Thursday, March 09, 2006

Are you crunchy?

No, this isn't a question about what kind of peanut butter you want on your sandwich. This is much more serious. Or at least to some people it is. The question of who is a crunchy has floated around the blogosphere and on many homeschool blogs in recent days. Buried Treasure had a little write up and Dominion Family adds her thoughts.. It all centers around the new book by Rod Dreher Crunchy Cons. He blogs over at National Review. Town Hall ran another article on the topic here. Here's what a crunchy conservative or "crunchy con" is in a nutsehll.

[A] a group that includes, among others, "hip homeschooling mamas," "Birkenstocked Burkeans," "gun-loving organic" farmers, and "right-wing nature lovers." What Dreher, a Dallas Morning News columnist, means by "crunchy conservative" is someone who rejects the "consumerist and individualistic mainstream of American life." This rejection distinguishes their worldview from that of mainstream liberalism or conservatism, which, in Dreher's estimation, are both "essentially materialist ideologies."

This emphasis on family and instilling character is why many crunchy cons homeschool. As a Manhattan mother of five told Dreher, homeschooling shows her kids that their well-being is what's most important. Instead of working to give them more "stuff," she gave them more time instead.

If someone insists on a label, I think I'm a "hybrid" crunchy con. Meaning I have some of the philosphical traits of crunchy but not the physical ones. I am a "hip homeschooling mama". But that's just because my hips are two sizes larger than before I had my children, I home educate, and I have a blog. (That last one wins me "hip points" with my kid's friends.)

I hope I don't step on anyone's toes with my loafers, but I don't wear Birkenstocks. I resist those with a passion. In my college days, Birkenstocks were worn by those that majored in things like "womens studies". I just can't seem to break the association.

We don't eat organic either. Sure, I'd love to eat healthier but to do so economically for a family my size I'd have to be a farmer. Which by the way we're not. And we won't be. So that shoots down another one of the characteristics of being a crunchy- the homesteading agrarian lifestyle. I have quite a few friends who are living on greener acres. God bless 'em. Grind away. But they'll be the first to tell you I'm a city girl through and through. It's in my DNA. You'll never find dirt underneath these nails.

Somewhere in birthing six children I gave up the notion of individualism too. What wasn't destroyed in pregnancy went out the door in labor and delivery. We do reject the consumerism of today's lifestyle. But that comes as much by default as by choice. We're too busy buying Wonder Bread and disposable diapers to afford most of the new toys out on the market.

But in general I try not to make too big a deal out of our lifestyle choices. The tendency is to think too much about the lifestyle and miss the LIFE. That can happen as easily on the farm as in the city. My advice, leave the labels to the peanut butter makers and live the life of a believer. Bloom where HE plants you.

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