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Local Editorials

Let people make their personal choices

A couple of weekends ago I was sitting in a Des Moines bar with two of my friends who were visiting from home. The weekend was full of excitement and I dreaded the end of it.

We had gone to Hessen Haus to try “Das Boot” and after 10 minutes of the German drinking game I had regretted even walking into that bar. For two reasons.

One; have you ever tried drinking beer out of a giant glass boot? It’s awful. Don’t do it. My stomach felt like it was going to explode because of all the amber liquid being drained down into it. Thankfully, there were no incidents with an exploding stomach, as I’m sure the the two bachelorette parties that had just rolled in from the Cubs game wouldn’t have appreciated me ruining their night.

Two; There’s nothing that makes me angrier than people trying to impose their ideas of personal living onto other people.

When we sat down at the bar, the scrawniest, geekiest most socially awkward looking guy was having a heated discussion with a bro (pre-frayed brim cap on his head and Natural Light in his hand) and a slightly more intelligent, possibly cloned, version of Snooki.

The two Jersey Shore stereotypes were attempting to convince the geek that he needed to have sex. As soon as possible and with as many women as possible.

Now, the conversation should have stopped when he replied to their advice with, “I’m just waiting for the right woman.”

This offended the cast of “The Real World: Des Moines” and both of them launched into a 15 minute tirade about “the joys of sex.” I doubt they’ve read the book though.  

I wanted to leave the bar as fast as possible. Or, at least get mini-snooki to shut up. Here’s this guy, trying to live his life the way he wants to, not bothering anybody in the process, and you want to change him.

This kid is authentic. He hasn’t let other people tell him who to be and his decision to be celibate doesn’t come from a directive of God. He’s doing it because he knows that’s who he is.

You know what’s amazing? The kid never said, “Hey, maybe YOU guys should try loving someone before you have sex. Why don’t you try things my way?” He never said that because he respected their way of life.

See, tolerance doesn’t start at race and end at gender and sexuailty isn’t the next frontier. Just because gay marriage is legal now and we have a black president, doesn’t make us a more tolerant society. We have those things because we are a more tolerant society. But obviously not tolerant enough.

Now, I don’t know what was going on in this kid’s mind when he abruptly left the bar, probably a little too drunk and flustered to drive, but by the look on his face I guarantee he didn’t feel good about who he was. Shame on him.

You’re never going to change other people. People will always look at what is different and what they don’t understand with confused disdain. They hate it and fear it but then realize they can’t change it because sometime when they were a kid, their mother or father hated something about them and changed them.

If you want to make the world a better social habitat for humans, don’t try and change attitudes with laws. Change the attitude of our children by not trying to change them.

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