Sunday, December 14, 2008

On not ruining it for the other person

When I was at University I was lucky enough to stay in a large hall of residence - it was a bit like living in a hotel with all your friends. There was always the possibility for meeting more students and I remember some of us going to the room of a boy named Keith.

In Keith's room there was barely any wall space that wasn't covered in posters of Sylvester Stallone, aka Rambo or Rocky. Wow, I said, I hate Rambo, he's awful. Perhaps I expounded on why I disliked Rambo's cliched manifestation of gung-ho, Guns-and-Ammo masculinity. Perhaps I wasn't even that articulate. Keith said he'd seen all the Rambo and Rocky films 27 times (or whatever). Clearly we would not be drawn together as natural friends, but if I could go back now, I'd have said, I see you like Rambo, and left it at that.

Years later, I saw a Rocky film and actually enjoyed it - in easy way, with no resistance. I liked Sly Stallone's unabashed acting. Maybe Hugh will grow up playing with guns, a la Rambo stylee. Maybe he'll have a pal called Keith. Keith Karma.



Rachel Fox said...

Lovely post. You could probably even call it a prose poem or something. It is an important lesson to learn (letting other people just have their stuff) and it feels good when you've learned it. Sometimes we all need to just shut up!
Happy Xmas and all that.

Sue Jackson said...

I can tell you that, despite all attempts to bring up your son in a gender-neutral, non-violent environment, he will someday pick up sticks and use them as swords and chew his piece of toast into the shape of a gun and shoot you with it. I speak from experience! I was quickly learned as a mother that nature has just as much effect as nurture. I can also say, though, that although my two sons thoroughly enjoy pretend play with pretend weapons, they are both very sweet, empathetic, caring boys, so maybe all that effort was worth it after all!