Duggars, holidays

Jinger Vuolo’s new baby girl… and Happy Thanksgiving!

The news came out last night (my time, anyway), that Jinger and Jeremy Vuolo of Counting On have welcomed their second child, a girl named Evangeline Jo. The baby was born on Sunday night, November 22, and she joins her two year old sister, Felicity Nicole.

I don’t mind the name Evangeline, I guess… and that’s a good thing, since she’s not my kid. I think “Jo” is a bit of a weird middle name that doesn’t really have a ring to it, but Jinger says it’s in honor of Jeremy’s middle name of Joseph. Felicity’s middle name is Nicole, like Jinger’s is, so I guess it’s only fair. Now that both kids have their parents’ middle names, are they going to stop having babies? They do seem less interested in mass breeding than Jinger’s parents.

Sometimes, I think Jeremy Vuolo decided to “rescue” Jinger from her humongous family. I remember when 19 Kids and Counting was still on, and Jinger commented that she wanted to live in a big city. Michelle Duggar was quick to clarify that Jinger meant she wanted to live closer to a Walmart, not explore the streets of New York City. Of course, it was obvious Michelle’s clarification was a fabrication. Jinger married Jeremy, and now they live in Los Angeles, which probably suits her fine. And it looks like she’s kind of detaching from the whole fundie lifestyle, although she’s still religious.

It will be interesting to see which of the Duggar kids reject the whole super Christian shit altogether. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jinger does. I think Jill may also ditch it, too, which is funny since she always seemed to be the biggest Kool-Aid drinker and tattletale when they were growing up. But, just as heads tend to clear when people escape a toxic, abusive environment, so do adults tend to follow their own instincts and live their own lives when they break away from their parents’ domain.

Anyway, I wish Evangeline luck. She’s been born in strange and interesting times. And the people on the Duggar Family News page are relentless in their criticisms already. Now, the Duggars have Ivy, Evy (Evelyn), and Evangeline… maybe they’ll form a singing group someday.

Moving on…

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. This year is going to be harder for a lot of people for many reasons. I’ve seen lots of people bitching about those who decided to travel. I’m not going to judge the travelers. I hope they’ll all be okay and don’t pick up or spread COVID-19. I know some of them will… but I also know that being away from family is hard for a lot of people. And I also think people should make up their own minds about what they want to do.

Bill and I, of course, are staying home. It’s cold and gloomy outside, but we have a fireplace, and we ordered a takeout Thanksgiving meal from a local restaurant. There are only two of us eating, and we need to do what we can to help businesses survive. They’re doing a Thanksgiving meal, so we’re taking advantage of it. We ate at their place before they moved to the German/American golf course last year, and we had a fantastic meal. Hopefully, today’s offering will be just as good.

I miss my annual family gatherings… but sometimes, being overseas makes things easier. It’s a lot easier to say no to gatherings when you live in Europe and your family is in America.

So… enjoy your holiday, be safe and happy, and eat your fill!

The featured photo was our living room last night. God, I love having a fireplace again!

Standard
complaints, condescending twatbags, rants

It’s just… like… my opinion, man…

I was a bit irritable yesterday. It started as I cracked open my eyes for the first time and read a post in the Duggar Family News group. Someone had posted a screenshot from Jinger Vuolo’s Instagram page. It was from the church she and her husband, Jeremy, are now attending.

Someone’s comment was “How about everyone stay the F home, Jinger?”

Another commenter wrote:

why. This is a virus. We never shut down Before. For viruses. The flu has killed more. The cdc said they gave wrong numbers less then 1%have died. If your not ready stay home. Stop the control

Now… as most of us who have been watching the news know, COVID-19 is not like the flu. A whole lot of people have died of the coronavirus. It really is a scary thing. BUT… there are still people out there like the woman I quoted just above this paragraph who have a different perspective. I don’t agree with her, but I think she should be heard and not automatically and summarily dismissed, even though most everyone else disagrees with her opinion. The original commenter immediately piled on this woman with derision.

“Wow! You are grossly misinformed.”

When I see a comment like that in response to someone who dares to say something that goes against the grain, my hackles go up a little. I know what is to follow will not be productive. What followed was a lot of insults and sarcasm, and even some new “Facebook groups” made solely to insult the woman who said COVID-19 is not as bad as the flu. I think this is how we get people like Donald Trump in charge.

People who are “woke” and “know better” are shitty to people who don’t share their opinions. The people who feel shat upon become disenfranchised and insulted, and they lash out by voting in loudmouthed buffoons like Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, who promise to speak for them. And can you blame them? In the case of Trump, maybe… although time after time, Trump supporters have said they like him because he speaks like and for them (even if the reality is, he disdains regular folks). No one wants to be treated like they don’t matter. People don’t like it when you insinuate that they’re stupid. And besides, if you don’t listen to opinions that don’t match yours, how can you learn what the other side of an issue is?

I see one somewhat “nice” comment in this thread. The rest are mostly shitty, and the insults continued for a long time in posts I didn’t feel like copying.

For the record, I am with the people who say COVID-19 is much worse than the flu. However, I’m not a fan of the whole “gotcha” phenomenon surrounding most controversial topics these days, and the complete lack of civility people have when they disagree with each other, especially online. It’s no wonder we have a bunch of people who get so unhinged that they freak out. I’m not sure what these people were trying to do when they responded, but in my experience, insulting and being sarcastic to people doesn’t change their minds. It mostly makes them more entrenched in their beliefs. Yes, I agree that COVID-19 is deadly, but is it really necessary to be so shitty? Why not respond with a modicum of respect, at least at first? If they respond with snark and shittiness, then perhaps you can fire back in kind. But I advise only a little bit of return fire, because those kinds of arguments are truly a waste of time and convince no one of anything.

Awhile later, someone else shared this picture of Candace Cameron Bure, whose husband of 24 years was photographed caressing her boob.

Some Christians apparently lost their fucking minds over this…

Candace Cameron Bure said, “For all you Christians that are questioning my post with my husband’s hand on my boob, my husband of 24 years, thinking it was inappropriate, it makes me laugh because it’s my husband,” she said in a video on her Instagram stories. “We have so much fun together. He can touch me anytime he wants and I hope he does. This is what a healthy, good marriage and relationship is all about so I’m sorry if it offended you.”

“I’m actually not sorry,” she added, laughing.

CNN actually ran a story about this. I guess it was a slow news day.

A long thread then ensued, with many people writing about what a creep they think Candace Cameron Bure is. I read all kinds of comments from “triggered” people who wrote everything from claiming that Candace is an “attention whore” (hello– she’s an actress! It’s kind of her job!) to one person writing that s/he felt that Candace was putting down the choices of unmarried people. Like– she’s been married for 24 years, so it’s okay for her husband to grab her breast in a photo. But it’s not okay for people who aren’t married to grope each other in public. I sincerely doubt Candace woke up one morning and thought to herself, “What can I post online that will bait and trigger the non-Christians out there and make them feel badly about themselves?” However, some people thought that was what she meant to do and were venting about it.

Personally, as someone who is not all that invested in Candace Cameron Bure’s beliefs or even her acting career, I think it’s awesome that she addressed the Christians who were reaching for the smelling salts over her boob groping post. So I wrote this:

She is so much cooler than her brother is. (17 likes so far)

For that comment, I got a bunch of responses from women who felt the need to “correct” my opinion.

You can see my final response, which some people evidently thought was funny. I wrote:

All I said is that I think she is so much cooler than her brother is. It doesn’t mean I admire or emulate her. I mean, being way cooler than Kirk Cameron is a pretty low standard, isn’t it? Anyway, I don’t really care to argue about this. If you think she’s an abusive bigot or out of touch, that’s fine with me. We don’t have to agree.  

See you later. I’ve got to go frost my bush.  😉

Frosting one’s bush… that is a Carlinism. George Carlin had a routine about keeping people on their toes. He suggested going into a hair salon and asking the stylist to frost your bush. I think of it as sort of a more interesting way of saying, “I’ve gotta go wash my hair.” In other words, this is an unproductive conversation and I’m out of it.

At 8:20, he talks about having one’s pubic hair streaked… God, I miss George.

Interesting side note. When I was growing up, a lot of my contemporaries had crushes on Kirk Cameron, who was at that time starring on the ABC sitcom, Growing Pains. Yes, I also watched that show, but I much preferred Family Ties, and not just because I looked so much like Tina Yothers. And I never had a crush on Kirk. However, I never thought he would go from teen heartthrob to super evangelical Christian. I don’t agree with his beliefs, but as long as they don’t affect me personally, I don’t really care too much about them, either. It’s not like he’s friends or family. Same thing with his sister.

It irritates me when people feel the need to correct other people’s opinions. It’s one thing if a person is passing off harmful opinions as facts. I guess I don’t blame people for feeling compelled to address the woman in the first example I posted, although I think people who haven’t gotten the COVID-19 message by now are just going to have to find out for themselves.

I just wish those who feel the need to be corrective would do it in a more constructive way that leads to dialogue, rather than resorting to petty insults and blocking communication. I would rather see people trying to convince people in a positive way, rather than just being rude. While they probably won’t change minds either way, I do think that those who want to “correct” others would be more successful if they allowed for a meaningful conversation rather than angrily calling people out for not being with the program.

Ah, The Big Lebowski. I tried to watch this film twice and didn’t like it either time. But I do like this line.

In the second example, I simply wrote that I think Candace Cameron Bure is much cooler than her brother is. As far as I’m concerned, she really is. But I will admit, I don’t obsess over her career or her personal life, nor do I pay attention to her child rearing methods. I did read one of her books and I remember her as a child actress. I don’t watch her on TV anymore, but she does seem to be a lot more moderate than her brother is. As I explained, that doesn’t mean much, and it certainly doesn’t mean I need to be taken to school. It’s just my opinion, man.

I don’t enjoy getting into petty spats with people, especially online, and especially with strangers. I think they’re mostly a waste of time. Some readers who follow my personal Facebook page may recall the post from last year that I shared yesterday. It was about two American people who wanted to tell me about how life is in Germany, even though they’ve not been here. In revisiting that post, I realize that I did engage with one of those people for a lot longer than I should have. I left that exchange with her still insisting that her anecdotal evidence was superior to my actual, real life experience. But you can’t argue with people who just don’t get it and refuse to see it. And if it’s just their opinion, you’re probably facing a losing battle. It’s not the most productive way to spend a precious Saturday. You’re better off frosting your bush at the barber shop.

Standard
Duggars, Ex, narcissists

“He’s just a little boy… let’s not condemn him to a life of fundie drudgery yet!”

Yesterday, I was hanging out in the Duggar Family News Facebook group when someone shared a cute picture of two of the Duggar grandchildren. I believe it was a picture of Josh’s second daughter, Meredith, and Jessa’s eldest child, Spurgeon. I think both kids are very cute, but Spurgeon appears to be especially adorable, despite his unfortunate name, which alternately reminds me of sturgeon or spooge. A lot of the people in the Duggar group called him “Spud” for short.

Anyway, I posted that I think Spurgeon is super cute and will be a “heartbreaker” when he gets older. Innocent enough comment, right? It’s the kind of thing people often say about attractive children. I didn’t realize what I wrote was controversial, but apparently, it was.

Here’s the conversation that ensued:

I was a bit non-plussed that my original comment, that I think Spurgeon is a “cutie” and will be a heartbreaker, turned into a prediction of the boy’s future. Spurgeon is only four years old; he turns five in November. And yet people in the Duggar group are already condemning him to a lifetime of being his grandfather’s “slave”.

“Here’s you some candy…” (actually, I have seen the candy challenge done by a lot of Mormons, too.)

Frankly, I find that thought very depressing. People in the Duggar group follow the pregnancies of the Duggar children with intense devotion and seem to cheer whenever a new pregnancy is announced. However, it seems that a fair number of them believe that the offspring of the Duggar “kidults” are doomed somehow. What a sad and limiting thought that is. Basically, a large group of people strongly believe that these kids have no minds of their own and no ability to make their own choices.

And yet, here’s Jill Dillard, wife of Derick Dillard and once considered the biggest Kool-Aid drinker of the bunch. She’s sending her son, Israel, to public school. She has a nose piercing, wears pants, and has even been photographed wearing shorts, sleeveless tops, and swimwear. Yes, it’s true that she and Derick are no longer welcome to come to the Duggar compound uninvited, but they are clearly making their own choices.

Jeremy and Jinger Vuolo, likewise, were able to escape Arkansas and live on their own out in California. They’ve been married a few years now, yet Jinger is only on her second pregnancy. She wears pants, has cut her hair, and colors it. It’s obvious that Boob no longer completely runs her life.

And finally, there’s Joy Anna Forsyth, who married her husband Austin a few years ago. Austin makes his own money flipping houses. It looks like they’ve largely removed themselves from the hopelessly dull Counting On series and are putting up their own videos on YouTube, for which they probably get paid directly.

I think these two might be living their own lives now.

But even if I’m wrong about Jill, Jinger, and Joy Anna, and their lifestyles are still completely under Boob’s control, I still think it’s within the realm of possibility that Spurgeon or any of the other Duggar grandchildren will bust out on their own and make their own choices. It’s happened in many families that are mini-cults.

Look at the people who have managed to escape Warren Jeffs, and other FLDS sects. I know I read a lot of books by women who were once sister wives– Irene Spencer’s excellent book, Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife, comes to mind. She was the second wife to Verlan LeBaron. Her sister wife, Susan Ray Schmidt, wife number six to Verlan, also wrote a book called His Favorite Wife: Trapped in Polygamy. I’m sure many people thought that Irene and Susan were trapped for life in the Colonia LeBaron FLDS polygamist nightmare, but they weren’t. They escaped and made new lives for themselves. There is absolutely no reason to believe that any of the Duggar grandchildren or children can’t also escape. In fact, if I were a betting woman, I would bet there will someday be a scandalous tell all about life as a Duggar. I bet there’s already a book in the works as I type this.

If there’s one thing I have learned from Bill’s experience with his hyper-controlling, narcissistic ex wife, it’s that people who are caught in these kinds of controlling groups DO sometimes wake up and take control over their own lives, even if the source of control is a close relative. My husband’s daughter did not speak to him for many years, mostly because her mother told her not to and she’d been fed a lot of lies. A lot of people thought it was hopeless that Bill would ever speak to his daughter again, let alone know his grandchildren.

I always somehow knew younger daughter would eventually come around. I figured she would do it before her older sister would, simply because she had a stronger personality. But I knew it would happen someday that she and Bill would speak again. I’m grateful that my initial predictions weren’t completely what came to pass. I figured she’d get in touch to spite her mother, because I was under the mistaken impression that she was just like her mom. I thought that she would try to use Bill, like her brother did. It turns out that, as far as we can tell, she’s much more like Bill, which is a wonderful blessing.

I still have hope that older daughter will also come around someday… but if there’s one thing Bill and I have BOTH learned, it’s that being “disowned” is not the end of the world. Yes, it’s extremely hurtful to be cast out, but the pain is definitely survivable. Some people truly would rather go through the pain of being disowned than surrender their free will to someone else. Many people are determined to make their own decisions in life, and choose to break out of extremely controlling family systems and do what they want. There is absolutely NO reason to believe that one of the Duggar grandchildren won’t do that.

Boob can’t control them all forever, and who’s to say that someone even more narcissistic or toxic won’t come along push him out of power? There are simply too many of them. Even Fred Phelps, creator of the damnable Westboro Baptist Church, was eventually ousted from his own family created church fiefdom. It takes a lot of energy and strength to control people, and the older and weaker a controlling person gets, they more likely it is that they’ll eventually be pushed aside by someone younger and stronger. Everyone– even Jim Bob Duggar– has a match. Moreover, most of us have never met the Duggars and only know about them what we’ve seen on TV and read in the media.

I truly hope that any of the Duggar children or grandchildren who want to live life on their own terms will eventually be able to do so. I refuse to sell any of them short. I disapprove of making predictions about how a child will turn out, particularly when the child is as young as Spurgeon Seewald is. He’s only FOUR. A whole lot can happen in fourteen years, when Spurgeon will be considered an adult. Let’s give him a chance to grow up a bit before we make predictions about his future.

Standard
Duggars

There will be no Jingerbread Fonuts, after all…

A couple of days ago, Pickles, who runs the Duggar Family News group and page on Facebook, shared news that Jinger Duggar Vuolo had partnered with a business called Fonuts. Fonuts is a company in Los Angeles that makes baked donuts with gluten free and vegan options. Jinger apparently loved Fonuts enough to lend her name to a new “Jingerbread” flavor that was going to be run during the month of December. Here’s a “news item” about it that was posted just two days ago.

Aww… isn’t that nice?

Well… according to Pickles, who got screenshots of a statement from Fonuts, the partnership is now off.

Really? They didn’t know?

Well… good on Nancy and Thom for rethinking their “poor choice of promotional partner”. They must not watch a lot of TV, read People magazine, or follow social media. They’ve clearly never heard of her brother, sex pest Josh Duggar. How did they miss out on that news? But then, people like me still follow this family, despite Josh’s “dalliances” and “dilly dallying”…

Nancy and Thom are probably too busy making donuts. Jinger Vuolo may be one of the most liberal Duggar ladies, but she’s still married to a man who is apparently training to become a megachurch pastor or televangelist. Jeremy Vuolo seems intent on making a name for himself as a pastor, but not of a small, struggling church in the boonies. He’s in Los Angeles, has hooked himself a Duggar woman, and seems all about joining the A list.

Hanging out with Kanye West? Really? Does Jeremy aspire to be the next Joel Osteen?

I will admit that I don’t listen to Jeremy Vuolo’s sermons. I don’t enjoy listening to sermons by most people, but especially not those delivered by fundies. Even though I know some of the things he says might be hair raising, it’s just not something I care to watch.

Of all of the Duggar ladies, I probably like Jinger the most. I get the sense that she and Jeremy are kind of breaking the mold a bit, even if he is becoming a pastor. This turn of events is pretty embarrassing. I’m sure Fonuts heard from their customers about the Duggars and their fundie Christian background. I doubt most Los Angeles based companies want to be affiliated with fundie Christians. Los Angeles is a pretty gay friendly town– it’s loaded with celebrities, many of whom are in the LBGT community. I think Nancy and Thom of Fonuts must be very busy with their business not to know what the Duggars are about. Even though Jinger and Jeremy are not as fundie as others in the family, they’re still in that group.

I checked out Fonuts’ Instagram page, even though I don’t do Instagram myself. Some people are lambasting Fonuts for being “hateful” to Christians by ending their relationship with Jinger. I’m sure they have nothing against Christians or people in other religions. It just seems to me that Jinger Vuolo, who is a Christian and presumably dedicated to her beliefs, would be a poor fit for a company that doesn’t share her beliefs. I could see her pitching for Christian companies, as her parents have. But Fonuts is clearly a mainstream outfit, and they don’t want to align with people who wish to strip rights from any group of people. Fundie Christians speak out against people who aren’t heterosexuals, among others. In a town like L.A., it’s not gonna fly for a mainstream company to align with a fundie Christian, even a “liberal” one like Jinger.

Still… I feel a little sorry for Jinger. This must be pretty embarrassing for her. It’s not her fault her brother is a sex pest. Indeed, she was one of his victims. It would be nice if she and Jeremy totally broke out of the fundie bullshit… or even better, acted like Christlike Christians. Maybe someday…

Standard
Duggars

Those shoes!

Bwahahahahaha!

Yesterday, while hanging out in the Life is Not All Pickles and Hairspray group, I read an interesting thread about Jeremy Vuolo, husband of the former Jinger Duggar and father of Felicity, who is almost one year old. The family just moved to California after having spent a couple of years in Laredo, Texas.

While I’m not a huge fan of religion, especially of the fundamentalist type, I do kind of like Jeremy and Jinger… at least for now. I used to like Jill and Derick Dillard, until Derick turned into an obvious dick. So far, Jeremy seems more normal and less dumb when it comes to his image. Except for those shoes…

This is a screenshot of part of a photo that was posted of Jeremy. He was crossing the street, carrying little Felicity. I have no quarrel with anything in the photo…. except for those shoes!

Seriously, they were the first thing I noticed when I saw the picture. They just leapt out at me like little brown beacons. I was reminded of an infamous scene in National Lampoon’s Vacation.

“Those are great, Dad!”

Well… in fairness to Jeremy, those shoes aren’t quite as egregiously tacky as Clark’s white loafers. They’d probably be okay with different pants and different socks. I guess I was just surprised to see them jump off the page like that. I figured the emphasis was intended to be on a sweet picture of a young dad with his baby. Instead, we got… shoes.

If Jeremy isn’t careful about his shoe choices, he may become akin to another whitebread Christian who became a California transplant. I give you our old friend, Pat Boone, and his trademark white bucks.

Well, in this clip, he’s wearing white jodhpurs. But back in the day, he wore white bucks.

I mentioned it on the thread and so many people chimed in. They’d had the same reaction I did. It was the first thing they noticed. Maybe the manufacturer of those shoes should hire Jeremy to sell them, since they definitely got noticed. On the other hand, I don’t think they were noticed for the right reasons. Some people who are familiar with Los Angeles said that it looked like Jeremy was trying too hard to fit in. He should put on some chucks or flip flops. Given the Duggar women’s love for flip flops, I’m surprised that wouldn’t be a given. As for chucks, I have no idea what those are. I’m not from L.A., and if I were, I doubt I’d have my finger on the fashion pulse, especially since there is no way in hell I could wear what is considered “high fashion” out there on the West Coast. Let’s see what Google has to say about chucks.

Ahh… they are a type of Converse sneaker. How cool. I do think they’d look better with Jeremy’s pants.

All snarking aside, I’m glad to see that Jinger has moved away from the Duggar compound and is living life more on her own terms. I remember when she was a teenager on 19 Kids and Counting and she said she wanted to live in a big city. Michelle Duggar was quick to pipe up that Jinger didn’t “really” want to live in a big city. She just wanted to be closer to Walmart. Apparently, that was an untruth. I kind of wonder if maybe Jeremy had to promise Boob he wouldn’t move Jinger away from Arkansas before they had permission to “court”. Boob does apparently present a huge questionnaire to potential suitors. Looks like most of the guys his daughters have married have been appropriately malleable… especially Ben Seewald, who gets a double dose in that he’s married to Jessa, who is quite assertive for a Duggar female. Jeremy may have been the one who fooled Boob and stole away one of his precious arrows.

While Jeremy is now becoming a pastor, I do hope that he will be one who is more tolerant and that their daughter will not be raised in a hotbed of misogyny. It’s nice to see that he lets Jinger make her own clothing and hairstyle choices. Before you know it, she’ll be taking college classes and becoming educated. Horrors!

Well, I did have a good laugh about those shoes. I hope he keeps them clean and doesn’t step in anything unsavory out there in California.

Standard