Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What's with all the yelling?

My husband loves talk radio. We listen to a fair amount of it in the car. It's set on his alarm clock - his alarm clock on his side of the bed. It wakes us up every morning. Every. Single. Morning. With the yelling and the opining and the pontificating. It's the first thing I hear every day. And here's what I don't understand.


Why do people enjoy talk radio? It seem like no matter how much I listen to it, no matter which host, no matter what viewpoint they espouse, it is essentially exactly the same thing over and over. There's the doom and gloom, the government's going to hell in a hand basket, no one knows what they're doing. But never any suggestions on how to fix it. There's lots of I know everything, everyone with a differing opinion is stupid. They invite people to call in, and people continue to do it, just to give enough of their thoughts to make them look like an idiot, then the host runs over every attempt they make to say anything else, continues to belittle and berate, reinforces his own point of view and disconnects to wait for the next caller.

And then there's the yelling. My God, the yelling. Who wants to hear that much yelling? Why? Why the yelling? And why all the listening to all the yelling? They rant and yell and rave and it's the equivalent of me TYPING IN ALL CAPS, ALL THE TIME!!! WITH LOTS! OF! EXCLAMATION! POINT! ABUSE!!!! You don't want to read ALL CAPS, ALL THE TIME. Why would you want to get yelled at by a condescending, know-it-all talk radio host?

I used to think that the only people who got really into talk radio were the just-educated-enough-but-still-completely-ignorant kind of people who hold opinions rather than form them. Those people who are completely threatened by hearing something expressed that might shake or challenge their worldview and who enjoy hearing their opponents be eviscerated. The people who just want to hear their beliefs reinforced over and over again at highest volume. These were the only people I could conceive of as fans of talk radio.

But my husband is bright, brilliant even, extremely open-minded. He thinks freely and well and he doesn't hold to a single belief (that I've encountered at least) that hasn't been tested and examined and thoroughly thought out. He's not a steam-roller engaging others in argument merely for the joy of crushing them. He likes dialogue about ideas, conversations that turn the tables. He's good at putting himself in other people's shoes.

So I really don't understand his obsession with talk radio. Maybe he really does just like being yelled at.

Monday, July 20, 2009

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."

- M. Scott Peck

Monday, July 6, 2009

Why My Husband Is The Best Ever

Any one who knows even the most basic thing about me will know that I'm recently married to the MOST perfect-for-me man imaginable. He is incredible, and I'm lucky in a way that I never believed would be possible. And since he rarely gets the kind of credit he really deserves, I'm devoting one entire post to him and his awesomeness. Warning: this may get sappy. I will attempt restraint, but I make no promises.

My husband is rather reserved, unassuming, sincere. He almost always says only exaclty what he means. No fluff. No unnecessary flattery. Although he's pretty good at the necessary flattery when I demand it.

He shows very little on the surface. Husband is not a heart-on-sleeve kind of guy. But those who know him well (and I'm one of the lucky ones who can make that claim) are aware that he feels very, very deeply. He rarely if ever verbally expresses it, but this man has a capacity for love that I find staggering. And his understanding of and ability to extend grace have taught me what it means to be loved unconditionally in experience and action, not just words.

Ask him how long we've been married and it takes him a cool 2.3 seconds to rattle of not just the number of months and days, but even proceed to precise hours and minutes if I don't shush him fast enough. (I only shush him to avoid the guilt of knowing it took me nearly two years of dating for me to finally nail the anniversary of our official first date. Incidentally, it's April 4th...wait, no....6th. Damn.)

Have I mentioned his brilliance? He has a mind that is - words literlly escape me. I've tried 14 different adjectives here, then erased them all. There isn't a word in the English language (at least not that I'm aware of) that can cover it. And strings of adjectives are boring and long, so I'll spare you. Suffice it to say he is smart, witty, funny - here I go with the lists of adjectives I already promised I wouldn't go into.

I never, ever get tired of talking to him. We have ridiculously long talks that always begin and end too late at night and though I will whine and grumble and claim to hate him for it the next morning at 6:00 am, those talks are one of my favorite parts of the life we've made together.

My husband is very, very patient with me. I could elaborate, but if you know me, you'll know why I need such patience, why it's so essential to a man loving me. If you don't know me, well, you're better off not knowing this part. Trust me.

I am going long and getting goopy so let me quickly add just a few more things. Beautiful blue eyes, the sweetest smile, an obession with languages, and Battlestar Galactica, and Alias, and the Lord of the Rings. A hunger for truth and for true relationship with God, not just empty religion or staid traditions. A tendency to spend time entertaining the most important of life's questions. A quiet determination, a tenacity when it comes figuring things out. Broad shoulders, quick wit, love of four-legged furry meowing things. Exquisite taste in books, music and movies (most of the time).

He has been brave enough to look at all of me - not just the best and brightest in me, but the parts that others shrink from, the parts that I hide from everyone else - and he has somehow managed to make me feel like he accepts and loves it all. I hope I do the same for him every day of the rest of our lives.

Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
He is all pine and I am apple-orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down!" I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there,
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

~Robert Frost

Friday, July 3, 2009

Are you worried sick about me too?
Worried sick?
Or maybe just plain sick of me?

Having seen more most-of-me than any other, is it too much?
I've invited you to drink deepest of a sick-sweet poison.
We may both be consumed.
Will it kill us?

I think I was already destroyed.

A visitor to my most tender places
The most intimate spaces, dangerous and raw
You can go home anytime you like
You may choose to abide instead
What happens if you don't?
What happens if you do?

Do you want to?

I think I want you to...