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Monday, 26 November 2012

Let me tell you

You're stuck reading the whole post now. Sorry. 

Let me tell you about a newfound form of hell I just encountered. Being told what to do was a pain in the behind. Being told what is right as someone's idea of what worked for them starts to get on my nerves. Being told to incur in unethical behaviour to get anywhere in life is mortifying. I can't think of a word to describe what it is like to be told to lever myself up to getting a well-paying job by uncle A as he stuffed food into his mouth just so he could continue talking. All after taking me through a procedure for idiots tour rather than admitting he fucked up telling me about one of the steps in the damned procedure.

If you were to custom design hell for me you'd be hard pressed to make it worse than that.

Aunt A could tell I was uncomfortable. I assure she wouldn't understand how much. It was all she could do to hide her face and try to intercede for me, bless her.

I fucking know shit needs to be done. I can use a friendly reminder. Spare me the bloody lectures and unethical life lessons. I want nothing to do with them.

That, mother, is why I don't like talking to uncle A. It's not just that he thinks I owe him something. I do. It's that the price is too steep.

You know, we were at LC4's school today to celebrate his birthday. Aunt A and I were on time (which ended up meaning "early") and one of the teachers decided the perfect way to get the kids out of the way and to calm down so we could prepare the tables with tablecloths, party plates and cake was to read to them. Since he was the birthday boy, LC4 got to pick the book to be read. So far, so good. A woman in her sixties (my guess) sat down on a chair in front of them and started to read. I thought it was horrible. The idea of getting them to sit down to read was a good one. This teacher's reading was awful. Not that she couldn't read, of course she could. She just shouldn't read out loud to children. She faked what should have been funny voices, but that's not what bothered me the most. When the children read along with her and asked questions she shut them up. She shut them up! It's outrageous! They're only 4 and 5 but they're already being told that their ideas are worth nothing and are being told to shut up rather than share their thoughts and let them evolve. Isn't it the saddest thing? 

I understand that if one is to read out loud to children one must read out loud to children and not let them take over but I most certainly think that their observations were perfectly valid and an open invitation to what could have been a nice discussion. Why not let them play out the onomatopoeias? Why not let them ask questions, no matter how silly? Why not let them enjoy reading instead of just sitting there and being read to? Isn't it all too similar to the average telly show experience? Except, even children's shows ask children to participate! Outrageous, I tell you. 

I don't plan to have children, but I'd hate them to be under the care of people like her. It rubbed me the wrong way when aunt A said she really liked this teacher and thought she was so nice. (Just like when she speaks about how good a young man my most recently married cousin's husband is...) My point is that I'd never raise children the way uncle A intends to "raise" me. I'm quite happy with the way I turned out. Quite happy with my hippie parents. Quite happy that my parents agree fabulousness should be respected (and respect it, for the most part) and that my sister celebrates difference and fabulousness. The fact that both my sister and I have grown into capable, ethical, smart and mature young adults means to me that we were raised right. I won't have someone try to write all over it. That would be vandalism.

I plan to have a dog. Not dogs, just a dog will be fine. And I'll be very sad if anyone treats her the way the dog here is treated. Yelled at for barking, often neglected, not nicely apprehended, cast away because they won't try to teach her to be gentle. Same goes to the cat, really. I've seen her get yelled at for entering rooms. She just hasn't been taught properly. I'm afraid I have no experience with cats and no knowledge of them to take on the task. It's all I can do to gladly keep them both company. I don't know if it's worth anything to them that they choose to rest around my room, but it certainly means a little to me to have the only non-mad members of this house near me.

Rebellion for now starts with buying lipsticks I don't need, doing my make-up just before I wash my face at night, writing essays and doing maths when I'm supposed to be studying something else.

I wanted to talk to someone. I needed to talk to someone. EBF seemed like an obvious choice. He pointed out the obvious: I need the money. He couldn't say anything else. I couldn't have expected him to. Had he wished to tell me differently, he wouldn't be responsible for getting me off the road to reasonable money. Maybe he didn't even consider it. My intellectual self dies a little inside when maths are like porn and my dream of a career can only hope to become a hobby. I just wanted some sympathy, is all. I could have settled for him wanting to hear about my dissertations, as I have no one else to share them with. I'm selling my values, my ideals and my ethics. He points out I need to. I understand I have to. That doesn't make it any more bearable! I know I'm no genius! I know I'm only at the boundary of average meets smart! That doesn't mean I'm comfortable choosing average! 

I feel like a teenage boy who's just ran across the concept of anarchy and found it fascinating. People around him will tell him what to do. He will be told to change his hair, to change his clothes, to make something more useful of himself. And he'll grow into another Joe.

It's more than that. In the film Baby Geniuses babies hold universal knowledge until they grow up enough that they learn to talk. EBF is telling me to grow up. I can already see he's grown up. He's been growing more quickly then I do for a while now. It's just that there came a point where we stopped using the same language. I don't presume to hold universal knowledge, that film was shit. But I do like the metaphor that after a while we all give up on its equivalent to be stuck learning only some things. From scratch. And, at least in the universe that makes this possible, evolution made it this way. In this convoluted lot of nonsense, I'm the baby that hasn't learned to speak. I'm Paul Auster. That's exactly who I am. I'm fucking. Paul. Auster.

After such a heavy blow of being told what to do, let me tell you one thing: I'm hating it.

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