jademermaid: (porch lady)
I find it much easier to deal with someone who is screaming. At least then I know what the problem is, and can make a decision on how to handle it. I cannot deal well with folks who turn their backs, or hide in corners, or stew on things. I understand that it is their way. I get that they don't vocalize their feelings well. It doesn't make me any less able to deal with it or understand it.

It seems to make much more sense to me to just get mad, direct the anger where it belongs, and then be done with it, just leave it there and move on. I do not understand how some of my friends can function while feeling upset, and not deal with it in some cathartic way.

Some parting wisdom, porch lady style:

Tolerance is both a skill and a virtue.

Trust your friends enough to let them hear your fears.

You can't shit if you don't squeeze.
jademermaid: (porch lady)
who looks up to see if it's raining and then drowns.

I hope that his private journal accomplishes it's task. What follows is my opinion and nothing more.

The whole thing keeps going back to the statement I made in the first place--He shouldn't be doing anything while he's away that he wouldn't do in front of his wife. Men are simple, and sometimes they do stupid things, it is a woman's place to keep him in line (at least in my world). This doesn't mean that I think men can't control themselves, because they can, they just need a reason to do so that overpowers their need to satisfy their own urges. No, she isn't blameless, far from it, but he is the one that did the hurting. Kudos to him for standing up and claiming his mistake, and for working things out with his wife, it is the harder thing to do. And if people don't like me talking about it, that's just too damn bad, because this thing has become a stain on mine and everyone's doorstep. I'm not going to pretend it ain't there.

None of the particulars mean a fig to me personally though. What does matter is all the vile accusations and whispering between aquaintances, sisters and friends, but the longer it goes on, the less likely I fear it will be to ever have some sort of peace. I keep seeing two lines of people, one on each side of a ravine, and rocks being pelted across the divide. I am standing on one side, but I refuse to throw rocks at the other. All of this has become much larger than the seed of the problem, and much more distressing.

The facts are this--none of the people on either side are vile or rotten folks. By the same token, none of us are perfect or righteous enough to pretend they are not interested in the fallout or the gossip. Human nature, I suppose. You think you are different? You are kidding yourself. I'm telling you, yes you, that you are just as nosey as I am, and want to know what all the fuss is about. And either you want to stand up and say something to bring attention to it, or you want to lament at the poor state of affairs and hope things will work out one way or the other. I consider myself in the latter category, but I do admit to gossiping about this situation with my sisters and thereby causing it to escalate. I'm not proud of it, but as men are weak with controlling their bodies, women are sometimes weak with controlling their mouths.

Apologies don't mean shit when the whispering goes on, and I truly believe that a good hashing out is the way to go--I wasn't kidding about the mud wrestling. Yet people are stubborn, narrow-minded and unable to look at it from the mountain. Perhaps it is the nature of humans to form groups, prosper and war, to form new groups and begin again, like some sort of demented grade school science experiment. I'm not naive enough to think that everyone can be great friends in any group, but I don't think that everyone has to be hateful either. People that are meant to be great friends will become so, and aquaintances are to be just that. It's called tolerance. I don't have to agree with your views to accept you and be able to appreciate you for who you are. Try it if you dare, it only hurts the first time.

So sayeth the porch lady.
*rocking chair creaking*
jademermaid: (porch lady)
Rather, I aspire to be her; she of the scaly elbows and warm cookies. I will tell my tales and people will try to change the subject, or try to slip off unnoticed. Then I will grab them by the upper arm, shake a no-no finger at them and force them to listen.

Because I know what the hell I'm talking about, dammit.

I smack myself every once in a while for not listening to the porch ladies of my youth. I thought them out of my trendy realm; I was sure they were just trying to ruin my fun. They told me about things to avoid and I made eager excuses and rolled my eyes in exasperation. They thought they knew everything! Foolish old ladies with their memorized recipes and worn shoes--what made them think they knew anything about what was happening to me?

"Listen to me, because I have been there. Why make the same mistakes I did when you don't have to? Why must you leap into that chasm, when I can tell you what pointy things seek to impale you on the bottom?"

The porch ladies of my past sit behind me now,a defensive line to my doomed quarterback. They are knowingly indifferent, rocking in their chairs and petting their scrawny stray cats. They know. They see everything without looking over their drug store magnifyers.

I watched women I worked with years ago allow their boyfriends to beat them incessantly. I even offered my home and my money to get them out. They stayed. It was important to them, I suppose, to be beaten again and again, to be rewarded with the stink of love and beer-breath-rough sex afterward. They needed to wake up in the morning with violet reminders of their own faults. I jumped up and down in anger. I raged like a kindergartener when they didn't take my advice. Now I just sit back down and shake my head. One day they will regret not listening to me.

I watch people I know obsess over things. I know these things don't matter. "I have been there, see my gnarled fingers? See them? Look here, listen to me. That woman/man/friend/book/band/thing/toy will be out of your head and you will have spent precious, metered time on worrying about it. Come here, let me tell you about when I was young---hey, get back here! I have something important to tell you! Why won't you listen? Wait! I just made cookies!"

The porch ladies don't try to stop me, they are no help at all. They are silent, save for the creaking in their bones and under the wooden crescents of their rockers. Maybe they think that since I didn't listen to them ages ago, I don't deserve their silver advice any longer. Or perhaps they know that one day I will stop giving out my tales and warnings, because it is like standing in the sea, trying to educate the tide. Youth is eager to get moving. Youth has places to be and things to do, and no time to stop and listen to old ladies. Youth only hangs around for the cookies.


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October 2011

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