Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Do Me a Favor

Yes, I have always been opinionated. And throughout my lifetime some have disagreed with me because they truly felt I was wrong. Others disagreed because they felt they needed to in response to the irritation of my opinionated stubbornness.

The former is more preferred than the latter but either is okay as long as the quarrel is dignified.

But now I’ve noticed, these conversations seldom occur. Less and less I am running to dig out reference materials to prove a point. Discussions with family and friends that were once so animated, so important, have lost their edge.

No one seems to care any more how many digits are on a bumblebee’s foot or what the gestation period of a porcupine is. I thought the disinterest had simply gone the way of other less dignified subjects such as high-cholesterol diets, game hunting, and smoking.

But I was wrong. That is not the case. Arguments are muted because I am older. I am being given generous space to be as opinionated as I could ever want to. I think in seclusion they all whisper, ‘Let her think what she will. She’s too old to change her thinking now.’ Or maybe, ‘Don’t argue with her. You’ll drive up her blood pressure.’

What a bunch of crap?

False compliance irritates me something fierce. If I am going to cave to apoplexy, that will do it. I want the truth. I don’t care if it leads to an animated quarrel. I want you to prove your point, or, the opportunity (if I’m right), to prove mine. I don’t care if it’s something as ridiculous as how to cook whole grain porridge in a thermos overnight or how to tenderize horse-flesh.

Let’s discuss it. Bring it on.

There is nothing better to cure the sluggishness of this non-humanoid space I am trapped in. Nothing delivers me quicker and easier from the dull discouragement of aging than animated debate.

It’s a wonderful activity that has more power than Superman had in a closed fist in his best years. It causes my blood to warm and circulate at high speed. It pleasures body plasma and serums and pressures hemoglobin to all my extremities – removing that irritating numbness from my hands and feet. It accelerates my breathing and my intake of oxygen. Pinks up my cheeks. Plumps papery skin.

My eyes sharpen to every detail. My ears alert to every sound. My heart pumps with more strength. Neurological function improves. I’m even able to ignore bathroom breaks.

And my dull mind suddenly becomes active and pulsing—delighting like a joyful child in the analysis of your stupidity. And amongst all the too and fro’, I am adamantly determined not to tumble off the edge of the earth until I have proved my point.

So at my age, do me a favor. Piss me off. It’s good for my health!
___
And if you insist on compliance from me, I promise not to say, “I told you so!”

14 comments:

Joy Des Jardins said...

This post has clarified even further the connection I have felt with you Roberta. It seems you have a hunger for debate, just as my husband did. It sustains you, as it did him. You describe so well in your post exactly how I often felt it reacted in the positive with my husband. I swear it was like I was reading about him....so true to his nature. Thank you for that. Joel was an extremely complex person...and anyone reading your beautiful words and being able to take a look into your soul would know you are too.

Dick said...

Absolutely with you on this, Roberta. As I get older, passionate debate becomes more crucial, more invigorating. And in some ways it becomes easier too because I guess there's an expectation that I will play the grumpy old git!

Roberta S said...

Thank you Joy for those kind words. Not exactly what I expected when looking for a fierce debate but I couldn't be more pleased than I am with your remarks and pleased that you found connections to your own situation and soul (and your dear Joel), within them.

Roberta S said...

Dick, good thing you don't live nearby. We'd for certain sure get into some invigorating debates -- each struggling to be the more obstinate, the more stubborn, the more chafing. (chuckle)

At the Red Lion, of course!

Pauline said...

lol roberta - if you're going to go down anyhow, you may as well go down fighting. I'm not sure I'd want you to delight in my stupidity but a good debate is always a thing to warm the blood.

WheelDancer said...

With all my heart I would love to argue with you on this post but alas, I couldn't agree with you more. In my professional life I get business people together to argue, capture competing sides of the issues and then lead them to the truth they can agree to live with. My toughest days are the ones where everyone agrees. Then again those are the days I get to introduce outlandish ideas just to get the discussion going which can be its' own flavor of fun.

gingatao said...

Ahh the joys of a good scrap. Unfortunately everyone here is agreeing with you. So instead of addressing the idea I shall complain about your punctuation. The sentences all end with fullstops which makes them quite repetitious. And I notice a complete absence of semi-colons; do you have something against them?

Roberta S said...

Thank you, pauline. As always, your comment made me smile - and chuckle a wee bit as well. And though debate is so good in so many ways, excuse me, but I won't be debated with you. I know I'd end up eating a hefty piece of humble pie.

Roberta S said...

wheeldancer, I appreciate the thoughts you made in your comment. It brought out some important points that I missed, which you so often do.

Roberta S said...

gingatao, thanks for visiting. I always love to see a new face.

I'm super keen to a debate, as you suggested, but I don't care to talk about intimate body parts and functions such as 'colons', 'periods', etc in mixed company. And 'semi-colons' fall within the same realm even if they are foreshortened. So we will have to find other subject matter to banter about -- maybe at a later date. ;)

joared said...

Personally, I find your effort to incite your readers to be quite an affront to good taste. Furthermore, the language you use in some places is most offensive. Writing about the interior processes of your body systems especially including references to, ahem!, "bathroom breaks" -- well, that's beyond the pall. Can we debate?

Roberta S said...

joared, there's nothing to debate. Cause on some things I'm just too opinionated in my thinking to even discuss them. (like where do I find back-up for such a debate in the encyclopedia or dictionary? - or even the Bible?)

(chuckling) I think you got me this time.

Ned said...

Although I do agree with the joy of the debate, I don't "go there" anymore. It's all part of the "Life is too short syndrome" (LITS) Because (LITS) I avoid arguments as eagerly as I once sought them out. I don't even argue (much)with my spouse of thirty-five years anymore. I suppose it is the kind of age-induced economical behavior. Instead if the the subject is worthy of discussion, then it's worthy of honest give-and-take without the passion of debate. I don't think I've ever changed anyone's opinion by arguing but occasionally, in discussion I can see some gentle shifts.
However, if that's what floats your boat-Sail on!

Roberta S said...

Hi Ned and welcome. I certainly understand the point you made in your comment. Although I find it hard to separate passionate debate from the "give and take discussion" you referred to. But I agree, if the subject is going to ascend into volatile argument - down and dirty - it ain't worth discussing.

As a newcomer to my blog (and I assume you are), most of what I write is a bit sassy and sarcastic but with a silly grin. My readers know that and give me space. I like to think in the end we both end up contemplating what I've written with a grand little chuckle.

Again, thanks for visiting. Please come again.