Today, there is supposed to be rain. I’m not sure how I will get through the day. Spring is upon us and my normal inclination in this season is to be OUT. Doing and making. Cleaning up beds, turning over soil, landscaping, finding bugs. In the past few days I’ve done this:
I want to do MORE! Being forced to be inside for a whole day is agonizing right now. Of course, since my last embarrassing incident in twisting my back, I also managed to sprain my ankle. It happens occasionally, it’s not bad, but I probably should stay off it for the day. This makes it all worse of course.
So I’m pretty much stuck in my seat, in front of the internet for the day. And I come across stories like, “Should I dye my hair pink?” and “Scientists implant memories in mice! Someday, we will remember it for you wholesale.” (omg Skynet right?) Oh yes, and “10 Chinese dishes that real Chinese people don’t eat.”
I crack my knuckles and get to work. I’ll deal with this.
So I make my replies:
“If you like pink, dye your hair pink, what’s the big deal?”
“Alarmist! Get off the internet if you don’t understand why we’re doing this!”
“If you want to whine that we don’t eat “real” Chinese food start MAKING SOME!”
Then as I always do, I sit back and look at my replies. I hate this habit, it keeps me from looking like a jerk about 20% of the time. (I mute the other 80% where I know people are going to blister my back) The good thing is that I start thinking about what the original post was really saying.
The lady who wants to change her hair color to pink? She wrote:
“Alas, I see I’ve fallen right into the basement of People Who Make Superficial Comments, despite my regular attempts to be my Better Self.”
And I realize that this woman who lives in a conservative community is struggling between “be noticed and possibly scorned” and “live life peacefully because who the hell needs this shit.” My response was based on the fact that she talked about the chronological escalator. I wanted to SCORN her for not just doing it.
Memories in mice? yeah, I wound up writing “Alarmist.” and leaving it at that. Because if you are that terrified of science, that you can’t see that someone who has a boatload of memories they can’t access might benefit from this, you need to go back to compassion kindergarten. But even at that, this person doesn’t want someone messing with their life, their decisions. I kind of get that. Because if you can’t make your own decisions, who are you anymore?
The Chinese food. I am always and forever on the lookout for interesting stuff. Ever since I went on a 6 month tour of the western Pacific with the U.S. Navy. When I couldn’t figure out what someone was eating, I’d point, wave some money, and they’d make it. Some of the most delicious food ever I tried by not knowing what it was. Curdled ox blood and some kind of grilled intestinal thing, it was fabulous! So someone comes out with an article telling us that what we’re eating has been homogenized for us and I get angry. I can’t FIND the real stuff! Fermented bean paste and curdled blood just isn’t to be found where I am. It makes me angry! I WANT some! I am your adventurous customer, gimme! But who else going to buy it? If it was in a store it would just sit. If it was in a restaurant wouldn’t the health department really try to shut that crap down? There’s a reason that we can’t even find blood pudding or cooked insects here. Nobody wants it. Yuck! But how must that feel to a chef who wants to make real food, but what they need to make is what the American public will eat? Do they feel betrayed? Do they feel hampered? Do they feel trapped? Perhaps just as trapped as I do, sitting in my house, while it rains. Except it’s not just one day for them, it’s every day.
Every day wondering how coloring your hair will affect other people’s perceptions of you and whether you will have the ability to even walk into a certain store, or a church, or a restaurant. Every day wondering if someone is going to take away your right to vote or speak. Every day making sugary, watered down crap for people who don’t even care that you took out your life savings to come to America and make a future for your family.
Suddenly, I don’t feel SO trapped anymore. I feel a little like writing.