Never, Ever in Everyday Ramblings
- Jan. 25, 2023, 3:15 p.m.
I took this on the 25th of January 2014. Nine years ago. On a walk, just across the river. I wouldn’t do that walk on my own anymore. Too many unsheltered and drug addled folks over there to be safe. Sadly. Both for me and for them.
Mrs. Sherlock and I walked along this side of the river together on Sunday. It is built up with formal paths and visibility. More foot and bike traffic. No encampments or trash. We hadn’t walked in at least a month together. There was much catching up.
She had a good time in Hawaii, they hiked and swam a lot. She went with three other women and one of them, apparently, would not shut up. She narrated things like putting on her shoes and was constantly looking at electronic devices and commenting on that. Mrs. Sherlock said she finally lost it when they got back here at the airport early in the morning and the promised shuttle did not show up, so everybody started complaining. Mrs. Sherlock suggested they call a Lyft.
Her companions were a bit dumbfounded by the practicality of that suggestion and Mrs. Sherlock said that in the back of said Lyft she sort of lost it, very out of character. Traveling sure isn’t as easy as it used to be. She did say that she is never ever under any circumstances traveling with the shoe talker again.
I know this woman. I would never have considered traveling with her in the first place. Mrs. Sherlock is way more tolerant than me. It is a feature, our various tolerances for others, isn’t it? I admire folks who display equanimity.
Last weekend I watched Mission: Joy, a documentary on Netflix about the Dali Lama and Desmond Tutu. Then I listened to a 5-part podcast series on Ten Percent Happier about a recent trip to Dharamsala to spend a couple of weeks with the Dali Lama. These people get equanimity.
This was all going on while I was preparing to lead a League of Women Voters Program Planning Meeting on fiscal policies the League has approved over the years.
I was partnered with a woman that I knew had strong feelings, had joined the League in fact, who is a proselytizer on this idea that academics call “Modern Monetary Theory ”. It is a radical theory, that would fundamentally shift how we finance programs here in the U.S. I am sympathetic to the idea, mind you. She wanted to give a presentation on it. We zoomed on Friday to prep for the meeting, which mostly involved her showing me her slides and going over her presentation.
This theory is a fundamental shift in the whole underpinning of the fiscal system and was not directly linked to any of the broad policies we were asked to review and cover by the planning committee. I understand the broad outlines on Modern Monetary Policy. My program partner never asked, nor did she want to know if I had any knowledge of what she was talking about.
She had her point of view, and she was going to hammer me with it and then the group no matter what. Zealot was the word I used privately with Mrs. Sherlock. This woman is a zealot.
Our original meeting was contentious as I was trying to get across to her that while I respected her right to present her point of view, in the planned meeting and even the League, which is a non-partisan organization, this presentation was not appropriate. What the League is though, is a powerful and well-respected group that politicians listen to. Which is why, my partner and her friend joined the League. They belong to a group called The Alliance for Just Money.
What made me really mad, was the fact that she was dumbing down the material, pushing on voter’s natural aversion to piling on more debt button and misrepresenting what the proposal is actually about. She was looking for converts.
We talked again on Sunday. I managed to get through to her on a human level and learned a little about her bodyworker son who is now so disheartened by crime and exposure to the results of drug addiction in his job in physical education that he is going to become a police officer. And we talked about Feldenkrais. She used to be a dancer when younger.
Our meeting was Monday. It was an intense and difficult 2-hour slog because she kept bringing everything back to her point. I was frazzled afterwards. It gave me a lot to think about. I could never be a politician was one certainty that bubbled up. And that I still firmly believe in democracy. But oh boy, it is hard work.
I got a lot of appreciation from the leadership team afterwards, so I feel good about that. And I am on friendly terms with the presenter I was partnered with, but I am just saying…I am never ever doing a meeting with her again. Whoa.
Even if it does mean my equanimity quota is lacking and I won’t reach enlightenment in this lifetime…
Last updated January 25, 2023
mcbee ⋅ January 27, 2023
I admire your work with the League of Women's Voters....I personally am trying to break away from all things that remind me of corporate work. Listening to people try to push their agenda on me is one of those things. You are way more dedicated and/or patient than I want to be. Really, I guess I could say I don't want anyone in my personal life also if he/she can't have quiet, mutual conversations....and it does seem that in any small or big group you have that one dominant person who will not shut up!!! Anyway...I am rambling...just hope you are finding plenty of quiet and or enjoyable times to offset any of the energy vampires that wander into your life.