Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patricks Day from Debby Downer

If there is one thing that I do well, it is ruminating over a completely irrelevant thing, allowing it to make me upset.  This past week, it has been the Irish Yoga graphic.
It has been around for years, it has always annoyed me, but this year I feel like I have to say something.
So, if you don't care or if you personally find the Irish Yoga thing hilarious, go ahead and click on through. 
I will also add the disclaimer that I am a borderline teetotaler and prude. I know this. My idea of a good time is going out to lunch on chicken salad and iced tea. Or if I am out after dark, I like to be home in my pajamas by midnight. When I drink, finishing 8 ounces is an accomplishment. I hate feeling the slightest bit tipsy because I like to always feel in control of myself. I know this is rigid and not "normal" but it's me.
So, here is an example of what I am talking about:

There are t-shirts, memes, real-life re-enactments. Friends have sent this to me. I see fellow yoga instructors, students, studio owners all sharing this, pinning it, glorifying it.
To me, it is not funny at all and actually pretty offensive.  For many different reasons.

1. Okay, so these people drank so much that they passed out, bottles strewn about. Great. They have poisoned their systems so much that their body had no other choice than to shut down to recover. Excellent! Lets make fun of that and also condone it.

2. Think of other ethnic groups and negative stereotypes placed on them. Now make a t-shirt out of it. Or post it to your Facebook page. If you need examples, just let me know. 

3. I will be the first to admit that I am a Pilates instructor first, with some training in yoga. But I am practiced enough to know that the art of meditation and many levels of a yoga practice have nothing to do with drinking so much that you pass out. 

I could go on and on, but I won't. I just needed a place to vent what has been boiling under the surface for quite some time.
I know that my opinion is very rigid and I get that it is a joke.  I just don't find it funny.
It's not cute, funny, or in any way healthy to get drunk. And getting drunk because of a holiday that was started by Irish immigrants in America, to help them band together and have a little happiness at a time when they were treated like second-class humans, is not really that cool. Maybe instead of drinking until passing out we could find something better to do to celebrate the oppressed Irish-Americans of years past. Like watching Gangs of New York in our pj's sipping on kale water.

Am I over the top? I would love to know your feelings. These are mine and I really feel so much better after sharing them. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The new goodbye

Several years ago I was working with a co-manager on email and website policies.  As I was explaining the process of getting a response to a mass email that says "unsubscribe" or "remove me from your mailing list", the co-manager, a very caring and talkative person, asked if it would be nice if we then sent another email, thanking them for following along for the time that they did, and if they ever needed [our fitness studio] in the future, not to hesitate contacting us.
It's a funny story to re-tell, and at the time I just laughed and said no, that would be annoying. They want off the list. They just aren't that into us. They moved. Whatever. They said no more communication, so no more. But, still, years later, each time I send out an email newsletter and receive the inevitable handful of "remove me" responses...I have to wonder. Do they maybe want to hear a good-bye? I manage a small studio and it isn't in our budget to use one of the programs that does automatically remove people. So it is me, going to the contact list, painfully removing the person that I could have taught to scoop, stand tall, and be strong. Or maybe they never came in and just filled out a slip at a health fair. It is hard to say. And I will more than likely never add the final good-bye email. But it is something I think about. In our fast-paced, quick-decision lives, maybe we should be a little more caring. 

Maybe good-bye should be more than just a click.