There’s no “I” in Thesaurus

I’ll be 30 in 100 days. I know this because I have a countdown widget on my laptop dashboard…and I happened to look at it yesterday while I was using my thesaurus widget, which is also a thing I have. (I think about synonyms more often than I think about my birthday, for what it’s worth.)

I get to spend a significant portion of my workweek thinking about words. Things like:

“What rhymes with ‘fries’?”… (Answer: so many things!)

“How can you say ‘delicious and moist’ without sounding pervy?”… (Answer: you can’t.)

So I spend a lot of time with my thesaurus. And rhyming dictionary. And lists of idioms. I fancy myself a lucky girl.

I hopped on Facebook to say something about this Countdown to 30 milestone today, but I couldn’t come up with anything that I felt was worth saying. Maybe because I’m a little sheepish about it anyway, but also because today so many people are posting some pretty serious things.

Gay friends. Straight friends. I-haven’t-asked-and-they-haven’t-told friends. One friends. Two friends. Red friends. Blue friends.

And I wanted to say something, too, but I wasn’t sure what. I don’t engage in debates on Facebook…religious or political or Thin Mints® vs. Samoas®…I just don’t dig conflict, in general. And so Facebook conflicts tend to go from zero to “BITCH, PLEASE!” too quickly for my taste.

But I want to say something. Here’s what I got: I looked up “marriage” on my thesaurus widget, and one word stood out: union. This issue is so divisive. It feels like the opposite of uniting. Some people in my life, very close-to-me people, probably disagree with me when I say that gay people, straight people, red people, blue people — all people should be able to get married and make a legal commitment to one another and start a family and make a life together if that’s what they want.

C’mon. The jig is up, homophobes. Find a new issue to care so passionately about. There are so, so many.

What I mean to say, in a less divisive way (see?! Zero to “BITCH, PLEASE!” in 2.5 seconds!!), is this: if you look up most anything in the thesaurus, you’ll find  a list of other ways to say that thing. They don’t all look the same or sound the same. Some might even have different meanings to me, depending on what my life experience has taught me about those words.

But their essence is the same. You have to admit that they’re the same-ish.

And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about people in my 30 years (minus 100 days) of being one, it’s that under all our differences and preferences and protective barriers and bullshit, we are really very much the same-ish.

Even Grumpy Cat is on board. The jig is up.

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