I am in the fortunate position of not having a social media history of cruel, dickbag observations I have made to the world at large. In my brain, however, I am not so fortunate. I remember a long heinous diatribe about single mothers, for instance, that I ate, crow by crow, when I became a single mother. All this time later, I am still unlearning. Much of my problem continues to be that I assume the center of people to be generally the same, which is to say, like mine.
Except that our language proves our variety. If we’re honest, we see different things when we hear the words “marriage” and “god” and “love” — my idea of marriage is different from your idea of marriage. My favorite parts are ordinary. How she drives in the snow. The chaos of the kitchen whenever she cooks. The presumptive way she responds to me when I have only looked at her without speaking. The world is made up of our secret lives. I watch my friends in couples and try not to judge them because I have no fucking idea what they’re like 99% of the time. And if I can admit that I don’t know what they’re like, I can admit I don’t know what anyone is like.
I need grace because I’m so often wrong. My sharp tongue and blurty brain have got me into all kinds of pickles. I hope to avoid more of those damned awkwardnesses. I’m alright when I listen. When I hear you. I don’t care what the word “god” looks like in your brain. I don’t care about your politics. I’ll fight you if you advocate hate, but otherwise, I’ll speak for myself, and educate my child. I don’t have a broom to beat you. I have a broom to sweep my own fucking house.
It is a mistake to assume your center is what you should see when you look at me. Our data collectors have made different sweeps and sorted our results according to our own methods. Be kind. Eyes on your own work. This isn’t a teaching moment, friend; I’m here to unlearn.