If it looks like a duck . . .

Dear Blogary,

I did it this time. I really did it. Yesterday, I said I was a Republican. Suddenly, those who pegged me as one thing, are now thinking something else. And, those who wrote me off, have come back after learning I am a Republican.

Oh Blogary, I crack myself up. I didn’t MAKE friends by mentioning I was a Republican. That’s just crazy talk.

So, I let my political party slip;
And now I am catching some lip.
We bicker; we judge.
We refuse to budge.
With a hand on my hip,
I will now let ‘er rip.

Not all blonds are dumb and not all Republicans are like Rush Limbaugh. Well, okay, maybe what I said isn’t entirely accurate. All blonds are dumb. Blogary, I’m kidding. Though giving birth changed my hair color, I was born a blond. Not all blonds are dumb, and I hope I didn’t offend any blonds.

I’ve had people cross my path who I found to be disrespectful to various kinds of other people. And, out of respect for the other people, I distanced myself from the disrespectful ones. I’ve also had people question me and distance themselves from me, because I befriended various kinds of people. Rest assured, when someone decided not to be my friend because of their ignorant prejudices, I made sure the door hit them on their way out.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of Prejudice is “preconceived judgment or opinion : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge.”

Prejudice is not an ugly word, generally speaking. We prejudge things all the time every day. And, prejudging can be used as a survival skill in some cases. However, sometimes we get it wrong, and sometimes we throw the baby out with the bath water.

One afternoon, while walking with a girlfriend at a popular park, I was spat on by someone who passed us. The person spat on me deliberately. And, the only reason(s) I could think for having been spat on by this person was that he (yes, it was a ‘he’) thought I was gay, or he did not like my AIDS awareness t-shirt.

That mystery person – aka jerk – prejudged me based on my appearance. Too bad for that jerk, because I’m a great person who makes a great friend. And Blogary, some of my friends are – Dun dun duuunnn – Democrats!!

Now Blogary, I’m not claiming to be perfect; after all, I am a Republican. I prejudge, and sometimes my snap judgments are wrong. In fact, sometimes I have prejudged people incorrectly, assumed s/he was ‘a good people’, only to find out s/he was really a bigot (“a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices” Merriam-Webster).

Blogary, with age and experience comes wisdom – you hope. When someone shows you who they are on the inside, believe them. But, try to give the person a chance to show you who they are on the inside. Don’t close the book on the person without flipping through a few pages, first. Remember, you can’t judge a book by its cover (or label).

Me, A former-blond and current recycling Republican who is heterosexual, wears AIDS awareness t-shirts, supports many charitable organizations, wears turtlenecks and socks with sandals, doesn’t like red meat, hates peaches and has family and friends in every shape, size, color, etc.

Recycling Republican

This post is not a political statement, really. I titled it ‘Recycling Republican’ because I never tire of alliteration. And, a friend of mine (Democrat) jokes and generalizes that Republicans do not recycle. However, she has been to our house, and she is well aware of the fact that we do recycle and we are Republicans. In fact, our households (hers and mine) recycle so much, little is left for the trash man. We’ve discussed how our trash cans contain only one 13 gallon-size trash bag each week for garbage pick-up.

In addition, my Democratic friend knows that my husband sorts our recyclables downstairs in our basement. He separates everything and breaks it down as much as possible. And, about once every three months, he loads up his car and takes the recyclables a recycling facility.

Recycling is a bipartisan responsibility. The real purpose for this post is to thank the product makers for making easily recycled products, as well as cursing the product makers for making products that are difficult to recycle.

Method home and personal care products: GOOD. I sing praise to Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan for the design of the bottles used for their products. While I can’t speak to every Method product, I can tell you many of their soap products come in containers that are taken apart easily. And, as an added bonus, the design of the bottle allows you to use every last drop of the product! What a concept!

Dove hair care and most all hair care products: BAD. When was the last time you were able to get out every last drop of shampoo, conditioner, gel, spritz, spray, etc.? And, how many hair care products have you come across where the cap does not come off easily? What I mean by that is the fact that the cap is not a ‘screw’ cap. Making it virtually impossible to fully empty or break down the container.

This gripe may seem trivial, but in the scheme of reducing, reusing and recycling – containers matter.

Guinness. I love you. Really. Oh, how I love you, Guinness. But the rocket widget in your glass bottles: BAD. Why did you start producing Guinness draft in bottles? The can was fine. The can is good. The can is easy to empty and recycle. Getting the widget out of the can is far easier (and neater) than getting the rocket widget out of the bottle. Guinness bottle: BAD. Guinness can: GOOD. Mmm mmm good! My only request regarding the cans: start selling 6 and 12 packs, please. Thank you.

Most all toilet bowl cleaners: BAD. Most all dish-washing detergents: BAD. Most all glass (plus a whole lot more) cleaners: BAD. Generally speaking, not unlike my friend, a majority of household products are difficult to use (to the last drop) or break down completely. While the trend for household products is BAD, facial tissue, toothbrush and dental floss containers are GOOD, when it comes to using and breaking down completely. And, most food products are packaged in easily used and recycled containers, so things like: soup, cereal, pizza, pasta n’cheese, yogurt, applesauce, etc. get the GOOD rating. Oh, and thankfully, ice cream containers are easily used (eaten) and broken down completely. (Emphasis on easily eaten completely.) Again, my gripe may seem trivial, but containers matter.

Remember, recycling is a bipartisan responsibility. And, this here Republican may not be perfect, but she does recycle! My plea to manufacturing companies is for them to create better recyclable packaging across the board, while also creating packaging the enables to user to get every last ‘drop’.

P.S. My thanks to Ben & Jerry’s for being such an environmentally conscious and friendly manufacturer. I’d hate to give them up to make a statement.