Saturday, August 04, 2007

The same old shillelagh



Comes a time when you've done enough trips around the sun to have enough life experience under your belt to pretty much know what you're doing. Oh sure, you might complain about a situation and it could come across as if you don't know what to do about it, but you're really just blowing off steam; just complaining about circumstances thrust upon you of which you're not too fond.

You know what to do. Life is pretty much a plethora of same old, same old. When you’ve spent half a century riding that slingshot of gravity around Old Sol, you've more or less seen and heard it all. Not much shocks you, although you may still get a bit of a surprise from time to time. You pretty much know who you can trust and who you can't; who's going to follow through with promises and plans and who's just blowin' smoke. You can recognize who knows you and is just being nice because they need a place to stay when they’re in your city and how to not get too attached to them and who knows you and likes you anyway, spare bed or not, and how important it is to hang onto them. But not to get too attached to most people because, let’s face it, most of us have the attention span of a goldfish and we don’t stick around for long.

And you've learned to pick your battles. When you're younger, you tend to react to every slight and indignity with a passionately cried, "That's not fair!" and "I'm not gonna take it!" and sometimes you just plain don’t know what you should do. But after a while, you know those slights and indignities are gonna come. Unless you hole up in your house (and even then you're not totally safe trampoline) you are going to encounter your fair share of abuse. You learn to develop a thicker skin – a wall around you, if you will – and as long as you're not hurting anyone or breaking any laws, you just don't care much what anyone else thinks or does anymore, or what they think you should do. You start to let it bounce off you. You know what you could do. You just choose not to.

Doesn't mean you don't notice it. Doesn’t mean you don’t have that moment of, “Grrrrr!" and a fantasy of braining the offender, literally or figuratively, or that it doesn't bother you at all, just that you have come to an understanding with the universe that shit is gonna happen and you're sharing the planet with fools, jerks, and all manner of eejits (and sometimes you’re one yourself) and sometimes, the less fuss you make, if you don’t raise the ante by coming out shillelagh swinging, the faster it’ll pass. But you've got a shillelagh, literally (big stick) or figurately (lawyer), and you know how to use it, you just choose not to. This time.

And sometimes, if you've chosen as your response to turn a blind eye, seethe silently and keep that shillelagh by your side, a nice complaining blog post is often a good release valve. It’s not a cry for help. It’s not a request for advice. It’s just letting off steam, so you don’t pick up that shillelagh.

It’s also much cheaper than a lawsuit. Or a psychiatrist.


3 Comments:

Anonymous losing true said...

As you might have noticed, I get what you're saying about the nice complaining blog post. Though the other day someone I respect (and even like) (OK, love) said he liked my blog but found it bitter and angry. He said its voice was a me he didn't recognize. My first unthinking reaction was, "Um? Duh? That's the whole idea, the whole blog persona, baby. It's my groove, daddy-o." Days later a second reaction strolled up to the first one, took one look at it and asked: "Why don't you find a nice poetry slam to haunt?" Then that second reaction sat down on a park bench to think. I'm not saying I've accomplished much with the thinking reaction, just saying I'm thinking. And I have to say: I like that shillelagh image.

August 6, 2007 at 5:21 AM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

He doesn't get the being a woman thing, of course. Men are permitted to be angry and bitter and express negative emotions. We are expected to be sweet and accommodating at all times, which no human being is. Our blogs are the only place some of us have to blow off steam, reveal our loneliness, homicidal fantasies, etc.

Cute image, huh?

August 6, 2007 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger Ricardipus said...

And there I was thinking it would be all about bludgeoning.

Nice post though. Very eloquent.

August 7, 2007 at 4:22 PM  

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