Tuesday, March 3, 2009



In a dark corner of my closet, I have a soapbox.

Today, I'm pulling it out.

One, two, here we go.

Dea had the day off today since all the underclassmen were taking the TAKS test at school. There are certainly benefits to being a senior and he was ready to have a day of R&R.

His dentist had other plans and he sat him in the chair for an hour-and-a-half cleaning/check-up/torture session.

I had gone to run some errands while he was being de-plaqued and I waited in the car checking email and returning some calls in the parking lot before I went to get him. The dentist office was certainly busy with kids and teenagers filing in and out for their appointments.

When I walked in to pick up Dea, the very first thing I saw on the coffee table in the waiting room was the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Not sure if any of you have seen this particular publication but it's essentially soft-porn with women in strings-posing-as-swimsuits and body paint.

Right there for all the kids, not to mention my teenage boy, to see.

Are you kidding me? It's the dang dentist office! You would think that the stack of coupons for free Sparkle Fun Crest Toothpaste sitting in the middle of the table might be a little heads-up for the office staff.

When you have a giant red toothbrush and smiling tooth as your decor, you might think about which magazines you're putting out as complimentary reading material.

And ever so nicely, after the kids had walked out to the car, I told the staff how I felt.

The busiest place in our 'hood, the business that isn't suffering with the recession, the rise in unemployment, or a decrease in our GNP, is the Adult Bookstore. It's packed 24/7. The parking lot was even full Christmas morning.

Aren't we inundated enough with images we don't get to decide whether or not we see? From billboards to the grocery store check-out line, my kids are bombarded with pictures that give evidence that sex is not sacred but that it sells and it's cheap.

Now I know I'm getting mighty comfortable on my soapbox this morning but the whole thing makes me so mad I could kiss a rattlesnake.

I spend the better part of my day trying to undo what is shouted at the kids from every medium from print to television. I could use some help in the battle and I'd love it if the guy who cleans their teeth would give a little more thought about the cleanliness of their minds.


Ok. I'm done now. Thank you for indulging me.

I have tucked my soapbox back into the corner and I promise something funny, or yummy, or both, tomorrow.


Henley on the Horn said...

I totally agree with you. I am always shocked when I realize others don't share the same values. Sadly ,the dentist was probably trying to please fathers who bring their children to the dentist, and I don't want my husband looking at that magazine either. Mama Henley is no swimsuit model. I don't need my man to be tempted!! Our world is in a sad state. I want to jump on your soap box with you!!! I am sorry Dea had to see that. It's hard to keep our minds out of the gutter when the gutter screams at us from the most unexpected places.

jnors said...

I'll place my soapbox right next to yours, Melissa!
Hey, I bet we could start a FB group and find 1,000,000 in support of it. At least, that seems to be the case for far less worthy causes!!

emily said...

You go girl! Love the soapbox. I hate that issue, hate it.

Misty said...

right there with you sister!

LacyA said...

Couldn't agree more. How did the staff respond to your comments? I admire your restrained soapbox storage because these days, mine occupies a prominent position in the family room.

Laurie M said...

I am usually just a reader, but I had to come out for this one. I blogged about the EXACT same thing a few weeks ago. I even issued a challenge to turn them around at stores. My filter just flew right off when I was checking out at Target the other day. I am not ready to teach my 8-year old to 'bounce his eyes' yet, thank you very much.

Krista said...

some ignoramus put a copy of that magazine issue right at the eye level of every child sitting in the seat of the shopping cart in one of the checkout lanes at my local WalMart. i was steamed... it wasn't put there by the store, just by some thoughtless individual who put it there before checking out. NICE. just what my 4 year old needs an eyeful of. i'm right on the soapbox next to you.

Kim said...

Amen sister. Love the soapbox. My 6th grade son confessed last week that one of his classmates was hiding this same publication in his locker at school. UUGGHH!

Lauren said...

preach it, melissa!

and i have to say the rattlesnake line was priceless. :)

RosyRose said...

I am complete agreement!!!
I am soap boxing with ya sista!
I know its easy to jutify whatever it is that tempts us but with so many people struggling with porn and affairs we would be wise to be careful what we fill our minds with!

Angela said...

Thank you, THANK you for speaking up!! It makes me so frustrated that a place of business, would do that!!

We just added a 16 year old boy to our family. One we have loved for some time and have been very close to--SO I have been doing my best to teach him how all the stuff he sees affects how he behaves and who he becomes--

Thanks for sharing,

Lori said...

Amen to that! I am appalled that they had that in the kid's dentist waiting room! That is one place you would think you wouldn't have to be on guard.

Darcy said...

I too was appalled when I saw the copy of this issue at the grocery store. The woman on the front might as well be naked, she's almost there. A little piece of string is supposed to make all the difference? BUT, men should take women seriously and treat them equally??? Why can women not see the unfair standards they are asking of men? I'm going to have to blindfold my 9 yr. old son to simply shop at the store. SAD. I am soooo sad. You should have taken the magazine and put it where it belonged...in the trash.

Nikki said...

Could not agree more!!!!

Heather said...

I couldn't agree more! So glad you said something. And I love your blog... you have such a great balance of humor, truth, stories... keep up the great work!

hannahgarippa said...

I love when you pull out that soapbox. Last night as I walked by VS...I thought of you and your soapbox and I wished you would pull it out right there in front of that awful store and start preachin.

I love you.

Jess said...

Did you see on the news the new airliner that has Bar Rafaeli (however you spell it) plastered across in her teeny tiny bikini? Do you know what the corespondent said? (it was the E channel I admit)
" Some people say that they find this offensive and not a family friendly picture to be on airplane. I say they need to get a life or take a bus."

Wow. I mean that channel can be pretty bad, but really?! Do I even want my husband, much less my child staring at this bikini clad girl plastered on our airplane?!

Proud of you for speaking up. I hope to do the same one day for my kiddos.

Jess said...

Oh and one more thing---sorry, hormones.

I went to see a movie I should not have seen...for sure. I was embarrassed and ashamed at the some of the scenes. Just nasty.
But do you want to know who was sitting three rows in front of me, watching the same scenes with their responsible parents by their side??? Three children all had to be under the age of 12. Nice. I see this all the time, and I loudly say to Brandon, " I CANNOT BELIEVE THEY LET THEIR CHILD HEAR THIS LANGUAGE--IT'S LIKE NEGLECT!" :0) Sorry, hormones.

ruthie said...

Pull that soapbox back out because what you are saying is absolute truth. It's ridiculous what is out there for young people to see. Your kids are blessed that they have you and your husband to at least show them what's right. I'm blessed I had my parents.

Rachel said...

I think of myself as a liberal but I too am very appalled!! At a dentist office...come on! Your welcome to get on your soapbox anytime, it's your blog! :)

Holli said...

take that soapbox out anytime!!! it needs to be talked about and STOPPED!!!

Kindness said...

You go, girl!

As an Orthodox Jew, I do not allow my children on to the Internet unless they're VERY closely supervised, and we do not own a television. You would not believe how much more innocent children are when you cut off the idiot box. It's something to think about ....