lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Chatty Husband May 15, 2018

I have this thing about being in public. Sometimes, strangers talk to you. It’s a real problem for me.

I’m not an introvert by any means, but I don’t want to chat with the person behind me in line who compliments the voicemail I just left my mother. I don’t really want to know why the person on the plane next to me is flying to D.C. And I really, really don’t want to know why the awkward stranger in the coffee shop really loves any song.

I’m happy watching people without interacting. I’m totally fine with chatting with patrons after a performance. But I have a strong stranger danger button.

My husband, however, really likes chatting to people. All the damn time. We get stuck in hotel lobbies, waylaid by elderly women who want to detail exactly what we should try at the continental breakfast the next day. We spend extra time in rest stops hearing about how the gas attendant has never left their home state.

I mock him for it, I grumble at him when we run late because of it. But—and I really hate to admit this—every once in a while, he meets someone really cool.

I’ll let him tell you about it.

I stood in line at a Starbucks in Chicago the other day when a gentleman in his 50s or so cut the line. (more…)

 

The Broken Hymen Lie June 11, 2016

I’m back! And mostly alive I swear! After more than a week of visiting fantastic friends and doing some really cool things, I am back at the keyboard. Not writing, but proofing the eARC of The Dragon Unbound and blogging for you all!

So in this time of not writing, I’ve been stewing over something that’s really, truly been bothering me. Warning: this post is about to turn PG 13. (more…)

 

A Contraversial Conundrum February 27, 2016

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Sorry, guys, this one is about to get a tiny bit controversial.

I was raised in a Christian-ish household. Not that it was ever something that really needed to be declared or memorized (like my address and phone number in kindergarten), but I was sent to Sunday school and to church camp. I went to a Methodist university and made it through a whole semester of liturgical dancing before I had to run away from the flowy white costumes.

But here’s the thing…

I just don’t get it. I don’t get why Christians need to fight over denominations. I don’t get why Protestants need to fight with Catholics. That would be like One Direction saying that Michael Jackson wasn’t a pop singer. He was there first. Why try and take a word away from him?

I don’t understand why symbolism that was taken from cultures far older than western religions needs to be argued about. Does it matter if it’s the crown of the sun god or if a halo is an absolutely original creation? Winter solstice and Christmas were made to line up together, so why hate solstice?

Condemning what someone else believes doesn’t actually make your beliefs any stronger. You pray the rosary, your neighbor prays to Mecca. And? Where does the problem come in here? (more…)

 

Love is Love June 27, 2015

Here’s the thing. I’m a music theatre baby. More than half of my male friends are gay with a fair helping of lesbians, bi-sexuals, and transgendered goodness sprinkled on top. I never knew when I was growing up that being gay was a weird thing. I thought it was like having green eyes or an outie belly button. Just another subtle difference between people. Not really a thing to be concerned about. Never an issue to be judged. I took me a long time to figure out why being gay would make you part of the dreaded other in modern society, and truth be told, I still really don’t get it.

Yesterday marked a huge leap forward in gay rights, helping America to take a step toward true equal rights. Equal rights meaning, yes, ALL of us are equal. It’s not just women or black people or gays or Muslims who get screwed every now and then. It’s all of us. How can you claim to be forced into the margins of society while you are pushing others there? If you’re a Muslim and feel persecuted for your religion, then you know what it’s like to be pushed aside. If you’re black and worry that the dreaded authority will never treat you as an equal, then you know what it’s like to fear attack. If you’re a woman who has been treated as less than because of how you were born, then you know what it’s like to fight the odds. And if you are a white man of whatever religion is popular today, then you know what it’s like to fight a stereotype.

So let’s all agree that at the core of every individual the fact that we are human is our most defining trait. We all deserve human rights.

I have gay friends who have been with their partners for years, and not one of them has ever complained that they wanted to get married in a specific church that wouldn’t allow it. They were terrified that if they or their partner had to go to the hospital, they wouldn’t be granted the same visiting rights as a straight married couple. That if something happened to them, their partner wouldn’t be able to inherit their joint property without a fight.

The desire to take care of the people you love is human. It’s not gay or straight. It has nothing to do with religion or what sex organs you were born with.

So if you and your God don’t agree with homosexuality, that’s your own deal. But I don’t think any scripture has ever said that we shouldn’t take care of the people we love. The bible preaches love. And love means being by someone’s side in their most joyful moments and through their most terrible pain.

Granting marriage equality isn’t going to change how gay people have sex. That’s been going on for thousands of years, and no ruling will ever change that. But the ruling of the Supreme Court will grant a lot of really amazing human beings the ability to protect the people they love. To ensure that, in sickness and in health, they can keep their partner by their side.

It’s not about sex. It’s about love. And love is a human right.

 

Ag(r)ave Mistake February 17, 2014

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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Last week, I had the opportunity to go with a friend to an open house at a Latter Day Saints (Mormon) temple. I’m not the most reverent person, and religion has never really been my thing, but who am I to turn down an interesting cultural experience? So, my husband and I went with our dear friend. We sat down and watched the little history film, and then our friend told us the fun little fact that each LDS temple pulls in design elements from the surrounding landscape and culture. Since this temple was built in the Arizona desert, the motif for the temple was the agave plant. (more…)