Wait Ten Minutes

There’s an old joke about the weather in middle Tennessee (and I’m sure it’s made its way round to other parts of the country) that goes like this:

Don’t like the weather in Nashville?  Wait ten minutes.

Or something like that.  The point, of course, is that Nashville weather can change on a dime and is quite unpredictable (just ask Davis Nolan).  I got to thinking about that last night when pondering over how weird you all must think I am. 

Let’s say you and I start a heated discussion, and we’re on absolutely opposite poles.  We couldn’t be farther apart.  The way things normally go with “normal” people, you would spout off your talking points, then I would spout off mine.  We get extra points if we Fisk each other’s posts.  Leave no argument behind, and all that.  This is the way it normally works, and big fun is had by all.

But I don’t play the game right.  Sometimes, you’ll make a point, and I’ll say, “Hmm – I never thought of it that way.  You’re right”.  Sometimes, although we might still disagree vehemently, I’ll look over the situation, deem it not worth the damage we might do to a potential alliance we might need later, virtually bow low, and walk away, sometimes even “giving up the point”.

Y’all must think I’m crazy.  Maybe I am.

I got to thinking about this particular weirdness of mine, because last night I got a comment on a months old post , from someone I was quite angry with when I wrote the post. By the way, the comment was quite polite and eloquent.  I’d love to say something about it, both good and bad, but to be honest, I just can’t whip up the proper emotion to engage anymore.  Whatever made me so angry and depressed in January is so long forgotten that I couldn’t do it justice – in fact, here in the March sun my disposition is so different, I might even start arguing with myself.

Does this mean I don’t have rock-solid convictions?  Activists on all sides wold probably think so.  But underneath the tactics and momentary arguments, there is a foundation so strong it is unbreakable.  The difference is that my convictions are of the eternal, and any discussions we might have, though important, are temporal.

When you can “see” eternity, and know, not hope, know that things are taken care of in that regard, it makes you see things here on earth quite differently.  The storms that rage in our lives are so insignificant in the great scheme of things, it’s hard to get worked up over them, and even if we do, hard to hold onto for very long.

It’s not going to kill me if you don’t see things the way I do.  Even if you do something that ticks me off greatly at a given moment…well, wait ten minutes.

There was a moment this weekend that I was so mad at Lintilla I couldn’t see straight.  Let’s just say Nashville drivers + PMS = road rage incident.  My anger at her for endangering the kids at that moment was so severe, I wouldn’t even talk to her for 30 minutes. 

An hour later, the offense was forgotten, and we were planning our vacation.  By the way, this kind of amnesia is quite helpful in keeping a marriage strong over the long haul. Love keeps no record of wrongs, I heard somewhere.

I’m also on a lifelong mission.  I believe I can find common cause with anyone.  The only people who cannot be befriended are those who do not wish to be befriended.  I can disagree greatly with Sharon Cobb about the war, yet fight alongside her for the passing of Jessica’s Law.  I can go toe to toe with Hutchmo about president Bush, but who could hold grudges against someone who loves the ‘Dores AND baseball?  Aunt B and I disagree about many, many things – yet I find there are also many, many times we are on the same side of an issue, especially concerning how people treat one another.  Newscoma?  Sometimes I think she’s had a little too much of the Democrat KoolAid, but I can truly say she’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and you’ll see my testosterone side if you mess with her.

Ginger is probably the more slightly more liberal flip side of myself, and I’m sure we could never agree on who has the prettier daughter.  But, my goodness, she sang in the Christ Church choir, and she’s led such an interesting life so far that I could listen to her stories for hours.

I can find common cause with libertarians like Katherine Coble, paleos like Campy, wonks like Hobbs and the apolitical like Sista Smiff and B-Mo.  It just depends on the subject at hand.  I’m pretty sure Mack and I have very similar views about immigration, even if he dismisses my housework skills as amateurish.  I respect and admire Brittney, even if there’s a good chance we’d never, ever, vote the same way in an election, or see each other at church.

We’re all just people, and life here on earth is so short.  About the dumbest thing a person could do with such a short time is cut himself off from someone over a disagreement.  So, if you and I are going head-to-head about something, and I just bow out and walk away, I hope you understand.  It’s not you, it’s me.

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18 Responses to “Wait Ten Minutes”

  1. newscoma Says:

    Yay. I feel the same way.
    Kool-Aid? I deserve that but I’ve been trying not to be so shrill and be more thoughtful about things.
    You should have seen me a year ago. I have calmed down quite a bit.:)

  2. hutchmo Says:

    Hey, it may be Amateur Hour (or hour after hour after hour) in the White House, but it’s Go-time when X-Alt is on the floor and when Slarti makes a post.

    My dad and I used to argue vehemently pretty much every time we ate together and my mom would sit there aghast, sometimes with tears in her eyes, but we were having fun. If I have any skills in that area at all, it’s because of my dad. We could both walk away laughing and then sit down to watch the stooges (not the ones with Iggy Pop!) and laugh our asses off.

    Disagreements can make life more flavorful or they can ruin a relationship..it just depends on how they are handled.

    good post, Slarti.

  3. newscoma Says:

    As I would say, as I’m the only one that uses the word groovy in regular conversation, I forgot to say this post was …. groovy.

  4. Ginger Says:

    (sigh), Slarti, you never link me anymore. 😦

  5. Slartibartfast Says:

    Sorry Ginger, it’s fixed now. I mostly linked people whom I’ve had “tiffs’ with in the past. But I’m sure had I hooked up at NiT sooner, we would have gone toe to toe about Proposition 1.

    It’s weird – I know we have different views, but I’ve never felt like I was on the ‘opposite side’ of you. Which means you have a gift for diplomacy, I think.

  6. Nashville is Talking » What Matters Says:

    […] This post at Shoot the Moose should be read by as many people as possible. Here’s a snippet: We’re all just people, and life here on earth is so short. About the dumbest thing a person could do with such a short time is cut himself off from someone over a disagreement. So, if you and I are going head-to-head about something, and I just bow out and walk away, I hope you understand. It’s not you, it’s me. Spread It Around: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  7. nm Says:

    Yeah, but, you seem to be assuming here that you ought to avoid arguing with people you like because argument = fight. But some folks argue because they want the other person to explain theirotherself better so they’ll understand what theotherperson is going on about, and to explain theirself to the other person more clearly. (There really is no good way to do singular inderterminate pronouns in English, is there?) It isn’t always a fight; it isn’t always about winning, even when emotions are high; it’s often about communicating and by communicating establishing the mutual respect that’s so important. Doncha think?

  8. Ginger Says:

    awww, Slarti, you didn’t have to edit this post…you’re a doll. You think I’m the most liberal??? Holy cow…you’ve gotta elaborate on that! See, I am 40 years old but just now figuring out who I am and what I truly believe–not what I was told to believe all of my life from the church. Not that I don’t believe in God and want to live my life under those principles, but I want to become the true Ginger, not some facsimile thereof from what others have told me to believe. Does that make sense?

    So all of that to say is that we have a lot in common with our church background. I have always been one to be a peacemaker and somewhat openminded, and because of that never had one “label” that I was tied to–even in school. So liberal? That made me laugh out loud! We must tawk about this!

  9. Slartibartfast Says:

    nm, point taken. (I prefer to use the term ‘oneself’, although it tends to turn people off because they think you’re an egghead).

    On one level, we are talking about style, and yes, mine is non-argumentative, generally. But that’s just my own weirdness. My larger point was that each of us, at any time, could find common cause with anyone. There are many on my side of certain issues that consider it a treachery if one agrees, even on other issues, with “the enemy”. Notice yesterday many brought up the fact that Fred Thompson was romantically linked to Margaret Carlson, with the thought that this fact disqualified him from something. (????) Wierd.

    Here’s an extreme example: Patty Murray, and Jerry Falwell were both pummelled in the media for making separate statements to the fact that, although 9/11 was an atrocity on an inimaginable scale, perhaps Osama had a point about certain things.

    For some reason, people can’t let Osama “be right” about anything, I guess because that somehow validates 9/11. On a much smaller scale, this is the mindset I’m talking about. Am I making sense? I seem to be babbling.

  10. Slartibartfast Says:

    Ginger –

    Dang it! What’s happened to my communication skills today? Must be the darn time change.

    I think I’ll change the post once more, adding the word “slightly” before the words “more liberal”. And yes, we have much, much much in common – that’s why I left you off in the beginning. But – please understand – when I say “slightly more liberal”, what I mean is that I, despite my bleeding heart and the company I keep, am pretty much an “arch” conservative. I AM, after all, a FReeper. I probably agree with Campfield more than disagree, although he wins no style points from me, and I thought the death certificate thing was the height of stupidity.

    Next time there’s a meetup, we need to “set and talk”. There is obviously a lot about you that I don’t know.

  11. nm Says:

    Sure, you make sense. And I agree with you about avoiding nastiness. I just want to say a word in favor of argument, which can be a great way to learn, is all.

  12. Ginger Says:

    ah, “slightly more liberal” is probably a lot closer in accuracy! lol

    Yes, I will take you up on that invitation to chat!! At the next blogger event (which hopefully will be a Karaoke blow out!).

  13. malia Says:

    Ahem! I have the prettiest daughter!

    😉

    (Hey, my two favorite passtimes are starting fights and then walking away and watching fights as they progress. Verbal ones that is, I can’t stand violence.)

  14. newscoma Says:

    Ginger is more liberal than me?
    Woot.

  15. Kleinheider Says:

    “paleos like Campy

    I’m pretty sure Campfield is no paleo. I’d have to go look it up but I’m fairly certain he is pro-war. Very hard to be a paleoconservative and pro-war, in my humble opinion.

  16. sistasmiff Says:

    You know what gripes my ass really bad? When somebody of one political persuasion comments on another person’s blog of a totally opposite political persuasion something like this..”I don’t agree with you politically, but, I like what you said about x or x.” What difference does it make? Who cares? I don’t agree with half of the Nashville bloggers on matters of politics or of the spiritual, but, it’s not necessary to bring that up every other day, nor does it matter when it comes to friendships. It’s not an issue with me and I’m at a loss as to why so many people think it matters an iota. Maybe I’m just retarded.

  17. newscoma Says:

    I do that sometimes, Sista. Actually, between Slarti and I, it opened up a very nice friendship between us as he did the same thing. We are very different politically, but by agreeing on our similarities and then recognizing our differences opened up a very good dialogue between us.

  18. Surf and Turf « Newscoma Says:

    […] may be different, but we are still all people. A must read from […]


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