Why I’m Glad I Wasn’t Vaccinated

I’ve been hearing about the HPV vaccine Gardasil, which appears to be a bit of a sensation in the realm of politics. I’ve heard good things and bad, but one feeling that seems to be popping up regularly is that all parents who oppose vaccination are “bad” or just plain crazy.

Now truthfully, in some hypothetical nightmare world in which I was responsible for a child/children, I would probably get them the basic vaccines – mostly because by the time I would be involved in any *ahem* baby-making activity, I would probably be in some deep corner of Madagascar studying the effects of language on soapmaking or something (or the effects of soapmaking on language, I suppose).

In spite of this, I still have no regret about my own medical history, because it simply wasn’t an issue. My childhood was spent in a small town in Pennsylvania where the most risky illness was chickenpox (which I still have to get). Had we lived in a more dangerous (health-wise) part of the country (or in another country altogether), or had been regularly exposed to particularly harmful bacteria, I have little doubt we would have gotten the full workup. But the fact is, it was pretty safe.

Well, alright, you moan and whine and complain, so maybe you weren’t on the verge of death every other week. But why are you GLAD?

I’m glad because my mother, in her eccentric lifestyle and choices and speaking habits (sorry mom, you know it’s true), taught me in a safe, memorable way that I did not have to do something because everyone else was doing it or because someone told me to.

Considering the fact that our political views are now so different they have almost nothing in common, she may rue the day she ever taught that lesson, but I’ve never regretted learning it. We may not see eye-to-eye on everything (or anything), including vaccines, but the way the lesson was taught wasn’t the point. The point was, you are not a consensus. Don’t form your opinion on the latest polls. Your life isn’t about looking at every viewpoint and then picking the most popular one. Life is about looking at every viewpoint, and either agreeing with the majority (which can definitely be the right decision), or clicking the taboo button and making the researchers say “What the fuck went wrong with that one?”

For me, being an anomaly means knowing the “homeschooler” look intimately (the one kids get from every “normal” person over the age of 25 when they use any variation of the word “homeschooled” – sort of confused, concerned, intrigued, and a little frightened all at once).

It means getting singled out of any Lit/English/writing classes for being some prodigy, and being the recipient of a death glare from science teachers (and my younger brother) for being a complete idiot.

It means making pie charts of my personality in a notebook, and realizing I spend about 70% of my time in a fictional universe I created (and being suitably concerned about that).

It means getting to the point where I almost have to make a sign-up sheet for friends because every one of them wants to go learn to shoot arrows and throw axes with me (and being a little pissed off when they’re all better at it than I am).

Be weird. Majority votes are for elections, not for where you want to go on Saturday night.

Well, I’ve typed the word “vaccine” so many times I’m not quite sure I remember what it means, so I’m gonna leave now. Bye!

 

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3 thoughts on “Why I’m Glad I Wasn’t Vaccinated

  1. vern September 23, 2011 / 9:17 AM

    ha! “I’m glad because my mother, in her eccentric lifestyle
    and choices and speaking habits (sorry mom, you know it’s true),
    taught me in a safe, memorable way that I did not have to do
    something because everyone else was doing it or because someone
    told me to.” I like that. I will also teach Mali that doing
    something because everyone else isn’t doing it – makes no sense
    either. Do what you want to do. Try to get as much of the big
    picture as possible before you decide – and then decide for you.
    Problem when you’re young is that you don’t always (usually?) know
    what you want to do… what you like, what you prefer. As you get
    older – you really do get a better idea what you’re all about. I’ve
    yet to throw an axe – so, yeah, sign me up. Don’t worry, my
    hand-throwing abilities fall short of everything except tossing
    rocks at rabid dogs that chase me when I’m snake hunting here. An
    axe? You’d better not stand anywhere near me. Did you know I
    launched a “JART” about 60 yards off-course at a boyscout camping
    trip toward a crowd of people that, luckily, just put a hole
    through our camp director’s mobile home roof?

  2. Laura Lindsay September 23, 2011 / 8:40 PM

    WHat’s a JART?

  3. vern September 23, 2011 / 8:55 PM

    Short spears with a heavy steel point – maybe 8 ounces. They have wings. Photo sent to your email.

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