a katykatikate redemption parable

This post goes out to everyone who feels guilty about liking any of the people currently in the news.

OK, turn off the TV. Look away from the headlines. And come with me.

I'm going to take you on a magical journey to a place of soaring highs and crushing lows, face-scraping rock-bottoms, and the sweetest ecstasy that can be found on Earth.

Yes. Let's go to Target.

oh mah lord
look at those shams

You're in Target. It's a busy Saturday afternoon.

You have a cart full of stuff you need.

Well, ok, there are 3 things in the cart you need. And the rest of the cart is full of things you didn't know you needed until you saw them and then holy fuck, how is it possible you've gone this long without THIS CLOCK?

it's a shy clock


and a
top'o'the morning to

And A SHED???

only $806.99?!?!

So you pull up to the registers and it's, you know, fucking terrible. It looks like the L train station headed into Williamsburg at like 6 on a Friday.

with more surly hipsters

But hey, you came to Target on a Saturday. You volunteered for this.

You have to pick a line.

So you scan, you look at what's in people's carts, you shamelessly judge who's going to pay with personal check (What up, Edgar) and who's going to be couponing today (Holler back, Barb!) and you pick checkstand number 4.

You wait.

And you wait.

And you wait.

Checkstand number 4 has stealth couponers, exact-change payers, AND price-check obsessives.

Fuuuuuuuuuuck it sucks in the line for checkstand 4.

There are 3 people ahead of you, so you're thinking only... about... 16 more hours in line.

And suddenly checkstand 5 lights up, as if Jesus Hamilton Christ himself reached down from heaven and touched the little lightbulb in the 5 thingy. A couple of people rush over to checkstand 5, but you hesitate.

I've been in this line for so long already, you think.

It doesn't make sense to change now. It's almost my turn.

So you don't change. You sit in your line and watch 9 or 10 people churn merrily through checkstand 5, a checkstand evidently being manned by Fastest Man Alive Usain Bolt, starting over his second career like Michael Jordan did with those Hanes commercials.

The longer you don't change, 
the more you hate yourself for not changing.

And the longer you don't change, 
the more it feels like your chance to change has gone. 

I have good news. You're not alone. This is human nature at work; we are designed to resist change for a million reasons.

Perhaps you don't want to change lines because you don't want to lose face and look foolish. Perhaps you convinced some other people in the line behind you to stand here, and you'd rather stay in the shitty line than admit you were wrong.

Perhaps you can't calculate whether it's a good decision. You don't trust yourself to stay grounded when the winds of change are blowing you so clearly toward checkstand 5. You trusted the judgment that led you to checkstand 4. If you were wrong, what does that mean about your judgment?

Perhaps the unknown scares you into inaction. Who knows how fast that line will go? At least you know how quickly your line is moving. Even if "quickly" is the last word you would use to describe the movement of a line that has all the hustle of a constipated poop.

Perhaps you're simply exhausted. You can't muster the intellectual energy to even make the decision, much less move over to that faster line, much less KEEP UP when you get there.

But seriously. How long are you going to stay in this shitty line?

Yes, you picked this line using the judgment and information you had at the time. You were about 37 hours younger, the lines looked different, maybe you didn't think about it enough, and you didn't realize how shitty checkstand 4 was really going to be.

That initial decision is gone. It's gone. You're still here.

Are you going to stay shackled to checkstand 4 even though you can see it proving itself shitty over and over and over again?


Perhaps all of your heroes have done something shitty to another person.

Perhaps the sudden illumination of that fact makes you want to save face, or forces you to question your judgment, or scares you into silence, or drains you to depletion.

Listen, it didn't used to bother you when people you respected did some weird shit on the side to some women who, you thought, might just be looking for a payday. You didn't even think of it as relevant, maybe. You were younger, less experienced. Maybe you even had some exposure to weird shit on the side yourself. Maybe it seemed normal and okay.

But that time is gone. It's gone. You're still here. Now.

You are not shackled to your apathy, which is both a blessing and a curse:

I know you can change.

And I know you can change. So if you choose not to, I know you chose to stay shitty.

Forgive yourself for the choices you made in the past. They are gone and nothing is going to change them. The choice ahead of you is not yet gone.

The longer you don't change, 
the more you will hate yourself for not changing.
Your chance is not gone.

Turn around.

Say, "I was wrong. I didn't know it before, but I know it now."

Say, "I need to change."

Say, "I'm scared and embarrassed."

Say, "This change is worth the effort."

And then haul your ass over to checkstand 5.

We've been waiting for you.

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with Ronit Feinglass Plank


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