If I told you I was listening to Steely Dan sing Rikki Don’t Lose That Number you wouldn’t feel the heat of my glare or see the fire streaming from my mouth.
No sir and no ma’am, you wouldn’t sense any agitation or wonder if it was better to avoid speaking with me because my inner Taurus has decided that it is better to lead with the horns.
I suppose I could try to illustrate that by saying I was listening to Rage Against The Machine or Suicidal Tendencies.
I could scream All I Wanted Was A Pepsi but it wouldn’t make a difference because if you got the reference you’d just smile and if you didn’t you’d ask why I didn’t just shut up and buy myself a Pepsi.
In an age in which outrage and hyperbole are partners you’d think that my first few paragraphs would be perfect for the typical post that lacks substance but you’d be wrong.
Because the rule of the day is to tell everyone who disagrees with you that they are wrong regardless of whether they are sharing opinion or fact.
That is why I pulled out the gladiator card because the way to prove you are tough is speak loudly and shake your fists.
If you don’t think that works just ask Donald Trump, no substance is required, but I digress.
Dialogue & Disagreement
So I had a minor disagreement with a few people online and found myself wondering when they would realize that I didn’t care how many people disagreed with me I wasn’t going to bend.
If you want to use bad cliches it wasn’t my first time debating things online and certainly not the first time I found myself holding a minority position.
Some might ask if I recognized this disagreement as being a waste of time and or if I questioned myself because the majority disagreed with me.
The answer is I stayed because of principle and I felt that the opposition needed to be heard from. I stayed because the mob isn’t always right and sometimes people fear to speak because they are concerned about the consequences.
Those of you who know me well won’t be surprised I used some of my favorite tricks like “I am typing slowly so that you can keep up” and “If it makes you feel good to think so…”
Some people say those lines are awful and have accused me of being a fisherman who tries to bait others into overreacting.
Call that online Internet gamesmanship or just narishkeit. Call it ridiculous or silly but remember this:
5,969 Reasons Why I’ll Love You Forever
When I was a young man, so much younger than I am today I cared about whether people thought I was smart and or tough.
I never wanted to walk away from a fight and I wanted the last word…always.
That is not how I operate any more.
Sometimes silence is more powerful than any word or combination of words I can come up with so silence is what you get.
A refusal to acknowledge someone is effective and sometimes pretty damn rude.
But sometimes the best fight you ever had is the one you don’t engage in.
These days if you and I have a disagreement there are also times when my response is “I love you too.”
It is hard to fight someone when they keep saying they love you. Did I mention that sometimes when my kids have yelled at me I have responded with those four words?
Can’t tell you how many times that has happened because I am not real tolerant of the kids yelling at me.
It hasn’t happened very often but most of the time when it has they have seen a look cross my face that they don’t like.
How do I know?
Because when they see it they stop yelling.
That reminds me, I need to ask them if they think I yell a lot or not.
I don’t think I do and make a conscious effort not to do so, but I’ll have to ask them.
One of the gifts that came with puberty was a voice that is deep enough to carry without too much effort.
Speaking Of Puberty
My heading closer and closer to 16-year-son’s voice has dropped several octaves.
It is not Barry White or James Earl Jones deep but it is certainly not where it was. Fact is it is deep enough now for it to be noticeable to me.
He doesn’t sound like a boy anymore and when he gets loud his voice carries. We can yell across the house at each other and be heard.
Kind of surreal.
Did I mention that the last time he fought with me I yelled “I’ll love you forever, deal with it.”
He scrunched up his face, looked at me and said, “how does that relate to this?”
“Made you stop and think for a moment, didn’t I.”
“Dammit dad, I hate when you kill the arguing that way.”
That last line was said quietly with a sheepish grin.
“Don’t ever forget that I have been arguing with people for decades longer than you have. I know things and I know a few tricks that you don’t.
Sometimes we take life way too seriously.”
As we both walked to our respective rooms I looked around at the boxes and thought some more about what else needs to be packed.
And then I reminded myself to take my own advice not to take life too seriously and went to bed.
Life is one hell of an adventure, never know where it will take you.