On Judgment and Worry

The gun industry wants to sell your kid an AR-15.

It does. It really, really does.

Meanwhile, there have been some recent conversations whether moms are nice enough to each other or if they worry too much.

Guess what? Mothers are kind of built to be “not nice” and… Judge. Mothers worry. All. The. Time. (or at least A. Lot. Of. The. Time.)

I am guilty of both actions, as a mother. (I was guilty of both actions before I was a mother.) But this gun thing–this industry that tries to argue that semiautomatic firearms are not weapons, for example–it should drive any person to judge. And worry.

I just read Stephen King’s “kindle single,” Guns. All proceeds from sales (99 cents for the single) go to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. His bottom line: culpability does not equal responsibility. Sometimes it’s important to do something to help correct a situation, not because you’re to blame, but because you’re sensible.

The gun industry? It is not culpable, but it is in fact responsible, for gun deaths: you can’t have a gun death or other gun violence without a gun. It’s a risk inherent to the industry. So? Minimize the risk.

That’s my judgment.

And parents? There are an infinite number of ways to be irresponsible… or to be complacent. I could list so many of them in the next five minutes, based on actual, first-hand accounts. So many.

That’s my worry.

don’t worry, just look.

I read, a few days too late, Hamilton Nolan’s piece in Gawker, reminding the world that Journalism is Not Narcissism, thanks to Amanda Marcotte’s takedown of Elizabeth Wurtzel’s latest essay.

Ouch. So let me clarify. Or call a mulligan. Request a do-over. Whatever.

Consider “choosing balance,” my first attempt at Shapiro’s humiliation essay exercise. Here’s the bottom line–or the short little post I could have written, not to humiliate myself but to assert myself as a person who knows what the hell I’m talking about when it comes to relationships and a good marriage:

I have a great life with a great man because I learned, repeatedly, what another life with the wrong man might have looked like. I know what it feels like to be respected by another, because I know what it’s like not to be. I had options. I chose well. I was tired of being a fool.

Despicably boring, I know. Maybe the details I provided earlier support that statement above. I hope so. All I want to do is make a point, nicely and cleanly. And maybe encourage you to think about your own life.

Relate. Reflect. That’s all I want: to be a certain kind of mirror.