Sunday, March 29, 2009

Degrees of Wrong

Sometimes I feel disconnected from the world. Not in the depressed "woe is me" kind of way, but in the, "am I the only person who thinks about that" kind of way. I have an ability to put myself in other people’s shoes and that makes me a little more sensitive to certain issues. I’m empathetic but I’m not a bleeding heart. I’m the type of person who distinguishes between the facts of a case before I lump it with other cases. I see the difference between the man who steals simply because he can, and the man who steals to survive. Both are wrong, but in my eyes, one is far worse than the other. I know people who would lump both men together because a thief is a thief, and I don’t think that is right.

I genuinely see people as individuals. I might make the occasional off color joke but I’d never think that I knew a person just by looking at them. People are far more complicated than that. You can make assumptions based on appearances, but you can’t decide who a person is until you get to know them and sometimes you may find that your assumption was completely off.

I don’t know what made me go on this tangent today. Sorry. Anyway, here’s another poem.

The Rodeo

I can’t explain the things I feel,
For you
I can ride bulls and rope goats
But I can’t
I can’t lasso the thoughts in my head
The ones I have
Of you

I can say those words that hurt
But I can’t,
I can’t
Say those that close the gap
Between you and I,
I can’t
Do that
For you

I wish my gate would open,
For you
I would ignore the clock and people
And see
Just you
Waiting to be tamed
By me.

Status: Feeling like polluting the web with my writing, but waiting until I’ve thought about it a little more.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Invasion

Every spring, the ants begin invading my house again and I don’t just mean tiny ants either. I mean tiny ants, medium sized ants, large ants and flying ants. It’s a full-fledged assault. You would think the ants would have learned their lesson by now. The truth is that I will win the war because I always do. They will annoy me for a week or so and I will kill and kill again. I will spray and fog them to either death or retreat. They will lose many members of their colony and for what? Because they wanted to come out of hiding?

I’m writing about it because I feel bad about killing so many of them. I wish there was a way for us to coexist without them giving me the willies. I know they are like microscopic compared to me, but the idea of one of them crawling on me just freaks me out and that is why I kill them. They have to learn that invading my space threatens me and forces me to react.

I have my moments though when I let ants live. When I’m in a particularly peaceful mood, I’ll give the ant a choice. I’ll put my foot down on the floor. If the ant walks in the other direction then I’ll usually let it live, but if the ant walks towards my foot then I will crush it. I rarely offer this choice though. I figure if the ant is brave enough to enter my territory in broad daylight then that’s a pretty brave ant and who knows where else it might venture to if I don’t kill it.

Status: At war with ants.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Men Can Be Abused Too!

I feel like the last time I blogged was months ago, even though I only missed a week. It’s amazing how quickly this has become a part of my life and how similar this is to working out. Just like working out, blogging is one of those things that lend itself to either being very consistent or falling off the wagon completely. When working out, if you miss one day, it becomes easier to miss the next scheduled day and then the next one and then you’ve missed a month and you either feel like crap or you’re like me and you just laugh it off and say working out isn’t for you or as I said about the blogging, sticking to a routine isn’t for me.

Okay now that I have that nonsense out of the way, there is something that has been really bothering me. Before I get in to it, I’d just like to say that it has nothing to do with Chris and Rihanna or the debate about them and what happened between them. I just have a general observation of things people have said about domestic violence. Suddenly all the shows are discussing domestic violence, but most of them have a noticeable skew. Yes, I understand that women are either the most likely to be abused in a relationship or the most likely to report it, whatever the case, people often associate a battered woman with domestic abuse, but what about all the physically and emotionally battered men? Focusing on women makes it appear to be something that doesn’t happen to a “man” and so what is a man supposed to do when he finds himself in an abusive situation if the perception is that it only happens to women? There are men out there who are being abused everyday whether by a girlfriend or a boyfriend, but who speaks for them? Do they even know that it’s not okay for people to hit them or throw things at them? Do they even realize that they are being abused? I found one article that said, “Male victims are less likely than female victims to report it or consider it a crime, which makes crime data (crime reports or crime-based surveys) unreliable. But sociological surveys consistently show women initiate domestic violence as often as men and men suffer one-third of injuries.” Women are the face of domestic abuse much in the same way that young white boys were the face of the Catholic Church sex scandal, which is my way of saying that the abuse is not limited to only the faces you see. I didn’t know men were abused by women as much as they were until I went looking for the information. It’s shocking!

Another theme that I have heard repeatedly in the recent discussions about domestic violence is that no matter what a woman does, a man should never hit a woman, he can restrain her, but he should never hit her. I think people need to stop regurgitating this crap. This is part of the reason why a lot of guys shut up and take it when a woman hits them. The truth is that everyone should keep their hands to themselves, period. A woman should not slap a man if she does not want him to slap her back and vice versa. I’m so sick of society saying things like “girls don’t hit as hard as boys” and “boys are stronger than girls,” this may be true on average, but there are some girls out there who could give some boys a run for their money in terms of violence. When I was a substitute teacher, I saw a couple of girls step to boys looking to fight them. I remember one boy said something like, “I don’t hit girls,” and the girl responded by saying something like, “Well I guess I’m going to kick your ass then.” Obviously I got over to the kids as quickly as I could, and fortunately, there were no actual fights on my watch, but it was close.

I think I established in previous blogs that I am pretty much anti-violence and that goes for violence of any kind. In an ideal world, no one would hit anyone, but we don’t live in an ideal world. Of course restraining someone until they calm down is a welcome alternative, but do you know how much strength it takes to restrain someone who is out of control?

I didn’t write this blog to say that men are being abused at the same rate as women or to give a man a free pass for hitting a woman. I wrote this blog to remind people that violence is not appropriate when it is a man perpetuating the violence or when it is a woman perpetuating the violence. Saying anything less than that does us all a disservice.

I found this quote and I think it sums things up nicely:

"Domestic violence is a human problem, not a gender problem."
- Dear Abby

Status: Thinking that some double standards are more damaging than others.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cruise Control

I’ve been floating along all week. It’s a good thing I guess because this hasn’t been a bad week. It’s been a nice week. Rather pleasant in fact. I have been working, relaxing and writing. The writing has been the most soothing part though. I really don’t have anything to say. I probably should post another poem but I don’t feel like looking for an old one or writing a new one so I don’t see that happening today. I’m going to watch the finale of America’s Best Dance Crew. I wonder which team will win. I didn’t vote. I think both teams are good. I remember Hok from So You Think You Can Dance so I was rooting for his crew from day one, but I wouldn’t be upset if the girl crew won.

Status: Coasting through the week.

Monday, March 2, 2009

One Good Day

I am having a good day for the first time in a long time. I mean I woke up this morning and I just felt like smiling, like I was the largest pearl in the sea. I’m not sure why today is so good, but I am so thankful that it is. I haven’t had a positively amazing day like this all year. It feels good to breathe. It feels good to be alive. It just feels good. I’m not overly excited or bouncing off the walls or anything, I’m just happy. I haven’t done anything special today. In all honestly, I haven’t left my house today and I don’t plan on leaving this evening, which means I will be spending this glorious day inside. Fortunately, it’s freezing outside, and I like the idea of staying warm so I don’t feel like I might be missing out on something.

Status: Smiling like a Cheshire cat.