on at first and he had tried to think of a way to tell me that my make-up tasted nasty and that I didn't need it. (He'd noticed the names at the stores.) I am almost 40 now and still never wear much more than sunscreen, lipstick and eyeliner. (They add definition which I need.)

    Your comments are refreshing.

    Great post!

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  3. So I had this really long response for you and then the internet crashed and I lost it. So instead of attempting to retype it I will salvage and summarize only the most interesting bits.

    1) Religeous viewpoints are not genetically transmitted.

    2) I would not choose to compare anything about myself to a puritan as I find them to be condescending and self-righteous.

    3) Ask Grandma if you can look at all the information she has on the first family members on the continent. If I remember correctly, the first Stanton lived in Rhode Island, which was established as a colony by those who either wished to escape or were kicked out of Massachusetts by the puritans. You may have less in common with them historically than you think.

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  4. Both politics and religion are environmentally transmitted to a large extent though, so to a large extent they're transmitted through family.

    Everyone is condescending and self-righteous sometimes. I take time to enjoy it every once in a while.

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