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Yesterday we took the boys and met Antijen and Tom down at Mangia which was a prime place for us to enjoy brunch and the Pride Parade on Grand. I had never seen such a tight knight community of people at a festival before this. Of all the fests, parades and other events that we have been to so far since moving here, this one was my favorite.
St. Louis is most certainly a party town with a lot of party opportunities for binge drinkers and sober fun lovers alike. It is Chris’s work week so we did not get to spend a lot of time there, but it is important to us that we expose our kids to a variety of people and lifestyles, and the St. Louis Pride Fest was no better way to do it.
We hung around Mangia for a little while and ate our brunch. I had a couple of delicious Bloody Marys and a Belgian Waffle. Do not ever go to Mangia for brunch without getting a Bloody Mary. They make one of the most delicious ones I have ever had.
Next we started toward the Tower Grove park. Since Chris had another overnight shift on the horizon, we had to cheer pride as fast as we could and get back home so she could sleep before she had to go back to work.
On our way to and through the park we met a few interesting characters. As my friend Greg said when he saw this picture, Tsunami officially now has a WTF look after seeing a few gay clowns. Jupiter was definitely a fan of the balloons and even a pup got in on the enjoyment.
I also saw some dominatrix action, some cross dressing, a lot of hand holding, and definitely a lot of love.
The theme of the festival this year was “Be You”. I really like that theme a lot. It speaks for so much more than only people who have issues with a certain subset of society because of gender preferences and roles. Everyone has something that is uniquely them, and I felt that is what this Pride Fest was about.
I think we will keep taking the kids to festivals like this one. It is very important for me and Chris to raise our kids to be accepting of all people no matter what or who they are. It is also important for us to teach them to be themselves no matter who or what that may turn out to be.
Yesterday was the birthday of our dog, Sunny. Our tradition with our dogs on their birthdays is to get them a cheeseburger and fries. We typically got this special treat from Runza, but with no Runza restaurant anywhere within at least a four hour drive, I settled for the fast food restaurant nearest our house. This was McDonalds.
I do not go to McDonalds very often. My taste buds just do not agree with it. I have gotten a Happy Meal for Jupiter from there before, however. The time that I did, they had two classifications of toys. When they asked me which sex my child was. I queried as to the strange nature of asking such a question before providing me with a lunch for my son. They responded by informing me that they needed to know if they should give me a girls toy or a boys toy. I stated that there is no such thing, but knowing that it was not the employees decision to attribute gender to toys, I also told them that Jupiter was a boy so that they could get on with the rest of the patrons behind me.
When I was in the drive-thru yesterday I did not order any food for human consumption, but I did notice that they had gender classifications for toys again. The reason that I paid any attention to it at all was specifically the two choices that were available. The boy choice appears to have been something called Bakugan. Neither I nor Jupiter have any idea where those characters come from. They seem to be some sort of robot. The girl choice was something we both recognize and that Jupiter loves. It was Hello Kitty. In fact, he is sitting next to me as I type this and when he saw me go to the Happy Meal page which shows both options on it, he said, “I want Hello Kitty!”
It is no secret that Hello Kitty merchandise is targeted mainly to girls. That does not help me understand why though. I suspect that Jupiter has fallen for Hello Kitty because of his broader love of cats in general. He wanted a Hello Kitty shirt that he saw when we were at the store one day, so I got him one. It was undoubtedly manufactured with the intent of a girl wearing it, but it is one of his favorite shirts to wear and it fits him just fine. I must say, I enjoy the show too. There is a Furry Tale Theater series that has parodies of tales such as Wizard of Oz (Wizard of Paws), Star Wars (Cat Wars), and Robin Hood (Robin Penguin) that we sometimes watch together available streaming on Netflix.
I see no reason to make any toys exclusive to one gender or another. Sure Jupiter likes to cars, motorcycles, robots, rockets, and pirates. He also likes baking, tea parties, Hello Kitty, and his favorite color is pink. I am sure that if someone told him he throws like a girl, he would not understand the derogatory intent. That is okay with me.