I haven’t posted much. Mostly because I find it difficult to pretend. Things aren’t always cheerful right now – most of it being financials (or lack thereof). I find that I must post cheerful here – which is not what I originally intended – and so I avoid it because I don’t want to post cheerful. I still read every email I get from other bloggers and the things they write on their personal blogs. I just don’t respond all the time – again, I don’t want to be cheerful. Before I get into all that, I wanted to post something that has been preying on my mind the last little bit.
We all drive cars, right? Most of us, anyway. We hold a driver’s license and travel the roads, going here and there and everywhere. Personally, I am never happier than when behind the wheel, going somewhere in my vehicle of choice.
Being allowed to drive is not a right granted by the government. It is a basic human right to move around the country as we see fit. However, driving a vehicle on safe roads is a privilege. Quite some time ago, the government decided to enact some laws to ensure our safe and timely arrival to our destination. We take it as our right to have nice roads when, in all actuality, it is not. We give them our taxes so they will build safe roads for us and enact laws to keep everyone safe. We take it as our right to have a driver’s license when, in all actuality, it’s our right to move around – a privilege to hold a driver’s license. If we used a horse and buggy, we wouldn’t have to hold a driver’s license.
We all have some sort of medical care. We take our babies to the doctor when they are sick or injured and we demand the right to a doctor’s attention.
In all actuality, it is a privilege to have a doctor see your child. They decide to see you based on the promise that you’ll pay for the service. That’s the job they do and they go through hell just to be a doctor in the first place. If you can’t pay, you really shouldn’t show up. Quite some time ago, the government decided to help out those who did not have the financial means to pay for the doctor via Medicare. We help pay for this as a group collective by paying our taxes. Hospitals decided to allow indigents and worry about working out payment arrangements later on. This is a privilege, not a right. Umpteen years ago, doctors traveled around, receiving shelter and food for the care they gave to families in need. Not money.
Now that we understand rights versus privileges, I’ll continue with my thought process…
Most of us have a significant other. I used to have a husband. When we would go out, he’d want to sit in the same booth with me, only he’d sit on the outside.
I hate being squished into a booth. I feel a loss of control. I’m a control-freak. Everyone will tell you that! I can’t sit on the inside. So, if my former significant other wanted to sit beside me, he’d have to sit on the inside. I can’t stand being blocked in – ever. Call it my upbringing or my military service but that’s the way it is and always has been. Just like always sitting with my back to a wall so no one can sneak up on me.
I just walked past a couple sitting in a booth together. The man was on the outside and the woman on the inside. They look like a nice couple, completely dressed the same in their Harley Davidson shirts and jackets. You could see they were a comfortable couple. I hope I am right when I see them and my mind wanders on their happy existence together. My thoughts traveled the path you just followed with me and came to a conclusion.
When did we start taking our man for granted? When did we start saying it was our right for the man in our relationship to do certain things?
- Open the door for me. Always.
- Open the car door for me.
- Carry the groceries.
- Clean up after yourself so I don’t have to.
- Don’t throw your socks on the floor.
- Sit on the outside in a restaurant booth and protect me.
- Walk on the outside of a curb so I don’t get injured by passing cars (or get mud flung on me from the same cars).
- Make the money so I can do what I need to keep the family going with groceries, gas, clothing and private schools.
Is it not a privilege?
Right now, I am considered a single mother. However, my former ex-husband (ex #1/Mark) has not abandoned us. When I met and married an abusive jackass (ex #2), Mark was right *there* to pick up the pieces.
Was this my right? Or my privilege to have a man continue to look out for me after our relationship faltered and fell to bits and pieces?
In the beginning, he said it was because I am the mother of his two children and he couldn’t just let them fall when my world blew up.
Now? He says it’s his job to take care of me and the boys.
Is it my right to expect this from him? No. Not a bit. It’s a privilege that I enjoy – through good and bad.
I guess I should be saying thank you to him quite a bit more than I do. Without him, my small family and I would continue to fall down on a daily basis. Instead, we’re pushing through and I’m doing my damnedest to make sure all the pieces fit. That, along with safe roads, medical insurance and various other things, is something I should never take for granted.
Eons ago, men were the sole providers in the family. Women married who they thought could provide for a safe and comfortable future. Their task was to keep the home and the babies – the men were to go and get the money for shelter and food. Even then, it wasn’t a right. They had the privilege of sharing a life together with their assigned roles.
There’s my thoughts for today… What say you?