OK, this is petty but I think about it every Thanksgiving 😂. A few years back, my ex-friend tried (without success) to shame me for spending Thanksgiving with my family. Because, you see, *she* had spurned her elderly parents' pleas for a family holiday.
They offered to do land acknowledgments, talk about the dark side of US history, the works. But nothing could placate my friend, who kept her husband and new baby away and made her parents feel awful for expecting they'd get together for a "genocidal holiday."
So, what did she do instead? Well, she said she invited a few friends over and made dinner: "Next year we might volunteer."
And then she waited, clearly expecting praise for her high-mindedness. Finally, I just said: It sounds like you had a nice Thanksgiving dinner and made your parents feel like shit.
When I think about friends getting sucked into the social justice cult, I think about her. She'd been my writing partner for years. When we were stumped, we wrote colorful first drafts to clear our minds. I could have recognized her writing style anywhere. But that was years ago.
Her vocabulary contracted and stiffened. Eventually, she wrote only in prefabricated sentences, and perhaps thought only prefab thoughts. She stopped asking questions and started lecturing me when I did.
When she pointed out (bitterly? triumphantly?) that I didn't seem to miss her or her friendship, I couldn't disagree. It feels like she smothered, righteously, the person I'd loved, who became quieter & quieter until she fell silent altogether, to be replaced by a joyless scold.
Sometimes I think this is just the time we're living in. It's put color in all those history books I read. I know get what I could never quite understand about the past—how history breaks into the most private spaces of people’s lives.
I thought we would always speak freely. I never thought that—just a few years later—we'd never speak at all, that there would be at the same time nothing to say and everything to say but no way to say it and be heard.

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More from @elizamondegreen

26 Nov
So much easier to think of funny spite gifts for beloved family members than real ones... Take this glasses chain. It would be practical for my mother, who always loses her glasses. But she would make me sleep outside in a snow drift if I gave it to her. Image
And what do you get for the 65-year-old Lutheran minister whose only desires are world peace and a rust-free 1970 Javelin AMX (equally impractical)?
Does anyone know of any terrific but off-the-beaten-path history books about the 1960s-1980s? I think he's read *almost* everything... (serious question!)
Read 5 tweets
24 Nov
Tempted to set a "remind me about this in five years" alert that will resend this email chain to both of us.
A few things that strike me about this. My second-to-last letter contained 11 questions for her. Not only did she not answer any of those questions, she didn't have a single question for me.
She can't even permit me to have genuine (but misguided, etc.) concerns. Why is that?
Read 6 tweets
21 Nov
Sitting outside in freezing cold after fire alarm went off at 2:30a... 😳
And we're back in, so it was a false alarm? Seems almost everybody else dashed out into a zero-degree night in their pajamas. I checked stairwells for smoke, bundled up, grabbed some belongings, and then got teased for bringing a book!
Which, to be fair, I was too nervous to read outside in pitch dark while wondering if my apartment was about to go up in smoke. Habit!
Read 5 tweets
20 Nov
Again, there's a name for what @stonewalluk's doing here: it's called phobia indoctrination and manipulative groups (often referred to as cults...) use it to control vulnerable members. #TDOR #tdor2021
Here's what phobia indoctrination looks like in the trans community:
- Telling community members that anyone who questions gender identity or transition (even if from a place of genuine care and concern) hates them, 'denies their existence,' or even wants them dead.
This pushes community members, especially vulnerable kids just learning how to navigate the world, to cut themselves off from friends and loved ones who may question or contradict the trans community.
Read 19 tweets

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