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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  291 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 2, 2018

There's a girl in The Horrible Art Class. We'll call her Rebecca. In the first of four "allow me to memorize your names" segments The Horrible Teacher said "Rabak? Rebech? Arbitch?" at which point Rebecca, blushing, said "Rebecca. My first name doesn't fit on the attendance records for some reason." She was embarrassed by this.

Rebecca's hair is too long and her clothes are frumpy. But her eyes are alive under too much makeup. She's one of the Annoyed Ones in That Horrible Art Class; or, at least she's one of the ones who jets as quickly as she can.

Monday she was wearing a too-large sweatshirt. It said "In Case of (mid-life) Emergency Dial (Porsche) 9-1-1" and had a crude representation of a red RUF turbo on it. I asked her "So who saddled you with the shirt? Who has the disease?" and she said "My dad had a 911" and I plowed straight through "I just got one they're great everyone should have one" without touching on "what happened to it" "what happened to your dad" "why are you wearing your dad's sweatshirt." But you can see it. Whatever the circumstances there's a good possibility she's going through life minus a parent.

I just want to tell her she looks nice. I want to tell her to be brave enough to cut her hair, to stop hiding. I want to make everything be all right. I think when you're a teenager you're too busy being consumed by your own fragility to notice that you're all standing around like scared deer waiting for the tigers to come.

I've surrounded myself with children in the virtual world for fifteen years now. When surrounded by real ones my instincts are the same. Protect, inform, advise. I think I've realized that my overwhelmingly paternal instincts are an overreaction to my fundamentally feral upbringing.

My wife got back from a conference a couple weeks ago. They were talking about ACE scores and how many in the midwifery community tend to score higher than baseline. My wife and her new employee remarked that they were "zero" and "one" respectively but the argument was that if you have a non-zero score and your patient has a non-zero score your relationship has a cumulative score and in a traumatic birth your interactions are going to be a product of the cumulative, not the individuals. Curious, I took the test and scored a six.

It bugs the shit out of me that my altruism is motivated by the shadow effects of 30-year-old bullshit. It's disempowering. It makes it feel fake. It means I became Reddit's Father Confessor not because I wanted to do good but because I was flailing to fill the hole dug there decades earlier.

Now all I can notice is how stinky teenagers are. I wonder if they always were and now I sound like David Fucking Brooks.

b_b  ·  291 days ago  ·  link  ·  


veen  ·  290 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My mom has also had a quite difficult upbringing. Maybe not a six but definitely a three or four. Her shadow is that she has always and will always worry whether she does enough for me and my sister. (She does, of course.) I think that she feels insecure where you feel fake.

But she has been an important person in many people’s lives. For about half her clients, she’s the nearest they have to a shrink. She was an important mother figure to more than a few of my friends when I grew up. When you put those feelings aside and look at the result you have on the world around you, do the intentions still matter?

galen  ·  290 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Can confirm, currently stinky

kleinbl00  ·  290 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I realized that college this time exists in the realm of fragrance-free spaces. College last time existed in the realm of Axe Body Spray.

We could have smelled like a gym sock convention and you'd never know because we put on odor the way detailers put on spray wax.

blackbootz  ·  290 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I really appreciate your perceptive ability, and the resulting stories — Not that (it ever seems that) you’re looking for appreciation. But as a recipient of your instincts to inform, advise, and protect, I don’t really care much if it’s out of a selflessness or a subconscious desire to heal long past psychic damage. Sometimes intentions are all important. Sometimes they aren’t.

Edit to add because it’s relevant: I’m constantly noticing how cloistered, how terrified on the inside, college students around me seem. It’s really tempting to say that it’s different This Time, because of smartphones and Snapchat. But no one seems to have a lot of courage to do anything, speak up, be different.

Who am I kidding, I’m projecting.

oyster  ·  290 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I recommend reading The Self Illusion by Bruce Hood. It kind of fucks with the idea of self and free will but he doesn't just leave you hanging.