west virginia, my hometown particularly, has an abysmal drug problem. when i moved back from memphis, i was shocked at how my hometown had devolved. drugs everywhere. families broken. children suffering. that's the worst to me—the kids. they get exposed to things they're far too young to comprehend. they lose their innocence because of choices someone else made. they're saddled with an uphill battle to overcome the circumstances of their youth. all parents will do something to screw up their kids, mostly just by being who we are on a daily basis—chock full of neuroses and anxieties and quirks. some parental choices leave kids with a whole lot more on their shoulders as they grow.
tonight, i saw lots of posts expressing disappointment and outrage over gay marriage now being legal in my state. all i could think was, i wish people were this upset over the drug problem. i wish i saw more posts about how the drug problem is ruining the sanctity of marriage and family—because it is.
who am i, a single mother, to talk about the sanctity of the family, right. i made a choice to have sex without a proper family intact, right. i did. and nothing is ruined. my son has a family. it's missing some elements, but he'll be fine. more than fine. he'll be loved beyond measure. he'll be encouraged to read and research and create. he'll be exposed to the lifeblood that is music. he'll know both god and diversity.
some people choose partners of the same sex to build their families. some people break ties with blood relations. some people consider friends as their foundation. family is what you make it.
marijuana is the only drug i ever used. it didn't thrill me, but in hindsight i'm glad i did it. yes, really. because good memories are worth the vault. the first time i did bong hits i was 18, at a new year's eve party in an underwhelming college town a short drive from my much cooler college town. after partaking, i sat in a dirty recliner all night holding my tongue because someone told me getting high might make me swallow it. i got back to my apartment unscathed, tongue preserved for future communication, eating, and kissing. it was harmless young fun. i didn't even get hooked on crack after i reached the gateway of marijuana. i'd like to fancy myself an anomaly, just because who wouldn't, but i believe the supposed straight path from marijuana to hard drugs is a figment of some hysterical imaginations.
i haven't smoked pot for many years, but i think it should be legal. it's no worse than alcohol, which is, as we all know, legal. stoners are way better company than alcoholics, in my opinion. i've dated some drinkers. they get sloppy and angry; have trouble staying upright; take back late-night promises to love you forever; forget to be faithful. drinkers can be a real drag. potheads can get annoying, but they've got doritos, and they're totally down to share.
i respect religious opposition to gay marriage. i'm not here to tell anyone what to believe. then why do i debate it? i find their logic flawed. if gay is a sin, then it is a sin like all other sins. except it's not treated that way. it's not. no, it isn't. IT IS NOT. i haven't seen any facebook memes about how sickening it is that people work on sunday. have you? haven't seen any marches against cheaters being allowed to attend college. today's sly cheater could be tomorrow's pyramid-scheming CEO, you know.
people don't oppose gay marriage as much as they despise it. it seems they think that the more society accepts the gay lifestyle, the more gay people there will be, and that terrifies them because they don't want their kids to become gay. it could be true that more kids will experiment with homosexuality if they are exposed to it. i tried pot because i was exposed to it. i went on to smoke it a handful of times, ever—because, see, i'm me, and i'm not built to become addicted. just like some people are not built to become gay—no matter how many gay people they see or know. i've been told that you can even hug a gay person and not catch it, but i haven't tried. potential lesbianism is too much of a risk. i can barely deal with my period each month, let alone throw in another week of another woman on the verge of homicide when we run out of chocolate chips in the freezer.
i'm not 100 percent comfortable with all things gay. i don't know why, nor do i care, because i'm also not 100 percent comfortable with all things straight. like engagement photos that have the man playfully peeking around a tree at his beloved looking lovingly in his direction. odd that women want their future husbands in a pose that belongs in a christopher guest movie.
do people really believe gay marriage will ruin the sanctity of marriage and the family? surely not, because it's abundantly clear that straight couples cornered the market on dysfunction long ago. legalizing gay marriage won't change anything in terms of how nongay people live their lives. i'm not offended by religion that says gay marriage is wrong. i believe in god myself (although i'm a terrible heathen according to my upbringing) and respect my family's—or anyone's—desire to worship. what offends me is hateful language and the nasty tone with which people express their dissenting thoughts, which are often followed with "but i don't hate them" (okay, but you sure don't like them, either).
i've been watching ellen degeneres lately. at the end of every show, she signs off with this: "be kind to one another." i believe she means it, and i believe it's easy to mean it when you're the subject of derision from people who don't even know you. i'd like to see west virginians talk as passionately about the drug problem as they do about gay marriage.