At the end of every month, I share my favorite comments from that month's posts, and you're invited to do the same and link up below!
I've seen several bloggers writing lately about how they wish they had more of a "blogging niche." For my own part, I'm happy that my posts can run the gamut of topics and still always get thoughtful comments to continue the discussion.
I talked about Giving Up Comments for Lent and liked Katie's thoughts on good and bad comment sections:
Comment sections can be some of the ugliest parts of the Internet. On a site that's more moderated (like, I love The Vine column on Tomato Nation), they can be some of the most awesome, but anonymous commenting tends to bring out the worst in people. Sometimes even non-anonymous commenting, for sites that use Facebook.
The worst for me, though, isn't comment sections where people are clearly ignorant and ill-informed, but the ones where people are convinced they're right and that they're the smartest ones in the (figurative) room. That's one of the biggest reason why I stopped reading Jezebel- the unbearable smugness of the commenters.
I apparently struck a BIG chord when talking about why The Wedding Gift Tradition Has Stopped Making Sense.
Emily nailed why it takes more than an individual to change this tradition:
I've been saying this for FOREVER! Granted - I was very fortunate and nearly all of my furniture I didn't have to pay for. Then when I moved to Cape, they had a "pounding" for me. Where everyone in the congregation gave a pound of something, but it was mainly food items. I know when I've talked about this, older women have said "well that's why you have a housewarming party." Which is a good point. But if you are moving to a new town - you can't really give yourself a housewarming party because you don't know anyone! Sigh. I just want a shower because I graduated college with good grades and got a full time job after. Is that so much to ask?
On the Faith Permeating Life Facebook page, Katy shared how much this suggestion fits her life:
Brilliant. I completely agree. At this point in my life, I have all the essentials i could really ever need (with the except of a cool gadget or two) that I financed out of my own pocket when I moved. Especially with, like you said, so many people getting homes or apartments during college or right after when their wallets are slim, but their needs (pots, pans, towels, sheets etc) are larger. And really, how many couples now a days ask for money or gift cards for their wedding shyly... like they feel they shouldn't... It SHOULD be the norm. I'd rather have a savings after my wedding to go towards things I really could use, or even home repairs down the line. Things that married couples tend to find an issue as they build their lives :)
Melbourne on My Mind had some thoughts on the etiquette of asking for money:
The only two weddings I've ever been to, both couples have specified on the invitation that in lieu of gifts, they'd prefer money - the first couple had a "help us buy our first house" wishing well, while the second couple had a "help us pay for our honeymoon" thing.
In both cases, they were in their late 20s and had been living together for quite some time, so had no need of material possessions. I'm pretty sure there were (in both cases) some older relatives who got all "Asking for money is disgusting. Here, have a punch bowl you'll never ever use" about it. But from my perspective? It makes much more sense to ask for assistance with the big things, like buying a house, which is far more meaningful than getting twenty toasters. Especially when the cost of an average Australian wedding is now over $40,000!! O.o
And JeseC pointed out that not everyone ends up getting married:
All of this, so much. I wonder if it couldn't be applied to more personal gifts as well. There's a set of rings from my grandmother that my mother's been holding onto for my wedding. They're the only thing we have from her. It would be a sweet gift...except I'm seriously considering a commitment to celibacy, and in any case I'm not showing any signs of wanting to get married anything soon at all. I wonder how much of our old etiquette is from the days when the wedding was (especially for a young woman) the start of her life as an independent adult, and when it was just assumed that every young adult was setting out to get married and start a family.
It's worth considering, not just how it plays into older couples, but what it might be like for those of us who never marry.
I shared some Thoughts from a Privileged Person Writing About Privilege, and perfectnumber628 said, in part:
I've seen examples in the land of internet feminism where people get super-over-sensitive about everything and it kind of makes me scared to talk to those people- like, if I'm trying to learn and ask questions, and I use the wrong word, are they going to go all crazy and say I'm totally a terrible person and blah blah blah?
For example, I saw one blogger writing about wanting to de-friend everyone who changed their fb pic to the red equals in support of marriage equality. This blogger was saying that the HRC supports marriage equality but hasn't been supportive of trans people and therefore HRC is terrible and SO MUCH ANGER at everyone who changed their profile pic to the HRC equals sign. And I'm thinking, "Seriously? We're trying to help here. We're showing support for gay people. We didn't know all those details about the HRC's history with trans issues."
Finally, I shared 7 Lessons on Music and the Mass from David Haas based on a workshop I took with him in college, and I loved this story about one of his songs from Rachel:
Wow, Jessica, thank you for posting this. I had no idea you'd met David Haas! "You Are Mine" had a really profound role in my coming back to regular worship and Catholic worship in particular. One day right after I'd left college and was in a period of "church shopping," I had "You Are Mine" in my head, which I hadn't heard since childhood. I thought that was really odd. Then I was reading a devotional which just so happened to feature the passage in Isaiah on which that song is based. Now I really thought it was weird. Then I went to Mass the next day, for the first time for years and years, and their Communion song was, you guessed it, "You Are Mine." I lost it and started crying, and on my way back to my seat from communion a random woman gave me a big hug. And that's the story of how I came back to the Church.
The lessons you share are just more proof of all the thought Haas has put into creating his music and encouraging others to use it well, and thus helping bring about profound moments like the one I experienced. Liturgy can be so amazing.
Thanks as always for taking the time to share your thoughts this month. Please take some time to check out the great blogs of some of these commenters!