Sunday, August 13, 2006

Get Over It, Can't You?

We had a party last night, at chez delagar, for the new art instructor at the kid's Montessori school, and for all our old friends, including The Other Liberal Professor and Mr. OLP, and their kids, includingMiles, the kid's intended, and Mick, his little brother, who can't get any cuter, and Mouse came, and Zelda and a Fine Time was had by all.

But toward the end of the party, when perhaps your host had had a few too many Snakebites, as she does tend to, and the question had turned to birth control, issues of, I'm afraid I became one of them, ah, strident feminists you hear so much about.

See, I love my kid. I wanted my kid. A lot. Worked hard to get her.

I also did about fifteen years of birth control before I decided to have my kid.

My folks had four kids entirely by accident -- every one of us was a failure of birth control. My mother had three kids in five years before she was 24 years old, when she and my father were living in a three room trailer. I read these Right-To-Life blogs that shriek, "Are you glad your mama didn't abort YOU?" "Aren't you glad your mama didn't have the pill available when YOU were conceived?"

Shit. As soon as the pill WAS available, my mother was on it, or I wouldn't have three siblings, I'd have about twelve, and I wouldn't need two or three Xanax a week, I'd need a few dozen.

And if my mama had had the pill available when I was conceived? I wouldn't need any Xanax, would I? So STFU.

So to get back to Billy Bragg, as I always do, the kid and I were listening to Billy again, and we get to this verse, in Billy's song "Everywhere," which is one of my current favorites, about the Japanese Internment camps which our Winger buds are gettng so nostaglic over. It's about two friends, one of whom is of Anglo-Saxon descent and dies in the Philipines, and the other of whom, of Japanese descent, is interned during the war:

"...I never got home, my platoon was never saved
That little fox
hole became my island grave.
Lee got out of jail but a
prisoner he remained
Till he ended his own life to lose
that ball and chain

And they said Oh Little Slanted
Eyes can't you forgive and forget
And he said, Oh Mr
Friendly Ghost
Can you catch water in a net?"

So we're listening to this song, for about the 700th time, driving around Pork Smith, because yes, I am obsessed with Billy Bragg, and mr. delagar *has* rebelled and will not let me play any more Billy in the house (I'm waiting for the kid to rebel but so far she is being very kind and indulges me as we drive about) and the kid asks, "What's that mean, you can't catch water in a net, what's that about?"

"Well, right," I agree. "It's metephor, in't it?"

She considers it. "Because he can't forgive and forget? Forgive and forget what?"

Eh, fuck, I think. So I shut off the CD and go into lecture about Japanese internment camps in WWII, with a brief foray into how some folk in our charming nation want to intern Muslim citizens in similar camps now, and explain how forgiveness is a good thing to be able to do, but how it's very, very rough.

She is thinking it over. "Catching water in net," she muses.

"No one has ever done anything really bad to you," I tell her. "No one ever will if I have anything to do with it. But when someone does something really bad to can forgive it. Sometimes. Forgetting, that's a lot harder."

"Like catching water in a net."

"Right," I agree. Thinking how much I would love to just get over some of this shit. How much I would.


CB said...

We'd all like to, really, but it's just not that easy. Too bad it's not....I've alot things I'd just like to drop in the dirt, and leave. :/

That's life, though, ain't it.

You know my mom's solution to not haveing more kids? She got her tubes tied.

zelda1 said...

Ahh, the tubes tied, so great Mouse that your mom had the choice to do that to her body, in my days, and for sure in my older sisters' days, there was no choice. YOu could go to the doctor and ask for something or for surgery but if you were not old, like over 30, and if your husband, yes husband, no single folks ever entered the equation, but if your husband agreed, then, you could have your tubes tied. Yes, same with the pill or the IUD or any other type of birthcontrol that required medical intervention. My mom had ten kids and I'm sure she would have stopped at one or two, if she had had the choice, but there wasn't a choice back in those days, not a choice for anything if you were a woman or a child. So, I, being the next to the youngest of the ten, suffered through a lot of teasing, tormenting, and abuse, not only from my much older siblings, but from my mother, who was way too tired, as well. That's why I am so fucked up now, all that shit that I can't get over, can't sort out, can't forget, like water through a net.

Diane said...

The term "forgive and forget" is one of my pet peeves, and when one of my clients says it, I always ask what trick she knows about that can cause her to forget horrible things that were done to her. And if she did forget them, wouldn't that make her liable to be a victim again?

"Forgive and forget" is a phrase doubtless invented by perpetrators and their enablers so that all of the abused will just shut the hell up about it. Personally, I'm not even that big on the "forgive" part, other than the fact that letting go of something can free up your energy. But if forgiving (for real abuses, not the mistakes loved ones make) is anything more than letting go, it is usually some fake thing taught by the family and/or the church.