Thursday, February 08, 2007

And this is the way I see it, Michele Johnson of Wamego, KS

You know how Starbucks cups have these little quotes from people on the sides? It's a series called "The Way I See It"? Yeah, I don't usually read them, either, but my cup today happened to catch my eye. Here's what #208 by Michele Johnson, a Starbucks customer from Wamego, Kansas, has to say. Allow me to apologize in advance for my reaction to it.

"I wish couples who desperately take every means to conceive a child would realize that adoption is a wonderful alternative. A child who becomes your child through adoption completes a family. Just as when you commit to your spouse or partner there are no biological ties, yet a family was formed. This child enters a family the same way! It is not blood and flesh that form a family, but the heart."

Thank you for your helpful insights, Michele, even though I would have put a comma after "partner." I don't even know where to start. First, who wants to bet that Michele has at least one biological child? Second, what's with the condescension? Does she think infertile couples don't realize adoption exists? Does she think that infertile couples think adoption is inherently odious? Does she think that people who do adopt have done so without trying anything else?

And then there's the word desperately. Yes, many infertile couples feel desperate - but the way it's used here is much more damning, much more patronizing, like You boob, can't you see how idiotic you look? And how about that lecture about what makes a family? Strong finish, Michele. Thank you for your helpful explanation. I'm sure Starbucks-drinking IVF patients everywhere will cast off their Folli.stim shackles, now that they've seen the light!

Discuss. Or respond.

22 comments:

Emmie said...

Okay, Michele is clearly a judgemental, insensitive dimwit.

However, I'm more upset by the fact that Starbucks put this quote on one of their cups. Seriously, had I received this cup this morning, I would have chucked it at the counter and stormed out.

Yes, I believe in people's rights to their opinions and free speech, but who needs some stranger from Kansas calling their efforts to start a family desparate as they reach for their normally soothing decaf gingerbread latte?

I've been looking for a good reason to give up my expensive Starbucks habit, and I think you just gave it to me.

Emmie said...

Oops, that would be "desperate"--I can spell, really. I'm just so fired up right now!!!

statia said...

This just makes me mad, because it's ignorant.

I have nothing against adoption. At all, but there are some people that take longer or just never come to terms with not having a biological child. I'm one of those people. It doesn't make me bad, or wrong. It's just not a fucking easy thing to get over.

Way to go Starbucks.

TLB said...

I don't know who was dumber--the person who said this or the person who decided to put it on a cup.

I especially love the fact that no one ever says to parents who conceived the old-fashioned way that THEY should adopt, how great it is, etc. It's always a social burden the infertile are expected to shoulder, and no one else.

No one ever mentions how difficult and expensive adoption is, how few rights adoptive parents have these days, how the entire culture has changed in the last 30 years so that adoptive families are always left wondering when the birth mother will come back into the picture, and for how long, and what will that mean for our family?

I know myself. I know myself well enough to know how much it will bother me to have the birth mother coming over for Thanksgiving, or calling at Christmas, and that any potential child will be able to see my resentment in a heartbeat. I'm not going to sentimentalize that for anyone, least of all a judgmental over-caffeinated pain in the ass from Kansas who probably voted for Sam Brownback.

Sorry. Just had my daily dose of bile rising to the throat--it's gone now.

Heather said...

I have never been to Starbucks (we don't have one where I live) and I always wanted to try it. I never will. I will never, ever purchase anything from Starbucks.

Isabel said...

I have to write to Starbucks and tell them how offensive this is. Sheesh.

Starbucks has an adoption benefit for employees, but not an IVF benefit, btw.

Dev said...

I think this is a beautiful quote IF (and ONLY IF) the reference to "desperately taking every means to conceive a child" is left off. Why does this have to be directed at infetile couples? One could argue adoption could be a wonderful alternative to the fertiles too. Certainly it makes more sense than further stressing the world population by having a dozen children or more.

My Reality said...

Starbucks just lost a sale tomorrow. I had planned on going for a latte, but now I don't think I will.

Alice said...

Starbucks should rethink the whole cup thing. Do they really want to potentially offend hordes of people? Stupid, stupid Starbucks.

As far as adoption goes? My own sister has made comments about it to me - even though she herself has four, all biological, children. People just don't think. But they love to tell YOU how to live YOUR life.

hope548 said...

Funny how infertiles see that in a totally different light than fertiles, huh? That's pretty heavy for Starbucks!

LeggyP said...

Damn that dismissive, condescending crap drives me crazy. Of course adoption is a wonderful option- for everyone, whether infertile or not. But its not the easiest process and you have to have a pretty thick skin to go through the homestudy process. I wrote Starbucks a note.

Michelle said...

One more reason to avoid Starbucks. Good grief.

Susan said...

Wow.
Seriously?!
I hate Starbucks now.
I agree with Dev...I think its great if Michelle wants to tell us all how great adoption has been for HER. But, why the condescending judgemental BS at the beginning?
I'm going to try to find out how I can write to Starbucks to tell them what I think of this.

Susan said...

Hey again,
Just wanted to let you know that there is a little discussion about this going on over at IVF Connections and many of the women there are sending emails as well. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Melissa said...

And now I'm off to find myself a new morning coffee stop....This just makes me so incredibly angry. Grrr...

Jane said...

Infuriating. I'm sure Michele is as fertile as the ground under a rabbit hutch. Or maybe she adopted after trying "desperately" for years to conceive a biological child, and conveniently forgot the anguish of it. Idiot.

Jane said...

However: this wouldn't deter me from going to Starbucks. Not that I'm a big fan of their coffee anyway, but the opinions on the cups do not necessairly represent those of the management.

And the idea of the cups is to spark conversation and debate, no? While many people (myself included) might find the comment insensitive, it's not like they printed the rantings of a white supremacist, whose views shouldn't even be dignified with debate (though some might argue that as well).

Ceylon Sapphire said...

Ahhhhh Starchucks, you have made my life so much easier. Why o why hadnt I chosen the adoption route earlier? Could it be because I cant afford international adoption fees,that there arent enough children in the domestic system to go round, or I dont want to take on a severely disabled child to build my family? No. Its because I thought that a family was built only by spreading my legs and pushing a watermelon sized being out of my who-who. Silly me. I really had it all wrong didnt I?

Maxine said...

*wave* Random stranger stopping by... I have actually stopped going to Starbucks because I got that same cup a few days ago, although it upset me (at least initially) for different reasons. I'm one of those Bitter Angry Birthmothers... What *really* ticked me off was that when I stupidly wrote to Starbucks to tell them their cup was horrible and upsetting, they wrote back the most insulting canned email, saying my input was vital to Starbucks' mission to "encourage intellectual diversity." When I wrote back to say they missed the point of my email, they wrote an even MORE insulting reply, implying that I'm just mad that I don't agree with the "political speech" on their cup. I don't need that crap when I'm just going for a coffee ya know?

Sara said...

I'm more annoyed with Starbucks for putting this on cups than I am with Michele Johnson for writing it in the first place. Ms. Johnson was just expressing her own feelings, whereas Starbucks decided to shove them in the face of their customers with their morning coffee. Do you think that they would engage in free speech by putting my own thoughts (something along the lines of "Starbucks is an irresponsible corporation that can kiss my progesterone-scarred arse") on a cup?

Mz Blogger said...

I see nothing wrong per say about the starbucks cup, except it should not just have been to "infertile couples" - Madonna is obviously not infertile. If infertile couples want the right to conceive their own child, then it's their call. They are the ones who go through gruelling tests, and injections, and mind fu*ks.

I'm seriously sick of overseas adoptions. What's wrong with adopting out of fostercare via your state?
Seriously Stressed Mom
http://seriouslystressedmom.blogspot.com

PaintingChef said...

I received this very cup this morning and it prompted a blog post of my own. And then I got curious and googled it to see if maybe I was just being overly sensitive as an infertile. Glad to see I'm not.