Am I the only one appalled by how many times I read the words “Don’t judge me” in social media each day?
We are judged so often by our “friends” that we automatically preface what we say by begging for forgiveness or at the very least asking them to pretend to be okay with it or to withhold their comments.
Even on a good day, I’m an all-you-can-judge buffet. And I am not without judgmental moments of my own, of course – I’m human and have opinions. I’m not perfect, but whatever. I try not to be judgmental, but it would be absurd to pretend I’m without opinions. However, understanding that doesn’t make it any less infuriating that judginess has become the most popular online sport of our time.
I refuse to say, “Don’t judge me” anymore. If you want to critique me, go ahead. In fact, if you are among the judgmental hordes, I’ll give you some chicken soup for your crabby little, disapproving soul.
Feast on this:
I was married at 22. Seventeen months later, the ink was dry on the divorce papers. Even now, I don’t regret it. We had some good times alongside the bad, and I grew up a lot. It was a long time ago, and I don’t hold any ill will toward him or how things ended.
And while I’m speaking of this man and the many mistakes for which people may judge me, let me say that I am friends with him on Facebook and have no intention of changing that. Who I was at 23 is not who I am at nearly 40. Time has passed.
Two years later, I married a military man who was shipping off to Korea for a year. We were dating and didn’t want to break up, so we got engaged. We stayed married for five years, ended our relationship much to the surprise of just about everyone and didn’t offer explanations to most of the people who wondered why.
And I’m not going to offer them now.
It was what it was. Judge the ease with which we divorced if you will. We got into the marriage easily. We got out of it easily. Many people disagreed, and there were times we weren’t sure it was the right thing to do. But we did it. It was a long time ago, and I don’t regret it or apologize for it. I could easily say, “Please don’t judge me,” but I really don’t care. People are going to judge no matter what, so go ahead.
Marriage is a subject easily judged by outsiders peeping through your Life’s smudgy window. I could go on about it endlessly, but I’ll just wrap up this subject by saying the number one thing for which I will probably be judged – if you want to preserve the sanctity of marriage, worry less about gay people’s desire to make a beautifully heartfelt pledge of their love for one another and make it harder for people like me to get married. Maybe if we made it harder to get into marriage, people might not want to get out of it so easily.
So there it is. Judge me. And while you’re at it, feel free to judge me for having a child out of wedlock with my 10-years-younger rebound guy after my second divorce. He was pretty. He didn’t challenge me mentally or emotionally. When I hugged him, he picked me up and carried me through the house. He made me laugh.
No, he wasn’t Mr. Right. He was Mr. Right Now, and it was fun.
I never married him, and my “bastard” child, as she has been called in my presence at least once that I recall, is perfectly who she is meant to be. My second ex-husband and I tried desperately to have a baby and never could. No amount of unprotected tempting of the Fates produced a child at any point in my Life, so I ended up having a baby with someone I wouldn’t have willingly combined my DNA with had I known it was possible.
I married Randall when Sarah was just over a year and a half old, and a permanent, 500-yard restraining order helped us terminate “Donor’s” parental rights. Commence the happy beginning where the unnecessarily sad ending left off. I have seen people’s pity over the whole thing, their air-sucking judgments when I so nonchalantly tell the story, their oh-mys and bless-your-hearts and so much more. I have been endlessly judged and could not possibly care less if I wholeheartedly tried.
So let’s see. What else is there? I covered divorce, gay marriage, rebound flings and bastard babies. I suppose I could go into my unpopular opinion that it’s funny that so many people bashed Phil Robertson for stating his beliefs about homosexuality, which really only highlighted their own agree-with-me-or-you’re wrong philosophy that they were supposedly fighting. Judgment at its most ironic, huh?
I could also easily rile up the judges for how ridiculous I think it is when people badmouth our steadfastly married president who is the father of two seemingly well adjusted daughters but is somehow reviled as a festering disfigurement on the porcelain-perceived exterior of traditional marriage. Like his politics or not. You’re free to judge, just as we all are.
Of course, never mind that the ever-revered Kennedy wooed Marilyn while Jackie waited fabulously in the wifely wings, Clinton’s potentially historic presidency was derailed by scandal that cut the impression of interns to knee level, and the once-maligned-now-sugarcoated younger Bush paid journalists to write articles favoring the Federal Marriage Amendment but declined to make an official White House stance in favor of it. Clearly, we belly up to the ammunition buffet and a la carte our judgments based on any moment’s whim.
I’m pretty sure that’s plenty of sparks to light the Olympic Torch on the 2014 games broadcasting live from RebeccaLand, but oh no. There is always more.
My house is a wreck 75.285% of the time.
I have a potty mouth. In front of the kids? Of course not. In front of my parents? Not often. But it’s there, and I am 100% unapologetic. It’s just a series of letters strung together. Judge me if you will.
I had gastric bypass because I couldn’t make myself stop binge eating. I had no will power to make permanent change and needed help to make it happen. Ten years later, I am still happy someone was there to take away my choices, and I am not at all bothered by the armies of people who judge that.
My hair is colored, and if my employer didn’t outlaw it in the company’s behavioral standards, I would have electric blue, pink or purple hiding among the existing stripes. Maybe all three. Maybe more. And I would not hesitate to thumb my nose at the “She needs to act her age” comments that would surely ensue.
I’m a speeder.
Our bed is never made.
I sleep with a wall of pillows between me and my husband. Sure, I love him and enjoy being close to him. But I also enjoy being comfortable and am not going to allow pillow placement to define our relationship status.
I do not talk about my faith in a Higher Power in social media. This isn’t because of lack of it, uncertainty about it or wavering feelings about it. It’s personal, and there is no big book in the sky tallying how many times I “Like” something or repost it. My walk in the Light has not always taken a very direct path, and there are many people who would question my sincerity if I were to beat the Godly drum too overtly. That’s not where my reluctance to preach online comes from, though. It’s just personal and quiet and in me and not for public consumption. However judgment-inducing it may be, it’s my chosen path.
Sarah understands how babies get out of the mommy, what a protective order is, the fact that people die and what that means, why we can’t afford for her to take tumbling classes, who Santa really is and much more. She asks, and I answer her clearly and unpatronizingly. Aubrey knows nothing of any of this, and if she asked, my answer might be hedged a bit more. She is a different child, and she will understand things when it’s her time. Yes, I treat them differently. They are different. It’s not our job to treat them identically. It’s our job to do the best we can by each of them, and while we may be judged for that, we define it in our own way.
I’m a little paranoid. The curtains in every room in the house have to be pulled completely together before I can go to bed. Heaven forbid some wandering kidnapper peeks through and sees one of my babies. Yes, I actually think about people seeing my kids through their windows at night. Judge me if you will, but Elizabeth Smart probably wishes her window had been locked a little more tightly, and Jon Benet’s parents never slept the same again.
My favorite show redefines the TV-MA rating with unprecedented violence and bad guy winningness each week. “Sons of Anarchy” is beautifully ugly and frame-by-frame extraordinary.
I am chronically late. If it’s possible to be late to my own funeral, I will be. And, even then, prompt people will judge.
Our kids are growing up on Instagram and Facebook. A printout of status updates and photo albums would create a flip book the likes of which might only be matched by a live feed from cameras that Trumanned behind them 24 hours a day. I regularly hear comments about how often their faces grace the world’s small screens, and there is nearly always a hint of judginess hidden in the tone.
Judge me for it if you will. I’m okay with it. Really. I am. There was a time when I wouldn’t have been, but when I stand back now and see how judgmental we are of each other for every little nitpicking thing, it makes me sick.
I will no longer ask people not to judge me.
- What good would it do if I did?
- Saying, “Don’t judge me but…” only spotlights the fact that there might be fodder ahead for hungry little judgerpillars.
- I am not all that concerned if people judge me.
After all this, I suppose I have made my point. Or perhaps I have only needlessly rambled about personal things which mean nothing to anyone but me.
But that sort of is the point.
My Life should mean something to me, but evidently it means something to that person over there as well. And that one. Don’t forget her. Oh, and that guy and his cousin’s wife’s neighbor’s dog groomer’s nephew’s ex-girlfriend.
Mind your own business, folks. But if you can’t, feel free to nose around in mine. And while you’re there, feel free to judge me. At least someone else will be getting a break.