Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Blog Therapy

So, I'm doing that thing where I cheer myself up by writing in my blog. It makes sense: writing is my passion. We should spend time every day on the things we're passionate about, right? Isn't that the key to happiness? Well, it's worth a shot, at least.

I'm sick (with a virus and a fever), so I stayed home from work and went to the doctor. Then, when I got home I wanted to talk to my boyfriend. Now, when I'm sick and menstural (both of which are currently true) I'm more emotional than usual. Anyway, Mr. B. had a rough day...and all of a sudden he started giving me work criticisms/advice. Now, intellectually I realized he was trying to be caring and supportive. It's the whole "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus," "Women just want men to listen to their problems, Men want to solve their womens' problems" thing. It's a widespread, hard-wired thing.

Don't take it personally, I told myself, he is trying to be helpful. But it was making me upset, so I told him I wasn't up to it.

"This is your problem," he replied, "You're bad at taking criticism."

"Yeah, I am," I replied, "Especially unsolicited criticism from my boyfriend, who has less teaching experience than I do." Oops. Ouch. That one kind of jumped out of my mouth before I could stop it.

I apologized, and rephrased that it's tough for me to accept criticism from anyone, but that I've gotten better at accepting it from supervisors and people with a lot more experience. "But with my equals..."

"And the emotional component with us probably doesn't help," he replied, thoughtfully.


In the end, he apologized, saying that he was probably transferring his anxiety over his bad day onto me. Then I replied that I knew he was trying to be helpful, and that his advice was a way of showing he cared.

In retrospect: Oy.

I talked it out with Rosa and Gwen, and they both made me feel much better. Hooray for girlfriends! Girlfriends are so wonderful at clearing up boyfriend anxiety. If only they were sufficient for clearing up anxiety over government issues, such as the imminent appointment of Alito to the Supreme Court and the oppression that may well result. Aargh! Ladies, if you value a woman's right to choose, you better speak up now!

I can do this...I can go back to work tomorrow. I can teach well. I can handle my students. I can finish my grad school work. I can get along with my boyfriend.

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