Animal House

June 19, 2008

I tend to think of people as animals. Mostly because I usually relate better to animals than people and because it entertains me.

For example… One friend is a cat. Not your ordinary finicky feline but the Mama Cat. I had an Abyssinian named Raspberry who had a similar outlook on life. “If I like you, I love you. If you need attention I will be there. Or we can just sit and watch TV too… If I don’t like you? You don’t need to be part of my life.” Raspberry was petite, devoted to her people and beautiful. LIke someone else I know… 🙂

Another friend is a pocket puppy. Not as ferocious as her Chihuahua would like us to believe he is, but more like a territorial foo-foo dog. “Don’t want to go outside, thank you. I want my comfy couch and so help me I will make you regret crossing my family!” Wary of strangers and yet absolutely delightful when her guard comes down and she decides she likes you.

But the reason for this thought today was that there is one man in particular I have known who reminded me of a snake. More like Kaa from the Jungle Book. “I don’t really have an intention of eating you alive! Heaven forbid! I just want to get clossssseee and uuuuseee you…” With words and “incentives” he would get close, ever so quietly and unassumingly.   He could inspire you to believe whatever he was saying.  How many conversations did we have where I walked away agreeing until the next day, with some distance, I could see what was going on.  Unassuming, manipulative,  slime-y, predatory and completely bent on his own desires/needs/purposes.

I suppose that might be why I wouldn’t intentionally allow him to touch me.

Maybe my sense of self-preservation wasn’t as broken as I thought it was.

  • Once connected to the system, those threat detection antennas never go away.

    My personal belief is that everyone receives the threat signals, some just don’t listen/believe/”are socially trained” and don’t do the right things to protect themselves. Wishing one was safe is not the same thing as being safe.

    On a couple of occasions my wife has packed a gun when the law prohibited it. She was either threatened, or felt threatened, and took appropriate steps to protect herself, but to do so, she had to listen to the warnings (feelings, words, etc.), believe that there was a threat, sometimes in environments where “you should be safe”, and then do something that would cause ‘polite company’ a bit of distress.

    I wish women still slapped men when they got out of line. That mind set probably kept a lot of women safe. The feeling of authority to do what was needed when a line was crossed.

    About 10 years ago, we checked out a new church. After the service, the pastor spoke to us for a bit and concluded our conversation with the offer to pray for her. Looking back, I think the ‘conversation’ was his tactic to weasle out an excuse to pray for her. He offered the laying on of hands, she offered her shoulder, he wanted the back of the neck, up under the hair. Pat then said, “ne hands, but prayer’s OK.”

    He was a bit put out and turned to me to recognize his goooodly authority and correct my wife’s improper behavior. I told him that I stand my my wife’s decision.

    Driving home, she started to second guess her behavior. I then asked her “who touches the back of your neck.”

    She told me “Only you.” and we talked about how it’s personal and intimate. I affirmed that she has good instincts and made the right choice.

    That week, he called to talk to me. Except he called during working hours and chatted with my wife for almost an hour. From our earlier ‘conversation’ he had learned when I worked. He talked mostly about his accomplishments in other careers.

    Later that night we decided that our decision not to go back to that ‘church’ was the right one.

    Then he called again, during working hours to ‘talk to me’. She cut him off this time.

    Later that week, he called again, ‘to talk to me’ during normal working hours, except I had my 40 hours in and was home early on a Friday. He was flabbergasted when my wife handed the phone to me and sputtered out some excuse about having to go and hung up.

    You think you’d be safe in a church. You think you’d be safe talking to a preacher. Kids in school should be safe, but Columbine, Paduka, etc tells the truth.

    If you’re lucky, you are safe at home, but only if you have good doors, commercial locks, a big dog, and a few guns.

    I think there were several purposes to fairy tales. They entertained, they taught lessons, but they also taught kids that there were things out there to be scared of, things to avoid, things to run away from, things to escape, things that would kill them, if they had the chance. It was a test and a validification of the personal threat warning system. I don’t think most kids get that now days.

  • I know that the Giraffe is your favorite animal.