Post XXIII

‘Life Is Change. Growth Is Optional. Choose Wisely’.

I really don’t understand why the British seem to think tutting is a good idea. You see it all the time. Waiting in a queue in a supermarket, you’ve been there  all the livelong day and there’s always someone in front of you tutting. Why do we think that would move the line along? What is the mentality of such an act? “Tut, tut – e’ by ‘eck, this is ridiculous this”. Honestly, who thinks this actually works? Seriously? God above.

Technology. I’ve had many problems with technology over the years. I mentioned before that hitting it is usually the solution. But as so often is the way, the solution usually causes the problem. My set-top box broke this week. I was praising technology last week and now I hate it. I lost many recordings on that thing. It started making a noise a few months ago then I hit it to shut it up and then it blew up this week. I’m quite gutted. None of this is important, but if I seem sad this week, that’s why.

The problem I’ve always had with technology is that day when it dies. You tend to try to keep it going. You’re not an electrician, but I’m sure we all remember the day when dad took off the back cover of the television to see there is anything wrong. ‘Hmm, can’t see anything’. How would he know? Did any of us ever think that he would find anything? Do we stop him? No, because here in the UK, we like to think we can solve any problem. We’d rather buy a new TV than call someone out to fix it. I think it’s to do with manhood. Now, you obviously cannot see me but I can assure you I’m not that manly. But even I try to keep technology going. I once dropped my DVD player when I was re-arranging my room but rather than be disheartened about the problem I found some string and tied it back together.

I think that example is less to do with manhood than say when a married man has the television in bits on the living room floor subconsciously trying to please the missus. I’m practical. But manhood is a part of every man’s life. Things to do to be a man always seemed to cross a line to be when I was young. I was always told never to hit someone, not to be afraid to stand up for myself but never be thug in doing so. However, I think that  is an issue dependant on where you live.

If you grew up in Gerrards Cross, your parents tell you to be complimentary to the butler, to walk Tilly the Tibetan Mastiff regularly, to clean thoroughly the 1963 Ferrari after you breathe within ten yards of it – I could go on. I, however, was taught to stick the main streets, to avoid the large gangs, and how to ensure food lasted more than one week. In that  town the mantra ‘never hit, stand up but don’t be a thug’ does make sense.

It was hard to see that when I was little. It was hard to see why ones parents would tell their child such a thing. But as I grew up, I began to realize that, unfortunately, it was the only way to survive. The bullies hit the nerds. The nerds hit back. Then they left you alone, unless you won the fight and then you better run. It was a double-edged sword. It stands to reason, I thought, that one shouldn’t try to win the fight, but that didn’t work. In a rather medieval manner, you had to fight as best as you could. Whilst I am pleased to report this town’s thug mentality is on a rapid decline, I had to endure five years of these monsters in secondary school.

I remember many occasions when I found myself in the middle of a circle surrounded by thugs. I remember being chased by these people armed with baseball bats. I hadn’t done anything to them. But I had to fight back. I think if you have the choice to tell a charity, a helpline or even the police about the bullying without fear of repercussion then you should, but many people, me included, didn’t and don’t have that choice. You took the strikes of the bat and did what you could. I don’t think I’ve ever been that scared before or since. But they were the people I had to stand up against. I tried to be a man but I don’t think it made me more of a man. I think it made me realize how brutal choice is.

When I tried to fix my set-top box and started thinking about manliness, my mind was drawn to all the times I’ve had to show it and prove it. I try to stay away from anger and violence, especially now that I’ve grown up. But I don’t think it’s has gotten any easier. More choices, in fact. From simple things like which new set-top box to buy to which career do I choose.

I know. It wasn’t an upbeat post. I’ll try to end on a story about growing up. I think I realized that I was grown up when I walked over the grass and mud one day coming home from the town centre. I always used to do this. But when I got home, something was different. I looked down at my jeans and I thought, for the first time, ‘oh Lord, this is going to be a bitch to clean’. That was the day I said goodbye to my childhood.

‘When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels’.

Peace Out :|:

(There are countless other entries on this once weekly blog you could read. There is also now a link to my daily micro-blog on the right of this page. Please be sure to tell people if you enjoyed either post, please ‘Digg’ the best posts, and please ‘follow’ either or both blogs to get updates of the latest posts. Thanks).

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