There was a line from yesterday’s Green Room that stuck with me ever since I read it, oh, 20 minutes ago or so…
“It is more important that someone be protected from real emotional harm than for my piece to be read in the way it's intended.”
I’m in a funny place with this one – because, to make this personal, there is something that I don’t like. I don’t mean “Gary doesn’t like to eat it.” I mean “Gary doesn’t like to see it”/”if someone is eating it near Gary he feels queasy”/”if Gary smells it, he gets sick to his stomach”.
To the point of “even seeing the word makes Gary disturbed”.
It’s a fairly common thing too, and yes, there is “childhood trauma” involved with it. I’m not even going to mention it by name, because I hate writing the word – and no, don’t start guessing. There’s a reason why I’m not naming it.
People who know me – and know what it is, remove it from the table when I’m present.
Those who don’t – well, I try my best to just look in another direction when eating with them. Often I try to put up some sort of barrier, as subtly as I can… Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t – and yes, it’s ended up impacting how to look at people. Even if they didn’t know!
Which is totally unfair. I realize that.
But emotions aren’t always fair.
I’ve gotten better over the years. Mostly because I know that at the end of the day, it’s my issue/burden/whatever. It’s one of my personal albatross, hanging around my neck, like a dead albatross that someone has made into the least functional/attractive necklace ever!
Those with a personal relationship with me – who know – do their best to keep it away from my presence. Those who don’t – don’t. They enjoy their meal, however they feel like enjoying it. When that relationship exists – it’s just them being courteous. The same way I would with them, if I happened to know their particular issues.
What has me so intrigued about this idea is – how does it extend to writing?
I don’t think there is anyone who would purposefully write something that would offend a friend, without giving them some kind of notice. Well, OK, that’s probably naïve, but I’d like to think there aren’t.
Does that extend to a general audience as well? Should you try to figure out if there is anything on your plate that might be disturbing to someone, and apologize for it ahead of time. (or maybe even put a barrier up so they can’t see it?) Or, should you just eat and let them put up their own barriers when they need them?
Personally, I tend to hate disclaimers of any kind before or after a piece. I think they disrupt the flow and the look of the piece, taking me outside of wherever it is that I’m supposed to be going with them… but are those warnings the actions of a friend removing things from the table? Are they (as some have said) just being “Overly PC” in hopes of not offending *anyone* - while not actually changing their content?
And most importantly, why ISN’T there more mentions of kittymichaels? What are people so afraid of that they have to hide from him?
Speaking of important – the poll is still going on! So, get in on the action and actually get out there and read some entries!! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/580582.html