You Guys Need To Chill With The Elf On The Shelf Hate

I’m going to drop a real bomb on you guys, here. It’s a doozy. Brace yourselves.

I do the Elf on the Shelf for my kids.

Yeah, that’s right. I have the Elf on the Shelf. Not just the Elf on the Shelf, but one for each of my kids plus an Elf for my older dog and the reindeer for my puppy.

That’s five – count ’em, FIVE – stuffed dolls that I take out every holiday season, and move around nightly, creating hijinks and antics. I even buy the accessories now. All for the enjoyment of my children.

<Insert fainting in shock and horror GIF>

I started about five or six years ago and my kids loved it. I mean LOVED. I never tied it to behavior, like some parents do. A couple times if my kids were fighting I’d have the elves do their thing, but ALSO leave a note: “Santa says quit fighting!” Nothing beyond that, though. If I forget a night, whatever. It becomes a joke that Mom blew it, because they’ve also always known it was me moving those silly things around.  

I always used to say that I would never do stuff like that (I may have even said it here on my blog). You know that arrogant person that has zero kids who knew everything they would and would not do as a parent? That was me, and the Elf on the Shelf was that thing I definitely wasn’t going to do. Even for a period of time after I had my children.

At some point, though – somewhere in the process – I realized something so unimaginable and profound, it may come as even more of a shock to you guys than the simple fact of me doing the Elf on the Shelf:

My children’s’ childhoods are about their enjoyment, not my own personal judgments and opinions. Yours too. 

You guys can imagine, then, that I feel pretty fucking accosted on a daily basis now, when I log onto the Internet to see a stream of hate for the Elf on the Shelf in every feed I come across. Articles. Blogs. Opinion sites. People’s random Facebook status updates…loaded with hatred and loathing for this simple family tradition. 

See that’s the thing I’ve noticed about the people that don’t do the Elf on the Shelf… they’re just like vegans. The old joke about vegans goes like this: do you know how you can tell someone is a vegan? Don’t worry…they’ll tell you. All the haters of the Elf on the Shelf seem to be capable of doing during the holiday season is telling people that and why they hate the thing. 

The Elf on the Shelf is what you make of it. It can be a tool to control your kids’ behavior for the month or so before Christmas. It can be a fun little family tradition you do every night during the holiday season.

It can also be something you don’t bring into your home.

That’s your prerogative. 

Those of you that don’t, though, need to take a serious chill on all the hate. Honestly. Chill the fuck out.

I get that you guys – adults – think it’s creepy. I get that the thing has this sort of voyeuristic look to it’s face. I have a bitchy look to my face, you don’t see people straight up calling me a bitch every time they log onto the Internet. (At least that I’m aware of.)

Some people use it as a weird little guy sitting on a shelf, spying on you – or whatever. Those are the people that call the Elf on the Shelf (to be clear, a doll made of felt and stuffing) a “pervert.” That’s us – adults – applying our shitty experiences to otherwise innocent things. Dolls, for fuck’s sake. Why stop at the Elf on the Shelf? Why not consider every doll or toy or fake-slightly-weird-looking toy “creepy” and ban them from your house? 

I understand that it’s just another lie we tell our kids. Between Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy… adding another make-believe fantasy to lighten up the heaviness of the modern childhood – well that’s just too fucking far. Right, Monica – mother of one who most definitely will not play in to letting her child have an ounce of fucking levity, from Day One?

Chill the fuck out, Monica.

Some people use it as a behavioral tool, as in the elf doesn’t move if you’ve been bad. To those people, just waiting around every corner is some lady, clutching her pearls, ready to comment about how people shouldn’t need a doll to keep their kids in line. Alright, Pearl Clutcher, fair enough. But you know what is better than judging the struggles a parent has with their kids? Keeping your fucking judgments to yourself.

(In the words of our Holy Mother of Orange County, Vicki Gunvalson: “judge me when you are perfect.”)

And don’t even get the ineffable writers at the likes of Scary Mommy or Bustle started on the mere hassle of doing the whole Elf thing every night. I mean, for goodness sakes, you’ve fed and clothed your children, now you purchased a little doll to move around every night, voluntarily I’ll add, and you have to do this for – what, like a month? And the only payment for this unbelievably agonizing task is your children’s happiness?!

I get it.

I get that the thing has a creepy face, like every other doll your kids have.

I get that fantasy is another word for “imagination,” and there is no place for that shit in a child’s head these days.

And – more than anything – I understand that the plight of the modern parent is that you’ve had all these kids, and yet consider the majority of their kid-ness to be a giant inconvenience to your own life.

I get it. We all do.

But really, guys. Chill. The. Fuck. Out.

And, shut up.

Chicagoland Bloggie Friend Frolic

I’m super duper sorry that I’ve been so minimal on the blog these last few weeks, you guys. It’s just that life got crazy a few days before we left for vacation, and it’s only now calming down as we go into the second week of our month-long stay in the Chicagoland area.

So before blathering on in blog posts later this week about all this crazy shiz that’s gone down while here, I wanted to first let everyone know about the Chicagoland Bloggie Friend Frolic that is in the works of organization for Sunday, July 14th at 4 pm in the suburb of Glen Ellyn.

It’s nothing fancy. Just people meeting up in a bar-ish type of casual setting. There’s a Facebook event for it you can check out. And above all, please share with people you think might be interested!

Whether you are a mom blogger, a tech blogger, a something-else blogger, an “I don’t blog but I read blogs” person, or someone that just enjoys laughter, come on by!!

Click the photograph to get the Facebook event invite. And make sure to RSVP so we have an idea of who to look for!

BlogFriends

Mr. Man-Panties

Special thanks to my friend Jeremy for this one; my husband does cry as much as this lady does too, as he laments over what I will do next...

Special thanks to my friend Jeremy for this one; my husband does cry as much as this lady does too, as he laments over what I will do next…

I am in no way attempting to wage any mom-dad-husband-wife-bloggie wars here. In fact, I don’t really even know much about the blog that inspired this post: The Daddy Files. It would be terribly unfair for me to take a blog of his and pick it apart without knowing much about him, his intentions, and his blogging or writing style. So I won’t.

However someone shared with me his post today and – much like he preambles the man-pantie post of misogyny and insecurity with – I thought it my moral duty to at least address an important issue in the mom-dad-husband-wife blogging world: sexism.

Like I said, I find it terribly unfair for a blogger to take a blog or blogger s/he is unfamiliar with and pick everything apart (I’m looking at you, Daddy Files). But I would like to pay attention to one thing mentioned (perhaps in jest) when he took to task a fellow mom-blogger’s recent post over at Scary Mommy. Her’s was titled “10 Reasons Your Husband Is Just Another Child” and his response was titled “10 Reasons I Feel Bad for Your Husband.” You faithful blog followers are intelligent enough to assume where things went in the latter.

In the beginning, he says: “…all the man/dad bashing is so fashionable lately that letting it go unchecked seemed borderline irresponsible, so once again the dad blogosphere finds itself defending ourselves against idiotic, sexist and unfunny crap that litters the Internet.”

Woah there, sparky. Let’s settle down and not get our balls so twisted. There is a stark difference between making jokes, poking fun, or making light of the truth; and, acting idiotic and sexist.

I have posted many blogs about my husband. Some referred to them as “over the top;” others suggested that I was intentionally trying to emasculate him so as to assert control over him. One time my mother in law called my husband and asked if we were getting a divorce. I’ve poked fun at my husband, and all husbands – I’ve called men pigs (which many are); I’ve called him insensitive and misogynistic (which he is); and I’ve discussed all the horrific nuances of cleaning stubble out of a sink, crumbs off the kitchen counter, and urine off the back of the toilet.

And I shared with everyone the time I discovered the Pussy Master 3000 (an artificial vagina, I assume for masturbation purposes) in my husband’s drawer of miscellaneous crap.

PM3000

In response to these types of blogs, I get a wide range of responses, many of which are clearly penned by insecure men, unable to take jokes because their man-panties are so wedged up their assholes they can taste the fabric. Just a few days ago, some unbelievably pig-headed tightwad commented on an old blog of mine with the following: “Wow, must have been a heavy-flow day for you huh? Get your tampon out of your asshole.”

Now who’s being idiotic, sexist and unfunny?

The whole point, here, is that there are good things and bad things about living with a partner of the opposite sex. Even of the same sex. As for living with a man, it’s urine on the back of the toilet, too many ball scratches to make anyone comfortable, acting unappreciative when appreciation is greatly needed, gas at inopportune times and in a way that is completely irrespective to other people’s sensibilities (would an “excuse me” fucking kill you, Methane Man?), and bachelor-type behavior even when bachelorhood has been over for decades.

The only thing idiotic and sexist is expecting us to stay quiet about it. To omit (thereby lie) and act as though men are pristine gods, whose glistening ball sweat smells like roses and whose shit-stained underpants are yummy enough to roast up and serve with a side of asiago cheese bread, is just ludicrous. On the flip side, if my husband had a blog in which its focus was to talk about marriage and parenting, I would fully expect him to write about my period stains and the fact that this evening I flashed and jiggled my boobs for the complete strangers driving past our bedroom window, in the apartment parking lot (to be fair, I didn’t realize people would drive by as I joked about changing my clothes in front of an open window). It’s honesty. It’s reality. And it’s fucking hilarious.

It also reeks of something terribly narcissistic to just assume that everyone wants the same thing. Perhaps the mom-blogger that wrote that article about husbands being another child (which, case in point fact: many are) has a husband who can laugh a little at his own childish behavior, admit his faults as a human being, and fucking move on. Not everyone thinks the same, lives the same, laughs the same, loves the same, and expects the same out of a relationship. It doesn’t always have to turn into a reason to backlash with just as much sexism and misogyny as happened in the Dark Ages.

Unless, of course, the man who lashes out at such differences in experience wants to be a permanent Mr. Man-Panties. We all have at least one of these in our lives – a man that cannot take a joke; who thinks his bullshit is lined with 14-karat gold. I get comments from them all the time; the best was when a man told me I was “the most miserable cunt on the planet who just needs to die now” (that gem was for saying that women shouldn’t feel obligated to clean the house to a daily sparkle if they have physical limitations). There is a female equivalent, I’m sure. She probably gets uptight when people say “TMI” to her expression of cramps; or when people make jokes about living with a woman (of which there are many).

The point is this: I think as bloggers; but not just as bloggers, but as human beings, and as citizens of the 21st century – a time when we have a synthesis of traditional roles with a more liberal playing field when it comes to women and men having an equal voice – it’s time to lighten the fuck up. Can it with the “how sexist”s and “your poor husband/wife”s (unless, of course, there is some truly backwoods shit going on). Maybe instead of lashing out because a woman says that men act like children by leaving their leopard printed thongs on the floor in the bathroom, everybody should just chill the fuck out and retaliate with some kind-hearted jokes of their own.

And of course admit that your thong could be picked up, or the piss should be wiped off the side of the toilet. I’ll be the first to say that describing my daily period flow to my husband is about as disgusting as his eating an entire brick of cheese, followed by a King Sized Hershey bar is irresponsible. These things are funny, not idiotic. They’re honest, not a soap opera. Reality, not sexism.

Yes, that is my husband ... another thing he did for my blog. You can make your own meme of Maxi Pad Man at http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3st15a/

Yes, that is my husband … another thing he did for my blog. You can make your own meme of Maxi Pad Man at http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3st15a/