Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Molly Ivins quote in the title banner of this blog may give the impression that I actually enjoy fighting. I don't. I admired Ivins for the style and substance of her columns, and I really miss having her take on this long, drawn-out primary season going on now. With her keen political insight, she took delight in pointing out "the Emperor has no clothes." I love doing the same thing, but I could never emulate the style of such an icon.

My friend LaRue reminded me in March that I've been known to throw a live grenade or two into the middle of a conversation, but rather than stick around to clean up the mess, I usually throw it, then run like heck to duck the damage. If Molly Ivins and I had been playground pals, I would have been hiding behind her skirt, urging her on when she stood up to the bullies, but when she looked around for reinforcement, I'd be nowhere in sight. (Then I would be the "fraidy cat" she ridiculed.)

Writing a newspaper column as she did meant that she avoided the direct confrontation involved in a face-to-face debate. She really wasn't very good in that format; I remember being disappointed in the few personal appearances of her I saw on TV, especially if she were expected to argue with an opposite view. She excelled in her writing where immediate response was not expected. Blogging has a similar appeal to me. (As a late-comer to her fan club, I'm not really qualified to say how she was in her younger years. By the time I discovered her, she was already fighting cancer and feeling the effects of chemotherapy. Who could be at the top of their game with all that?)

Anyway, I was recently reminded of my strong aversion to disagreements and arguments when I engaged a Republican friend in a conversation about politics. MISTAKE!!! I was immediately overcome with feelings of ineptness, incompetence, inadequacy. My mind goes blank and my emotions put me in "run and hide" mode. I'm sure it comes from growing up in a house where verbal hostility was volatile and explosive and much too frequent for the ears and spirits of gentle children who just wanted to live in peace and harmony and love and kindness and all those other nutrients that young offspring need for health and growth.

My husband's contrariness, especially when he's drinking, has the same effect on me. And this is the man who used that Don McLean song to win my heart:

You have lived such a gentle life upon this earth
That I am stunned by your sight.
If I could give but a token of the love you give
Then I might not be this lonely tonight.

Let them have their smug and their cool
confined by fashion and peer
I love you for your courage in this frightened atmosphere

Ah, there are so few brave ones like you
Need I explain?
Never wondering what to do, what to venture, what to gain-
And you have loved in a total way,
from flesh to soul
You speak without coy, without pose
Your eyes can see that the Emperor
has lost his clothes
And what's more you'll tell the whole world
what he stole.

I'm tired of fighting. My courage in this frightened atmosphere just ain't what it used to be. I fought off Mike's demons for years, but now I'm tired of fighting and they aren't. If I'd been smart, I would have recognized that the job description was more than I could handle anyway. It sounds more like a job for Jesus, not co-dependent Cathy.

I'd like to find a tall tree to climb and hide out in it for awhile. Instead, I'm headed to the gym where the warm salt water always relieves a lot of the stress. Pam and Jean aren't going today, so I'll probably have it all to myself. Maybe Jesus will show up.

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