Friday was a day off for me. The local government that I work for, in honor of separation of church and state, was closed for Good Friday.
I had my day planned out. Cecilia had planned lunch with my daughter and some friends, and I was going to run some errands and eat lunch. The morning was going well, I was just about to get dresses and leave and then....my mother called.
The conversation starts out like this -
Mom: What are you doing?
Me: Working on the computer.
Mom: Oh, are you working today?
Me: No, just working on the computer at home.
Mom: Has Joy decided where she wants to go eat tonight? (Sidenote: Joy is my sister-in-law. She lives with us because she has a mental disability.)
Me: Yes, we are going to the Olive Garden. I thought we could pick you up on the way.
Mom: That will be fine. We can come back to my house for cake. You know I bought Joy a cake for her birthday because she wanted one.
Me: Yeah, I know. That sounds fine, I'll ask Cecilia if that's ok with her.
Mom: Why wouldn't it be ok (sounding all defensive.)
Me: I just want to make sure she's ok with it, that's all.
Now this is the point where my day just goes to shit. Evidently I have this habit of going up in volume with my voice when I get frustrated. I also seem to have a deep, booming voice, so when the volume goes up I must sound like I'm yelling. Back to the conversation.
Mom: Lower your tone!
Me: Look, I'm sure that it will be fine with Cecilia if we come back to your house. I am not going to make a commitment on her behalf without asking her first.
Mom: Ok, well I'll let you go.
This is what Mom does when conversations go like this. When you don't agree with what she says, and you try to explain your point, she just decides she doesn't want to hear it anymore, so she wants to end the call. She has this strange idea that since I'm her child I should always agree with her and never talk back.
So the call ended and I was miserable for the rest of the day. Not a Good Friday.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Why am I different?
I was at a party a couple of weeks ago with some people we have been friends with for years. One of them, a man who I have known since 1968, made a comment that really bothered me. He said “We don’t know where he went wrong, being the liberal that he is.” Being that we were at a social function that was thrown in our honor (my 35th wedding anniversary is on April 24) I just laughed it off because I didn’t feel like getting into some deep discussion about politics.
It did make me think though. I was born in Atlanta, lived in Charlotte for 5 years and have lived in the Birmingham metro area for 43 years. Most of my family (that I know of) is conservative in their views of politics. Why am I different?
I went to the same high school as my friends. We studied the same subjects. My parents were by no means liberal. Mom and Dad grew up in Atlanta, true southerners. I used to listen to my Grandfather talk horribly about African-Americans, but I have no prejudice based on race.
There was a study done by UC San Diego and Harvard University found that a gene called DRD4 may be the answer. It’s hard for me to believe that my views are based on chemistry. I am a very logical person. Could that be the answer?
My teenage years occurred during the Nixon years. I was fascinated with Watergate. I could see that Nixon and his group were crooks. My mother thought it was no big deal and he was railroaded into resigning. Is that where my thoughts were formed? Was the fact that I followed the writings of Woodward & Bernstein my education into progressive thought?
In college I started with studying for a degree in Business Management. After sitting through a thoroughly boring Economics class I decided I’d had enough, and I switched to a major of History with a minor in Psychology. Was my interest in the study of the mind the key?
Now just three weeks away from my 56th birthday I still don’t know the answer. I do know one thing….I will never subscribe to the conservative way of thinking.