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You claim it’s too much of a hassle to be politically correct.

I was drafted into political correctness when I was three. The moment I held her fragile, teeny body, I learned how to include everyone. I was forced to open my mind and my heart to people of all different walks in all different moccasins before I even learned how to spell “coexist.” I grow up in a mosh pit of menorahs and latkes on December 25th; of “Happy Holidays” inside Christmas cards; of “male, female, or other” on registration forms; of “retard” being as bad as “faggot,” and both worse than “n*****.” I grew up questioning my, and everyone else’s, faith, nationality, sexuality, gender, and eye colour. I learned how to be PC before I learned there was such a thing as being PI.

When you asked me, didn’t I have a personal relationship with God?, after having known me for two weeks, I knew this hour would come down to a repeat of third grade. I answered “I don’t think we should get into that at school,” which is what I should have said six years before instead of “No, of course not.” Because I didn’t know it was considered wrong for a person to be an atheist since she was five. And what’s worse than the heat on my face is knowing that to this day, you treat it just like my peers did— a bruise you can’t stop touching just to see where it hurts most.

And what’s even more painful than that is knowing that you blame these abrasions on two of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known. When, in reality, the only taught me the foundation for subordinate clauses, not how to construct them to stand on their own as tottery sentences. They taught me how to believe, not what to believe. They taught me how to think, not what to think about. And you’d be surprised how widely our cognition ranges. And when I was six, I learned how to touch our family bruises without causing aches. Bruises, caused not by humans, but by being human, by living. Bruises some people never notice or choose to ignore, while other slice theirs open with blunt scissors to try and stop the pain. Bruises that are gorgeous shades of purple, blue, green, yellow, and occasionally pink or red. Bruises that, if we could resist the urge to poke, would collectively make a masterpiece.

And I truly believe you and I can change the way we regard our tinted knots. Your gentle question on the definition of blasphemy, my resisting the urge to mention certain absurd anecdotes, and our civil discussion on red and blue make me want to believe we can achieve white.

So, yes, “holiday foliage” is a ridiculous pair of words, especially when pines have nothing to do with Mr. Christ. But the idea of inclusion, although somewhat tedious, is ultimately worthwhile, if it means people like you and I can appreciate one another.

Happy Holidays.



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