Wednesday, October 29, 2008

But it's only for 90 minutes...

We are all somebody. There is something unique about us all that makes us who we are. We are not only defined by our occupations, but our hobbies, interests, religion, personality...I mean, we are complex beings. Do you show every single aspect of who you are 24 hours a day, seven days a week? No, of course you don't because it is not possible.

Here's an example. My husband is a drummer. That is his passion. Does he drum on the furniture? Sure. Does he go to work and do that? No. When he has band time, he plays loud and loves it, but he can also walk away at the end of that time and put that part of himself aside and come home and be a non-drumming husband and father. His drum set is not attached to his body nor does he walk around with his drum sticks in his back pocket at all times.

I am a writer. Do I walk around with a laptop strapped to my body? Do I have a pencil behind my ear and a notepad in my pocket for when inspiration hits? No because that is not practical. There is a time and a place for that type of thing. My good friend Cathleen is a smokin' hot mama (that's right, I said it!). She is also a math teacher. You don't see the smokin' hot mama side come out during math class! She is not here dressed inappropriately or waxing poetic about any romantic escapades with her wonderful husband because...well, math class is not the time for that. Common sense, right?

Apparently not. We had a meeting yesterday with the boy who brought the hunting knife in to the store. He and his mom came but the meeting was primarily with the mom. The boy left after making his apology for being disrespectful. I appreciated the apology. The mom went on for almost an hour on how the knife is who he is! WHO HE IS. Like, he can't possibly be anything else unless this object (and I'll refrain from referring to it as a weapon - I'll explain that in another post) is attached to him. Okay, so like, when you're a baby and carry a security blanket, that's cute. When you are 17 wearing military fatigues and carrying a knife, not so cute. This object is the wrong thing to define WHO YOU ARE. And that is not just my opinion, but I'm thinking a large majority of the population would agree.

She went on to demand that if she had been allowed to speak to the parents who were offended by this knife, she would show them how it is who he is and not a threat of any kind. In the next breath, however, she went on to say children dressed in black are just as much of a threat as the knife.


I'm not making this up for good reading, folks, this is what she thought. So, we can't make a snap judgement on the large knife and the danger it possibly represents, but she is entitled to pass judgement on people who wear black or look "goth". Personally, I look good in black. I'm not a 'dark' person, I don't worship the devil, I just look really good in black. So according to her, my choice of clothing puts her son in peril (spiritually) but his wearing a knife should not make me feel anything but warm fuzzies. Seriously, not making any of this up.

So here's the question...who are you? What defines you? Is there something of your outward appearance that you would be incapable of putting aside for 90 minutes a week because it's the law? I'm not talking about putting religious beliefs aside, I'm talking about things about your appearance, like maybe you enjoy wearing reavealing clothes, would you wear something more conservative to church for 90 minutes? Or if you have some sort of facial piercing but you know it upsets your grandmother, would you remove it for a 90 minute visit? You want to eat at a certain restaurant that requires a shirt and tie but you only wear t-shirts, would you be willing to dress up for 90 minutes to enjoy a nice meal? Ninety minutes a week is a small amount of time to gripe about. No one is asking you to CHANGE who you are, all you're being asked is to follow a rule (and a law) for 90 minutes a week. If you are physically incapable of doing that then perhaps you need to examine why a little more closely.

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