Zestful Blog Post #283
Some of my favorite imperishable quotations are from people’s grandparents. My friend Linda was musing on wisdom from her German grandmother:
“Linda. Linda. If you dun’t learn to milk zuh cow, you dun’t haff to milk zuh cow.”
Think about it. Not learning something excuses you from dealing with it, and that can be liberating. I mean, I’ve watched cows being milked by hand. Sometimes they smack you in the face with their damp, urine-scented tail. Good morning!
Cunningly avoiding learning how to do something can indeed be liberating. Most grandmas are not stupid. But being helpless, we know, can also backfire: Beyond not being able to get milk when you want it, think of all the young executives in the ’70s and ’80s who resolutely refused to learn how to type. Ambitious women especially were warned away from learning how to type, because typing was for assistants. If you typed, you were pigeonholed into a subservient role. That was the thinking. But then—“Wuh-oh. What’s this new computer thingy on my desk? It gots a keyboard! Wuh-oh!” We had a generation of executives who were clumsy on the keyboard and therefore inefficient because they didn’t learn to touch-type with all ten fingers. I mentioned a couple of years ago here that one of the best things I ever did was take a typing class in high school with a scary bastard perfectionist teacher. I use typing here just as an example. It could be plunging a clogged sink, sewing on a button, starting a campfire, reading a paper map for God’s sake, even pumping gas.
Do we want to be dependent on others? Sometimes, hell yeah. But it’s a game of subtlety and judgment. Grownups deal with whatever shit they really have to. I think Linda’s grandma really meant: Figure out what you really want in life, and screw everything else, because life’s too short to get slapped in the face by a cow.
What do you think? Are there things where you just go “To hell with that!” and why? Or, have you an imperishable quotation from a grandparent to share? To post, click below where it says, ‘No Comments,’ or ‘2 Comments,’ or whatever. If you’re having trouble leaving comments on this or other blogs, it’s probably because third-party cookies have been turned off in your browser. Go into your browser settings and see if that’s the case. Then turn them on again in order to leave comments.
If you’d like to receive this blog automatically as an email, look to the right, above my bio, and subscribe there. Thanks for looking in.