Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hmm, Shall I Blog About Contraception or Parchment Paper?

Because this is my life, people.

Last night, after a bit of internet hopping, contraception was on my mind.

I know, right? Crazy to think that so many people on the wonderfulworldwideweb are talking about such a thing, but there you are. Amazing, too, that I can even remember what contraception is, really, when you consider that I threw the pills out in 1990, about nine months after my baptism, and then we threw out even the possibility of anything else in 1995, when I became a Catholic. I was thinking about our journey to where we are now -- how we got here, what influenced us, and what we would or wouldn't change. I considered how heated the online exchanges become when the topic is contraception or  natural family planning.

So, there I am, with this stuff on my mind, puttering in the kitchen, making chocolate chip cookies. We have a graduation party coming up here next month and I'm thinking that if I make some cookies and freeze the results of my baking sessions every time I have the urge to eat cookie dough, then I'll end up with quite a generous stash of treats when the party rolls around.

And because just a couple of years ago I discovered parchment paper for cookie baking (it was no doubt during one of the infamous gingerbread episodes), I started wondering if there's any reason I can't reuse parchment paper -- as in, on another day, with another batch, another puttering session. So I googled about parchment paper and found the answer and felt rather delighted.

And suddenly, I'm sitting here thinking about what a strange world we live in that I'm considering blogging about one of these two things:

"Hey, people, you can reuse your parchment paper! How did I not know this?"

and

"Hey, people, there's so much to say about contraception that I don't even know where to start!"

And then I thought about how multi-layered the issue is (contraception, that is, not parchment paper) and about how multi-layered are the people discussing it all around. I thought about how easy it is for us to reduce each other to caricatures and nemeses, to cease to think of the other side as worthy of time and discussion.

I thought of all the women I know who have embraced a life without contraception -- women who stay home with their children, those who work outside the home, those who work from their home offices, women who bake cookies and women who buy cookies, women with high school diplomas and advanced degrees, women who grind their own wheat and those who buy Wonder bread ...

We are all stripes, all makes and models. So are those on the other side of it. But how, oh, how are we going to get anywhere in this conversation if we aren't friends who can talk about the important stuff?

I remember when I had endless questions about God, the Catholic faith, about contraception, about all the tough stuff. I had a friend who listened to me, answered questions, patiently discussed, and never reduced me to a caricature or thought of me as the enemy.

He loved me with a Christian love and drank lots of coffee with me.

That's the Christian I aspire to be.

(to be continued ... perhaps when I get to that next batch of cookies.)

7 comments:

Jennifer said...

I think I shall start a notebook of Karen quotes I have loved over the years. This post title is hilarious. And yes, the conversation should be had. It's such a personal topic though. 'Tis tricky!

Paige said...

This is what feminism has done to women. We are supposed to be so vile to one another all the time, so nothing of any consequence can get done. The women on the NFP side are characterizing the contracepting women as one way, the contracepting women are characterizing the NFP women another, and within the groups, we're suspicious of how authentic our sisters really are. I think men invented feminism just to get laid.

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

I LOVE parchment paper! My dear mother in law introduced us, and it has been heaven ever since. And so many more uses than just cookies. Who knew?

Kimberlee said...

Yes Karen, your wondrous versatility is indeed part of what makes you such a good writer. I find it amazing that we have the HHS mandate to 'thank' that so many of these conversations are taking place. God is so cool like that. And even the King Arthur company (who sells the stuff) says they reuse parchment paper until it falls apart, which is what we do. :-)

Love2Learn Mom said...

Oh Karen, I completely adore this post. Especially mixed in with the parchment paper (even though I probably couldn't eat the cookies, LOL). It's funny because at cantor practice today our music director gave a little overview of a psalm that was about salvation being for all the people of the world. During this overview, we got "distracted" with a conversation about how we shouldn't put music into boxes or for that matter, people into boxes e.g. saying that certain songs are for old people or young people or whatever. We all suddenly realized when we went back to the psalm that the tangential conversation brought extra meaning to what we were about to sing. :)

nancyo said...

About a year ago I figured out how to wash parchment paper with the dishes and let it dry so I could reuse it and that really rocked my world. (It's pretty durable stuff since it's impregnated with silicone.) Lucky for me, in my alter identity I have a food blog so I was able to share the news right away.

Ellen Wood Academy said...

An impressive post, I just gave this to a colleague who is doing a little analysis on this topic. And he is very happy and thanking me for finding it. But all thanks to you for writing in such simple words. Big thumb up for this blog post!
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