Friday, December 30, 2011

The Other Side of the Window

If you've been reading these blogs for any length of time, you probably know I seem to have a certain set of themes to which I return probably too frequently. Perhaps the most common of these themes is the fact that I simply do not get it. I never have gotten it, and chances are I never will. I have spent my entire life on the other side of the window, looking in and watching life without really comprehending it.

The entire list of those things I have never understood is far, far, too long to lay out here, but here are just a few of the more frequently visited:

I’ve never understood organized religion. From everything I’ve seen, heard, read, or experienced, it has caused more human suffering than all the natural disasters, plagues and wars--many of which have been fought over religion--in the history of mankind. Despite the occasional notable exception--your religion, I'm sure--organized religion has consistently fostered hatred and intolerance and all the things it claims to be trying to counter. I have never been able to comprehend how simply and sincerely following the Golden Rule would not all but eliminate the need for organized religion. I find it infinitely sad that "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" has been almost universally corrupted into "Do unto others as you would have done unto them."

I’ve never understood organized sports. Enjoying physical activity in the form of sports makes sense, and provides great exercise. Sitting on an overstuffed sofa or a barstool guzzling beer and scarfing down bowls of popcorn, peanuts, and pretzels while watching people you have never met and never will meet do what you’re too damned lazy to do totally escapes me. This week’s BIG GAME!!!! over which people seem to drive themselves into an incomprehensible frenzy, was preceded by last week’s Big Game and an endless string of long forgotten Big Games before that. It will be followed by an infinite string of others. And their point is…?

I’ve never understood computer spam. Do these cretins who so blatantly invade my privacy actually, seriously think for one nanosecond that anyone who has had a computer for more than two days is going to open a message whose subject line is: "Hi. Bedroom faucet rises the early..." or "We cure all disease" or, worst of all, those little strings of small squares with no text at all? And how could anyone with the intelligence of a hamster actually respond to a letter from a "Barrister" in Nigeria informing you that a billionaire relative you have never heard of has died tragically in a car accident and named you sole beneficiary to his (interestingly, it’s always a "his") estate. But they do, and I truly despair for humanity.

And I’ve never understood heterosexuals. Never. I’ve lived among them all my life ("Why, some of my best friends are heterosexual") but have always felt totally apart from them, as though I were a different species. I love my family—heterosexuals all—, am deeply fond of my straight friends, and I like and appreciate many others, but I have never really understood them, and never fail to be mildly infuriated by the automatic assumption of heterosexuals that everyone is heterosexual…or should be. They aren't.

But the primary thing I do not understand, and which has caused me more anxiety, frustration, and grief than all my incomprehensions listed above, is why I am not—and no matter how hard I try, can never seem to be—the person I so desperately want to be. But I take some small consolation in the thought that maybe I’m not the only one standing on this side of the window.

Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please take a moment to check out his website (http://www.doriengrey.com) and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (http://bit.ly/m8CSO1 ).

2 comments:

Kage Alan said...

It was all explained to me once in bulk, Dorien, so I will pass this supposed wisdom on to you now.

Ready? Here goes: "If you think you understand it, you don't. When you realize you don't understand it, NOW you understand."

I don't believe the individual who explained this to me lived very long after that, but it's possible he's in hiding.

Dorien/Roger said...

Ah, yes...as the immortal line from every 1950's science fiction film says: "There are things Man is not meant to know."