Open Thread

All the Cool Kids Are in This Weekend Open Thread

And by cool kids, I mean you, Persephoneers! It’s Friday night, put on your comfy pants, pour yourself something tasty and join me for a spontaneous dance party. 

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

191 replies on “All the Cool Kids Are in This Weekend Open Thread”

Uuuuum I kind of love this. So many times I’ve felt like I’m “not gay enough” or “not queer enough” or whatever, or that I don’t fit in with whatever GLBTQIetc group because they all have something in common that I don’t.

I know exactly how you feel. I was actually told that “gay men don’t like rugby” by a gay guy with a straight (lulz) face. I was close to punching him. I’ve gotten a lot of privilege in being able to ‘pass’ – I get and respect boys who will never pass and who are proud, and I love their open effeminacy; but at the same time, my kind of gay is still gay. I’m allowed to be like this.

I even sympathise with the argument that gay men who can pass and don’t speak up for effeminate gay men are twats, but I *do* speak up for effeminate gay men; I make a point of it because I try not to be that horrible gay man decrying “flaming queens” which a healthy dose of internalised homophobia. My gay is still gay, let it be that way.


This is only tangentially related, but my favourite line ever on contemplating lesbianism is from an Emmy the Great song talking about a breakup;

“Since you’ve gone my only friends are Billy Bragg and the Jam/
though my time with you has got me feeling oh so k.d.lang”

Irritated by the implication that lesbianism is a reaction to failing to be heterosexual successfully, but amused by the lyric =D

I just cracked my bedroom window open for the first time this spring. We have a huge old catalpa tree in our front yard that birds just love and all I can hear out there is five or six different kinds of birdsong. It’s so amazing. I love spring! And in the summer the tree blooms with tiny white flowers that look like popcorn and when they drop the yard looks like it’s covered in popcorn. Good old catalpa tree!

Okay. So first off, I’m going to apologize to any Persephoneers of faith in case I sound too hostile towards organized religion, because even if you don’t follow an organized religion, I don’t want to be That Atheist…ever.

Today, the BF and I went to the two older nephews’ First Communion.

Nothing makes me feel more hostile toward Christianity than entering a church I didn’t want to be in. I think it’s because I’m very conscious that it is “their turf,” I am their guest, and so I have to tolerate pretty much all the ignorance that is thrown at me with a smile on my face and a murdery stabby feeling inside.

We were told the service was going to be about forty-five minutes long. An hour and a half later, they were finally getting through the actual communion part. We left after the boys went through. It’s thirty minutes after we got home and everyone is still gone.

The entire time the service went, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat attacked. And that’s what I hate about going to a church. Some of it was the song choices, which kept proclaiming that “all across the world everyone knows the power of our God,” but most of it was the Father, who kept saying things like, “You’re here doing this communion because YOUR PARENTS LOVE YOU AND COMMUNION IS IMPORTANT! And you know that because YOUR PARENTS HAD IT AT THEIR WEDDING and WE DO IT AT FUNERALS.”

Oh, and don’t forget the part where he told the story of how many people came there, as family or friend, during a first communion, watched them take it, and then felt like there was something missing in their life. So they became Catholic.

I just know someone is going to half-jokingly ask me if I “felt God” or some shit.

I’m glad I went because how much of a Big Deal the ceremony was made out to be, with the pastor saying shit like “you know your parents and grandparents love you because they brought you here and they’re here to watch you receive communion!” But I’m so exhausted and angry now.

Because we were bored during the service, the BF and I started joking about replacing all references to “God” in the hymns with “cheeseburger.” This was the only reason we ended up making it through with any sort of sanity.

I have no idea why anyone would think that first communion would only take 45 minutes. Mass usually clocks in at one hour without any extra stuff happening. It is a big deal for wee Catholics though, so it was nice of you to attend for your nephews. But apparently the priest thought he was preaching to the congregation of cradle Catholics only. What the hell? My parents didn’t have communion at their wedding, because my mother was not Catholic (and still wasn’t Catholic at the time of my first communion). My grandparents weren’t there because they were a variety of protestant that objected to Catholic ceremonies. I would have been put off by some of those lines as a Catholic of seven years of age and no firm grasp on ideas like privilege. I vaguely remember our priest telling us we were having our first communion because we were old enough now to understand our faith well enough to partake of it at that level. Which makes way more sense. Sorry you ended up having a crappy time.

The priest said a lot of weird off-putting things. Fortunately, he did mention the old-enough-now bit, but the way he said it made me balk. How well can you really understand that sort of thing at that age? Rituals and symbols are in our societies for reasons, but most kids around that age probably don’t think too much about it beyond “this is what I’m told to think.”

I think I like the way you worded it better.

Communion is only the second of three rites of initiation into the Catholic church. Basically being able to take communion means that you are old enough to understand the difference between right and wrong. My priest was all, go you, you are growing up and you can start taking a more active roll in your faith now. Confirmation, which is done at adolescence, is the rite that is about making a contentious choice to fully join the church. That’s the one where you are really expected to have a good understanding of wanting to choose your faith.

I think I was 12 when I got confirmed. It was 8th grade, which is the norm here (so 12/13). It was really involved though. I had to be interviewed by the priest, attend classes (this was a little easier for me as I was in Catholic school at this point), write a paper on the saint I whose name I was taking, and various other stuff. I was a bit young, but I think I was at the “can think critically about this” stage. I remember there being classes for first communion too, but they involved less studying and more making rosaries out of pony beads and string and getting to taste unconsecrated wafers and wine so that we wouldn’t be making faces in the actual ceremony when we realized how AWFUL the body of Christ tastes.

Where I live (Ireland) practically everyone did it, in sixth class, and while we did all that was required most of us were just excited about (a) new clothes and (b) getting to pick the name. I think it would mean more if it wasn’t something everyone did at a certain time and the children were older, at least teenagers.

I’m with you on the whole kids should choose for themselves when to get confirmed. As much as they tried to work in letting kids choose for themselves, just about everyone decided to get confirmed and heard mentality was part of that.

And name choosing, dear Lord, but that was a mountain out of a molehill moment. Most kids just went with their birth name, but I couldn’t. There are no St. Sharons and the only time the name crops up in the Bible is in one verse of Song of Solomon and is in fact referencing a plant (or a place where that plant grows) not a person. And then everyone making such a BIG DEAL about it. And then finding a female saint who did more than stay a virgin and die horribly (not a goal I aspired to) was a task as well. Eventually I remembered a cartoon I had seen as a kid about St. Bernadette founding Lourdes and I decided fek it, Bernadette is good enough.

Everybody chose a third name as far as I remember… though I don’t think the fact that it had to be a saint’s name was spelled out clearly enough at the start as some of the boys wanted to take the names of footballers… :)

There was a lot of picking names because they were pretty going on with the girls in my class who weren’t staying with their birth names. Felicity is a nice name and all but St. Felicity died in the arena by being gored by a bull and then finished off with a sword, all shortly after giving birth. She was kind of a bad ass, so please don’t just pick the name cause it sounds nice.

Ahh gotcha, good to know! The way the priest at the service we went to talked about it, it sounded like “you’re here because you know EXACTLY WHAT THIS ALL MEANS, and you’re doing it because YOU LOVE JESUS AND YOU WANT JESUS INSIDE YOUR BODY.”

Incidentally, I had really hard time not making completely and wholly inappropriate whispered dirty remarks in certain parts of the ceremony.

Oh. Awkward. Whelp. Sadly being a priest does not mean that you are automatically charismatic and understanding about how to make a neat ceremony for kids feel like a neat ceremony for kids. I’m lucky in that there has always been a priest at my church who has been good at giving a homily to kids.

And I have had my own moments of being a bit irreverent in church. Back in high school they had a retired monsignor give the mass. The monsignor would ramble on about whatever he was thinking about at the moment and we all really only payed attention to him as much as we did because he was often unintentionally hilarious. I remember once in the middle of the homily he mentioned how when he was a kid he always thought it would be nice if the school burned down. Not with anyone in it, mind you, but then everyone could have a few months off while they rebuilt it. What followed was the strange snuffling noise of four hundred girls stifling a laugh into the sleeves of their polyester uniform sweaters.

I’m sorry you had to go through that. No fun. Glad that you were able to sneak out after their Communion, because… yeah.

Obligatory not-all-churches-are-bad: At the one I go to, you can be like “Yeah, I’m Buddhist,” and they’re like “Awesome. Glad to have you.” And there is basically a Pagan Club. Oh, Unitarianism.

I have done way too much shopping this weekend, and may have bought a ridiculously expensive dress for law school graduation.  But it’s so pretty and 1960s and I HAD TO HAVE IT STOP JUDGING THE $200 CHARGE ON MY CREDIT CARD.  I also got measured for a bra.  Turns out I am not a 38B, but rather a 36D.  I feel ridiculous, which I know is silly, but the boyfriend was ecstatic.  (Boys.  Why do they all love boobs so much?)  It was pointed out to me that I need to stop dwelling on this, but part of my identity was based on having a tiny chest.  (Again, I know this is a stupid feeling, but I am having it.  So there.)  I feel like my breasts have betrayed me.  What in the hell is wrong with me???

Academic quandary. I am about to complete my master’s degree (hallelujah!) — should I do anything in particular to thank my primary adviser and second thesis reader? I mean, we’re friendly but not best friends (like, I haven’t babysat his kid or anything). I’d be happy to go out with a beer with them, but I don’t want to push anything or even be that person and show up to the defense with a platter of cookies. Nor do I just want to be like after they tell me I pass, “Welp, thanks a ton. Catch you never.” Anyone have experience/insight?

I’m not sure how this works, but I’m assuming that we can say just about anything. Brand new nugget here, so hi everyone! Is there some initiation to go through?

Well after a year of on-and-off contemplating, I decided to chop my hair so it went from my hip to just below my shoulders. I mean I wanted to go shorter, but my Russian parents refused to make it too short because “a woman’s beauty is her hair and beauty takes effort” (how do I survive in this house) and I got impatient so I cut it to the length it is now and my mom evened it out.  I’m thinking of going shorter soon, but I’d kind of like an unconventional cut to make up for the boringness of my previous plain long hair.

My parents are letting my almost-6-year-old sister grow up with the same crappy ideas of beauty and love and Disney princesses and womanhood that she is absorbing like a sponge. Mom got her a princess makeup kit with stick-on nails, lip gloss, nail polish. It’s the whole shebang. I’ve been trying to let her broaden her horizons occasionally, by letting her know that being queer is okay, beauty is a diverse idea, and she can be strong and choose whatever she’s interested in no matter what gender it’s often intended for. Either way, she still thinks it’s weird if a girl and girl like each other and that having makeup is the only thing that’ll make her gorgeous. There is too much crap in this house, so how do I go about it?

First off, welcome to P-Mag! We’re so glad to have you. As for the initiation, you must post at least one David Tennant gif. Just kidding, there is no initiation. However, we do love gifs around here, especially Tennant gifs.

Second, congrats on the shorter hair! I used to have hair as long as my hips and when I cut it off, I was a little scared, so I left it just at my shoulders. Less than a year later I cut it way short. I’m now addicted to trying out new, cute, short styles. I love it. And, feel way sassier and sexier than I ever did with long hair. (Though I did awesome stuff with long hair too, I just never felt all that attractive because of it)

As for your sister, I don’t have any enlightened advice. I’m glad you are trying to broaden her horizons and introduce her to the diversity that is the human population. For me, knowing or learning about awesome people who don’t follow stereotypes seems the only way to break free of the stereotypes.

Way to fight the good fight. Tennant approves.

Thanks for the welcome! I’m starting to understand the confidence boost with the shortness and change.  I feel like the experimentation route is one I might go down, now that I took the big step and got rid of the excess locks.

She watches a lot of TV because people are usually busy in the house, so I’m trying to introduce her to shows with great diversity and round female characters. She’s accepted Avatar: The Last Airbender with no problem, and I’ll be sure to tell her when Korra’s on. Small steps!

Way to cut off the hair!  I did the same thing last summer.  Chopped my waist-length locks to a shoulder length bob.  Good luck figuring out how much shampoo to use.  That one always gets me.

It’s cool that you’re trying to broaden your sister’s horizons, but remember, she’s SIX and getting lots of messages.  Keep telling her it’s cool to choose what you’re interested in, but don’t be disappointed if she chooses something you don’t like.  She’s six.  She’ll figure stuff out eventually.  Sounds like you’re a kickass big sis though.

Welcome to P-Mag!  May you spend many unproductive hours here!

I use the no ‘poo method, by washing with baking soda and conditioning with apple cider vinegar. I still struggle to find a balance of baking soda after half a year of no ‘poo, so the new do should be even more of an adventure.

You’re completely right. I forget that six-year-olds are unlikely to be looking at the big picture and what’s important. I’m just worried that she’ll end up like me and grow up absorbing all of it and then have a completely different perspective and have a period of misery, anger and confusion about what perspectives to have. I’ll definitely keep her age in mind and stress less about it. Thanks for the advice, Amanda!

Eeeeeeee I’m sharing this with y’all because I feel like some of you will understand.

I’m growing my hair out, and yesterday? Yesterday, I was able to put it in a ponytail! Okay, the actual tail was only about half an inch, but… eeeeeee!

And today? Today I have the top half of my hair in two French braids.

(Note: This means that in 6 weeks to 6 months, I will be going “Eeeeeee guys I got a pixie cut!” because this is my relationship with my hair… grow it out, hack it off.)

The whole time I was in Peru, I was held violently captive by the persistent and wholly incessant honking of car horns; but I seem to have developed some form of Stockholm Syndrome now that I’m back in my natural northern habitat. It almost feels as if I live in a prop town, like the many I saw on the side of the Panaméricana Sur; just thatched walls holding vague shapes in the middle of a desert, and not a soul in sight.

I really wish I hadn’t signed myself up to train newbie volunteers for 12 hours tonight -__- A month ago it didn’t seem like such a big deal but it’s not yet midnight, I’ve been here since 8pm and I’m here til 8am training 2 different peeps and I’m already tired. I’ll just have to drink ALL THE TEA.

Anyone having a non-weekend weekend? Today (Sat) I slept late ’cause I’m sick, worked til 4, then had a brief dinner with the in-laws before heading here. After 8am I’ll hit the hay, then have some brief chill-out time with the fam before Monday’s return to the grindstone. Thanks goodness a planned meeting for Sunday eve got cancelled!

Ugh non-weekend weekends can be draining. I had to work an event yesterday, where I had to be up and ready to go from 6am-6pm. If the long 12-hour day wasn’t bad enough, it was the first summery day of the year. Working a beautiful 90 degree Saturday is so cruel.

I like caramel chocolate swirl, but in vanilla ice-cream. I like the chocolate in my ice cream distributed like veins of rare minerals, and I sometimes pretend my spoon is a mining mechanism.

This turned into a very bizarre confession, but basically I like to give the chocolate of my ice cream extra value derived from its relative scarcity.

Leave a Reply