Thursday, March 08, 2007
Chapter 3
I wasn't planning on inflicting y'all with another no-books-in-my-life post, but I really need to start shoving the commercials lower and off the screen because they make me a little insane every time...

Although, let me just say, I've gotten some reactions off this blog that have informed me that the little-guys-fighting ad is NOT racist because the creator didn't intend it to be racist and I'm just being oversensitive. Which, I respect that opinion... and flatly ignore it. In my world, the very worst type of racism (okay, second-worst after tying someone to the back of your pickup truck and driving away) is the insidious, unrecognized type. The times when you've just said something so offensive that the other person can't even draw a breath to defend themselves, and you don't even realize you've done it. That, in my head, is true ignorance - not the ignorance of consciously ignoring another point of view, but the ignorance of not even realizing there is another point of view. So, if I'm going to be generous and allow that the Advertising Geniuses at Mars Inc. may not have intended to be homophobic/racist, that doesn't undermine my original assertion that the ads are inappropriate - it just means that instead of an assertive beating with a pool noodle, these Advertising Geniuses could stand an extra few hours of sensitivity training. You don't get to decide whether your words or actions offend someone else - respect for someone else means acknowledging their reactions even when it's not what you intended.

Okay, I'll stop, I promise. Just, please, don't get me started again.

As for the books. Sara wrote a post in response, talking about how her book-karma has clearly balanced out mine. While I have two perfectly appropriate, appealing books from a friend sitting on my bedside table, unread because I just don't want to start anything new right now, she is breathing into a paper bag at the knowledge that her library will be closing for renovations soon. (Deep blue ocean, Sara... it will be okay. I promise.) She suggested that her voracity might be related to a lifestyle that is often isolative and an impending event that is happy yet not within her direct control. Makes sense to me.

And it made me, once again, think. Maybe my apathy - and it is, truly, just apathy, not actual antipathy or avoidance - has to do with the fact that, for the first time that I can remember, I'm truly content in my life. Sure, there are things I would change if I could... like, say, not working out of the house... but that's a low-grade wish tempered by the belief that, someday, Willem will be done with school and will be willing to support my slothlike, unmotivated ass at home again. But by and large, I like my routine now. I'm happy with my situation in life, I've reached peace with my career trajectory, and I have long-term goals that are intriguing.

In short, I'm boring.

But the thing is, I've never been boring before. I had many years of emotional unpredictability, and while that may have been fun for the audience, it wasn't all that enjoyable a ride for me. I had years of grad school and young kids and planning for a demanding career, always characterized by stress and time management and worry and mommy-guilt and so on. I've had major depression. Been there, done that. But until recently, I've never been boring. It's kind of exciting in its newness, still; this feeling like I don't need to escape or expand my horizons because where I am is comfortable and predictable is a uncharted territory for me.

I know, I can hear you cultural people, you teachers, you brave explorers out there, simultaneously gasping at the idea that we can ever be content with inertia. And I'm sure that, at some point, the boringness will get, well, boring, and I'll want to do something new.

You'll all be the first to know.