I don't remember who taught me about this very serious disease that parents get, whereby they believe that the sun shines from their child's ass, but I always try to keep it in mind when I'm on the verge of praising Squire. Everybody thinks their own kids are great, it's a good way to make sure we don't kill them when they're annoying. Also, if we didn't think our own kids were fantastic, who would? Like, this is the person who you are hormonally gifted to unconditionally love; if you can't do it, who will?
CAN I HELP YOU WITH SOMETHING? SERIOUSLY WHAT.
Hey so it's fall, my favorite season when I can get it. Last year was summer and then it rained for a week and it was windy and all the trees went from green to bare, like strippers who don't know that the tease is at least half of the point. I mourned the lack of transition, and it made me grumpy(ier than usual) for the winter.
This year lacked the Indian summer we were promised, but still: fall is falling. The leaves on fire, yellow and red, and crunching nicely underfoot most days (though not this morning, as it rained last night). The morning wants hats and gloves already, but by afternoon most of us carry them around if there's a little sunshine. Trying to grab the last bits of vitamin D, like the last drops of syrup in the bottle. Sweet, sweet, and disappearing. In the evening our speech is puffs of smoke on the clear cold air.
So I'm happy. I do like a season, it's one of the best parts of living here. A transition. A sense of movement. Like a new year every few months.
Ten minutes and then I have to go. I've had my shower, eaten, broken a glass and cut my leg and foot with shards, swept up most of it. Still need to dress, find pens and paper. I'm going to a quiz tonight. I used to really like going to quizzes but some of the social aspects ceased to be fun and I had to quit because life is too short to do things that aren't fun. I'm still not sure if it's good for me to be in crowds, even when we are organized to a purpose which sometimes makes it easier for me. It's just too many faces, smells, ideas, people I have to think about and think about being.
I spent a great deal of my life creating it in such a way that it makes me happy and comfortable. Making the house nice, throwing out things I don't like, collecting things that please me. Only pursuing friendships that make me happy and letting the others drift. Finding jobs that have purpose and turning down work that feels pointless or wrong. It's hard to walk away from things that I CAN do but it is harder to curl in a ball of exhaustion at the end of the day, and ugly spaces and mean people and stupid work exhaust me, even when I can manage them all.
So now I feel like: Ok, I know what I need to avoid. And I am right that one should not do things that are not fun. But I still have maybe another 20 years to go and is this it? It is unlikely that I have found all the things that I DO like. So I try, stretch, reflect whether I've drawn my categories too broadly, like is it true that I don't like crowds or maybe I just don't like THAT crowd. I want to challenge myself to keep trying to be better at the game of being me.
I went. There were dogs, yappy and fighting with each other, barking and echoing off the walls, and people walking around slamming the back of my chair, and a person with a microphone calling out thirty seconds, fifteen seconds, ten seconds, and I couldn't speak or even hear my own thoughts clearly. I think maybe I need to give up on being a quiz person. Sniff.
I am tired of "trigger warning" and "spoiler alert". I understand that they're meant to function as a courtesy and I generally applaud all such efforts, but I think they're massively overused AND this week I saw some people reprimanded for NOT using them, and I think we have officially landed on ridiculous. Let me explain.
A trigger warning is a warning that a text you are about to read may create upsetting feelings, particularly if you have experienced something similar to the upsetting thing that the text is about. For example, a trigger warning on a text about rape helps people know that the text might upset them, especially if they were raped. And while I get the courtesy that is intended by that warning, I also feel like: guess what? Women get raped so often, so brutally, and so casually that what is remarkable is not when it makes the news (trigger warning! woman raped!) but that it still makes the news at all. Trigger warning! Patriarchy! News at 11! Understand that I don't think that the sort of violence that we put these warning tags on is acceptable; it's just that I think we live in a world where this is endemic and my concern is more the idea that some people require a warning and the rest of us are okay, or that the text is more upsetting than the event it describes. Everyone should find it horrible; it IS horrible. You know who didn't get a trigger warning? The people in the story. More importantly, the implication that victims of violence and terror are somehow going to be protected from the knowledge of a fact they lived through by a little red flag at the beginning is ridiculous. If you do not want to live in a world where the news is upsetting to you, then try avoiding the news and links to news stories, or you might try channeling that horror into working to change things, instead of getting angry at people who have failed to warn you.
A spoiler alert is a warning that you are about to read key plot points from a work of fiction that will change the way you interpret it. If you are a person who consumes fiction purely for the what of the plot, I guess I can see how you might want to avoid knowing what will happen ahead of time, but... who does that? Do we not usually enjoy fiction for the how, the who, and the why? One of the highest grossing films of all time was set on the Titanic (spoiler alert! it sinks!). I GET that it is a pleasurable jolt when there is a plot twist you hadn't expected, or after the shock of seeing a main character killed off unexpectedly, but since the way we communicate now guarantees that there are fewer such surprises (like interviews with actors who are leaving a show being broadcast before their character disappears), most good artists have compensated by making how you get to those plot twists more interesting. If you are unwilling to live in a world where the plot points of television shows and popular novels may be revealed to you before you see them yourself, and this will ruin the pleasure of the show for you, then you need to either get off the internet or consume better media. I'll be over here re-reading the Chronicles of Prydain and re-watching The Princess Bride.
OKAY 10 MINUTES GO.
I went to see a show last night (singer-songwriter cafe type of thing). The singer is a friend, I guess we're friends at this point. He helped me through a particularly bad patch in my life, gave me some personal insight and clarity over two cups of coffee, and I think it was not a big deal to him but it was to me. So I go to his shows, clap till my hands hurt, sing along when he asks for it, dance. Try to bring new people. He's good, a showman, funny. And last night he had a drummer, box drum, which was great.