One of the most destructive hurricanes ever recorded (or possibly the most destructive) has hit the country and it is rapidly churning my way. There seems little doubt it will hit my neck of the woods. It has destroyed several islands (literally wiped them off the map), caused millions in property damage, killed a bunch of people, and has the survivors scrambling to pick up whatever’s left. And still for some reason, I’m dragging my feet about getting disaster supplies.
As some of you may recall last year I was faced with a similar situation where the flooding of the city was ridiculous and I hadn’t bothered to plan ahead. I still defend my lackidaziness then, there had been so many false alarms up until then, I figured the actual storm was just one more time “Crying wolf”.
But now it is a credible threat. The beast has risen. A flood of biblical proportions threatens. And yet I still can’t get off my ass to get things together. As I cast a lazy eye over my unkempt apartment, eating all of the non-perishable foods like I shouldn’t be, I notice all sorts of things I need: crackers, water, toilet paper, some other food that’s nonperishable- whatever it might be, I’m blanking at the moment- wooden matches, candles, toilet paper, candy, thick woolen socks, and so on.
Luckily I have a girlfriend to nag the shit out of me and spur me into action in order to cease her cackling.
“Rex, we need the fooooood!”
“Rex, did you get batteries?”
“Rex, are you going to crush this pussy before we all drown? Well, are you?”
These little interplays reinforce the basic dynamics of our relationship, of many American male-female relationships in general. While it was perfectly possible for her to go and stock up on food before the inevitable deluge, she viewed it as her job to kick me until I did it. As if she was supervising the management of our house. As if the place that I pay for was somehow under her control. As if my agency were somehow diminished when she was issuing orders, and her agency was limited to only issuing said orders.
So what happened?
I got the goddamn food, what else?
Did you think I was going to let myself starve in the case of a flood? No amount of power control identity politicking is going to stand in the way of me getting what I need. And I suppose she can eat some of it too.
However, to add a little snuke I primarily stocked up on things she doesn’t like. Bologna, ugh. Pickles, vomit. Cocktail onions, double vomit. Grapes and its elderly cousin raisins, you know those are like just little cubes of sugar and not very nutritious, right. Ha. Score one for me!
Course, I don’t really like those things either, but that’s beside the point. From a power politics lens of our relationship I had wrested back control. From a feminist perspective, me buying the grapes was the equivalent of blowing a hot load right in her face. An absolute display of my pungent masculinity.
But no, no. These things all pale in the vicious majesty of mother nature’s wrath. Who cares about what squabble emerge between man and women when the planet wants you dead? Let us put all petty aside and help each other, regardless of what the fanatics say.
I stand naked with my woman on our porch, linked hand in hand, watching the dark clouds roll in.