Friday, 29 April 2011
That was the first line from the address given by the Archbishop of London at Kate and William's wedding. I'm not really sure what it means but perhaps that's the point. When we find out what God has meant us to be, and we accept it, then we can get on with living life rather than trying to survive it. I thought Kate looked stunning, William handsome, the bridesmaid looked as beautiful as her sister, and the Middletons dramatically outshone the Windsors in both dress sense and genetics. I thought the trees and sense of nature in the cathedral wonderful which I'm sure the Windsors thought weird and bohemian, and the music they chose haunting. Diana was there because the sun shone in and out of the church. Beatrice and Eugenie looked dreadful. Everything was discussed and analysed in detail at the street party afterwards and everyone became philosophical about love, life and what's important. Hope it lasts.
Monday, 18 April 2011
Just read a book Woman vs Womaniser. I met the author J C Johnson, who is a very interesting likeable character and kept asking me 'have you read the book?' I admit, I hadn't but I just have, this weekend. 'You'll think of me differently when you read the book,' he kept saying as though I would read it and not want to know of him, let alone know him, once I had read about his life story. I don't think of him differently. He is still a very interesting, likeable character.
The book is about J C Johnson's life as a womaniser. The book gives tips on how to detect one, how to avoid one, and how J C found self esteem really through the love of women who had plenty of self esteem of their own. Although it focuses very much on helping women to identify the traits in men, it also firmly points the finger at women themselves and saying that womanisers can detect vulnerabilities, 'blind spots' as JC calls them, and that this is all to do with not controlling our emotions. Women are prepared to put up with a lot when they are in love with someone, not using the rational part of their brains to identify that a man is a womaniser, and run. Or that they have identified that he is a womaniser but that they can change him. Save him from himself. The book tells women to trust their instincts. Not their emotions, their instincts. I agree with most of what JC says and found some of his sexual exploits intriguing, reminding me a little of my own book LAST YEAR OF BEING SINGLE. I will never think of the word 'boing' in the same way again. It's a pity he hasn't gone more into the sex scenes but then that's the point of womanisers - they don't get into it long enough to get into it. It's sort of next, next, next, next. Boing, boing, boing.
According to JC, womanisers only go for women who are vulnerable - correction - they only 'get' women who are vulnerable, but they will try their luck at anything. I knew someone who would ask any girl out at work and say the law of averages one would always say yes. Reading through, I definitely met one when I was going through the divorce but then I knew that at the time. According to JC they tend to have an oversized ego, be vain, tell them that you can trust them, have very good empathy but use it to their own ends and never introduce you to their parents. Oh, yes and they never stay after sex. Unless, JC suggests, you happen to marry one, and then they just stop having sex with you all together. Good book, go buy.
Sunday, 3 April 2011
Mothering Sunday and my son is in Barbados playing cricket with his friends and just knowing he's happy is enough. Well, a card would have been nice, but any way, the sun is shining. My lovely friend Sara invited me to exhibit some of my paintings and several of Tom's in the Church nearby. It was a pleasure and I found myself helping with the cake sale after Mass. I should have attended the mass but wanted to change and shower but the snail's pace of Richmond Park traffic meant in the end I didn't manage to do either. But I helped out with the cake sale, talked about the art and chatted to photographers and the other excellent artist who's work was on display there. And then this guy came up to me, all six foot four of him, and told me off for leaving kitchen knives on the counter. Told off. I was actually told off. I couldn't get into the kitchen so left them on the counter for the women to take them to the sink but they hadn't. I didn't explain this to him because he didn't want to know, he was talking at me. He told me his child could have picked it up. He reminded me of that time when that man chided me for not letting Tom and his friend get up from their seats and offer them to him - despite the fact there were others to be had. At the time I stood my ground as the man was a nutter and a banker (the two are not mutually exclusive but am increasingly feeling they could be), but this time I was taken by surprise. A church goer having a go at me. OK, he had yet to go to church so perhaps he was full of angst and aggression and hadn't yet off loaded it onto a forgiving all knowing God. But this man was having a go at me for being a bad parent (leaving the knives on the counter when his child could have picked them up and danced happily round the room with them. And it's Mother's Day!). But it was the way in which he did it. I know I should have said that as a father he should have picked them up or the women behind the counter should have picked them up and that perhaps as a church goer he should pray for improved communication skills, and perhaps so should I, but I just took it.
I don't know anything about the man and he knows nothing about me, other than the fact he suspects I want to harm his child. He was Korean and my only previous encounter with a Korean was at a dinner party with a divorcee who told me that the North Koreans invented the seedless water melon. So my knowledge of all things Korean is limited and to date, not very positive.
But as I drove back through the park, pissed off that I was pissed off, I felt this is the problem I have with church goers. And actually the whole experience of going to church. As a child I went to church and believed (and still do) in God, and naively felt those involved with the church are somehow wiser with all their learning and compassion. The Father at this church is a lovely interesting, intelligent, funny, compassionate man but I feel much of that stems from the fact that this is innately what he is and who he is, and less stems from the fact he is connected in any way to a Church.
I expect church goers to be somewhat wiser, more at peace with themselves than the rest of us, but the ones I've met, and it's always the most zealous ones, are usually the most sanctimonious, self validating sinners on the planet. They pray for their sins to be taken away totally unprepared to do anything about it themselves, as though by sitting down and putting their hands together will take all the crap away, after all, that's what they've been told. Point is, it doesn't. God may forgive them, which is what matters, but it doesn't stop them being obnoxious arseholes and I would like sermons one day to shoot from the hip and not call the congregation 'sinners' but 'arseholes'. That would wake them up. Calling it sinning makes being an arsehole acceptable. You have to be more self aware than that and I don't think the church, any church, teaches self awareness, it teaches dependence and disempowers those who are already afraid and needy. And it enables arseholes to continue to think being that way is OK.
The lovely Father followed me to my car and thanked me for not stabbing the man, (it hadn't entered my head) or telling him to eff off, (too close to the church) and I admit I was on a high from people liking the paintings and enjoying the cakes and sunshine and then this sanctimonious arsehole burst the bubble with the knives. Perhaps God was punishing me for not attending the Mass. Perhaps I should have urged the women, despite the fact they were busy to put the knives away. Perhaps I would have done the same as him (I wouldn't. I would have just put the knives away, knowing that no one would have done it on purpose, and thankful no one got hurt.) Whatever, the knives burst the balloon and I drove away a little less of the day and the sunshine. I suspect he was a banker.