Thursday, July 13, 2006

I know what's mine.

"Eat, drink and be merry
Dance the whole night through
For tomorrow we may die!
But, alas, we never do."
--Dorothy Parker

So Israel and Lebanon are either officially at war or damned close. It scares me. How do you go on trying to live your life when there is a handful of megalomaniacal old men out there who have enough power and money and weaponry to ruin things for *everybody*? The way people always did, I guess. People still loved and worked and created and strove and argued and made friends and everything, in the Middle Ages, in ancient Rome and Egypt and China, all that. But it's hard. How can you tell the healthy light layer of denial that allows us to go on doing things despite risk from an overly thick layer of denial that needs to be penetrated so we can do something real before it's too damn late?!?!

I keep thinking, that's the real problem with the world. Too many people who think that other peoples' lives are theirs to do with as they see fit. The human attitude that we can do better with other people's lives. It's not always as loud and obvious as a bomb or an invasion. It's the fathers in Afghanistan who marry off their daughters to pay their own debts. It's using the force of law to treat adult citizens in love like legal children who can only have a play-wedding. It's city councilpeople deciding that a piece of land would be more valuable to them as a WalMart than the site of someone's beloved family home. It's, "If I had that money, I'd..." It's the well-meaning people who tell me and L'Ailee, "If I had your intelligence, I'd do something more important with my life" or tell me, "If I were in your spot, I'd marry a man instead of dealing with those problems" or tell L'Ailee, "If I had hair like yours, I wouldn't dare shave it off."

"But it isn't yours," L'Ailee replies, firmly and quietly, shutting it down. But it isn't theirs. I want to tell so many people, "I didn't give this to you to control. I take back my control over my life." Maybe that's why it's important to go on with your own life regardless of what the idiots in power do--to take as much control as you can and let it be known that it's all yours, no matter what anyone says or does. As Valerie, speaking for Alan Moore, said in that heart-rending letter in V for Vendetta: "Every last inch of me shall perish. Except one. An inch. It's small and it's fragile and it's the only thing in the world worth having. We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us."

I take my one inch back from the hands that want to seize it. I try to let fear take its proper place in my life, no more or less. I know that letting fear stop me from doing things is only a triumph for fear, not for me. I pause to thank the Gods that my life is, right now, bright and happy against the world's dark and ominous backdrop. I go on.

Oh, but do I have real problems! L'Ailee and I are officially hyphenated. I'm the one who processes name changes at my company; it's very handy. :-) We really did play Extreme Rock Paper Scissors all the way to the courthouse for the right to have the "really last" name. She won because the very nice clerk lady said it "sounded nicer" to have her name last. So now the IT guy thought I'd want to change my name to hers on my interoffice e-mail, and I'm seeing that often, women who hitch the spouse's last name to theirs get called the spouse's last name anyway. *sigh* The idea is that neither of us has to change our perceived ethnicity! As she said about the idea of taking my name, "Everyone would think I'm African-American. That's all right if I am African-American, but I'm not." Yep, and I'm not Russian-American, either. People have a real good idea what to expect when they see my name--it looks like a redneck girl's name! I am proud to be a redneck girl married to a Russian; I want that to be reflected. I have to remember that for other people, too--convenient and simple for me, isn't necessarily so for them.

I love the Internet! I was able to use the Better Homes and Gardens Color-a-Room preview page to show the little girl who's room I'm redoing why she doesn't want every last thing to be solid lavender. "That looks very boring," she said. She and her mother had been arguing, but that ended the argument! She's interested in adding other colors and patterns now. And she wants to play with that website again, too. I better hurry up and become official---my competition's gonna grow up!

It's link time now.

Massachusetts proves that more access to potentially happy marriages for everyone seems to mean...more happy marriages for everyone! I keep talking about individuals being cells and all that. I think if more "cells" could actively pursue happiness, we'd be a much healthier society, able to neutralize harmful cells like the ones I talk about in my first paragraph.

At Yahoo! Answers today, I asked, Do you think Ann Coulter means what she says? The waste of atoms actually wrote an allegedly "funny" column advocating that New York Times Staff be executed for treason. Just to illustrate what true satire looks like, I refer you to this Tom Tomorrow cartoon and this Betty Bowers review.

Do New Yorkers actually want to be happy?

Amazing Dreams has the best e-cards!

Finally, I think we need an International Friendship Song right about now, don't you?


Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Coulter is truly in her own orbit. She scares me, quite frankly. As for Israel and Lebanon, that frightens me too.

I n g e r said...

Heavy sigh. And another. There's so much badness--and coming at such a pace--that I'm having trouble processing it. Honestly.

The International Friendship Song was cute, though. If only.

xo Inger

Tai said...

The world has many things to fear, but you are among the forunate...your happiness is lodged firmly in your heart AND sleeps beside you each night!

EL said...

Do NYers want to be happy?


Easy question.

belledame222 said...

>How can you tell the healthy light layer of denial that allows us to go on doing things despite risk from an overly thick layer of denial that needs to be penetrated so we can do something real before it's too damn late?!?!

Good question.

Coulter is evil and insane; yes she means every word of it.

and yes the evil/insane are rather heavily overrepresented in the handful of people in power.

one thing i'd like is if the rest of us got better at 1) learning to recognize and 2) standing up to the evil and insane.

including such tendencies in ourselves, of course.

unconsciousness is a huge big problem.

Zanne said...

Been away so am catching up--loved this post, you really wrote my heart about the war. And you're so right about not letting fear triumph by stopping you from living and enjoying your life! A wonderful and timely reminder to all us empathetic worry warts!
PS hope we'll get pics of the finished project of the little girl's room! :)