Coming back home last night, thankful I would rather bike to work than walk the 600 or so metres across the street and buy bus tickets, funny that, eh? I would much rather just gear up and ride off on my own, at no one’s mercy but for stoplights and pesky cars, otherwise it is just me and the road, me and the wind in my face, and me and only me alone.
It’s not so much that I don’t like other humans. Ok, yes I do, yes, it IS in fact that I dislike other humans. Dislike to interact with them, not hate, or have violent thoughts towards or anything like that. No, just plain old introverted desire for solitude and making my own way without having to speak to other people.
Perhaps that right there is the biggest lesson over the last 45 or so plus years since I was 6 since I gained that sense of individuality, and then embarked upon the path towards understanding why the heck I am so different than everyone else? Why on earth I would get fidgety and uncomfortable, revert to polite words and good manners in mixed company, even at a very young age.
Case in point, or to illustrate the point, Mom always told this story about when I was 6 years old and visiting with a Great Aunt in town, in London, who still lived in the old family home where my GrandpaD grew up.
There I am in my red frock, white tights and my black shiny patent leather shoes, legs crossed just so, and I fart. I’m sure I was embarrassed as all hell, but not missing a beat, I said; excuse me I guess I have a little gas! Which broke the polite chitchat that the good furniture in the front parlour was used to hearing into rollicking laughter, and one of the women quipped to my Grandma who was sitting beside me next to Mom…well Milly, that apple didn’t fall far from the tree! To which got another round of right from the belly, which somehow Grandma always seemed to know how to elicit, even when she wasn’t the protagonist.
My grandmother, you should understand, was about as far opposite as one can get from the introvert. Well, that and I guess had no reservation in letting er rip if the occasion presented itself, never once expressing any sense of embarrassment, and whether she felt as such was well hidden.
I suppose that is something I inherited from her, that decorum, the ability to cover-up my faux pas with all the right words, yah know, manners. With a gleam in your eye, and the smile on your lips, the art of conserving your vulnerabilities for those more worthy of exposing them to.
“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.”Robert A. Heinlein, Friday
That is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of manners, and the art of decorum, of its self-preservation benefits, of its rules and words and ways of doing things so as to fit in, to reserve your rougher edges for the people who can appreciate them more, those who love the whole you and not just the brief encounters one may have with strangers, or distant, rarely seen relatives.
It is a way for either the introvert or the extrovert, to manoeuvre through the complexities of the friends and family, strangers and neighbours, a way to get along. A way to mask those vulnerabilities behind truth and confidence, or at least the words and manners that suggest confidence, and maybe also in certain instances a strength of character. You know, not everyone has to know everything, and it certainly helps one to avoid nasty and embarrassing or misunderstood actions, or reactions.
Which of course brings one in mind of the ol’rumpTus and his minions of anti-decorum and mean-spirited nature, wouldn’t use the right fork even if they knew which one that was. Not just some gaggle of white trash, but many just in need of an escape, many watching their mounting bills and often unfounded fears too see clear towards the benefits of decorum, throwing the whole mess into the garbage with their plastic water bottles and cardboard fast food containers, wishing beyond reason to remain oblivious and ignorant to their manipulated minds, or see their fragile grip on success slipping away once again to a shifty scam. Attracted like flies to a greedy man just out for himself, to whose lies and aberrations they are deaf, dumb, and blind to, as all they hear is what they chose to hear, what they want to hear, certainly not what he is saying, which is so riddled with lies and innuendo as to have little to no value any longer.
But I’m a snob. I know, I know, I freely admit, snob, snob, snob, and proud to be, unlike the minions he has enslaved to mask his vulnerabilities.
“Politeness [is] a sign of dignity, not subservience.”Theodore Roosevelt
But anywho. Enough of that mess. Am trying of late to haul back on the political claptrap, as that midterm election down yonder draws near, and the tension mounts across the Dems and Repub media, as the excitement towards an election that could define the next two years, or embolden a man who really, please no, needs no encouragement to do more awful and short-sighted things, and all the vids are psyched up on numbers and blunders and he says what he wants, and he lies, OH MY!
So as I watch and try to absorb as much as I can, to stay in the know, I find myself appreciating more and more those zen-like rides to and fro from work, through the cold dark streets, or under a sunny sky, or a misty ride, tis all for the joy it brings, and the reprieve from more serious things, and the solitude to fart like I please.
“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.”Bell Hooks