Thursday, January 27, 2005

What Choice Did I Have?

My mailbox these days has been the recipient of so many free, personalized address labels that I'll never again have to strain my poor little hand muscles with the task of picking up pen to inscribe my return address on an envelope's left hand corner. Thanks to Planned Parenthood, (it could have been NOW) my contact information has been hoing itself all over this town. First Doctors without Borders came knocking with a sleek and appealing red and white number, but I stayed strong. Then the New York Blood Center followed suit with a similar color scheme and the promise of a free insulated coffee mug if I promised to give blood three times this year. I promised. Emboldened, these guys (or was it these guys?) armed themselves with a forgetable design that was nowhere near impressive enough enough to persuade this vegan to donate a traditional turkey Thanksgiving dinner to a hungry New Yorker. Later, the The Nature Conservancy arrived looking suprisingly, refreshingly, sleek and stylish, and, woops - there went $15.

Poor Humane Society. With their itsy-bitsy rumpled puppies playing with teddy bears and rolling in flowers they were like the dude who arrives with melting CVS chocolates and a heart-shaped balloon on a stick just when your other Valentine is pulling a triple-decker cake out of the oven and whisking you out the door for your trip to Morroco. And my thoughts on pets and the problematics of linking basic rights to fuzziness and cuddles were just reinforced by that kitty on the free notepad. I'm just not that kind of girl.

Truthfully, all this attention has been getting a little tiring. So when another appeal arrived from Planned Parenthood, I was feeling a little ticked at them for scrawling my number on the non-profit world's bathroom stall door - I read the letter, and then I left it on the table to add to the recycling the next day. Then the next day came and I arrived home just in time to hear a recording of my president's personal thank you call to the Pro-Life marchers in Washington.

My mind was blown. I felt more offended by this show of support for the marchers then by any anti-choice bill he's signed or any anti-choice Supreme Court nomination he's made. How come I didn't know that he could do that? Somehow, it seemed illegal to so actively and publicly make such a partial move outside of the White House, outside the court house - like it was literally against his mandated role. But of course, it's not. And of course, had this president or any other one called last April when I was in Washington with Juliet, Aya, Clelia and thousands of others, I would have clapped till my hands burned, and felt righteous.

Needless to say, I uncrumpled Planned Parenthood's letter and wrote them another check.

Bring on the free address labels.