Thursday, February 14, 2013

Peeve and praise

Happy St. Valentine's day.

I started to say "I have a pet peeve that I want to briefly flash to the world, but I'll try not to harsh your mellow, or mine own mellow either." And then I wrote about it for a while, and found that it was indeed harshing my mellow. But this much I was able to write without spoiling my enjoyment of the tea made for me by my Valentine.

The gist of the peeve is that I find the expression "That's not okay," when wielded indiscriminately by the indignant, extremely annoying and meaningless. Why don't they just say "That's wrong" or "That's dangerous" or "That's not fair to her" or "That annoys me" or "That doesn't conform to the truth taught to me by my religion" or "That's an unreasonable statement" or "That's a dereliction of your duty" or "That is illegal" or "That isn't illegal but I think it should be," etc.? The first answer I thought of is: because it's difficult to be careful or precise when you are indignant and offended. The ultimate answer is probably: because people, myself included, aren't really ruled by reason but by self-love. If we were, we would either bite our tongues or speak more persuasively. 

"That's not okay" just means "I don't like that," but it pretends to appeal to some undefined standard of decent behavior. Where is that standard to be found? How can I know what IS okay? For "That's not okay" to have any meaning, we would have to keep a list of the things that each sassy young person thinks to be not okay. Who has the time?

Here are some good things, which I don't have to explain.

1. I love the color of tea with cream in it. "Antique Lace," the paint swab would probably say.
2. The clear, sunny day gave way to a lovely delicate sunset, even here in the hood.
3. We are going to eat pizza, drink beer, and finish Henry V tonight, in honor of St. Valentine and not wanting to cook.
4. No school on Monday. Shouldn't we have a liturgy for the Three Presidents?
5. I'm looking forward to a refreshing weekend in Kentucky.
6. A flirtatious three year old hollered "Hi Valentine" to me from his porch swing as I dropped his sister off from school.

1 comment:

  1. A very persuasive case for your peeve. I approve.
    And I love that tea-with-cream color, too!