Friday, July 17, 2015

Talk like a woman. Think like a man

 The other day my husband and I had a little disagreement. Nothing major. It was just enough to annoy me into verbalizing more than I should have. After a few minutes, I could tell my husband had lost interest in our discussion. He picked up the remote, turned on the TV and relaxed on the couch. I was very tempted to say, "Excuse me, but I'm not finished with our conversation." But that would have been futile. Obviously, he was finished.

I sat on the far side of our curvy couch and fought the temptation to talk over the TV. Then I stole a look at him. He had moved on from our little discussion and was totally engrossed in the TV program. "How does he do that?" I asked myself. I was fighting the urge to argue. He had no urge to fight. My blood pressure was rising. He was stable and calm.

Finally, the cool hand of reason brought me to my senses: Why make a big deal out of something that doesn't need to be dealt with? You talked like a woman. Now think like a man!

It has been said that a woman's brain is like spaghetti--her thoughts, feelings and emotions are all intertwined and difficult to separate. Everything is scrambled with no easy exit. A man's brain, on the other hand, is like a waffle. His thoughts are separated into neat little compartments and he can easily move from one to another with no overlap. Men can turn on and off as quickly as they can jump from one little box to another without looking back. They don't need an exit. They just escape to the next compartment. Men have a definite advantage. It's almost not fair.

The night of our disagreement, I decided to intentionally try to think like a man. Imagine turning spaghetti into a waffle. Messy! Plus, the flavor and texture are worlds apart. I suppose if everything is mixed, mashed and remolded, the compartmental concept can be created. I shoved the disagreement into a little mental box and forced myself to jump to a new topic of conversation. My husband never missed a beat. We engaged in pleasant banter for a while and shortly after, I headed for bed amazed at how easy it was to think manly thoughts. We have not discussed the "off-limits" topic since. Apparently the waffle compartments also have extremely tight lids.

My fellow females, try it. You'll appreciate how good it feels to let things go. Although I have noticed an increased craving for spaghetti and I can't imagine why.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Insight from Blight

Around a year ago I drove by my old elementary school in Detroit's inner city. Back in the day, it was one of the best schools in the city. It's where I learned to read, write, add and spell. The teachers were stern but dedicated, and they helped shape and challenge my young mind.

Today the school is closed. Not only is it closed. The building is in horrible disrepair with broken windows, unkempt grounds and a naked flagpole signifying neglect and loss of interest.

A few months ago, my husband and I drove by my alma mater where I spent four years of my young adult life and received my degree. The school recently merged with another university and my old campus that at one time bustled with life now stood cold and vacant. It was pretty depressing, and I'm glad we didn't stop for a lingering look.

Both schools are situated along busy interstates. I didn't step foot on either campus, but viewed them from the safety of the car as we slowed our speed to get a better look. The elementary school is located in a bleak, unsafe, crime-ridden area of Detroit. The college stands by itself on a quiet, lonely corner. Ironically, life swirls at a fast pace around the two lifeless campuses.

I'm usually pretty good about handling change. In fact sometimes I like to implement change just for the sake of change itself. But when it meddles with my nostalgic memories, I tend to put up an emotional resistance.

I suppose I could sit by the schools and mourn over what once was and is no more. But, just because someone has permanently locked the doors and boarded the windows, nothing can stifle the investment of learning, counsel and guidance I received over the accumulated ten years I spent at those two institutions.The campuses may have died, but the experiences and knowledge I received will remain for the rest of my life.While nostalgia draws me back, reality keeps me grounded. I can live and thrive in my reality. I can't thrive in nostalgia.

Change is inevitable, whether we like it or not. However, we don't have to change with the change. We will witness transitions in our families, friendships, employment, municipalities, states, federal government and laws, many of them unraveling the moral fiber to which we cling. It can be unsettling, to say the least.

When everything around us is shaken, we can remain unshaken by not staring at the moral blight and nostalgia of what once was. Instead, let's focus on the truth of our convictions and create change from a reality of morality.

God knows the world needs it.