Thursday, June 17, 2010

Random word generator # 5

Today's word is "ritual"

There are times I miss the lonely old routine. Coffee in the morning- by myself. TV in the evening- by myself. Making random decisions to just take myself out to a movie or for a piece of pie or breakfast.

We become so attached to the rituals of being alone. Sometimes to the point where it's almost painful to imagine sharing those rituals with someone else. Making coffee for two, for example. Taking another person along for pie, or rearranging your timeworn cleaning schedule for a night in. It edges on the comfort zones, challenges your self-security.

I'm not sure why I've been giving so much thought to what it was like to be alone as of late. I guess because it's highly likely I'll never live alone again. Perhaps it's because I'm astounded at how comfortable I've become with someone else's presence in my rituals, my existence. Even more astonishing, I've allowed my own life not just to join with someone else's but to mesh with it. It's not just my own routine and his... It's ours.

This has its value. Maybe even more value than most things in the world. But I'll always cherish the kind of independence, ritual, and calm that my old lonely rituals once gave me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

An opportunity does not equal a right

I was having a quasi-argumentative discussion with Dale last night about the whole Ben Roethlisberger/rape thing after seeing a bit about it on ESPN. I wasn't doing very well making my point, due to a long-assed day at work and a hot car ride home. But I finally figured out what I was trying to say when I couldn't sleep last night. Here is the basic truth about any rape case where anyone claims a "gray area" of consent due to alcohol or fame:

JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING WRONG, THEY DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO THAT THING.

Sure, it's not smart to leave your keys in the ignition of your car when you park it somewhere. But that does not give someone the *right* to steal your car. It's not smart to get liquored up and follow Ben Roethlisberger around like a rock groupie. But that does not give him the *right* to have non-consensual sex with you.

Sad thing about that metaphor is that the person who stole your car would have a much better chance of going to jail for taking advantage of that opportunity than Ben Roethlisberger ever will for assuming he has rightful sexual access to any female he comes across.

I guess there's just so much that bothers me about this situation. I've said before that I will reluctantly agree that women will lie about rape to get money or notoriety. It happens, some women are crazy. But the more I learn about this situation, it's an all-too-familiar combination of conditions that will always end in victim-blame in our culture. She was drunk. She was following a famous person around. She was asking for it.

But the point I'm trying to make is that while people will argue whether or not Ben Roethlisberger was a rapist for taking advantage of this series of events, we can't argue that he had a choice of whether or not to act in an honorable way. He had the opportunity to do something morally sketchy, and he decided to do so. But that doesn't mean he had the right to.