Hey kids. I feel like I owe everyone an apology. I let it all get to me yesterday. And letting it all get to me is unacceptable. Let me explain…
Silliness shouldn’t annoy you. People do silly things and those things should be taken in stride. But twice recently I got pulled into some relationship upheavals that had nothing to do with me and yet, somehow, I ended up blamed (scapegoated) for those upheavals. And it really, really set me on edge. And I’m not a robot. I am human and I do have feelings and all that stupid stuff. And I’m pretty protective of love, just as a concept. So when all the selfishness and cruelty starts — and all relationships have periods of that stuff — it makes me tremendously uncomfortable in general, but especially when some of that cruelty and selfishness is directed at me, presumably because I’m safe to scapegoat. Friends always are because the stakes aren’t as high. So that happened, as I said, twice in as many days. And at some point I just stopped believing — only for a few hours but they were a painful few — that people were actually capable of love. Add to that the new mantra of the young-and-smitten “this is the love of my life!” that started creeping all through my facebook feed Sunday and I just about flipped a cog. My mom thinks that expression is hilarious. “It’s the new ‘soulmate’,” she said laughing. But it didn’t amuse me when no less than 3 people gushed about the “love of their life!” after seeing some of the things that really go on behind closed doors. Some of them even did the little social media heart and I felt like I was in 6th grade Social Studies class watching that goofy girl in front of me writing the name of her crush over and over in her notebook with little hearts and arrows around it. I’ve never been one of those girls who got goofy like that. I certainly have loved deeply — it’s a serious thing for me — but the curlicues and flamboyant declarations have never been my particular thing. Frankly I’ve always sensed a measure of the disingenuous in that sort of thing. Love is quieter and deeper than all that. It reminded me of an ex that I dated and seriously thought about marrying. When it came time to declare our feelings, he was hesitant about using the word “love.” He had been through a bad marriage and divorce and had children he had to negotiate with a crazy person (sorry, but she was), and he said, “People throw that word around too much and it stops meaning what it should mean.” I agreed with him then. And he did eventually say it. But the idea wasn’t foreign to me. My mother likes to tell me the story of never being totally sure, for about 10 years into her marriage to my father, of how he really felt about some things because he didn’t verbally express himself in those ways. He’s a country guy and keeps things like that close to the vest. “I knew how he felt because of the things he did, but it was hard for him to be vocal about his feelings. And sometimes you just need to hear it,” my mother says. And that was the tradition I came up in. You just walk the walk.
But then I got checked by my father for assuming my way is the way things ought to be done and that, yes, it’s okay to be discerning about people who are into that kind of thing (I have a brother who falls for it every time and it has led to both very bad and very good things in his life), but that it shouldn’t get to me or be something I’m bothered by. Which made me feel hateful for a little bit, but is ultimately the truth. And so, sorry everybody for actually speaking out about how goofy you look to me and how I think you cheapen the emotion by being so casual about throwing around a pretty serious statement that, who are we kidding?, couldn’t possibly be true yet because your life’s not over. I’ll try to be kinder about what I consider pretty careless and frivolous attempts at proving to the world you have attained something that, by my calculation, is better left in the soft places of the heart and proven through action and dedication rather than a casual dashing off of a few words on social media so that the girl sitting behind you in social studies class, or anyone else who might take notice, knows how great you have it. Because that’s about you. And that’s not how love works.
Meh. Being bossy isn’t cool if you’re a guy or a girl. There are better ways to motivate people. So I’m not sure I understand what they’re going for here. Reclaiming the word so that the behavior is somehow okay?
Oh yeah, I’d totally watch this. All nerds will. (h/t Allison)
Very interesting question here on the disappearance of the militia and what that might say about our freedom as a people.