Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Gather round children, and I'll tell you my wisdom. That's right darling, hand Auntie Mel another Smirnoff Black Ice. There's a good lad. The other day I was walking down my parents' street, which I haven't done for years because I used to have a fucking car, and I passed the house where, about twenty years ago, an old lady yelled at me. I don't remember why - perhaps I was picking a flower from her front garden or some other childish whimsy. (This habit dies hard - every time I go to the local shops I make a point of getting some jasmine from a plant that overhangs a fence at the edge of an alleyway. Plus I picked some a while ago on the way to a magazine meeting and put it in my jacket buttonhole. Jeremy tucked it behind his ear. That was so fetch.)

It occurred to me that I would like to give children advice on how to stand up to adults who yell at them for no good reason. Don't these people remember what it was like to be a kid, to think things were rad and ace (words that I've noticed have morphed into the adultescent 'awesome'), to have innocent motives and to have your future spread invitingly ahead with all sorts of greatnesses and pleasures awaiting you? Just look at them with bewilderment as your eyes fill with tears, and go, "I'm only a little girl/boy. What did I ever do to you?" Hopefully then they'll feel really petty and ashamed that they're taking their rage out on a small child whose only crime is to remind them of the disappointments life has dealt them.

Other musings in my recent period of carlessness include that when a woman makes a point of saying she dislikes another woman, it's reasonable to suppose she actually feels threatened or jealous; but when a man says he dislikes a woman, it's reasonable to suppose he actually wants to fuck her. This realisation surprised me, because I want to think my hatreds are sincere and justified. But perhaps I dislike people because they remind me of my own shortcomings, and it reasserts my control over the situation to dislike them rather than feel inferior to them or humiliated by them.

And finally in my musings, I would really like to excise psychobabble from ordinary conversation. People think this jargon helps them talk about their feelings, but I think it really obscures them and renders people inarticulate. Words and phrases I would like to get rid of include:

relationship (most people assume this means a romantic or sexual relationship, but all it means is the way people situate themselves among other people and their environment)
headspace (and other metaphorical 'spaces', eg "I'm not in a good place right now")
just let it out, aka vent;
man-free hole and boy-free zone, which are 'spaces' to which my female friends always seem to retreat, right before they get it on with one or more men.

Surely we can speak frankly? Surely we ... gah, pass me another Smirnoff Black Ice, kid.

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