Friday, June 13, 2008

When did this happen?

So my husband and I were talking (read: arguing) about politics today. I told him about what I'd read of the Senate Intelligence Report regarding the misinformation Bush and his administration had been feeding the public in order to garner support for attacking Iraq. He argued that if they did go in under false pretenses, Saddam Hussein was to blame for it and he was sure it had nothing to do with Iraq's oil.


Then our discussion drifted toward drilling for oil and the environment. Now, if you've known me for any time at all, you know I earned my college nickname earthshoes for a reason (and it had nothing to do with the brand name). I used to support Green Peace. My two older kids wore cloth diapers and we made our own babyfood (less waste). I recycled everything, gardened organically (still do), used to wrap presents in paper sacks I decorated myself (still do sometimes), (still) have artificial Christmas trees because the idea of killing one in the name of holiday cheer doesn't sit well with me, and made sure my oldest son was born on the first globally recognized Earth Day. (Okay, I didn't do that on purpose, but my husband tells people I did). I want a green burial or to be cremated when I die, because taking up space in the earth in a leadlined coffin is just wrong. It has nothing to do with being noble or high-minded or anything silly like that. It seems to be built in.

I thought I'd converted him, but I guess amused indulgence isn't the same thing.

The man opens his mouth and actually says, "We need to just open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and get it over with. We're too dependent upon foreign oil."

"But that's a wildlife refuge!" I replied, horrified.

"Yeah, well, I don't think wildlife is as important as oil."

"Of course you think that way. You're a Republican." And I said it like it was a dirty word.

There was a moment of silence between us. And I wondered when exactly did we wind up on the opposite sides of the fence on this? The answer? When I stopped letting him filter the world for me. For too many years, when it came to politics, the government, and the state of the world, I let him dictate what I thought. When I started doing my own homework instead of cheating off his.

The conversation ended in a stalemate. I suggested he do an indepth study on what's really going on, and stop taking the information he's being fed by the Bush Administration at face value. He recommended I stop being so sentimental and accept that the environment needs to take a backseat to our needs.



Scotty said...

Ouch: those moments of silence can seem long and loud at times, can't they?

But you guys have lasted this long so I'm sure you'll resolve things.

“Compromise, if not the spice of life, is its solidity. It is what makes nations great and marriages happy.”

Fingers crossed...


Mary O. Paddock said...

Oh heck, Scotty. It's not fun to argue, but this is certainly not the most serious difference we've had and it's been years and years since we worked our way through those.

I think growing and changing is inevitable (and healthy). The trick is learning to accept it and roll with it and recognizing that your partner didn't necessarily make the same changes you did. For all the silly arguing it produces, neither of us would be happy with a mate who simply appeased us by agreeing for the sake of peace. We're on the same page on the things which concern us both the most.


Anonymous said...


re: green burials:
You might look for this book at your local library:
"Grave Matters : A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial"
by Harris, Mark (2007)

re: marital bliss ~ well said: "neither of us would be happy with a mate who simply appeased us by agreeing for the sake of peace".

Dennis Bryant said...

How about a little kerosene for the fire? ;-)

fact: The Chinese are currently drilling 50 miles off the continental shelf of Florida on behalf of Cuba, but it's against the law for American companies to do so.

fact: The Russians are doing the same thing off the Alaska coast.

My point? The oil is going to come out of the ground regardless and it will feed a world market. The only difference is that America becomes increasingly dependent on entities outside our own country.

My opinion? Things are going to get very, very bad. It's the oil FUTURES market that is at $130+ per barrel. The current price at the pump represents oil at the low $100's. Worse, we are one Huricane Katrina away from twice that price.

My suggestion? Make darned sure your house is as tight and well insulated as it can possibly be. Take a look at natural gas futures and you'll see what I'm talking about. I'm taking bids to install a wood furnace in my house.

Debby said...

A long marriage means you've learned how to weather these storms.

Still the storms are a pain.

Mary O. Paddock said...

Anon: Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll look for it.

Hi Dennis! I was aware of the Chinese drilling, I didn't know about the Russians, but it figures. I've been reading about the oil futures and trying to wrap my mind around how it works. I didn't think it was as much about supply and demand as it was investors driving the price up.

Debby--The storm passed. The difference remains, but so do we.