Monday, August 14, 2006

Pointless Whining, Followed by gratitude.

In my years of studying communications and gender differences, I’ve noticed a few things. I’m speaking in generalities here, I realize that this will not apply to EVERYONE, so let’s just stop that line of “BUT…. What if” before it starts.
I’m a talker, I like to chat, and do so with a variety of people on a variety of topics. Most women I know can understand that I’m just talking. They appropriately nod, “mmm hmmmm” and add their own anecdotes.
Men, on the other hand, feel the need to fix whatever it is I’m talking about.
Example: Xtian and I would love to buy a home. When I mention this to women, the usually commentary is along the lines of “ooh, yes I would to. It would be great to find a place you can truly make your own, wouldn’t it?” When I mention this to men, I get something like “Well, you and Xtian just have to tighten the belt and get the down payment together. Give it time.”
Somehow, in their minds, men take the statement “Xtian and I would love to buy a house someday” to mean “I want a house now. I wonder how in the world I’ll ever make this work. Oh, if only I weren’t such a stupid and helpless woman, I’m just sure a man could figure out how to make this work?”

But perhaps I’m overreacting. I may just be a little tired of every person more than 6 months older than me feeling like they are my pseudo-parents. I have several friends who are older than I and they don’t do this. (Note: friendly advice when asked for is not to be included.) I’ve been known to add my two cents from time to time, and I really don’t mind advice WHEN I ASK FOR IT. But if one more person says something along the lines of “Well, when you get a little older you’ll…..blah blah blah blah blah, condescending fatherly attitude, blah blah, You’re just an idiot woman anyway, blah blah blah clearly you know nothing about anything etc etc” I may just punch that person and claim that in my youth and FEMALE-NESS, I didn’t know any better.

I, fucking, hate condescension. It pisses me off. Clearly. Otherwise this little tirade wouldn’t be happening, would it.

Meanwhile, I spent my weekend drinking a wonderful bottle of whisky (thanks again Jen!) and watching “Walk the Line.” Frankly, anyone who watches this movie without the whisky is missing a very important component. Just a neat story about some messed up people.
Johnny Cash always makes me think of my old college Theology professor, Mr. Z. Well, now he’s officially Dr. Z, but I was in his classes before he got the doctorate. I have a well-documented case of hero worship happening with Dr. Z, so I apologize if I come off a little….mmmm…. I guess a little over-adulating. I may have just made up that word. Fuck it.
Dr. Z was in Desert Storm, and speaks most Semitic languages fluently. He was an artillery sergeant, and was injured by shrapnel, losing a good chunk of his spine. He has a number of visible scars, but the scars you can’t see are what make him so amazing. After getting injured, he was diagnosed with a pain disorder; I don’t know the name of it. Basically, a man who used to run marathons for fun, rock climbed, and spent his free time pushing his body to the limits, now can’t walk up a flight of stairs.
In a class full of idiotic freshmen, he was fully honest about his history. He talked openly, with much pain, at his suicidal feelings at the time of his body’s decay. He shared his poetry, his music and the music of others and talked about how it helped save his life. He talked about his intense, overwhelming love for the woman who stuck by him when he didn’t want to stick by himself. And he was honest enough to mock the pope’s more ridiculous decrees, while being the most devoted Catholic I know. If every Christian could be like him, I might feel differently about them.
This man played Johnny Cash for us before a test, using Johnny’s words and voice to tell his own stories. I can’t hear the man in black’s rough, raspy voice without thinking of Dr. Z and the immense impact he had on my life.
He got his doctorate the same day I graduated from College. Watching him receive the honor after over a dozen years of work moved me to tears.

And while thinking of him, I have to wonder, what the hell am I complaining about anyway.

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