I invented a game that I find myself playing more frequently the older I get.
It’s called “Get it/Don’t get it”. It’s more like a debate between two sides of me.
The side that “gets it” is the part of me that is a creation of this world — the corporeal part, the citizen, the part that is aware of and is a creation of this culture and has been shaped by the people and ideas it has been exposed to.
The side that “doesn’t get it” hovers somewhere above the battleground that is our world. This part seeks the truth with a capital T. If this part had a body it would be constantly frowning and saying “no”.
The game is an exercise in empathy. It’s sometimes an exercise in accepting that there are some things I’ll never understand or get. And it’s OK.
I played this game when I wrote about my confusion about the hoopla surrounding the release of the iPhone 6:
Get it: It’s cool!
Don’t get it: Why do you have to wait in line for hours for it?
Get it: I like shiny, new gadgets!
Don’t get it: Yes, Apple makes great products, but why is there so much discussion and bragging and frenzy over a gadget that will be useless in 10 years?
Get it: Capitalism!
Most of these debates end when I realize that most inexplicable things can be traced back to capitalism.
Here’s another example on the topic of food:
Get it: The love of good food and the artistry and creativity involved in its creation.
Don’t get it: Food competition shows.
Get it: Food as entertainment.
Don’t get it: Donut Showdown.
Get it: The increasing interest and pleasure in seeing the process behind food creation.
Don’t get it: A lot of people don’t cook their own food.
Get it: People are busy.
Don’t get it: Too busy to prepare the thing that is the most important aspect in sustaining the human body?
Get it: Capitalism!
See how that works?
This one is more serious and completely baffles me:
Get it: Having kids and getting married — having your own family — are some of the life goals of most women.
Don’t get it: Women who don’t have these goals are called “selfish”.
Get it: Babies are cute. Marriage can be nice.
Don’t get it: Babies are cute. Marriage can be nice. But, I don’t want these things. Why can’t I not want these things?
Get it: Calling women spinsters, old maids, and selfish is a way of controlling women and limiting their perception of their choices. Probably has something to do with capitalism.
Don’t get it: Why are women selfish when we want to do what’s right for us?
Don’t get it: Are women nothing if they aren’t nurturing and caring for other people (unpaid by the way)?
Don’t get it: Why are unmarried and childless women so scary or so pitied?
Don’t get it. Just don’t get it.