“Girl talk, blah, blah, blah”

Yes, my brothers and dad consider that a valid form of description for blogs such as this, which is why they don’t know this is here (at least as far as I know).

I raised some objects that it’s not really pleasant to have yourself dismissed as “girl talk, blah, blah, blah”; I was informed that the he saw the need for a certain amount of honesty.

Well, excuse me.  I never claimed to be writing deep philosophy or earth-shattering profundity. But just because it is the feminine form of communicating, you feel the need to be “honest” and tack on some “blah, blah, blah’s” just to show what you think is  the true value of it?

So, yeah, you’re not invited. Because it’s exhausting to be always swimming against the grain of condescension. And sometimes, this is a great relief–a place where I can just do my girl talk without the blah, blah’s. But sometimes, I just feel like it’s really sad. Because your level of dismissal means it’s not worth it to me to share with you who I am. I won’t tell you, and you won’t know, and you’ll wonder why. Because everyone should be ready and able to defend who they are, and only a coward wouldn’t stand you down to insist who they were over your objections.

But what am I gaining you by fighting you? I could tell you that I’d love to ride horses, and you would say, “Typical girl” disgustedly. So I won’t tell you that, even though it’s true. What would I gain? I could tell you that often I think about traveling the nation, the world: to see the wonder of God’s creation, to see His people everywhere, to remember that He made the whole world and then came into it as a human. How exciting to behold that! But you would say, “how stereotypical. Romantic notions of traveling the world. Real life doesn’t work that way, you know.”

No, I don’t know. I know I’m harboring dreams I’m not telling people, and I am discovering something else about myself: I don’t sit on dreams. I act on them. I don’t think maybe someday. I lay one brick after another until I reach it. Some day, I’m going to do some crazy stuff. And you’re going to say, “what the heck as gotten into her head? She used to be so reasonable!” No, I never really was. I found out what I could say to you, and what wore me out to no gain. You think the only sane course of action is to live in your little monastery, but that’s never been one of my goals. I just didn’t see the point to argue with you about the value of the world, when I saw you were so set in your thinking and could not relate to me.

So you are honest about what you think about what I have to say. Let me be honest, too: I don’t have any reason to say it to you, then. I’ll be quiet and spare you the blah, blah, blah.  I am. But I do not owe it to you to tell you that. I don’t owe it to you to parade my thoughts across your board of judgement. If you don’t value it, I can keep it to myself.

Somehow, you don’t see that. You feel like everyone should be ready to deal with criticism, because anyone who won’t allow themselves to be subjected to criticism is engaging in protectionism of the worst kind: not allowing their ideas or thoughts to be challenged, desirous of being admired rather than respected, and (perhaps worst of all!) being too fragile.

But criticism does not equal respect. There is a difference between constructive criticism and criticism, an apparently extremely fine distinction that you have trouble with. Giving you a chance to trash me is totally different than being open to challenge. I’m willing to discuss things; I’m not willing to go looking for opportunities to be mocked. You’ve mocked me enough that I don’t see the likelihood of anything else happening. You don’t demonstrate that you value my faculties for thinking or decision making, and so I don’t want to involve you in the process any more.

Can you not see how this drives us apart? Do you really think that, by your decree, I will simply grow that “thicker skin” and submit to your view of what communication is supposed to be like? Do you really think that you can drive me to silence and then declare you know what I’m thinking because I’m so predictable? You don’t know what’s going on inside my head. And you won’t know. Because that would mean listening without dismissing, and your “honesty” compels you to tell me how I’m wrong and foolish and too emotional about everything. That just tells me that I’m not safe with you, because nothing is good enough for you. It certainly doesn’t tell me that I’m actually wrong and foolish and too emotional–only that <em>you</em> think I’m wrong and foolish and too emotional. I know you, too, and what you think doesn’t hold as much weight with me as you seem to think it should.

That doesn’t mean I’m not tired of fighting with you. I am. When I am struggling, I don’t need someone else to just heap it on top of everything else. If that’s all you have to offer, then it’s easier for me to work through my struggles by keeping them to myself. I don’t know if that’s what you wanted or not. Somehow, I think not. Somehow, I think you want your cake and to be able to eat it, too.

Well, here’s what I want.

I want to be a girl, talking.

Without the Blah. Blah. Blah.

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