Three Ways of Knowing

The Professor and I went to the Murphy Loft for lunch yesterday and both got the chicken salad wrap. I will tell you that their chicken salad is the least noteworthy thing I regularly eat. It literally tastes like nothing–not chicken, not Miracle Whip, not whatever else is in there that I also don’t taste–nothing. The only reason I continue to eat it is that, nestled in the nothing are grapes.

The genius of putting grapes in chicken salad is so monumental that I’m willing to overlook the blandness of the rest of the chicken salad in order to enjoy the surprise of the grapes.

If there were just a few walnuts or pine nuts in there as well, you might have a perfectly weird but delicious chicken salad. Hmm… I should try that.

Anyway, I was trying to tell the Professor that I feel like I have three levels at which I know something. There’s kind of the “I’m semi-aware of something” level, the level where I know it intellectually, and the level at which I know it in my heart.

It’s not until I really know something in my heart that I feel like I really, honestly, know it.

To use an example unburdened with emotions, let’s talk about the Butcher’s friend who lives on Blair by Harris Teeter. I have a friend who lives on Blair just down the street from there, so I know that part of town.

I also used to know someone who lived on Love Circle, which is between here and Blair. And, in a kind of ephemeral way, I knew that you ought to be able to get from here to that part of Blair by way of Love Circle, but I didn’t know how.

The other day, the Butcher showed me. Now, I know it in my head, that it can be done and done easily. If I get to the point where I can drive it without thinking about it, I’ll know it in my heart.

That’s the way the flow of information usually works, from out there to head to heart. Sometimes, though, you know something in your heart first. I think this is what people mean by “intuition” or “reading between the lines.” You can see a situation and some deep part of you makes sense of it even if you don’t know it in your mind.

The Professor was saying how I’m pretty good at that–understanding the deeper currents of what’s going on in a situation. And I said that I thought it was because, growing up how we did, I had to find some way of reading situations in order to protect myself. It’s a good skill to have; it’s not fun to have to develop it.

Here’s the thing. None of my friends like my dad. Some of them tolerate him better than others. But none of them, I don’t think, would choose to spend time around him except for the fact that they care about me. Intellectually, I’ve understood this since I was in junior high. But it hurt me; it hurt my feelings. Because I really love my dad.

But the other weekend I was telling Divalicious about the two things he said to me that I just cannot get past–1. That being with me will be some man’s personal hell and 2. That I’m a good daughter and all, but the recalcitrant brother is the oldest son and that’s the most important position in the family–and she said, “Wow, that’s really emotionally abusive.”

It caught me off guard. I think if someone I knew better had said that to me, I’d have been really pissed off at them. It’s weird, but I would have felt betrayed by them. But hearing it from someone I don’t know that well? For the first time in my life, I really finally knew it in my heart, this thing I’d known intellectually but couldn’t just say to myself.

My whole life, I’ve been saying to my brothers and the other reverend’s sons and the Super Genius and even lately to the Professor that, considering how my dad was raised, he was a pretty good father. And he was. I mean, that’s true.

But that’s not how it works. You don’t get to get out of being fucked up by a fucked up person because the fucked up things he’s doing to you are less fucked up than the fucked up things that were done to him.

But I have been insisting my whole life that I’m not fucked up, especially not because of the fucked up things he did to me, and getting pissed at anyone who tried to tell me differently, who tried to express concern about the fucked up things I was doing.

In my adult life, all my first kisses and fucks with a person have been while I was drunk. I’ve never had sex with someone as an expression of our mutual caring for each other. I’m not sure I even know how that’s done.

And thank god Sarcastro is so fucking obtuse because I pulled the biggest fucked-up nonsense on him twice this week and he let it slide. But I will tell you. Sarcastro is one of my favorite people on the planet. I’d trust him with my life, if it ever came down to it. He’s dropped me off at my house on average once a week for the past seven or eight months.

He’s been in my house three times, two of which were this week, when he was here fixing the door.

And both times when he was here to fix the door, he had to push his way past me to get in the house. Seriously, what the fuck? But there I was , standing in the way of him coming inside.

Someone I know and trust and I’m so uncomfortable with him coming in my house that I physically put myself between him and the fucking door?

That is fucked up, folks.

But you know what? It totally is fucked up. Because I am fucked up. And just saying that outloud and admitting it and knowing it it my heart is kind of a relief.

It’s not some failure on my part that I’m fucked up. It’d only be a failure if I didn’t try to stop being fucked up in ways that hurt me or keep me from doing what I want.

Ha, you know, it’s been a worthwhile vacation just to have the time to work that out and articulate it for myself.

A Little Help from the Gun Nuts, Please

This shit over at Say Uncle just freaks me the fuck out.

Ha, here’s where you guys discover the fatal flaw in my liberalism–I firmly believe that no good can ever come of a person coming to the attention of the government.

Anyway, this makes me realize that I know next to nothing about gun legislation in this country, beyond the fact that it’s illegal to own certain types of guns.

But I’m looking at the Second Amendment and it says, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” How has it happened that we can have wording as clear as “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” and have any type of gun regulations?

Is there some kind of gun laws for dummies book y’all can point me to?

I’m naive about this shit, I’ll admit, and I’m confused about how we’ve ended up here. Point me the way, folks.

Progressive Men, Are You on Our Side or Not?

Let’s just go back to the Maggart thing here a second, because I’m still pissed off about it and yet…

See, here’s the thing, Progressive Men–I’d like to feel like we are all working towards the same goals. Let’s broadly sum up those goals as “social justice for all through the excessive taxation of everyone we consider richer than us (oh, and more conservative than us, regardless of wealth).”

And sometimes stuff happens, like Maggart revealing herself for the skeevy bigot she is and progressives on the internet rallying against her. And, honestly, I guess I feel some desire to be a part of that. I want to point out how stupid she is and laugh at her with all the cool kids.


Okay, once Katherine Coble accused me of always taking women’s sides in debates. I can’t find where to link to it, but, as is my way, I’ve pondered that for a long time and, honestly, I think it’s a fair accusation. I’m not sure I hold women up to the same scrutiny I hold men up to.

And, reading this post and the comments on Maggart that follow it really clarified for me why I really don’t like to criticize women.

It’s not that I think that women are so much better than men, it’s that I hate how, whenever you criticize women, it quickly degrades into shit a woman can’t defend herself against.

I mean, you want to call Maggart a despicable homophobe? Fine, because she can either defend herself against that accusation or accept the criticism or whatever. And calling Maggart a despicable homophobe is an accusation that only reflects on her and her accuser.

But look at what’s going on over at Wayne Besen’s. Here he’s characterizing Focus on the Family as a hate group, which I might agree with, in theory and says of Maggart, “It is sad that some people will do and say anything to maintain a belief system that is rotten to the core.”

Then come the comments that prompted me to write this all in the first place–“this cunt is homophobic” & “This bitch is a fucking lunatic!”

Progressive men, this annoys the shit out of me when it comes to y’all, that this is how you talk about women who piss you off, that we’re cunts and bitches.

I mean, we’re right here. We read what you write. You want us on your side and yet, you toss around bitch and cunt like that’s a fair way to fight. How are we supposed to defend ourselves against that?

Do you not get that I have a cunt? It’s right down there and it’s not something terrible. To have a cunt is not a curse. How dare you take my good things and throw them in my face.

“Oh, but B., we call men dicks, too. It’s equal opportunity degradation of associating people with their sex organs.”

Oh, really? If I call, say, Bill O’Reilly a dick, how uncomfortable does that make the rest of you men?

“Oh, but B.,” you say, “Maggart being a cunt has nothing to do with you. She is a cunt. You’re not.”

To which I say, do you live in America? Do you not get how “cunt” sounds like a threat? You say it about one woman and every woman within hearing range gets that you’ll use that word against her if the opportunity arises. And we don’t want that.

Let me explain it to you. When someone calls a woman a cunt, what he or she means is that that woman needs to be taken down a peg or two. AND it sounds like a suggestion for just how that woman could be taken down a peg or two–just make sure she knows that all she is is her cunt. And I think we all know the easiest way to reduce an uppity woman to her cunt.

God, do you see why I hate seeing “cunt” come up in political discussions? It sounds like an endorsement of the worst kind of violence against women.

And to see progressive men using “cunt” to describe a woman, even a woman I disagree with, and going uncalled on it really pisses me off. Because y’all are supposed to be on the side of women, at least to some extent, at least enough on our side to not think that using our bodies as an insult is okay.