vendredi, mai 10, 2013

Selective outrage can make asses of us all

Benghazi! Mark Sanford! Climate change! Abortion rights defense! Anti-abortion horrors!

My twitter feed sometimes seems clotted with the voices of the ticked off, the morally righteous, the snarky and the occasionally annoyed.

Truth be told, I join them now and then.  Gun control is a reliable hot button issue for me, and I can often be counted on to rise, like a fish to the hook, when somebody NRA-affiliated riffs on the armed revolution that's a comin.'

But sometimes...sometimes I wonder. Why don't I see conservatives posting about the collapse of the Bangladesh factory?  Are there liberals campaigning for better schools in urban areas? Aren't people appalled by the rise in female mortality in more than forty percent of American counties?

In other words -- why can't we agree on anything?

I know who is going to respond to MY tweets or FB status updates on controversial topics (though I try to keep them under control). It's either people who already agree with me (wink, wink, nod, nod, we're club members) or people who vehemently do not.

But what do we accomplish with our rantings?

Whose lives do we make better?

Or are we simply satisfying ourselves -- and that basement dweller in some city two thousand miles away?

Or maybe two basement-dwellers -- we must be pretty insecure, given the volume of self-complimentary retweets.

Information -- that's great.

Some well-sourced opinion -- I've been known to change my mind. That's why I try to read across political fault lines.

But for Pete's sake -- the next time you are about to nail some person you've never met with a well-aimed arrow bent to your own perspective, take a deep breath.

Before you jump the snark, ask yourself who this is going to help in the long run.

Then think about whose blood pressure you might also be raising, and what you are really accomplishing.

In the spirit of "doctor, heal yourself," I'm going to try to administer my own medicine.

If, given due provocation, I can remember my own counsel.

dimanche, mai 05, 2013

Make me feel like a woman? Are ya kidding?

Dating, for me, comes with a caveat.

Unlike other men and women I've run into into in my online dating chronicles, my kids come first.

I had them later in life. They still need me in their different ways, and preoccupy much of my time and thoughts.

Actually, they will probably always come first, tipping the ledger towards the maternal as contrasted with the amorous.

Not that a little ooo lah lah wouldn't be nice. A glean in the eye, a flutter of the lashes, a flush of the cheeks...I'm not hopeless, ya know.

I also am painfully aware of how fast time rushes by, and how soon even my son will be gone on to his own adventures.  At that point, I'll HAVE to create a life wide enough to welcome them, and yet allow room for adult adventures.

But I don't understand the whole idea that I have sacrificed much, and that it's now "my time" (come to think of it, that's the name of a senior dating site, isn't it)?

Gross me out. Eeewww.  Even the painful elements in this pilgrimage haven't been a sacrifice -- although they have come close to driving me to the madwoman's attic.

Now and then, a man says to me that it's time to think of myself first -- that he will court me and treat me like a woman, not a mom.

Excuse me? Does that mean that mothers are, by definition, not female?

This flummoxes me. By no means a selfless person, or martyrdom's candidate from Chester County, I am not aware of having let anyone else take precedence.

Perhaps it's because I lost my mom and brother in my thirties, before I'd gotten married.

Maybe it's because I am gun shy about romantic relationships.

Could it possibly be that my stammering arises from my inability to separate my well-being from that of my dependent children?

Aw, heck. I know not why.

What I do know is that a guy who imagines that he can make a "real woman" out of this exurban mom doesn't understand that he's got a woman standing right in front of him -- who doesn't need to be set free from her children's shackles.

The tapestries of their lives are part of who she is, and will become -- and the man who accepts this may find that she does not need to be enticed.