Monday, December 19, 2011

More on Yesterday

I rarely do this, but I'd like to now. I'd like to pick up, in a blog post, a thread of the conversation that was happening yesterday. I really liked the thoughtful, and tremendously kind, way that discussion went. There was something else though, that I've been thinking about regarding what happened at the museum and why I didn't, as many of you noted, just speak up at the time.

I think that, after a brief bit of discussion, the whole thing would have been settled.

But, if I'm being honest, the reason I didn't speak up wasn't so much because I was tired. Though, I was, indeed, tired. I think it was because 'sometimes a museum needs to just be a museum'. Joe and I hadn't been to the place since we went to the UK and we were looking forward to just going there together. Since we got back we've been doing things for work and things for other people and things that needed to be done. We enjoy our lives and we enjoy the tasks set before us, but we also enjoy just going out and being together. Our trip to see the Mayan exhibit kind of fell into that category for me.

So, when I spoke with the woman, asking her the question I had in mind and when she used a word that, to me, is outdated at best and offensive at worst, I had a choice. I saw Joe, out of the corner of my eye just happily looking at one of the artifacts on display. If I chose to bring up 'language' at that moment, I knew that I'd see his shoulders tense up. I knew that the whole feel of the afternoon would change, not so much for me, but it would for him.

Sometimes it has to be about him.

Joe doesn't know I'm writing this, he'll read it in the morning (hello Joe) and I know he'll tell me that he wouldn't have minded me speaking up. I know that he fully supports the work that I do and the voice that I have. I know that he's developed his own voice and tackles the situations we face in his own way. I know all that. But I didn't want him to have to 'not mind' - does that make sense?

Maybe I did it more for me than for him. Who knows? All I know was that I passed up an opportunity I had to have a, probably minor, confrontation because I wanted Joe and I just to be a couple at an exhibit.

Perhaps it was the wrong choice.

I wonder if any of you, in consideration for those you are with, ever just let something slide. I'm sure you have, at least once or twice, so tell me ...


Happy said...

Letting something slide for the sake of your life partner? Of course. It happens all the time in a healthy relationship.

Beth said...

I recently did that, albeit mostly out of consideration for the other person's physical comfort rather than any kind of emotional reason. It was a department store and I was trying on clothes. Yet again, there was trouble with the accessible stall. I didn't make a fuss then and there like I usually would; the store was busy and -- we had thought there were chairs for people waiting, but there weren't. The other person is still recuperating from a leg injury, so I didn't want to subject them to time on their feet that they hadn't bargained on, so I didn't say anything. "Accessible" stalls that would work but for minor hardware issues really bug me. I almost always say something because it's easy to correct, but I didn't that time on account of someone else. Still need/want to call them, though.

Rachel in Idaho said...

Of course you let things slide sometimes, Dave. We all do. We're only human, and you had reasons. This wasn't that serious a situation, even if innocent ignorance can sting.

Anonymous said...


I often struggle with my need to make the world a better place (or more cynically: one I find to be more acceptable) and my need to be a good husband.

So often I come down on the side of world rather than wife. I suspect that I often miss that they can be the self-same thing.

I suspect it was incredibly hard for you to not say something, but it is your reflection that brings me back to your blog again and again.

Nan said...

Its is a good and beautiful thing to let things be so you can just enjoy your time together. Absolutely.

Anonymous said...

For me, it comes down to doing what’s right. Right for me at this time in this place. The symbol for ‘right’ as in correct in Makaton is the symbol for true (upside down capital t) with ticks on both sides of it. True to myself and correct in the world.
Putting up resistance to unhelpful naming may change the world in an incremental way. But for me it’s more important to resist so that I exist. If i fail to resist then it chips away at me. Me is a partner, friend, lover as well as activist, and sometimes there are compromises to be made. I like it when they are straightforward, like Carly Simon sings, ‘loving you’s the right thing to do’. If I try to judge right in relation to the world around me, it becomes a weighing up. However I can usually feel what’s right for me (and then spend much time and energy worrying at whether it makes sense in my head). Me knows, me is important, me deciding is truely taking responsibility.
That’s how it is for me, anyrate.

wheeliecrone said...

Oh, please! I let things slide all the time!

I simply have to be sure that I do not store those things up and explode in the face of some poor hapless soul who happens to say the wrong thing, not knowing that I have let it slide 100 times before.

I live alone, so I do not have a partner to consider. You have a healthy, loving partnership, which is rarer than fine gold and worth as much effort as you can possibly manage to put into it.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Thank you all for your comments, I thought about it and sent a link to the ROM with this blog post and with a suggestion that they make sure to read your comments. Thanks.

Lene Andersen said...

I completely understand. I've let things slide, too. Sometimes because I'm tired. Sometimes because I have advocacy fatigue. And because sometimes, I need to just be me, there with someone I like (or even alone). I am Lene first, an activist second.

Kristin said...

Honestly, this happens all the time in a normal, healthy relationship. I know there are many times both of us have let something slide in consideration for the other person.

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

I think Lene said it best - you are Dave first, disability activist second. I would say that you did not let things slide - you prioritized.


Anonymous said...

Dave, sometimes, you think too much. Common problem! LOL

Noisyworld said...

>to have to "not mind"<
perfectly put as usual.

Joe shouldn't have had to have needed to not mind!
Does that make sense too? lol

In any relationship you must do things which are right for your partner and for the situation, you read what was needed at the time. No guilt should be carried for putting Joe first and/or not reacting :)