This blog originally appeared on March 16,2011. Happy #TBT
I’ll be honest, I have no idea how I ended up guest-blogging for Gina B. I am not brown, nor a chick, and there certainly aren’t six of me. Dr. Phil’s Mustache knows more about relationships than I do. I am wholly and completely unqualified for this assignment.
Except for the one thing I do possess – common sense.
I have common sense by the barrel full. I got it coming out of my ears. If common sense was a mustache, I’d be Dr. Phil. And Gina B. knows I’m not shy about sharing it.
I have a great marriage, because my wife Jen shares my preference of reason over emotion. When we have a problem, we address it directly and work it out. We work together as a team, not against each other. And on the rare occasion when things do get heated, we always observe the first rule every child learns on day one of Kindergarten.
Our entire society is based on that rule. In fact, I’m pretty sure the word “civilization” is Greek for “large group of people that wear pants and don’t hit each other”. So if abstaining from physically harming others is the price of admission to live among other human beings, why would some human beings tolerate abuse from people who “love” them?
I’ve been hit many times in my life, from schoolyard dust-ups to criminal assaults, and I can assure you that the very nanosecond the other guy’s fist contacted my face I stopped liking them. Even a little. To this day I’m pretty sure I still don’t like anyone that has laid a finger on me in anger. I’m not saying I dwell on past physical transgressions, but those people don’t get Christmas cards.
Back to all that surplus common sense I was bragging about. I never realized I had it in such abundance that it was my duty to share it with the under-supplied until last Friday, when I unexpectedly found myself in Lake County Circuit Court.
Yes, I unexpectedly found myself in court.
But that’s a story for another blog post (assuming I’m ever invited back). The short version is Jen and I went to the courthouse to file some paperwork regarding a business matter, but we had to see the judge to make it official, and that meant sitting through several hearings before ours. And all of those hearings were women requesting Protection Orders from men that they either had been or still were in love with. And it was sad. I mean, really sad.
The first case was entirely in Spanish, which I am incapable of learning (not for lack of trying). What I was able to piece together was that the little guy in shackles and an orange jumpsuit loved the woman with the bruises and missing tooth so much that he had gotten her pregnant and then pummeled her. That hearing lasted about 30 seconds with the judge granting the protection order to the woman and sending the little man in the jumpsuit back to his hamster cage to be gang-raped (can I say that here?)
Another woman complained to the judge that her husband drinks too much. When the judge asked her if he was ever violent, she said “no, but he just argues”. Apparently she felt that he was a little too lippy and dragged him to court for it.
A third woman was in the process of divorcing her husband after he inflicted an injury on her severe enough to require physical therapy. The woman had three pages of hand written notes detailing incidents of abuse and reasons why she felt her life was in danger. Literally, she was afraid that her husband was going to kill her and/or the kids. Probably because he had threatened to kill her and/or the kids if she ever tried to divorce him. It also didn’t work in the husband’s favor that he was a firearms and alcohol enthusiast, or that he had previously pushed the wife down a flight of stairs. Of course, the stair incident happened before they were married, so she didn’t hold that against him.
If Noah Webster and his dictionary can be believed, the very definition of love is “an assurance of affection”. I followed Webster a little further down his verbal rabbit hole to find that the antonym of “love” is “hate”. I can absolutely say with 100% certainty that I would “hate” to be pushed down a flight of stairs, and, therefore, would not “love” the person that pushed me.
It’s just common sense.
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