Tag Archives: Tracy Engelbrecht

Virtual friends who feel like IRL friends.

I’ve been incredibly lucky to have great friends IRL (in real life or in red leggings as a funny friend prefers to say) who in turn have great friends I have got to know via their social media platforms.

I have not met any of them personally, but our interactions on social media over the years makes it feel like we know each other personally. And in many ways they are more family than family some times. Some of my best friendships started on a blog or on FB and it feels like I have known those people forever. One blog friend came to visit me in hospital with her daughters (and that is how we met for the first time).

And for all the ugliness and narcissistic mess that social media is, I love the bit about “meeting” people via friends.  I have grown to like their families, pets, extended families. Laughed with them,  grieved with them, celebrated with them and shared their disappointment.  Thank you for being my virtual friends and I am honored to share your journeys in this here life.  Here’s to you Debbie BH, Meggle, Sankie, Lize, Sanet, Camilla,  Suki, Tracy B, Tania R, PT, Jennifer, Corneel, Phillipa, Sumanda, Diane, Tracy E, Liz Heenie, and of course Ling Shepherd.


Wise words from a clever friend

My friend Tracy Engelbrecht is my hero. She calls a spade a shovel of shit and is not afraid of upsetting delicate little ego’s.

When I grow up, I want to be like her. Just see what she has to say about all the important things in life.

“It’s 2013. Not 1513. I am old getting older, and time is increasingly short. Also, as I start to wither and die get older, I find myself with less patience and less tolerance for purveyors of wocky.

Up to now, I’ve been all about the patience and tolerance. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, do go ahead and say your thing. Up to now, I would probably even listen. I have become adept at keeping my balance when my eyes roll so far back in my head that I can see my own chequered past. I am also capable of being friends with people who do not share my views on stuff as long as you’re still nice to me and I see you being nice to others.

But suddenly, the end of my tether stares me down through the beady eye of the intertubes, and it’s time to start deleting people and avoiding others. However. If you know anything at all about me, it’s that I am officially The Laziest Person In The World. Debating does not appeal to me. I think what I think and I’m extremely unlikely to be swayed by Random Angry Chap. I won’t try to convince you to agree with me, either. Arguing your point is tedious and futile, like shaving your toes. Only you notice the difference and you’ll just have to do it all over again in 6 weeks.

So I have devised a cunning plan, which cannot fail. I’ll tell you how I feel about a range of potentially thorny topics which have recently come up, and if you don’t like what you see, you can chuck me off your list of approved correspondents, no questions asked. This way, I don’t have to do anything at all except talk and wait for YOUR blood to boil. We don’t have to fight or anything.

Here goes:

Religion: I am an atheist (for want of a better word). I just am, because it makes sense to me this way. I don’t believe that any religion is inherently bad in itself, but I do think that all religions have been devised, used and adjusted by humans to suit themselves. If your faith makes you happy, makes you feel comfortable and loved and safe, and helps you be a Better Person™, then that is cool. Just don’t use it to hurt anyone else, in words or deeds.

Abortion: I am 100% pro-choice. Literally the only person allowed to have an opinion on the termination of pregnancy is the person who is currently pregnant. Everyone else needs to shut up. Safe, legal abortions are necessary and always have been. If you don’t like it, don’t have one. People’s feelings about their own terminations are complicated, diverse and not your business. Btw, being pro-choice doesn’t necessarily mean that you’d personally choose to terminate. It just means that you would never require another person to make the same choice as you. You don’t have to like it – who does – it’s not a fun thing. Basically, not your uterus, not your decision.

Gay marriage & gayness in general: Sensing a pattern, are we? If you have ever used “gay” as an insult, we probably won’t get along. If you don’t believe that gay people should be allowed to marry and create families however they wish to, I’m surprised you’ve even read this far.

Race, privilege & South Africa: If the preceding words do not make sense to you, then you won’t like the next ones either. If you’re living in a house with actual brick walls and you’re moaning about your wilted Woolies pak choi, best delete me now.

If you’ve ever quoted Steve Hofmeyr or that woman with the cowboy hat, we can’t be friends. If the post I linked to above makes you splutter with impotent privilege-rage, it’s okay – just stop reading and go unfollow. If you chew bandwith and ears moaning about THIS COUNTRY (but also not offering any solutions or believing that you have a part to play in those solutions), then after you leave THIS COUNTRY, you can remove me from your Christmas list.

Parenting: I believe there’s no right or better way to give birth, feed your baby, get your baby to sleep, potty train, educate, clothe or entertain your child. If you feel strongly that there IS – well… you know the drill. It’s all just admin and won’t matter one jot in 5 or 10 years. What WILL matter is how you treat them, how they see you living, and whether or not you believe that they are truly a human being and not just an extension of your own ego to be used for blog-fodder. Getting uppity about how people choose to deal with the finicky daily details of raising children is to me a sign of:

a) insecurity in your own choices and b) lack of understanding that the REAL job of parenting is growing good and decent people. Do it however you like, but for goodness sake, do it Properly – with love, logic, trial & error and constant questioning of your own motives.

Spanking children: like I said the other day, and related to the point above – I think spanking is stupid. Unnecessary, irrational and completely ineffective in the long term. Militant adherence to spanking as your main form of discipline is going to make me doubt the efficacy of your leetle grey cells.

Vaccination: aah, a real goody. If it wasn’t for vaccination of childhood diseases we’d all be dropping like flies from smallpox. By all means, don’t vaccinate your children if you don’t want to. But understand that it’s not just about you. I have jabbed my offspring in every way possible and will continue to do so if other possibilities emerge because I don’t want them (or the rest of humanity) to die. Maybe one day this will prove to be a mistake. Based on the information we have now, it seems like the right thing to do.

Afterlife, reincarnation and all manner of supernatural warra-warra: um, no. As with the religious stuff, it just doesn’t make sense to me. However, what the heck do I know. I could be 100% wrong. So whatever you think is cool, but any completely unshakeable belief in either direction is a bit suspect, in my opinion.

Condoms in schools: oh, absolutely. Give the teenagers ALLLL the condoms, all the time, always. It should rain condoms down from the skies, because sex happens. Of course they are freely available elsewhere but available does not necessarily mean freely accessible, for a metric fuck-ton of reasons that make me angry and usually involve thin-lipped moralising adults with selective amnesia and a terminal case of retrograde virginity.

Feminisim: if you have ever used the word FEMINAZI other than ironically, go ahead – HIT THAT UNFOLLOW BUTTON RIGHT NOW DUDE. Really. If you don’t understand that rape culture, misogyny and unpleasant dipshittery abounds everywhere you fecking look, then we need to part ways at sunset.

There you have it. I’ve given you ten excellent reasons to dislike me. Go on, delete, dooooo eeeeeeeeeet – you know you want to.”