It's time to debunk some of the lies "our aunts told us" as our way of claiming a firmer grasp on reality.
One of those lies was that when we went off to graduate school, we were engaging in "all this foolishness" and we needed to stop.
Another of those lies was that no one had given us permission to provide the supervising doctor with all those prescription bottles when he was attempting to find out why they were hospitalized.
Another of those lies was that "their" parents had never had an argument, simply because there was no known evidence of such an event every having taken place.
Another of those lies was that it was time to talk about something important like "painting the living room," after several pages in a personal letter that detailed the living conditions in my father's family home, as he and his siblings were growing up.
Another of those lies, seeming to be quite innocuous, and coming from a variety of sources especially those linked to the community college system is that "administration involves only sitting in an office and counting up the numbers and paying the accounts and staying away from all things complex and about other human beings."
This last one is so dangerous that it merits some comment: It is dangerous because it misleads anyone who takes an office administration program thinking such thoughts. It is completely reductionistic, as is so much of contemporary coping with the complex realities of both training and also actual living.
It also just might be possible to think such thoughts and pass through such an office admin. program without substantially challenging such a misconception and thereby inflict such insufferable arrogance, intolerance and refusal to communicate about all of the necessary details that humans need to know, even if such graduates do not believe those needs are legitimate.
Another lie our aunts told us is that, when we actually opened up with our vulnerability, that we mighthold things inside for too long, and then burst out with an explosion of anger, frustration and emotion...."that there are pills for that!"
Does that mean that those same aunts who uttered such crap should also have found a pill for their own behaviour when they yanked phones off the wall, in anger and in frustration, while operating in a professional (at least so it claimed) workplace?
Does that mean that those same aunts who uttered such crap should and could have found a pill for their co-dependence with their superiors who, likwise lost their temper, and ranted and raved at employees for decades, and those pills that they could and should have found would relieve the aunts of their tolerance and complicity and co-depdence with those unprofessional superiors?
Another of the lies our aunts told us is that all men are evil, and worthy of contempt, simply because they are men, notwithstanding that the sources of such a lie were spinsters, or wannabe spinsters, or those who became spinsters after a tragic marriage. Again, the statement is self-explanatory, and needs no editorial comment.
I am confident we all have lies our aunts told us...that we would like to write letters to defy....and let's hope each of us seeks and finds the opportunity to do just that.