31 October 2007

Babies and Bathwater: nurturing one while draining the other

yeah yeah yeah, we've all heard it and we've heard it expressed in various ways.  it's not a new idea, and we all would agree that it has merit.  however, there are many times we do discount entire theories because of one area that doesn't set well in our minds.  well, maybe you don't, but i do and when i catch myself doing it, i cringe and wonder about those times when i don't catch myself.

today while i was wrapping yarn around myself in intricate designs and then extracting myself in time to make it to the bathroom (i shouldn't have drank 7 gallons of tea within 2 hours, but i was thinking that my kidneys needed a workout.  tomorrow i plan to breathe often and deeply so that my lungs don't get jealous.  it's all about balance, ya know), i was listening to John Gray's "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" (and then i found a website "rebuttal from uranus").  Now, I have glanced thru the book before, I'm sure.  I mean, it's been around and has been referred to by various folks we listen to with sage adulation (wait, sorry, was that my slip showing?).  But actually listening to it was a much different experience than idly thumbing thru a few pages here and there.

First off, I didn't care for the way a significant portion of the book (it was audio, but still a book, cuz it was an unabridged reading of the book; so i'm calling it a book) was devoted to foretelling with great enthusiasm what was to come and how improved my life would be.  I often feel that if ya gotta hype up something that big, there is less than substantial matter to be had.  Please don't tell me how I will feel or what the results will be, cuz I might feel differently than you predict.  And if you must tell me what is coming up, do so briefly; a summary as an intro is good, a retelling of the entire book is, well, the entire book.  so don't do this, it's wasteful and allows my mind to wander away from the chalkboard (and that defeats the purpose of my listening to the friggen book in the first place).

Then, there were so many assumptions about gender-roles and relationships and all that that i was gobsmacked with how retro-nostalgic we humans are portrayed.  It was just, just, well, so Stepfordian that images of helpless whining women (who loved shopping and fashion) clinging to manly cavemen kept pushing their way into my musings time and again.  I do get that he does the standard disclaimer that some of these assumptions may not apply and that there may be some gender role reversal going on.  He does reassure us that we are normal and all is fine and not to worry about this.  Just skip the stuff that doesn't apply and keep the stuff that does.

And that was where I caught myself chucking the baby out the window with the bathwater.  Fortunately the baby was imaginary so I was able to retrieve it and wash it off again (what with me being in the bathroom anyway).  See, for all the stuff I was scoffing and snorting at...there was a ton of stuff that was legitimately good and worth noting.

And since Gray repeats himself ad nauseum, I didn't have to loop any CDs.  I knew that he would go over it again and again and again again.  and then once more.  he does this so that we really get it.  and i can appreciate that.  cuz even tho i've been having difficulty with focusing, i think i did get most of the lessons to be had.

i just had to wash them off first.


  1. Nice little life lesson to learn.  I think the old phrase "seperate the wheat from the chaff" is sorta similar.


  2. Oh yeah ... that book has been around and been around.  And again.  I loved it.  I hated it.  (that would be the parts I wanted to toss)  But like advice to new mothers and the opinions of others ... you just have to sort through and see what fits.  Life IS like that.  


Thanks for taking the time and effort to let your thoughts be known!