Thursday, November 06, 2008

Too Much Information

I won't chronicle the exciting adventures of Head Cold Woman anymore, as exciting as I know that is. See, I've made this little commitment to myself to participate with Nablopomo this month (national "blog post every day for this month"), so I'm trying to stay with it. I like the idea because I find November a really fitting time for me to remember and review, what with Thanksgiving and the change of season and the fact that the month has my birthday in it. I haven't really hit my stride with this thing yet. Stay tuned.

I had somewhat of a naru hodo moment today. I had a realization of a dynamic that I am guilty of bringing upon other people, particularly the males who live under my roof. And that is that I have this tendency to always be "correcting." No, wait. The realization wasn't that I am always correcting; that's pretty old. The realization is of how someone feels when they are being corrected. I have come to realize that I do not generally interact with the world based on my emotions. I tend to live head first. But when something does grate on my emotions I tend to get really bothered really quickly. And recently, whether this has been happening in objective fact or whether this is just a special gift from God so that I can see how much I piss in other people's cornflakes, I'm not sure, I have felt the sting of having what I do "corrected." And I mean, corrected in such a way that no real consideration is expressed for the heart of what I have done, with the thoughts of the corrector on his/her correct-er information, and not on the emotional impact as I receive it. I'm thinking this really is a special gift from God, because I have been replaying tapes that happened to me in childhood (like the time I was in a gift store and my friend asked me what the things we were looking at were made out of, and I said "cast iron," and the sales clerk responded loudly as if I had just said the stupidest thing ever "they are PEWTER!"). I realize that getting corrected, or feeling corrected, makes me not want to talk with the corrector anymore. It's a great way to destroy communication and a relationship.

But I sympathize very much with, well, me -- because I love information. I love knowing. And sometimes, I love just a few tads too much being able to tell people what information I know better than they do. I guess that would be called making an idol out of information. There really and truly can be such a thing as giving someone "too much information," in more ways than one. But have you ever heard anyone complain of being loved too much -- when love really is love?

I can learn how to love, though. The other day my son asked me if rocks had cells, and I realized he fully expected me to just launch into all my scientific brilliance. (I can still bluff because he's only 7.) And that gave me a clue to just keep my answer yap shut and ask him questions instead. We happened to be heading to the library as this conversation ensued, so we were able to find books about cells and books about rocks, and he read some pertinent passages and concluded that what his friend told him had actually been right. (Come to think of it I know why I was inspired to keep my yap shut. My son said his proof to his friend with whom he debated whether rocks were composed of cells was the ever useful "My mom told me.")

It certainly wasn't for naught that Jesus spent a lot of time asking questions instead of pontificating.

For the grace to be free from idols, we pray -- Lord, hear our prayer!!


Laura A said...

I can relate, Marie. And I like your example of what happened when you held off with your son.

When is your birthday in November? Mine is Sunday, and I always like finding other people with November birthdays. It feels like an underrepresented month to me ;-).

Marie said...

I'm on the 22nd. Roughly ever 5 or 6 years I get to be a Thanksgiving turkey. :)

Angela said...

Hey, have we already had this conversation, that is, that Helena's birthday is the 22nd too?

Marie said...

I don't think we've had that conversation. It's a great day to have been born :)

Laura A said...

I always think of C.S. Lewis on that day. Now I'll think of you, too!