(r) 2005.6.5@14:37 JohnnyGoodyear says re June 5, 2005: Hang in there kiddo. Dad's somehow do less, but do have to 'suck it up' more I find..... part of our gender inheritance I think....
Now listen, before you dismiss what I’m about to say as so much “another-man feeling-sorry-for-himself-in-the face of-a-woman’s-suffering”, well . . . it may in fact be that, but let’s see if I can’t do it with some creativity and some clarity, shall we?
My wife’s most prominent and most positive male role model was her maternal grandfather, a man she refers to as “Papa”. Her Papa was the kind of man who grew up during the Depression, who picked potatoes as his first job, who joined the Navy when the war broke out, served as Sea Bee in the Pacific, saw combat, caught malaria, got married when he got out, built three of the houses he lived in himself: that sort of guy. The sort of man who made this country what we’ve come to think of as great. The sort who really doesn’t exist anymore. He was honest and good-hearted and he certainly didn’t go around complaining or sharing his feelings much.
Now I, on the other hand, can barely change a tire unassisted. I can tell you more about Nietzsche than I can about remodeling a home. And having been raised in an alcoholic East Coast Irish home, I have gone through a rigorous natural-selection-based process of learning to make my problems known loudly, persistently, ad nauseum. I was raised on John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies. I know I should aspire to be the silently suffering type; and I do, trust me! It’s just that . . . well, I’m not. And sometimes I think my wife expects me to be. Some times-- a lot lately actually (and I can’t imagine why, right?)-- she’s just plain bitchy. And since bitchiness requires an object, guess who becomes the premier, indeed, sole object of said anti-affection?
And yes, there are times, when I’ve had enough, and I bitch back. I don’t have a horse or a range to ride it off into when I’ve had enough, so . . . I bitch back. It almost never makes me happy or feel any better, but I do. And there you have it: the confession of a back-bitcher. I hope you won’t think significantly less of me.
On the more enlightened hand, this afternoon Heather and I did something we’d never done together before. Before you prick up your ears to high, we didn’t hump (though we have done our fair share of that to “get things going”). No. We chanted together. Now we’ve meditated countless times together, but she’s never joined me when I’ve chanted my “Oms” as I call them. In the Tibetan style I take a deep breath and slowly fully vocalize the sacred syllable that some maintain is the sound of the entire universe. It sounds something like aaaaaaaoooooooouuuuuuuummmmmmmm, and ideally it moves from the back of the throat to the lips in a fluid undifferentiated progression.
Anyway, we did this together for the first time today. Perhaps yet another vain hippy-dippy attempt to trigger labor. But if Fishy was hearing anything like what I was hearing, it was the beautifully dissonant alternation of the voices of two people who’ve dedicated their lives to each other and their family, and were taking a rare twenty minutes to find some peace together.
Not bad a welcome, I’d say.