Political Correctness to the Nth Degree by Vicky Dal Molin
Easter weekend just passed us by and it made me so much more aware than usual of the differences between life here in the USA and back home in Australia. While I was listening to family and friends recount how they were spending their extra long weekend (4 days off at Easter there) to the big family lunch that was being prepared I reflected on how I was still sitting at my desk Friday working, how Saturday and Sunday came and went without any big Easter get together and how Monday morning it was back in the office at my desk.
I spent a lot of the time I was driving to and from work/errands/dropping kids off/picking kids up about how I didn’t really like that fact. And short of flying to Australia every single time there’s some family event (unfortunately not an option) I am running low on ideas on how to build that similar home life here. Maybe it involves finding other families with a like minded approach, or maybe it’s a much slower process of slowly building those traditions by just sucking it up, giving up more sleep and starting to prepare holiday events.
I guess one of the reasons I haven’t done that already is that often it’s not reciprocated. You go through all that effort, prepare the house, the food, the activities…. And its over so quickly with little reciprocal events to attend. I have a friend that does these big get together’s so easily…. And she makes it sound and look so seamless. This is the same friend who managed to raise twins (no idea how she did that either). Maybe it’s time for a Martha Stewart 101 class.
It’s sad when I think about how sanitized society is here in NYC. I find myself holding back on wishing people a Happy Easter or Merry Xmas at the risk of “offending” them or saying what is considered inappropriate. I miss the freedom of just saying what I think or feel. Which is always well intentioned and never meant to be offensive. I love that in Australia regardless of your religious beliefs everyone gets the public holidays off and participates in the family nature of such holidays. That you don’t have to second-guess what you say in case someone isn’t of the same thinking. That unfortunately will not change easily and I cannot see things going backwards anytime soon. In fact I just see us getting to a point here where you have to watch every thing you say to every person you cross paths with. That’s an exhausting thought!
What’s even more exhausting is having to think about sanitizing how I speak to my own child. Do you be yourself or do you hold back so that he doesn’t get himself into a situation as he gets older and into school where he’s reprimanded for not fitting in the tiny box people are now being placed in? The Aussie in me says do the former but the reality is he is growing up in a much different environment than I did and with far more restrictions on what people can say and do these days. That’s a hard issue to get my head around.