Monday, October 17, 2016

Lovie Dovie all the time

There are very few times I've joined in on the trend of bragging about how much I love my spouse on social media.  There are a couple of reasons for that.

First of all, it seems kind of fake to put on such an ostentatiously public display of affection.  Surely our spouses know we love them.  Surely we show and tell them in many ways in real life.  Also, how many of the spouses lauded in these posts are themselves regular users of the platforms?  An e-mail would accomplish the same communication to your love, without dragging in hundreds of bystanders.  And those bystanders are going to, what?  "Like" your declaration of undying affection?  That's a little weird.

Second, so much of what makes my relationship with my husband beautiful doesn't translate well to public formats.  I recognize that the richness of our history together gives context and meaning to things that sound unremarkable.  I've been entangled with Hubby for longer than I was alive before I met him, so there are layers and layers of stories wrapping everything that happens between the two of us.

It's almost as if every interaction we have is based on an inside joke.  You know how it goes when you're laughing with someone, and you turn to another friend in the circle and say, "You had to have been there."  You could explain what just happened or describe the context of the original event, but it still wouldn't be funny.

I keep wanting to talk about things Hubby does or says that make my heart swell because of the joy they bring me.  I often don't, though, because after I re-read them, I know nobody will understand.  The one time I did publish a story, I cringed about it sounding all wrong.

I love my husband so very much.  He knows me, and he understands me in the deep way that only long history and hard work can bring about.  I'm exceptionally grateful that our life experiences have brought us closer together, rather than driving us apart.  I'm humbled and thankful that the ways we've both changed have made us more compatible, rather than less.

None of that, however, distills very well into a Facebook post, an Instagram photo, or a tweet.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

In which I brag about V's musical abilities

Now I may be totally biased, but I think V is quite the budding musician. After hearing a song only once, she can often sing multiple verses days or even weeks later. She also loves to improvise songs, and her improvisations not only make sense melodically, but generally include recurring musical themes and rhyming lyrics, and often have a repeating chorus as well.

Today, V was swinging in the yard and singing about how much she loves the members of her family and why each of them is special. I only wrote down one verse of her song, so I can't tell you exactly what she said in each verse, but they were all followed an ABCB rhyme scheme and scanned to the tune she had created. There were at least six verses. The one I wrote down includes the two syllable diminutive of Z's name, so you'll have to fill that in for yourself:
Z-e causes climbing.
Z-e causes fun.
Z-e causes wrestling,
But Mommy shines the sun.

How can I not eat that up? It's a rhyming, scanning, musically adept compliment to me, that includes praise for another one of my delightful children. Seriously awesome.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

On cultural appreciation

Hey, white people!  It's not OK to just cherry-pick individual elements of other people's cultures and use them to your own ends.  That kind of behavior is called cultural appropriation, and it's totally unacceptable.  Even if their stuff is really cool, even if it's just for fun, and even if you're only using it during a holiday which is all about playing dress-up, it is unacceptable to take elements of another person's culture, denude them of their cultural context, and use them for your own entertainment.  Those things don't belong to you.  Appropriating them is wrong.

"Hey, Tricia," I hear you saying, "I'm really interested in a specific kind of food/dance/art/clothing/etc. from another culture.  I, however, acknowledge that I am a white person.  I want to be sensitive to the people of that other culture, but I would also really like to dive deeper into learning about and enjoying their culturally specific food/dance/art/clothing/etc.!  How can I do that without being an obnoxious white person and appropriating from the people of that culture?"

Well, my white friend, I've got a resource for you!  

Remember, it is totally fine to appreciate other cultures!  You should absolutely feel free to learn about and enjoy culturally specific elements of cultures different from your own.  The key thing to remember, though, is that they are elements of other cultures, and your appreciation should include respect for and understanding of the cultures which originated those elements, and the context in which those elements developed.  Let's work together on this one.  Happy appreciation!