Sunday, October 24, 2010

Being a Misfit Toy

It was one of those contemplative moments we all have now and empty room, a feeling that something was shifting somewhere, clicking into place...I realized the true meaning of "Misfit Toy". And although it may have been born at the North Pole, that expression goes a lot further than Rudolph and Santa.

So many of us are Misfit Toys. We certainly spend a lot of our childhood like that. There's the Shrinking Violet Toy, the girl who is so terribly shy she doesn't want anyone to see her. She will always take the back row seats, never be the first to raise her hand and won't let on how much it hurts when she isn't picked for the team until last. When she grows up, she'll be the quiet one, learning to smile to hide the pain, anger and frustration of being always on the outside. She'll be a bridesmaid, a best friend, eventually a wife and a loving mother. But she'll never be the life of the party or the head of the PTA. She'll always be that Misfit Toy, crying on the inside where nobody can see.

Then there's Four Eyes Frightful! The little boy who has to wear glasses three years before anyone else does. Or the little girl with braces that seem to glow all by themselves. They're misfits, all right. They stand out, figures of fun, teased by their peers and tortured by their own inadequacies. Yeah, childhood is the first level of hell for some folks and they carry it with them. As adults, they obsess about their appearance, working hard to be perfect in a world that disdains anything less. Of course, they can never succeed because they set their standards above anything humanly attainable. They're still the Misfit Toys of their childhood, just better clothed.

There are other Misfit Toys, of course. A toy who never did get the love he or she needed when it was needed most. A toy who lost something precious and never learned how to replace it.

A toy that was loved, loved back and then found itself cast aside, to be neglected while new toys moved in and took its place. The It's-Been-Fun Toy.

Is this depressing? Yeah, sure. But honestly? Most of us at one time or another in our lives fall into the Misfit Toy category. I'm a Misfit Toy and recognizing it recently, labeling it as such, helped me get a handle on it. I'm such a shrinking violet if I shrink any more I'll disappear up my own ass. I hate walking into a room full of people, always sit at the back and have to force a smile now and again. I've never been president of the PTA or the life and soul of any party. I also won't let myself care too much because that opens up a vulnerability that can rip your soul out if you're not careful. (Family excepted, of course. They're going to carve you up into strips no matter what you do. Fortunately, they also put you back together again! And you get to return the favor. LOL)

I guess my Misfit Toy Moment helped me adjust my thinking and recognize some of my shortcomings. I'm not about to go out and run for the PTA, but I will try and take a seat in the middle row of life instead of the back. I will try to work through the pain when I'm ignored, excluded or put back into the toy box in favor of others - and yes, it's going to happen again, I know. I won't take it personally when my words or my books fade too quickly for my liking. I will remember that there are good things about me that don't fit into the Misfit Toy category and I'll try and focus on those.

If all this fails miserably, then I will spend the next week writing some of the most hellishly horrible, gut-wrenchingly violent murder scenes I can possibly imagine. I will rip bodies apart, scatter intestines across continents and produce enough blood spatter to make a seasoned Forensic scientist throw up. And I'm absolutely positive that'll make me feel much better.(Grin)

Honorary Chairwoman, Local Chapter of Misfit Toys

Flavia's Flying Corset - Coming in November from Samhain Publishing

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Getting What We Deserve - Mid Terms and Apathy

By now, most US residents have realized that something's afoot in the political world. That something's called "Mid Terms" and it refers to the elections that come half way between Presidential ones. To many of us, they're not as important as the biggie, but to those running for something - well, they're right up there with the Day of Judgement and the invention of stretch jeans. i.e. Life changing events.

Whether you're Democrat, Republican, Independent, Tea Party or Sam Adams Party (that's the one for college kids who are ready for a revolution but too drunk to start one), there's probably a candidate out there somewhere just aching to get your vote. The hitch? You (and your vote) don't really care very much. That particular Tuesday it might be raining and you got your hair done on Monday. Or it's the day you water your plants, shampoo your cat, change the batteries in your smoke detector and/or chat with the mailman. In other words, it's too damn inconvenient to plonk your ass into your car and drive to the polling place where you probably can't park, have to push through throngs of placard-holding cheerleaders, none of whom support your party, and generally mess up your day.

Nah. Why the hell bother? It's only an election for the local dog catcher/town manager/comptroller. With a line item for governor and state rep. Just local crap and you're sick of the tv ads by now anyway. You've tuned them out for the last three months because...well, there was Halloween candy calling your name during commercial breaks. And the ultimate persuader? You live in North BlanketyBlank, a state that's been voting in Democrats since before you were a twinkle in your Democratic father's eye. What does one more vote matter?

Well, guess what? All your Democratic fellows are thinking the same thing. You'll see 'em filling the mall or doing the usual Tuesday things. And the result...drum roll please... a REPUBLICAN gets elected, because the Democrats had a thing...and didn't make it to the polls.

Yes, we get the politicians we deserve, my friends. Those of us who couldn't be bothered to take fifteen minutes and register our political sentiments deserved to get an elected official who will be voting in exactly the opposite way we'd wanted. We could have made a difference if apathy hadn't raised it's ugly head.

So this time around, when mid-term voting day arrives, I'm gonna do my best to get out to the polls and register my preferences. At least then I'll know the politician I get is either the one I deserve or the one I ended up with because the rest of my fellow voters are idiots.

Not really comforting, but then again, how else do you explain the Senate?

Please vote. Remember there's a whole lotta places on the face of this planet where voting is a rare freedom. Places where voters run the risk of being attacked and beaten - or worse. Where women still can't vote at all.

Doesn't matter to me who you vote FOR. What does matter is that you do it. We might not have much to celebrate when it comes to the Federal Government these days (I support the First Dog Party myself), and most of us are sick and tired of all the negativity, failure to accomplish anything halfway useful and the fact that the economy is stuck in the mud like a tractor with two flat tires on a rainy day. Maybe one vote won't change this - but then again one vote might just be the pebble that started the avalanche. And perhaps that vote will be yours...

Sahara Kelly

FLAVIA'S FLYING CORSET - coming from Samhain Publishing - November, 2010