Sunday, January 20, 2008

Is it okay for me to be annoyed?

Is it okay for me to be annoyed at someone because of their faux participation in a conversation ? Let me explain.

I am starved for intellectual stimulation. In fact, the most intellecual challenge i get is from reading everyone else's blogs and being able to give my opinion. I have very little in the way of intelligent conversation, discussion or argument in my real, off-line life. Most of what i do get is from my father, usually when we have both read of, or heard about, a specific social or ethical issue. I enjoy debating against him, even though he frusturates me with his stubborness sometimes. Quite often our discussions will start at the dinner table on a Sunday night and my mother will interject every so often, but mostly she is intent to listen because i dont think she necessarily see's herself as smart enough to participate. This, depending on the subject at hand, may or may not be true. It is my sister, however, who has succeeded in pissing me off. Following on from an article in the paper about a couple who are going to sue their IVF doctors because the doctors missed a cancer gene in the child, my father and begun discussing the idea of genetically engineering children to reject such genes, the pre-birth screening for conditions such as cystic fibrosis, and the subsequent decision to abort a child if they were found to be carrying such a gene or condition. We were each pushing ouor agenda and, admittedy, beginning to argue the pedantics of each scenario. My sister then comes up with this : " There is no way i could raise a retarded kid ". Full stop. My mother said she could hardly make such a statement without being faced with the prospect and she replied " No, i couldnt. I wouldnt raise a retarded kid and you cant tell me i'm wrong because thats my opinion ". Full stop, arms folded across chest, obnoxious puckered arse look on her face. Well, thats just not right. Firstly, your cant just throw out something like that without having something on which you have based your opinion, and secondly you cant expect the other participants to call you out on it.

So i told her that was a stupid thing to say. No, make that immature and, if she really did feel that way, callous aswell and before i could launch into anything more substantial my mum pulls me up - " Amy, stop please ". What ? " No, thats enough ". And that, in turn, was enough to piss me off. How can my sister expect to be treated like an adult if she's going to say things like that ? If she wants to take part in an intellectual, adult conversation than she should be willing give reason, justification, for what she has said. But instead i am forced to stop the conversation i am having, that i am enjoying, the only mentally stimulating conversation i will probably have all week, because i may offend or upset her. That, my friends, is bullshit.

And so, i have come to this - I am tired of being smarter than most people i know. And i know that probably sounds extremely pompous and completelyself-absorbed, but its true. I love my friends and my family to death, but of all the people i know it would appear that i am the most intellectually intelligent, ethically concious and socially aware. When i get together with my friends we talk about other people we know; about movies; about what insane Britney Spears has done this week; about how skanky Paris Hilton is; about our work and relationships ( or lack thereof ). We do not discuss abortion; genetic engineering; hypocrisy in the Catholic church; racism in sport; who we think will win the US election or how to solve the war in the Middle East. The majority of my friends to not appear to give a fuzzy rats about things like that or, at the very least, dont care to discuss them. It frusturates me. On Friday night i went round to a mates place to hang with some rugby girls i hadnt seen in a while. Dont get me wrong, it was good to see them, to have them run at me and squash me against a brick wall because thats our " thing ", but after an hour i had to leave because all i had to entertain me was people drinking and taking photos of their arses. It didnt do much for me to be honest.

And thats why i'm asking - is it okay for me to be annoyed about this ? Is it okay for me to be tired of being the only one who seems to care about the world around them ? Or should i just stick my head in the sand or, even better, up my arse?


  1. Aims, I get ya.

    I think its your right to be annoyed. I happen to find myself on the opposite scale recently, though.

    Staying with someone as intelligent as Richard, I find myself saying to him 'please - can't we just discuss, like, how hot it is outside?'

    I can imagine how frustrating it is for you though, because while it is easy talking down to someone, its not always as simple trying to intelligent-up your conversation in order to be somewhat stimulated.

    is this making sense? i just woke up, if it isn't.

  2. i get what you're saying Amy! and mostly...i feel your pain. I find myself in the same situation a lot of the times...though i must admit i'm blessed with friends who share my love of intelectual stimulation...not all of them, but most of them:)

  3. hmmm, its a tough call.

    I really could go either way, because I am probably the most guilty of anyone at being annoyed at this kind of thing. Some random at the pub barely needs to open their mouth before I start looking in the other direction for something more interesting.

    I'm gonna go this way, only because I had another conversation very similar to this one. "But your sister isn't an adult, at least, probably not for very long. She hasn't had a chance to read things, experience things, hang around with people that do talk about these things. Engage her in your conversation rather than attack her for a 'backwards' opinion and she will never get the chance to be the intellectual you want her to be."

    My grandfather casually told me one day that if they had known my grandmother had diabetes then they would have never had children. I almost shot him.

    This is a man who built bridges, taught the British how to use German parts in British weapons, was a chemist and a successful businessman. He is an 'intellectual' - bloody idiot.