Friday, February 04, 2005

Strange comments from an American General. Wait, hear me out.

I made French Toast this morning, I ate some, and I'm basking in its efficacy against depression. The other morning, I'd awakened too early and spent the better part of an hour in the darkest place, thinking the lowest of thoughts. I fell asleep and dreamt about getting trapped in my too-big SUV at the bottom of a traffic-filled hill. When I popped open my eyes, I wanted to make French Toast for the kids and all the negativity was gone. I figure, French Toast is the new St. John's Wort.

So, having eaten French Toast, I feel like riding my beautiful red bike. M is too slow on hers, it's just too pink and pretty, so I'll have to wait until the afternoon for the boys to accompany me. The weather here in Suburbia, Southern California, is positively springy. The birds are singing, the drivers are smiling, parents are dropping their kids at school and speeding away with glee. The mountains are snowy - I want to take a picture of a palm tree with that snowy backdrop but can't get to a place which adequately shows the contrast.Really, the weather is gorgeous.

So I peek in on and find a little gem of a story about a general who said, "It's fun to shoot some people," referring to guerillas in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, I'm not doubting the strength of this man, his service to the country of which we all as citizens appreciate, but I'm a little stunned at his being THIS indiscreet in his feelings about battling in a war zone. I get that he "speaks with candor," I get that. I imagine he loves his job. You'd have to enjoy the skirmish on some level to make a career of it. If he sat and cried every time he shot an insurgent, where would the military be? I know this even though I consider myself basically a pacifist.

But still...

This reminds me of a woman I saw at the pediatrician's office who had no sense at all of how society feels about corporal punishment. Her toddler was being a pain and crawling under the seats. She didn't hold back when she said, "If you don't get up here, I'm going to spank you." Not too bad. We all say that.

The child didn't stop crawling at her feet.

In a flash, the woman grabbed the child up by his arms and gave him quite the whoop-ass. The child screamed...loudly.

"I said you'd get it. You want another?"

What was funny was her candor. Never in my wildest dreams would I have done that in a public place. I'm just too self-conscious. I suppose I'm trying to counter my own childhood experiences. My mother did spank, she used a shoe when we got too big. It's not that I feel spanking is abusive, I just don't do it. For one thing, spankings never worked very well with my kids. Time out was much better.

Back to the candor...I'd never be that aggressive in public. I'm too aware of society. We don't like spanking. We feel we're too zen and modern for that. And we especially don't spank in a doctor's office where one imagines that people there are experts in child-rearing. Where you're being watched by other parents. You know, Society.

So here this hefty woman was handing out the whoop-ass without as much as a blink of her eye.

Like the general.

On a related note, my sister called me today to tell me her once-every-two-weeks housekeeper got into a car accident in which she totaled her car. The lady, who's around 55 or so, drove up this morning in her new car: a 2005, black Corvette.

Now...yeah...the only thing I can think is that this woman LOVES her job. She really likes cleaning. She doesn't do it for the money, she does it because it makes her happy to come into a home and clean the hell out of it. Issue some major whoop-ass on all that dust and grime.

Like the General.

I suppose that there are some people who cannot believe I enjoy sitting down and writing. They think it's sort of can something so unpleasant and brain-straining make you so happy...or be so much fun?

Mmmm...I need more syrup for my French Toast. Then I better get my ass on that bike.


Marian said...

I haven't had French toast in ages, but now I'm driven to hunt some down. Perhaps tommorow morning can be a breakfast-out morning, and even better if I manage to sidle my way out of paying for it.

In any case, thanks for your comment! I'm looking forward to reading more posts, here.

Adriana Bliss said...

Oh thank you - good to see you!

Kilroy Trout said...


No doubt the general who made these comments is not particularly mindful of civilian society. He is immersed within a military culture and perhaps even more so as a combat officer. The woman who slaps her kids in public also does not feel the weight of societal norms. You do feel this weight, yet you would not do the same in the absence of such scrutiny.

So the general’s admission of joyous brutality is more genuine and raw than those of us who might refrain from picking our nose in public, or the sentiments of your local politician. However, that’s about the only good thing I can say about them.