Wednesday, November 12, 2008

That Girl Just Doesn't Care

I'm taking a course on rhetoric and discourse, and it's the single most absurd thing I've ever studied. I think it's utterly pointless, and a completely unnecessary model being imposed on language that just overcomplicate things.

I feel like a lot of things are like that-- we can't just let things be, we have to analyze and pick apart and try to explain them. By doing so, we're really just making relatively simple ideas incredibly complicated, when really you just need to live it and let it wash over you.

There's this wonderful Billy Collins poem that pretty much exemplifies how I feel about the universe at large:

Introduction to Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

I feel like a fucking hippie, but... can't we just exist and shit? To quote the movie Independence Day, "All you need is love. John Lennon. Smart man. Shot in the back, very sad."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

That Girl and the Guy in Philosophy Class

So, I'm taking Philosophy 101 this semester, just because I can. Really, it's a pretty absurd course taught by the biggest dork I've ever met, who uses episodes of Battlestar Galactica to illustrate the integration of virtues as discussed in Plato's Protagoras dialogue.

Yeah. It's pretty hilarious.

So, I'm using this class as an opportunity to call people out on their bullshit and generally use big words and crazy analogies to make people's heads spin. I'm doing a really good job of it, especially when I'm able to throw in the name of some obscure playwright and use terms like 'Brechtian' in perfect context.

This, however, has a side effect I was not prepared for. You see, there are these two guys in my class who are much smarter than everyone else. They have taken to following me after class and attempting to strike up the most inane conversations. I got to class early today, as did the more insistent of the two guys, and I was singing to myself as I walked up the stairs. He turned around, smiled, and said 'I thought I heard a pretty voice.'

Seriously? I mean, today I'm wearing a gross sweatshirt with a tea-stain on it, jeans and clogs, I've got NO makeup on, and my hair is a mess. And this guy is CLEARLY hitting on me.

I mean, at least it shows that people are interested in me because of my intellect (and the occasional cleavage-baring shirt in class).

Still, not going to lie: I thoroughly enjoyed telling him I spent the weekend with my boyfriend when he asked if I'd done anything interesting.

Monday, November 10, 2008

That Girl is a Mama Hen

I've been calling myself the Mama Hen in varying levels of seriousness since maybe my freshman year of high school-- by this point in my life, it's so ingrained in my identity that it's never leaving.

Usually it's not that bad-- I just care a lot about the people close to me, and put a lot of work into keeping all of my chickies safe and happy. I've lost track of how many times people have commented on how actively and ardently I care about them, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

But being the Mama Hen is not without its drawbacks. They are many, and they are serious.

For one thing, defining yourself as a caretaker effectively negates any self-sufficiency, because your self-worth and happiness are always related to other people. You need other people to exist, and you need them close to you.

You feel like you can fix people if you just care hard enough. I'm just beginning to really understand that I can't care and love people better, especially when they're going through some pretty serious shit. That conviction used to get me into a lot of shit... several relationships in high school with college dropouts (I was fifteen, he was nineteen, and I KNEW I could make him all better), socially awkward angstbunnies (too many to name) and epileptic stoner poets with anger management problems who had been kicked out of public high school (my senior prom date).

So, I'm trying not to make the same mistakes again. But it's really fucking hard... At least if you try to love someone better and fail, you've still loved them. But trying to help people in other ways is a lot more complicated, especially if what you need to do is tell the person you love more than anything else-- the person you're willing to go through hell and back for-- that they need to cut the crap and deal with their stress before it really hurts them. "I love you" is a hell of a lot easier to say than "You need to find more effective coping mechanisms than hysterical breakdowns."

Because the Mama Hen doesn't want her chickies in pain-- even if that means taking all of their problems on, because they're more serious and more important than her own.

I love my lab rat more than I can say, and seeing what he's going through tears my heart out, because all I want to do is hold him and whisper in his ear that it's all going to be okay. The problem is, I don't know that. I don't know how things are going to turn out, and I can't promise a brighter day anymore when I know it might not happen.

It's quarter to two, and I'm writing this instead of sleeping. I guess I really suck at this "not taking on other people's problems" thing...