Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reflections on Every Day Double Standards.

Uncle Kevin is a full-time farmer and part-time teacher. He is a codependent enabler who resides in a hamlet on a mountain top. He is as serious as a heart attack and stealthy as the night. Woefully inadequate to be a parent, so he’s not. His many hobbies include wood and metal working, scotch sampling and pipe smoking, and puttin’ on the ritz. He may or may not be related to The Zoo.

These are his words

It’s something we’ve all done, we’ve all certainly been part of and we’ve all witnessed it happening to others. It’s one of those things that has been going on since time began, and given human nature and the “me” attitude of the world today will likely continue on indefinitely. What am I talking about?

Double Standards! (herein referred to as “DS”)

DS’s are those annoying things that happen to us all in one way or another. There are popular double standards and there are less popular, almost obscure ones. The classic, of course is the age old “glass ceiling” pertaining to men and women and salary in the work place. That particular one has been talked to death, so let’s move on.

A friend of mine once said, not that long ago in fact “if you’re looking for a double standard, there will be a woman involved”. He (or she) will of course, remain anonymous. I feel like women would argue the opposite, which in and of itself is a, you guessed it, DS! Not taking such a cut and dried approach to the problem, I started to take notice of smaller, less clichéd double standards around me. None of the following are gender specific.

Should I find myself in one of the many backyard barbeques, that I frequent in the summer it is assumed that I, a 30-something farm boy will eat approximately two hamburgers. Depending on what I have been doing that day, maybe three, but not often. This is pretty much standard for most men at a summer bbq.

However, if I was to arrive at McDonald’s, company in tow, and order two, perhaps three, BigMac’s, I’d be accused of being suicidal and trying to slip into a burger induced coma. This DS has potential to give me an ulcer. The buns at both events are similar, the lettuce the same, onions too. The “secret sauce” is three things you would normally attach to a burger anyway. The only thing that is radically different between the two is the amount of meat. So why is ordering and ingesting less ground beef considered somewhat taboo? Is it a societal thing that is attached to fast food? Or is it the old adage that if its home made it must be better? It’s a mystery that I don’t have the answer to. These are questions that keep me awake at nights.

We all do dumb things behind the wheel of a car. When we pull out in front of someone we justify it by saying, “oh, I didn’t see him coming” or “I didn’t think he was coming that fast”. It’s never a huge deal, and we continue to Wal-mart or whatever meaningless trip we are on. However, no matter what trip you’re on, however meaningless, when you’re the person who is cut off, pulled in front of or held up, it becomes a life altering, catalcymic event that may reduce your quality of life from that point on. Pretty close to a human rights violation in some parts of the globe. Horns often blare, comments are blurted out from the protection of the vehicles cab “what’s this ******* doing?”

They couldn’t have made a mistake as we’ve seen ourselves do many times. This person is lacking a brain entirely. It’s a problem out there and people have been killed because of road rage. Is it the protection and anonymity of the car that gives us the gumption to fly off the handle at a nanoseconds notice? Not many of us would scream such things in public if a similar thing happened. People have been killed because of road rage and innocent people on the road have gotten caught in the cross fire of vendettas. To error is human, we all know that. But when it comes to driving, stupid things are things that other people do but WE don’t.

I don’t have any answers or solutions for these DS’s but, I’m sure these and others like them will continue to make our lives a little more annoying from time to time. So comfort yourself and know that we are all in for the long haul. Just sit back with a glass of Grand Marnier and revel in that fact that you’re the exception and everyone else is the rule.


Have any DS’s of your Own?

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