Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What I need to know...

I just got an e-Blast from Oprah a few days ago. Yes, I do get the magazine every month. For the record, it was a gift subscription and I like reading the book reviews. I would not ever, in my friggin' life, however, pay $845 for chandelier earrings, which have somehow made it into the "Steals and Deals" section of the mag. Unless they mean I'd have to steal the cash to buy the fashion and than cop a deal with the po-po after I got arrested for armed robbery.

So, yes, the book reviews are great. And I did discover some great cajun recipes and a story about a 50-something trapeze artist who likes going to the farmer's market. That was cool.

Back to the e-blast. The piece that caught my eye was entitled "8 Life Skills Every Person on the Planet Needs to Learn." That's a big claim. On the planet? Like every man, woman and child, even those living in poverty-stricken, war-torn nations? OKaaay. I read on, expecting the list to at least include how to find/make clean drinking water, how to perform CPR, how to grow sustainable food, how to not get hit by a hail of gunfire when travelling to Syria, how to quietly kill your abusive husband/boyfriend...anyway, you get the point. You can imagine my complete disgust and disappointment when I read life skill #1: "The ability to listen to what you least want to hear."

I don't know about the rest of y'all but I hear shit every day that I really don't want to hear. For instance, how much these presidential campaigns are costing, how women the world over are being ravaged in one way or the other, how drought is killing farmers. And on a more personal note, which is what I think this rule means, yeah, I listen to what I least want to hear from my kids. "Ma, your arms are jiggly in the back." Or "I'm almost as tall as you," Or, my personal favorite, "You look like hell in the morning." Do I cry? No. Do I scream and yell and deny? No. Just quietly sip my coffee and wait for the little fly to flit away and tell me something I don't already know.

I think #3 on the list was supposed to be a cute little foodie quip. Sadly, "the ability to cook one thing with cheese" isn't, in my book, an abiliity, let alone an essential one to get you through friggin' life. Can you imagine being a young woman in Afghanistan reading this swill, hoping to find something of value? Cheese?! Where? We don't even have schools or shoes at this point! As for me, who lives in rural America, cheese is a staple. I have never struggled with how to use cheese. EVER. Get a grip. Now, if you can make cheese, I'd be impressed.

Oh my god, the list goes on. Something about the "power whisper," and some vaguery about listening to one's inner voice. I listen to it all right, and I usually tell it to "shut the hell up! Can't you see I'm trying to write?!" It was all so cheesy, so shallow, so, well, it'd be perfect for Pinterest.

There is one skill listed that I agree with. "The abilility to whistle with your fingers." The author's justification for this is simply because "it's sexy." Um, yeah, honey. It's really sexy when you've just screamed your head off through the window trying to get the kids to come in for dinner then break out the whistle. Or when you've tried everything short of heroin to try and get the attention of a room full of teenagers. Nope, this whistle is a necessary part of life. It is a warning, a call for help, a powerful tool for negotiation. Everybody on the planet should know how to whistle with their fingers. And laugh at themselves. And stage a protest. And physically defend themselves against violation. And roll a cigarette. And figure out due North. And sharpen a knife. And treat an infection and a broken heart. And to take help and give help.

And to swim. Everybody should know how to swim.

No comments:

Post a Comment