a little c

because I refuse to give it a big one

While I have your attention….

Posted by wendy on 2012/01/14

I don't have any relevant shots to post today, so I'll give you this self portrait, instead. If you meet me on the street, please don't mention my huge bulbous red nose. I'm very sensitive about it.

Oh hi, New People.  It’s been super fun to interact with you and meet so many of you during Wendy’s Wild and Ironic Ride on the Meme Train.  (seriously, I love that my complaint about viral updates turned into a viral update.  That was pretty cool.) You’re awesome.  Oh yes, I’m looking right at you when I say it.  Because you know you are.  If you want to stick around, I’ll do my best to keep it interesting around here.  Deal?  Deal.

So, this week, I am the Go-To Girl for snappy retorts to stupid cancer memes on Facebook.  I’m okay with that.  Next week, we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled program of Me Hating My Curly, Curly Hair, and I have a Nutella and Sea Salt Fudge recipe that you  need to try and report back to me–or send to me.   (mmmm, fudge)  But, we’re going to toss out one more meme before we get to that.

We’ve discussed the Facebook cut and paste phenomenon here, and I have mentioned one of the many versions of the following Facebook forward before, but we’ll give this dead horse one more THWACK before we let it go, okay?  A friend of mine–a cancer survivor, no less–received this the other day.  She was torn, because it was sent to her by a friend, and she didn’t want to hurt her friend’s feelings by telling her how it made her feel.   (so…if none of your cancer warrior friends have complained to you when you send them this stuff?  It is more than likely because they’re concerned about hurting you–so, maybe before you hit send, take a minute and think about their feelings.  Please.)

Let’s all take a minute and just…absorb the next few paragraphs, m’kay?

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness…So we all remember last year’s game of writing your bra color as your status? Or the way we like to have our handbag handy? Last year, so many people took part that it made national news and the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we’re doing this and helped raise awareness!! Do NOT tell any males what the statuses mean…keep them guessing!! And please copy and paste (in a message) this to all your female friends! It’s time to confuse the men again (not that it’s really that hard to do ;]) The idea is to choose the month you were born and the day you were born. Pass this on to the GIRLS ONLY and lets see how far it reaches around. The last one about the bra went around all over the world. Your status should say: “I am going to________________for___________ months.”

The day you were born should be for how many months you are going.

January–Mexico; February– London; March–Miami; April–Dominican Republic; May–France; June– St Petersburg; July–Austria; August–Germany; September–New York; October–Amsterdam; November– Las Vegas;December–Hawaii

I know so many cancer fighters and survivors who get stuff like this.  I’m one of them–because apparently, people think that since we had cancer–especially breast cancer, because that’s somehow the SEXY cancer (???? Really?),  we’re really appreciate cute and coy ‘don’t tell the boys’ memes about our bras.  Seriously, there are more ‘flirty’ email forwards for breast cancer than I can begin to count.  It’s depressing.  But, that is a rant for another day.  Where was I?

Oh yes.  Many of us don’t complain, because so many times it’s our friends and our family that send these things to us, and we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Well…I’ll will go ahead and be the Bad Guy here.  That’s not okay, y’all.  It’s not . There is NO PART of that email that is okay.  And, don’t you dare say to me “it’s a bit of fun”, because co-oping cancer for flirty fun puts you firmly in the ‘insensitive and clueless’ category.   (Yes, I just called you insensitive and clueless.   Good thing you’re reading this, because now you can move over into the  sensitive and aware category if you choose to do so.)  😉

Even if we try to look past the asinine nature of the meme, “we’re going to raise awareness by keeping it a secret from the men!”–Wait.  No.  No.  I’m sorry, I can’t get past that at all.  Men get breast cancer, too.  MEN GET BREAST CANCER, TOO.  God, people.  GOD.  Nothing in that email  has a single thing to do with cancer.  Nothing.  It’s a game.  It’s a forward.  It’s a meme.  It’s useless.  And, it is by-GOD so insulting to the people who have to fight this disease every day.  If you want to participate in silly Facebook memes, then by all means–do so.  But, how DARE you have the gall to do it under the guise  of “it’s for cancer!”.   How. Dare. You.

The fact that the bra meme ‘went around the world’ is nothing to be proud of, dammit.  You want shame?  That’s a shame, right there.

47 Responses to “While I have your attention….”

  1. Sarah said

    Yes yes yes. And yes. And FIRST again, bitches!! 🙂

    Love you.
    xoxoxo

  2. pete said

    love you – let’s start our own Meme and only tell people who hate stupid memes so then all the clueless insensitive people will be, well, clueless.

    • wendy said

      *starts a club*

    • Shelli said

      I’m in. Send me a meme for people who had stupid insensitive memes. I’m sick of the damn status memes on Facebook. Ugh. Especially the ones that claim to be for cancer or someone you’ve lost to it. My dad knows I love him and miss him and that I’ll never forget that he died from cancer. He never knew about Facebook, so I’m pretty sure he won’t mind that I don’t post about it there.

    • Eddie said

      Actually, there already is one of those memes!

      Have you seen the “Do me a favor. Go to my profile and click ‘unsubscribe'” meme that purports, variously, to help prevent your personal information from being disseminated to stalkers, or keeps activity from showing up in friends-of-friends status feeds?

      It doesn’t. It keeps the person you “unsubscribe” from showing up in your own facebook feed. It’s basically a request to “Hey, stop reading my page. And if you stop reading my page, like this so I can stop reading yours too. And then post this so that other people will stop reading your page.” – except it’s written in such a way that exceptionally clueless meme-posters will actually do it.

  3. margaret said

    Bravo, sister.

  4. CindyBeth said

    about that nose… 🙂

    I’m gonna admit somewhere around the beginning of my Facebook days, I partook in one of those bra meme’s. I’m sorry…you are so right…it’s ridiculous to make a game out of other’s pain & suffering. And to be honest, it doesn’t raise any kind of awareness at all. It’s just stupid and mindless (and insensitive). I realized it and have skipped all the invites since. I don’t think I’ll ever get the whole “chain mail” mentality. I hit delete on that shit in my inbox at least twice a day. And you’re correct, I never say anything because the person that sends it to me is a co-worker and friend. Half of it is about god loving me and she KNOWS I’m an athiest. But I just delete it silently, I don’t want to offend her.

    I married the fudge again the other night – only this time I substituted 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter for half the Nutella. Yeah, we had to renew our vows. *muah*

    • Sarah said

      OMG I’m sorry. Did you say peanut butter and Nutella fudge?!?! *dies*

    • wendy said

      Fuuuuudge. I found condensed milk in my pantry. I can’t make any more. I can’t!! BUT, I MUST.

      Beth–I think the thing that irritates me the most about those forwards is the assumption that everyone has the same beliefs. They do not. And, it amazes me how easily miffed people get when that fact is pointed out to them.

  5. Milaka said

    I’m new here – found you because of your last meme. I don’t do the stupid cut and paste for anything (well, I did repost one that said, “Please repost if you or someone you know lost a loved one on Alderaan . . . “), but I’ve often wondered if I should show support that way. Now I know.

    Oh, and I did the bra meme just because I thought putting “chain mail” would be funny.

  6. Beej said

    *NOW* how am I ever going to know what color bra everyone is wearing? Dammit, Wendy, I have so little to look forward to. 🙂

    ❤ you

  7. Tina said

    So true. My usual response to this email is remind all my Facebook friends, male and female, to do their monthly breast exams. The whole thing is infuriating to me.

  8. heathre said

    another big AMEN from me. you rock, wendy.

  9. I JUST got one of those going somewhere for so many months last night. From my niece no less. How in the hell is that supposed to support any kind of social or medical cause? It made me wonder why was she going to Alaska for 14 months? Was she going before or after her wedding in May? I was ready to call my sister at midnight last night and ask her wtf? That would have gone over well. My sister is new to FB and would have called to find out what was going on. So that’s another take on insensitivity.

    Oh and make your family worry about you going somewhere , I assure you you will be going to HELL for INFINITY months. haha

  10. I find the assumption that men are unconcerned with breast cancer and thus should be made the butt of some big joke pretty disgusting on yet another level (in addition to the painful ignorance and the aspect of insanely disrespectful flirtation): why can’t men also be concerned with breast cancer? Why can’t they be part of the movement for awareness? Even if we set aside the assumption that men can’t get breast cancer, men still have mothers, sisters, girlfriends, wives, and friends. WHY THE FUCK would you turn the lives of all of those women into a game just to be grotesquely flirtatious with some poor fucker on Facebook who couldn’t give two shits what color your bra is?

    …not that I feel strongly about this subject, or anything.

    • wendy said

      Oh, you are totally allowed (and welcome) to vent about it. I was talking about this earlier today with M–he gets so outraged (and rightly so) over the portrayal of men as ‘clueless’ over and over. It’s bullshit. And, yeah, I so agree…men have every right to be involved in campaigns for awareness–as the mother of a young man who was very affected by my cancer, I have to say that leaving him out in the cold would have been the cruelest thing I could have done.

      • I just have real trouble with the idea that awareness of *anything* that serious should be group/gender/race/species (in the event that the crackpots are right and there ARE aliens among us)/whatever specific, let alone that such a tasteless game should be made out of it. I mean, don’t get me wrong–I’m a New York Jew: I can find the black (or rather, burnt) humor in just about anything, but that shit is just tasteless.

      • Marion said

        Thanks whiskeypants, that was so helpful, I too am a New York Jew, and Breast Cancer Survivor. I got seduced by this while I have working almost a week on recouping form a chronic bronchitis seize.
        I have had a very sleepless week. I am very tired
        When first diagnosed with breast cancer, I took the Genetic Testing route; because, My maternal grandfather had Breast Cancer.
        I am very Pro-active and incourage others to be tested.
        Because of the lack of sleep, I am guite bored. Violent Coughing prevents me from reading.
        So I fell into the trap.
        The joke that everyone knew except me.
        I have come to recall the old adage: If you can’t play the Game then Stay off the Court.
        So, Hasta la vista face book games, and G-d Bless Us all.

      • wendy said

        I have nothing else to add to this beyond a big “YES, EXACTLY.” I just think you’re awesome.

  11. Marion said

    I shall put I am going to Mexico for 6 months on my status, I am a Breast Cancer Survivor ; but, just what is a Meme?
    ?

  12. Yeah… I got one of those stupid messages about vacationing somewhere for so long…. I left that conversation immediately. I am so sick of it.

  13. Darling Wendy, we’re clearly experiencing a mind meld; following is a post of mine written after the last appearance of these idiotic memes. And, remarkably enough, I don’t seem to get the invites anymore either! But I still notice them:

    http://accidentalamazon.com/blog/2011/09/05/the-pink-elephant/

  14. Yet again, you say what I’m thinking. As a matter of fact, I wrote something similar not too very long ago. It hurts. And it does nothing for patients and survivors except piss us off, hurt us and diminish what we go through.

    I could go on and on and on, but I won’t – this is your blog! – but suffice it to say YES!

  15. Andrea said

    I’ve touched on this subject as well as the one from your post before this. I’ve pointed out that men can get cancer, that awareness only goes so far, that these silly status updates don’t inform or do one single thing to help or inform anyone! I also go on and on about any other subject/topic that I see fit.

    I’ve been told I’m exhausting to talk to for it. I’ve been told to leave people alone and let them do what they want to do if it makes them feel good.

    I hope like hell that never happens to you and that you get through to people and all of that. I’m also going to use you as an inspiration to open my damned mouth any time I please and not be stifled for fear of upsetting people.

  16. I’m sure the Dominican Republic is lovely and all, but anyone who knows me knows that I would prefer New York or somewhere in Europe or maybe Hawaii. This meme is bulls*&^!

  17. On your last post, I was going to wander in here, comment, reply on my own blog, applaud a little, and then wander off again, back to my own little life……

    You sucked me back in again.
    Dammit.

    Yep, these too. I hit the “Report” thing for those, partly because I just hate them and partly because I loathe the multi-recipient messages that then flood my inbox on the dreaded FB. I’ve spoken out and had the “It’s just a bit of fun” and the “But it’s for cancer…” replies. A few people got unfriended over it, a couple just got told to STFU, and the rest, on the whole, just don’t send them to me any more. More and more people are speaking out though. Found this the other day: http://www.notefromlapland.com/2011/09/stupid-facebook-breast-cancer-awareness-posts.html

    BTW I hate nutella, have never made fudge…. but have you ever tried these: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/02/apple_dumplings/ They are simply, Awesome.

    Sending cyber ((hugs))
    Sarah

  18. Sarah those look delish. Bookmarked for next time I want something yummy.

  19. rowan said

    thank you for this~i have a few different reasons that these meme-y emails bother me. first(and this is hard to say!), i can’t tell you how many friends(young women, beloved, sister-friends whom i have watched die of breast cancer-ages of 32-60). i walked many walks for them, i am an artist and have donated countless pieces of art for breast cancer and will continue to do so. i have sat in many waiting rooms while friends and family have had numerous surgeries. all of this continues to on and i have reached a point where i can no longer do anything like these memes or even check for lumps on my own breasts(i had to have mamagrams early because i have very dense breast tissue, biopsies, ultrasounds). i need this to be over.

    i have cancer of my own(i am 40 now)-of the cervix and skin. i have had too many folks checking “under the hood”. i wasn’t/won’t be able to have children. i have serious problems with my colon and lower gi track-these are great diseases too. i am constantly have folks check out the inner workings of that area-again, more hospital stuff and dangerous infections.

    i started having eating disorders when i was about 11-again, hospital after hospital, dealing with depression, PTSD since i was about 21 up until now. i want to start a big walk, memes for, and all the rest for depression, but i don’t have the energy. i look fine so no one understands. no one offers to donate anything for all my gunk. yes, all of this seems very selfish. i have caused so much damage to my body from all of this. i have finally gotten over the fact that it isn’t my fault-it is all part of my disease-early on. i have donated art for so many illnesses-big events. artists are the poorest folks ever. i kind of don’t understand.

    as for my friends who still struggle with breast cancer-men who struggle with cancer of all kinds too, what about a good male friend with stomach cancer? his ribbon is pale blue, i know that sometimes they just want to have an “ok” day and not to be reminded of their cancer. they are doing all they can and i know and am glad there are so many groups that are helping them. i think these memes take away from those normal and ok days.

    long, but thank you!

  20. Liz said

    As a woman who has just finished active treatment for breast cancer, I nearly choked with laughter on my (green) tea on reading this post. There are not enough ‘like’ buttons in cyberspace to express my response. I was, frankly, gobsmacked when on several occasions during 8 months of horrible treatment I got sent messages along these lines (a ‘cute’ double entendre about foot size being the last one that I remember). They were sent by lovely women who I know meant well, and (crazy as it sounds) I felt bad refusing to respond to them. Even though I just quietly ignored them, I knew that as someone tagged with the pink ribbon (so to speak) this would be noticed and wondered about. I was baffled by how on earth these lovely, smart women thought these memes were “increasing awareness of breast cancer.” I wasn’t gutsy enough to speak out on FB, though. Good on you for doing so!! I am absolutely loving your blog and have just added it to my new little blog’s rapidly-growing sidebar!!

  21. Please forgive me for being clueless, thank you for helping me move to the other side:)

  22. […] feelings around October is kind of what I do, isn’t it?  I’m always willing to be the bad guy when it comes to letting your friends know how insulting Facebook status memes about bra colour […]

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