I left my family at the airport this morning. How do I know my wife leaves me far too often? By the fact that I trot out that garbage poem more frequently than the postal service raises the price of a stamp.
I get anxious for her at the airport with those kids. Mostly the boy. He’s ferociously developing, just barely incapable of at least 97% of the things that he wants to do, so he reacts with violence to his frustration. I could see it as behavioral issues, stock up on books (I did get one to help us teach him to stop hitting. Cripes), or I could do what I do instead: Look at him as something of a savant. Face the world and say “Shut up and deal with him, people, you’re lucky to have him.” Which is neither true nor effective, but if I use it to get better at dispassionately ignoring my responsibilities to him and the world, I could eventually win at Survivor.
My wife and I were talking about this on the way to the airport – the generally disrespectful tone of the world. Those durn kids, and all that. The “me first” generation. I do blame feminism, in large part. Feminism is where it first became popular to view equal footing as kicking someone in the balls and walking smilingly on. You level the playing field by crippling your opponent. And it gets perpetuated in all the reality shows – especially the ones that are like Survivor, set up as a contest, with a victor in the end. You notice that all you ever hear out of those contestants is “I’m not here to make friends.” No, of course not. So why is it, then, that when you get voted off, you weep like a child and are incredulous that those people you trusted could do that to you?
She – my wife – operates in pretty influential circles at a pretty influential place. She notes that the majority of occasions on which praise is doled out by peers and superiors are those in which someone has stood up and shouted someone down. It is praise of the “You really told him!” variety. We agreed that there is something wrong where the only way people are able to define parameters is through conflict. You gain respect only by displaying an ability to issue condemnation. Respect can be had through the nobler behaviors, too, but that takes years to build. The fast road is the smackdown.
They are good people, though, and she is always quick to say so. I have met many of them, and she is right. It’s nice to think of her at work every day, surrounded by people as bright and capable as they are. I’m sorry she has to come home!
Come home she will, on Monday, with the children. She has relieved me twice this morning. First, with a text that all went smoothly through security. This can be hell with the boy child. Second, with a picture assuring me that a primary pacification method is having its desired effect:
Only the actual flight left to go, and here’s hoping she comes through it intact.