November 28, 2007
Â“Having children is selfish, Â“ says Vernelli, Â“itÂ’s all about maintaining your own genetic line at the expense of the planet.Â”
I couldnÂ’t agree more. Every really selfish person I know has like twelve kids.
Why just the other day, as I was sitting, unbathed and exhausted, in the kitchen selfishly riding herd on three screaming children, all of whom were simultaneously demanding that I continue my genetic line by providing them with juice boxes, goldfish crackers, hairbows, wardrobe changes, sno-cones, candy, lunch, water, DVDs, computer assistance, reading assistance, diaper changes, judicial intervention, and Â“milkey, he-a-uhÂ” (milk, heated up), I thought to myself, Â“Man, am I selfish!Â”
I had a discussion a little while ago with CaliValleyGirl over whether having children is selfish or selfless. I completely believe that it's selfless, that the point of having children is to raise adults who will provide benefit to society, not just to have a little version of me to cuddle. And raising upstanding members of society is hard. How much easier would my life be to just keep merrily knitting along in between vacations and spending money on myself? That seems like the selfish choice to me. I think instead that I have a duty to my society to breed at no less than replacement rate and breed well, so that my progeny make our country a better place.
But who knows, maybe I'm crazy. I did read America Alone while I was trying to get pregnant, so that may have screwed with my head.
November 26, 2007
Lileks nails it:
She expresses frustration that other people are unable to accept her decision. I suspect she means Â“my mumÂ” by Â“other people,Â” and I suspect she confuses Â“acceptanceÂ” with Â“full-throated endorsement."
Of course I accept these peopleÂ’s decisions not to have children. What am I supposed to do, break into their homes, duct-tape them together into the double-backed beast and play whacka-chicka 70s porn soundtracks until theyÂ’re in the mood? But Â“acceptanceÂ” is part of the usual recipe: first we must tolerate, which no decent person should have any problem doing. Then we are asked to accept, which for most means slump-shouldered acquiescence. Eventually itÂ’s not the norm, but itÂ’s standing alongside it on stage, nudging its way into the spotlight.
As Mr. Garrison eloquently said, "Look, just because you have to tolerate something doesn't mean you have to approve of it! ... "Tolerate" means you're just putting up with it! You tolerate a crying child sitting next to you on the airplane or, or you tolerate a bad cold. It can still piss you off! Jesus Tapdancing Christ!"
And Lileks has more. Much more. Plus funny reviews of Redacted and Die Hardest.
November 21, 2007
My brain runs in circles.
But as I was reading The Second Amendment and the Personal Right to Arms (via Instapundit) this morning, I was struck by one paragraph that reminds me again how beautiful our Constitution is:
There is, to be sure, in the Second Amendment, an express reference to the security of a "free State." It is not a reference to the security of THE STATE. There are doubtless certain national constitutions that put a privileged emphasis on the security of "the state," but such as they are, they are all unlike our Constitution and the provisions they have respecting their security do not appear in a similarly phrased Bill of Rights. Accordingly, such constitutions make no reference to any right of the people to keep and bear arms, apart from state service. And why do they not do so? Because, in contrast with the premises of constitutional government in this country, they reflect the belief that recognition of any such right "in the people" might well pose a threat to the security of "the state." In the view of these different constitutions, it is commonplace to find that no one within the state other than its own authorized personnel has any right to keep and bear arms--a view emphatically rejected, rather than embraced, however, by the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. [emphasis mine]
The perfection of our Constitution lies in the fact that the people of the United States are more important than the government. Obviously this is common knowledge for anyone who knows a darn thing about the founding of our country, but it bears repeating, lest we forget just what a unique and wonderful experiment our country is.
I am just so happy to have been born here. It sure saved me the time and energy of having to get here.
And I really miss Bunker right at this moment. That man knew the value of the Constitution and would've loved that I was having these thoughts. I sure miss his attagirl comments.
November 15, 2007
But I love what my husband said next: "But I am not going to complain about doing yardwork because there are people who are deployed right now, getting injured and killed. Yardwork is nothing compared to that."
I am so proud of my husband's perspective.
I want to put in a short plug for Blog Talk Radio. They provide a free service that has allowed us at SpouseBUZZ to do radio shows with some exciting guests. And by "us," I mean Andi, AWTM, and AirForceWife. I usually don't participate because talking on the radio makes me want to throw up. I remember having this conversation with Mary Katherine Ham at the Milblogs Conference when she asked if she could video interview me; I said, "I'm a blogger, I started blogging so I could write about things, not talk about them." She seemed to think that was pretty funny. I know a lot of people have moved on to radio, podcasts, and YouTube, but I'll stick with my printed word, thankyouverymuch.
But how often does the chance arise to talk to Ben Stein? I had to go for it. I mean, he's one of my two favorite Steins (er, Steyns).
Keep your fingers crossed that I don't say something dumb. And listen in on an interview with a man who totally groks.
November 13, 2007
Last night I had a dream I was invited to a potluck dinner. I showed up and didn't have any plastic cups. I had to go find some, and ended up at a gas station where the man wanted to sell me cups at a dollar apiece plus a 33% tax rate. I was so mad. I woke up from the dream and was still grumpy as all get-out that I had gotten ripped off. And I went back to sleep and kept dreaming about those stupid cups, trying to find a better deal from someone else.
My real life is so devoid of stress that I spend my dreams arguing over $1.33. I am such a lucky person.
November 04, 2007
I really hurt her feelings.
This post is about our resulting conversation. It is written to vindicate her. I am writing for the sole purpose of showing what a bonehead I am, because I want you readers to know that I screwed up, that I learned from it, and that the original post was never meant to be rude towards her.
She's a far better person than I am.
She was really hurt that I would use the word "superficial" in describing our friendship. She thought our friendship was fine, that it was deep, and that we've always managed to get along swimmingly. Sure, I like guns and she doesn't always get me, but she likes sports and doesn't feel like we have less of a friendship because I don't care about sports.
She then laughed and said that probably sports isn't the same thing as the Constitution.
It was really hard for me to explain why I wrote that post in the first place. I blog to work through things in my mind. To grok, literally. I needed to get this feeling off my chest and see what advice commenters would give to me. It wasn't a major problem; I didn't think it was something I needed to sit down and discuss with her. It was just a feeling I wanted to throw out there and see what you readers would say. And you came through for me with flying colors, giving me good advice and helping me realize that I was focusing on one small aspect of what it means to be a friend.
But my friend didn't have two weeks to work through things in her head; it was fresh to her and I needed to give her answers fast. I tried to explain why I wrote about it in the first place. If we had had a disagreement over health care or even Iraq, I am not sure that would've prompted me to write. But the right to bear arms is so fundamental, so important, so illustrative of someone's entire mindset. It's the 2nd Amendment that backs up the 1st. It's that important. That's why a discussion of firearms was a reminder to me of fundamental differences my Swedish friend and I have in our worldviews. It's not just that we don't see eye to eye on violence.
I am not even sure that I did a good job of explaining it to her again. I don't think I will ever be able to explain just how fundamental this right is in my opinion.
But she tried to grok. And that's what I had left out of the original post.
My Swedish friend may be European to the core. We may never really truly understand each other's values. But she always tries. She always listens and she always tries to see things from my point of view. She never judges me based on her own value system but tries to put herself in my shoes and offer whatever advice she can.
Like I said, she's a better person than I am.
What I conveniently forgot a few weeks ago when I got wound up over how deep (or not deep) our friendship is is that it's easy for CaliValleyGirl or Erin or AWTM to see eye to eye with me because they're almost always coming at the problem from the same worldview as I am. Shoot, it's easy for us to be friends. It's a far more impressive thing for my Swedish friend to have stayed friends with me for nine years, despite our differences, despite the fact that I couldn't care less about sports and she thinks knitting a gun for a baby is atrocious.
And what I realized through the course of our conversation is that our discussions are not superficial at all. I talk to her about other issues in my life, things I don't ever blog about. She made me realize that different friends fill different needs. If I want to talk to someone about linguistics, I would probably call Amritas over Erin, for the obvious reasons. If I want to talk to someone about the Army, Erin would make a better choice than Amritas. They're both my friends, but they have different expertise to fill different roles.
My Swedish friend definitely has a role to fill. And while she may not be the first person I'd call to say my husband wants to volunteer to go to Afghanistan, I would never feel like I had to hide that part of my life or values from her, and she would never make me feel weird about it either.
But she already knew this. She acted like it was the most obvious thing in the world, that it was bizarre that I'd even need to work through this sort of thing. All I could do is apologize and say that no one's ever accused me of being a genius. I hadn't fully thought it through when I blogged about it; that's why I blogged it. I wanted other people to point out the pieces of the puzzle that I had missed.
And I'm glad my Swedish friend gave me even more insight into what I was feeling. I'm just sorry that I had to hurt her feelings in the process. It was never my intention.
So the answer to my original post is that, yes, we can be friends despite our differences. Good friends. Or, at least we can if she still wants to be friends with me. I really screwed up.
All I can do is say I'm sorry for hurting her. Again and again.
Josie is at college, afraid of how she'll be treated when people learn about her husband and his OIF injuries. What a great post.
I feel for you, Josie, I really do. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes.
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