My emotions are unreliable. The other day I got crazy angry at PayPal. It started with their automatic answering service; "I can understand full sentences." It used to be that right there, at the start, you could click the zero on your numeric keypad 20 or so times and the artificial receptionist would forward your call to a human operator, no questions act. This approach failing me in this instance, I started repeating the word "operator". This having no effect, I started shouting the word "operator". It was downhill from there.
Eventually the machine gave up trying to force me into its protocols and put me through to a human, who put me through to an international account agent, who went about canceling my girlfirend's Chilean account so she could open one here in Mexico. Then, on the verge of success, "Hold one moment while I get a supervisor on the line," things went bad. I held for 10 minutes until some human back in the States answered, clueless as to what I had gone through. When I asked she told me that she could not put me through to an international account agent. When I told her that someone at her level had just done precisely that and suggested that she ask someone how to do it, she was unmoved. Then she insisted that she, who spoke no Spanish, must speak with my girlfriend, who speaks no English. That didn't go well.
I am prone to be irritable, especially around incompetence. After an amount of rage that I am embarrassed to confess, I finally hit upon the bright idea of asking to be put through to someone who did speak Spanish. After a brief wait my operator nemisis returned and informed me that she would put me through to an international account agent in Chile. Afterwards, for two days, I had a recurring pain where my esophagus meets my stomach, a kind of proto-ulcer.
At other times, I'm like a monkey shown a shiney object. I think the best of people (like my pretty, young secretary in part one of this article) and that gets me in trouble. People, I've noticed, are happy to take on whatever flattering opinion you have of them, despite their knowing how wrong you are. They act the part as long as they can, until my rose-colored glasses can no longer recolor reality. Really it's my fault, not theirs. I suppose that I want my life to be more exciting and ideal than it is. There's a price to be paid for my self-delusion.
In my experience women have a great deal more emotional intelligence than men. Men rely on force, even just the force of reason. Women, historically unable to wield brute force, have had to be more subtle; the power behind the throne and all of that.
I think a lot of men's anti-women sentiment springs from jealousy. We know that women are superior.
Judaism is often critiqued about relegating women to an inferior role in the ceremonies of the synagogue. The rabbis opine that women do not need the strictures of all the laws that apply to men. (Do you really want to get up at 5:45 every morning to get to the synagogue by 6:15 to pray for 45 minutes?) This is because women are inherently more spiritual. When Sarah asked Abraham to send away Ishmael, because he was a bad influence on her son Isaac, and Abraham was loathe to do it, G-d commanded Abe to "Listen to Sarah in all that she says." "Listen to Sarah," would have sufficed. Those extra words, "in all that she says," testify to the overall superiority of her spiritual vision.
A man of many, many accomplishments, including prophesizing the advent of the smart phone in his 1990 book Life After Television, George Gilder attests (in a rather anti-feminist way) to the superiority of the female sex in building culture by civilizing and socializing men:
"The prime fact of life is the sexual superiority of women. Women transform male lust into love; channel male wanderlust into jobs, homes, and families; change hunters into fathers; divert male will to power into a drive to create."
As the Grateful Dead put it, "That's right, the women are smarter."
I'm going out further on a possibly politically incorrect limb when I suggest that it is, mostly, women's connection to natural cycles, including the moon, their "moon" (period) that give them their superiority. (Then, of course, their is the whole giving birth thing, which, I guess, is a variation of that uterine cycle.)
My girlfriend liked the first part of this article. Commenting on it, she added to my understanding of "conscious menstruation." She told me that for her, her period brings to the front things that have been passed over during the rest of the month. Feelings and thoughts that get shunted aside during the daily hustle and bustle make themselves heard during her menses. The repressed comes to the fore.
Rationally, I like to think that I'm following the notes. But emotionally I am improvizing. And sometimes I get lost. Often, in fact, I am adrift in my feelings, for good or bad, making it up as I go; fooling myself and others; abusing ignorant Paypal operators. With my uncivilized hormones pumping and jumping all over the place, I am jealous of the reliable irregularity of the female cycle.
I think some of this mothering thing, especially on college campuses (safe spaces, trigger warnings...), has been taken too far, but more of a woman's touch is probably just what this crazy planet needs.
photo: Alessandro Bo (cropped)
Dr. David welcomes you to San Miguel Sunday. Anyone with any interest in contributing articles is heartily encouraged to contact him at the email below. The "Best City in the World" deserves a good Lokkal magazine.