Thursday, May 31, 2012


There was a radio call-in show, and some fellow called in to make his views known about John Edwards, the verdict, mistrial, and his speech afterward. He was pretty cogent about what he thought. However, he slipped in a zinger completely off track that wasn't addressed by the host. Appropos of nothing, he stated as if it were fact that we couldn't address "those gay issues" right now because the economy needed fixing.

I started simmering. First, this guy was just looking for an excuse to delay/deny the issue; no forthcoming fix intended. Second, why can't we do two things at once, walk and chew legislative gum? It's as if I said I can't fix a broken window because my roof leaks. Or I can't fix a tire because I'm low on gas. It's not like our government can only handle one issue at a time.

It's called multitasking, at least when it's all done by a single individual. You might note the the government is comprised of more than that. Many of them are capable of dealing with issues, plural. They can go from one committee on one topic to another meeting on another topic to the floor to vote on yet another topic and keep them all straight in their heads.  Don't like how they vote? Then you get out there and vote the bums out, but don't claim they're not capable of two things at once.

At any rate, as I thought about what he said, I went from simmering to boiling. It was time for me to call in to the show myself. So I did. I even pulled off the road for a couple to do so. Pat me on the back. For a moment I wasn't, myself, multitasking while driving. I kept my comments brief: it was a guest-filled program, and I wasn't one of the guests. I had a lot more to say than time to say it in. Hence, the blog topic.

If we accept the premise that now is not the time for ____ because we need to ____ , there will never be a "right" time to do the right thing. This is simply not acceptable. Nor just. The premise is not even true.

Perhaps it's a guy-thing? Common wisdom holds that women are better at multitasking. True or not, we certainly get a lot of practice at it the minute we become moms. When raising small kids, there is not a moment that goes by that we are not multitasking. Try cooking dinner. The pan goes on the stove, and a nose needs wiping. Cut vegetables and a dirty diaper needs changing, a dozen questions need answering, a fight needs ending. Set the table and the phone rings, the dog needs in/out/in, someone needs a hug, a toy needs mending, a boo-boo needs a kiss.

These days the experts say that multitasking means you don't do any of it well. Perhaps, if what you  are talking about is six simultaneous office tasks. But home, raising kids, you just do it all, and do it all day. You muddle through. And the next day you do it all again. It's what you do when you keep getting through  your days and the kids keep growing up. Nobody tells you you can't do it all, so you just keep going. Somehow it gets done, the laundry gets washed, the trash goes out, stories get read, blocks and puzzles and balls and dolls dumped out and put back and used hard in between, amid smiles and tears and shouts and naps and those precious two minutes a day of blessed silence.

It's just called life.

So don't anybody try to tell me we can't tend to justice because the economy is struggling.

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