Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that in recent months the raucous discussion of women’s issues has reached epic– or maybe epidemic— proportions. Some of the heated discourse revolves around specific, male-dominated toxic issues, like GamerGate, but there’s also a general sense that men from all walks just don’t get how to approach women. Especially those they don’t actually know.
Subsequently, I’ve noticed a lot of related angst prevalent among men, many of whom are intrinsically decent but often come across, inadvertently, as the very boors they endeavor not to be. I should know.
On occasion, I’ve been one.
here's the #DFW weather recap & forecast including last night & into tomorrow: rain, sleet, snow, light traffic, slush, freeze, Armageddon
— Randy (@texrat) February 23, 2015
Today’s electronic immediacy though means everything is local and instant. Geographic boundaries have been replaced by ideological ones that realign our interests and attention. Thanks to the Internet, I can be a better neighbor to Timo the programmer in Finland than what’s-his-name who lives across my street.
But knowing each other’s news doesn’t necessarily put us on the same page.
Bradbury’s evocative visuals in Rocket Summer led me as a twelve-year old to imagine that anyone could assemble a space-worthy vehicle with the right parts and know-how. Like many in the 1970s who got caught up in the great Space Race, I had a reasonable understanding of propulsion and was not remotely dissuaded by the fact that all of my homemade missiles had exploded on the launchpad.
Surely I just needed the proper materials; Mom’s rich assortment of household chemicals labeled Flammable! Danger! Explosive! just weren’t doing the trick, no matter how many I mixed together.
Speaking of machines… one of the toughest concessions I made due to marriage was choosing automotive practicality over preference. I’ve always been a utility or sports vehicle guy. But there’s nothing remotely sporty about the white, under-powered 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass I drove with gritted teeth during the halcyon years of married life. The idiot who eventually stole it removed a huge albatross from my pack-animal neck.
I haven’t started the actual divorce process yet– been very busy preparing to prepare for it though. I envy any couples who are able to walk away from each other without any major difficulty. My adult sons aren’t a factor, but years of accumulated crap has sure become one. Hopefully the fact that I want free of it all, including our house, will help.
A former coworker and longtime friend recommended I try Match.com, a site she swore had worked for her. I was leery; I’d seen too many online-instigated romances fizzle or even explode. But she ultimately convinced me and I created an account.