Monday, July 6

On Being A Bundle

Just call me Fanny Dooley. I'm not providing a link because I just found out that when you google "Fanny Dooley", the hits give you the secret. Right there. In public. Now what kind of fun is that? I am going to trust your integrity (and your familiarity with one PBS show that shall remain nameless). I mean, I'm not exactly Fanny Dooley, but it's pretty damn close. I'm like a walking contradiction, albeit occasionally humorous. Nice t' meet you.

I use that reference mostly because I'm trying to avoid that whole "there's two sides to every coin" thing, because you know...duh. Of course there are two sides to every coin. What's yer point? Same goes for that double edged sword thing, although that one might not quite hold up as well, 'cause I think there are single edged swords, so that would indeed make a double edged sword a unique item, but I don't have any swords, and I don't ever plan on having any swords so what does it have to do with me anyway?

See, here's the thing. I am an anarchist who is a stickler about following rules. I don't believe in authority but want to be in charge. I am a teacher who doesn't really believe in education. I have been known to model the opposite of what I'm demanding. I could go on. I won't. You get the idea.

Some years ago, I was on a camping trip in Yellowstone. At that time--and maybe now too, I didn't notice when I was there two years ago, I must be slacking off--when you came into the park through one of the entrance gates, they handed you a whole packet of stuff along with your park map and activities brochure. In this packet there is a flyer about the behavior of animals (I know, because I looked through the whole packet, and read it all). You know, don't chase them, don't taunt them, don't feed them, and no matter what you do, DO NOT WALK NEAR BISON BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN GORED. Have you ever been to Yellowstone? Well, then you know that there are people all over the park doing every damn one of those things all the time. Not me. I read every darn slip of paper they give me, and I follow the rules. All of 'em. Even when they're inconvenient (i.e. not washing pans where the debris could draw bears...even more duh, but still rampant).

And then, on the other hand, I do not succeed well in typical work environments because, dammit, there is someone there called a Supervisor, and, irony of all ironies, they tell you what to do. I'll have none of that. I'm not keen on doing what I'm told. Pretty much ever. Though I am kinda big on my daughter doing what she is told. You're getting the picture here, I can see that.

You might wonder how this came up on this lovely day. Well, I'll tell you. Bike helmets.

First of all, in Massachusetts, it is a law that anyone under 16 is required to wear a helmet when riding a bike or scooter, or while rollberblading. That seems like a good thing, especially given the data on accidents. Having been hit once by a car as a child, right down at the corner of my block, I have an additional visceral reaction to that whole deal.

The kicker is that in my neighborhood, in a relatively affluent suburb of Boston, NONE of the kids wear helmets. And they're all outside riding every day, up and down, up and down. And while I remain strict about it, I will freely admit that I am thoroughly pissed off that my daughter is in the position of being the "odd man out" (once again), and seen as as the one with the "strict" or overprotective mom, which, if you knew the kids in my neighborhood--and their parents---and me---you would find pretty funny. So why don't parents demand that their kids wear helmets? It seems like such a no-brainer (accidental pun but I'm keepin' it). Huh?

I'm thinking on all these words...maybe I'm a bundle in a bundle of contradictions. That sounds pretty good, kinda reminiscent of a soft blanket. And yeah, it has two sides. Just like pretty much everything else. I'll take it.

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