This above all: to thine own self be true And it must follow, as the night to day Thous canst not then be false to any man.
~William Shakespeare, Hamlet
My goodness y'all... Paula Deen has had a bad week! Well, actually the last few years have been rough on the lady from Savannah! First came the news that after having lived a rather butter filled life, butter this, and butter that, she had contracted Type 2 diabetes. As much as I don't care for the lady, I didn't jump for joy to find out that she had been given that diagnosis, but what did bother me, a lot, was the fact that she knew she had diabetes for at least a couple years before disclosing it. Does she have to share the intimate details of her life, just because she is a celebrity chef? No! Certainly not, but what was disturbing to me was the fact that she was give the diagnosis and then continued to come up with new and exciting ways to help others contract the disease. It was irresponsible. If she had come out with the fact that she was in for a culinary lifestyle change, and perhaps incorporated some slimmed down versions of her dangerous recipes into her cooking shows, I would have not only applauded her for her honesty, I would have gained a world of respect for the lady. Instead it was revealed that she had been given a nice fat contract to act as spokesperson for a new insulin drug, and that was the true driving factor surrounding the disclosure.
Damn... that's sad.
Well, everyone lost their collective shit over the incident, and things died down, but now here is that southern belle in yet another pickle. This time over allegations of personally using racial slurs, and turning a blind eye to her brother's behavior of sexual harassment and the using of similar slurs as well, therefore creating a hostile working environment! The whole thing blew up this week, and only got worse when Paula admitted to using the slurs in a certain context several years ago. By yesterday, Friday, the damage had been done. The Food Network has fired her! And oddly enough, I feel kinda bad for her. I usually feel bad for anyone who finds themselves in this kind of circumstance. This was a situation that didn't have to happen, had Deen been a little more mindful of other peoples feelings. You know what I mean?
I think all of us have had a moment when we have thought something less than kind towards someone. I can admit right now that I have thought of the bad neighbor I have as being an idiot. Dumb. Useless. Stupid. Mean. You name it... I have thought it, and sometimes said it, especially to Alan, because you can tell your spouse anything, especially when you just need to express some stress. The simple truth however is that you can't indulge in the depths of negativity too long. You see, along with my father teaching me about politics, he also taught me there was a time and a place for everything, but there was never a time for using hurtful language toward someone. Racial jokes aren't funny. Neither are sizest jokes or gender jokes. Does that mean I have never laughed at a blond joke, no, I would be lying it I said that, but the personal jab is where I begin to tune out the comedy.
I am glad we have moved to a more politically correct world than when I was a child. I am a short lady. I am 4'11 on a good day, so I have been the object of many a short person joke. Frankly... I can take a joke. You kinda have to develop a thick skin or sink into despair from the insensitivity of others. It didn't happen over night, but now no one is better at making fun me than me. I know myself better than anyone in the world, including Alan. I know my strengths. I know that because of my Fibromyalgia I will make a mistake with my speech every single day. I am not exaggerating. EVERY SINGLE DAY. So if I can't laugh at myself... well... life would be intolerable.
Laughing at one's self is a strength. Laughing at other people... not so much. The use of self restraint when someone is getting on your last nerve... a strength. Reducing a fellow human to an ignorant racial slur... not so much. Using the counting to 10 method before reacting when someone is upsetting you is a strength. Not putting any thought into the weight your words carry because you are upset and you want to hurt them back... not so much. When you think about it, being politically correct is more for you than anyone else. It's about who you want to be inside. Sitting here, right now, I wish I had stopped while I was in the middle of my angry rant toward my neighbor, I wish I would have tried to express myself on a less angry level, rather than lobbing the expletive filled verbal salad at his head.
He got on my last nerve and the shit literally hit the fan! Of course on the plus side, he merely tries to annoy me now, rather than completely piss me off, which is a good thing... I think!?
Will it ever happen again. I hope not. But you never know. Human here. But being human can't be used as an excuse! And believe me, I am trying really hard to remember that.
I imagine things will be difficult for Paula Deen in the next few weeks and months, but hopefully she will take some time to reflect. Perhaps this was a lesson she needed to learn. All the most profound and meaningful lessons seem to hurt us the most. Well, at least that's been my experience. But hey, anything that encourages us to grow as a person can't be all bad. If we remember to forget the blame and accept the lesson. I wish the lady luck. And one day, perhaps not all that long from now, she will be back, a little less butter laden, and a little more mindful.
And now, here's a little dessert. A simple Strawberry/BlackBerry on Buttermilk Biscuit. Type 2 Diabetic friendly of course!