Friday, July 18, 2008

Disagree with me!

I like a bit of controversy. This explains why I like things like politics, law school and casual sex. Just kidding about the last one. You know the saying, "If two of you think alike, one of you is unnecessary"? Don't you agree?? You'd better! (get it? You better agree about thinking alike?? Bwahaha!). Like Elder Wirthlin's last conference talk, "The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. All of Heavenly Father’s children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole." You're probably freaking out that I said "casual sex" and "conference talk" in the same paragraph. You would never do that, would you. AHA! We're different! SEE?

But seriously folks, we are different on PURPOSE. Not only do I like a healthy debate, IT'S IMPORTANT. And if I may be frank, and I suspect that I may because this is my blog, too many of us just shut down rather than disagree. I'm not talking about fighting, hurting feelings, personal insults, I'm talking about having (gasp) different opinions. I wonder if it's that many of us (women, especially) are pleasers; we like it when people are happy and we interpret any conflict, even friendly, substantive conflict, as bad. So in almost any circumstance, we jump to the smooth-over portion before dealing with the meat-n-potatoes of the issue, just shutting down and saying "Okay, let's not get into it, have a great day! Love you!" or "I'm staying out of it, let's get a treat!" But 'getting into it' doesn't have to mean raging like a about a bit o depth, here? And I'm convinced that shutting down at the first sign of any conflict does us, and our communities, and the PLANET, a pretty serious disservice. Are people uncomfortable with dimensions? Hesitant to share how they feel? Hesitant to DECIDE how they feel because someone might disagree and then they'd have a meltdown? I think most adults have great intentions when they try to avoid conflict, but it worries me when it's primarily women who avoid conversations like this. Give me a break. I get concerned when people avoid a real discussion because they think everyone will get their feelings hurt like we're 7.

Do you think that was insensitive? GREAT! Something else we can disagree on! Anyway, here are a few random thoughts I'm just going to throw out there to stir the e-pot a bit (not a drug reference). No insults, just some healthy conflict. Embrace it.

I have some stretch marks and I kind of like them because they remind me what my body is capable of doing...growing a human. What the awesome!

When married couples say they've never been in a fight, I don't believe them, or else I figure one of them is a doormat. Husband and I disagree all the time and one of my favorite things about him is how he explains himself and how he'll listen to me do the same and how we don't have to agree on everything

I comment on strangers' blogs all the time. It is the WORLD-WIDE WEB, and if you put it on the Internet, you want people to see it. You're kidding yourself if you have a non-private blog and think strangers don't see it all day long. Aren't you happy I at least make myself known when I visit? I don't think it's creepy. Stranger comments are fine with me as long as they're not spam, gross, or insulting. I figure that elevates someone from creepy stalker to new e-friend and I always laugh when someone says "Isn't that weird that someone I don't know commented on my blog?" Um, no. It's not weird. You put it on the Internet.

Which brings me to another point...I don't believe people when they say their blog is their journal. I mean, it's neat to have stuff to look back on, but if you truly wrote for "yourself" you'd have it private or just do it in Word. We all blog (at least partly) for the interaction and attention, don't we?

The whole idea of private school freaks me out. If your neighborhood school isn't good enough for our kids, I figure we can help fix it. Unless you live in the hardcore ghetto and your kid's going to join a gang or get stabbed by one, it's pretty snooty to say your kid deserves a good education more than the other kids on the street do.

I don't understand why people think anything environmentally friendly is "liberal." It seems like keeping the planet we call home in tip-top shape should be the one no-brainer we all agree on.

I am impulsive and I like other impulsive people because in the time you spend thinking about doing something, you could've finished it.

Birth control is the devil's tool....okay, I don't really think that, I just wanted to get some healthy-disagreement juices flowing in you. Did it work?


KT said...

I agree with everything you said, but only because I really want you to like me.


I used to get into debates all the time, but I've learned in the past that I need to be more choosey with whom I get into debates with. Some people are, unfortunately, not mature enough to handle a debate without turning it personal. Example: when arguing my position on gay marriage I'm told I must not read my scriptures because every one who HAS read the BOM knows that God hates gays and wants them to be miserable and persecuted. When these types try to get into a debate with me I generally ask more questions and listen to their ignorant answers--then write them off as morons. However, there are people who I enjoy getting into discussions with, like Kamie for example. She is capable of disagreeing with me, and she can refrain herself from smearing my face in cake batter after a heated debate. So no, I don't hide in the shadows of a debate, but I am picky about the person I will debate with.

Also, if you're going to continue to stalk my blog I need to ask you to stop with the sexual innuendos.

gurrbonzo said...

haha! I'm with you, and Kamie is a prime example of someone ready for a good substantive discussion. I don't really mean gay marriage or abortion or insert over-polarized current issue here, just saying what you think and not being ashamed.

You're the one who needs to stop the innuendos! Just kidding, I don't know what you're talking about.

Jason & Jen said...

I'm a stranger and I now have you added as one of my favorites. You are interesting and I like to see what you have to say. I clicked your blog from a comment you made on seriously so blessed. Are you seriously so blessed? My blog is basically my journal. Really it is! It's the only way I've ever been good at keeping one. I feel like my sister, mom, grandma & a few friends like to see what we are up to, so I feel obligated to keep them updated but truly it is for me.

Valerie said...

I was getting all jazzed up to disagree with you, but then I ended up agreeing with you.

I'm not afraid of a discussion, but kt's right that a lot of times a discussion can get blown way out of proportion and turn all personal. I don't like that. It makes me feel all barfy inside (good word, huh), and I'm too old to wander around feeling barfy without there being some serious plus side, like a baby on the way.

But I got an A in Debate in college. Does that make you like me? (Is it showing my age to give a letter grade and not a number?)

p.s. if I sent a version of this twice I baby was helping me type the first time.

Sue said...

I hate debates, because I'm not capable of acting like a rational person when I'm "debating." I LOVE politics and love to talk about religion, but I refuse to discuss either topic with my family, because I just can't not take it personally when we disagree. I decide our differing viewpoints must mean that they've always secretly hated me and I end up pouting in the corner like a ten year old. (Basically, I'm really mature.)

We've all gotta know our personal limits. At my age (yeah, I'm eighty, shut up) I don't like drama, and for ME, debates invite drama, so for the most part, I just won't get into it with people. It's made life a lot more peaceful. I hate tension.

Oh, and I TOTALLY blog for the validation and attention. Oh, and the money. The big big big money.

Kiersten said...

I blog because I desperately need people to think I'm smart and clever. My kids don't. Think I'm smart and clever, I mean. Awesome at hide and seek and an endless source of fruit snacks, sure, but not smart and clever.

Speaking of smart and clever, I like you.

KT said...

I was kidding about the innuendos. :-)

Gretchen said...

De-lurking here, which seemed appropriate. I actually agree with most everything you wrote, but especially the one about husbands and wives who "never fight." I mean, I'm not married, but I still kind of want to tell them they're doing this whole marriage thing wrong.
Oh, wait, disagreement! I can see the appeal of private school.

Kiersten said...

Ah! I thought of something I disagree with you about.

I've noticed you tend to mock women using "we" when describing their husbands' work in school.

WELL. When I triumphantly declared that "we did it!" upon my husband's graduation from law school and passing the BAR, I absolutely mean WE did it. Because lemme tell you, three-and-a-half years of law school is a lot of work for the wife. Two colicky, incredibly cranky and poor sleeping babies--and my husband NEVER got up with them in the middle of the night. Not because he wouldn't, but because I knew he had to go to school in the morning, so I never asked. We both put in incredibly long days. He was studying and going to school, I was in a small apartment with two babies and NO CAR.

So when I say we, I mean we. Because law school was just as much work for me as it was for him.

It's a good thing you don't live in California though. You can't even talk about gay marriage without someone pulling the "the Prophet says it's wrong" trump card and ending all discussion. Fortunately I have cool friends and a cool husband, so we have lots of great discussions.

Ashley is Blogalicious! said...

I like disagreeing and discussing with all my friends. It's fun. I find that if I disagree with somoene and do say something about it, it usually means I don't like them that much.

Did you know that in Greek culture, it's normal and encouraged to disagree. It's a way of creating solidarity when first meeting.

Let's go disagree in Greece! Excellent.

gurrbonzo said...

Hello new friends! Good points. Huzzah for discussion! I guess I'm not really pro-drama, but I'm bothered by how many of us just don't share opinions...about ANYTHING...even where to go to lunch, or what book to read, or gay marriage, or whatever. I know sometimes we just don't care, but glossing over everything gives me rage.

And clever Kiersten: Two babies, no car, colic!? ack!! I salute you! You deserve to shout "We did it!" from every rooftop you can find. I think I'm sensitive about "law-wives" claiming ownership bc my hub doesn't get any support or accolades or crafty-spouse clubs for being a "law-husband," and I am also sensitive about other law students telling me they know what it was like for me since their wife had a baby during his finals. But that's another post in the making. Anyway, you are a superstar. "We did it!" is very different from saying "We are in law school" or "We're 3Ls!" or whatever. But it is definitely a team effort.

Kiersten said...

So, wait, are you saying I should quit claiming that "We have a JD"??

Kamie said...

People actually think they know what it was like for you because their WIFE had a baby during finals. Unbelievable!

I completly agree about the whole "we never fight" thing. No way. Either your marriage is fake or you are lying.

The "idea" of private school freaks you out? Haha... Freak on sister.

For me, I don't really discuss politics, movies, etc with people who can't handle a good discussion. If they never disagree with me I find them boring and pretty much ignore them. But, even if a person has an opinion that is different than mine but can engage me in an interesting discussion I am all about that baby!

Julie said...

I like putting my opinions out there because I'm always right and like people to know it! haha :)
And while I definitely write for others to read, (DEFINITELY DEFINITELY DEFINITELY) I also write for myself. I truly enjoy going through my blogs and reading them. I read my blog more than anybody I know. I guess I do call myself a writer, since I used to write for a living. There's nothing better to me than reading through a past blog and causing myself to laugh out loud, even when I know the whole story or the punchline.
I've never had anyone who's gotten mad for my commenting on their blog. That's weird. I did comment on some random girl's blog because she thought trichotillomania was a made up word, and I wanted to correct her, and she thought I got all offended, but whatever. I need to stop myself sometimes
Umm... Sorry about the 7-page essay I just wrote.

Liz said...

Hi, Kathleen! Thought I'd "out" myself...Callie J. told me about your awesome blog and I love it. It's Liz, Sid's wife. You are hilarious and I totally agree about the disagreeing...nothing is more boring than us being the same! Congratulations, by the way on your little girl. I remembering seeing you 2 at Rio, and you were overdue and you still looked great and I'm glad she finally came out! Mommy-hood is kinda fun, eh? Thankless at times, but great. Well, take care and your blog is a hoot!

Mrs. Clark said...

Kathleen, you are awesome, and I totally agree with you about people not being willing to disagree. Sometimes I do that, but most of the time I enjoy a good spirited discussion. I have a good friend who is a brilliant guy, was a philosophy/math major in college and has taught me a lot about logic and argument. Most of the time, people let their opinions form their arguments, which can be frustrating. My theory is that people like it when their feelings are validated by the media (why judge shows and Rush Limbaugh are so popular) and somehow think you're not their friend if you disagree about something. Truth is, nobody--especially not spouses--agrees about everything. (Just wait until you have to discipline your kid.)

As for public vs. private school--again, wait until you have kids. It's all good until your kid begins to suffer as a result of a poor school. Problem is, in so-called "bad" schools, discipline is such an issue that the teachers can't teach.

Example: My friend Lisa's younger sister ended up being bussed from her affluent-community school to an inner-city one. Being a good LDS person, her mother decided to suspend judgment until the kid had gone to the school for a while.

One day the mom stopped in to check things out. Her daughter (in third grade or so) knew more than anyone else in the class so she was assisting the teacher and helping other kids learn to read. Lisa's mom took her daughter out and put her in private school. She wanted her child to get an education herself--not to help improve the education of disadvantaged kids.

After having had 3 kids in the public schools for 19 years, I have to say I am so glad to be done with it. The bureaucracy is horrific. It is nearly impossible to effect any change. You have so much more control with a private school. Frankly, even though we live in one of the very best school districts in the country, if I could have sent my kids to private school I would have.

WonderKitty said...

I also enjoy a good discussion, and sometimes it is an even better discussion if they are on your side. You get some points you might not ahve thought of, and it makes you feel good to be validated.

I have similar feelings about home school. And some of it is great, but please let your kids go on field trips and let them interact with other kids. The rest of us will thank you.

Birth control is the devil's tool, mine makes me sick about 3 weeks out of the month. Devil's tool!!

Anonymous said...

I love how everyone writes in to say how much they agree about disagreeing.

I'm all for intelligent discussion, but depending on the parties involved it be a slippery slope toward contention...

Erin said...

hmmm. if you want to be controversial, i think you'll have to make more controversial statements than the ones you made.

i don't mind my stretch marks, but i do mind the pooch.

i would like to see these so-called "journal" blogs. YEAH RIGHT. my journal is a password protected document that even my spouse does not read.

i don't mind if people want to send their kids to private schools. i do mind if they want tax breaks for it.

i don't mind saving the planet, but i DO mind people who think that dogs are like children. they are not. they are dogs.

sorry, i tried to be more disputatious.

La Yen said...

I am unlurking, too. And I am ALL for private school, because I really and truly DO think that my child is better than the neighbor children. I see them all walking home running on their heelies, making out on the curb, and I think "Not in my house, whippersnappers!"

Jay and Jess said...

Nothing drives me more crazy (actually lots of stuff drives me more crazy than this... like people shortening their emails to say "RU 4sure?" and such) than when people argue all day long and never come to any consensus. I understand and like it when there is a genuine disagreement, and I never quite understood people who stop liking you personally because of political differences (has happened a few times...) But, arguing for the sake of arguing is useless unless you are genuinely trying to convince people of your point of view.

It sort of like the difference between a mid-term campaign and a campaign in a general election. In the mid-terms the goal is not to convince as many people as possible, but to rally the voters who agree with you. Why preach to the choir? Because that’s how you get them to sing! We need better discourse in this country, but that doesn't mean we should just have talking heads from the left yelling at talking heads from the right. Genuine dialogue changes minds and helps develop new beliefs on issues.

Jay and Jess said...

PS- I don't know why "La Yen" is so against making out on the curb, but I support it 1000%.

And maybe it is my lack of a private school education, but what exactly is does "running on their heelies mean"? and if it means 'heel' then how are these kids running on their heels?

Parents for Choice's newest sloagan:


Jordan said...

I don't know about this (even though that does feed into your its ok to disagree thing). I tend to agree with Dwight. Quote: "Do you watch Battle Star Galactica?"
other peon: "No." Dwight, "Then you are an idiot." That is the true way to communicate.

alisa and sometimes brandon said...

Amen, sister. [Stranger internet peep here.] I love me a good debate because I love hearing what other people think about stuff. I tend to over-think everything and assume others are quite the same!

And I agree with KT. I've realized I have to be somewhat choosy who you can argue/debate with. There are lots of peeps who don't know how to fight/debate fairly and then it's not so interesting, but more aggravating.

Because I'm an educator, I get a lot of questions like "should I send my kid to private school because our neighborhood schools are _____?" I don't mind private schools, but its a personal decision. Not to mention our public schools could be considerably better with more PUBLIC outcry and support!

megandjon said...

not to throw in a whole new issue, or let my freak flag fly, but how do you feel about homeschool? cuz i'm kind of hoping to do that when my little one gets less little, and i think it will be AWESOME.

and i totally agree about the whole "ecological does not automatically equal liberal" thing.

and i disagree about the couples fighting thing, but maybe that's because i'm hung up on the definition. Hub and i never FIGHT but we do sometimes disagree and then talk it out. i guess i think of something involving broken dishes and namecalling when i think of fighting!

La Yen said...

Oh, JayandJess, you would LOVE my neighborhood. Because there is horizontal curb-making out every day between 3:15 and 5:15 when parents get home.

And you know those wheeled shoes that the kids these days are wearing--they make the wearers do this goofy, limpy dance of running three steps, gliding on their wheeled-heels for a minute, then running three more steps. (Repeat.) That is what I am talking about.

It is a wonder more kids don't get run-over while making out on the curb.

gurrbonzo said...

La Yen...GROSS. Horizontal curb making out!!??! PRIVATE SCHOOL ALL THE WAY! Ew. I mean, NOT "all the way." Get it?

Jay and Jess said...

Okay La Yen, you didn't mention on the first post that the curb-kissing was 'horizontal'. That is totally nasty!

Making out- okay.

Making pant love on the sidewalk- disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I love casual sex. I hate the awkward variety.

EBV said...

Thank you for disagreeing and seeing conflict as a boon and not something to be avoided or shunned. I have someone I want you to talk to...

Amanda said...

Just found your blog - it's great.

This topic was on my mind the other day, and I had no idea there was a conference talk that went along with it! Thanks for sharing.

princess aurora said...

So, I'm always trying to spark up controversial debates with people around me but they are either too dumb or two afraid to engage. For instance, I know for a fact one of my coworkers has a very different view of illegal immigration than me (and she knows it, too) but if it ever comes up she sneaks a nervous glance at me and promptly changes the subject. Maybe I need cooler friends. Any volunteers?

Jen said...

So I must confess that I found your blog through Jen Ha's and I'm hooked. My only regret as I read is how in the world did I not get to know you better while in Law School?? The experience would have definitely been sweeter :)
Jen Fuentes (turned Langi)