Friday, October 24, 2008

Fourth Friday in October

I'm taking four days off on vacation, so I'll be home in time for Halloween. I think Rhonda and Dylan are happier about that then if I were to tell them I'll be home for Christmas. I won't be home for Christmas. But hey, it's easy for a family to have a make-up Christmas, while it ain't so easy to have a make-up Halloween. Folks would surely look at us funny if we went out trick or treating in November.

Maybe we could start a new tradition, and trick or treat the day after Thanksgiving. Think of all those unwanted leftovers. Best bring a cooler, though.
Damn. It seems that Debby's life has gone from dread to relief to uncertainty, and now, to top it off, her husband has to have his gall bladder removed. Sure, having a gall bladder out isn't as big a deal as cancer, but sheesh, couldn't the timing have been a little kinder?
In Algernon's blog, he writes that he's lately been asking his elementary school kids to hold hands because it challenges them. "It's amazing to see the aversion in some of them, as early as kindergarten," he writes.

Years ago, I was driving down Interstate 5 when an interview with a sociologist aired on NPR. She talked about how the United States has a "culture of isolation," and how an aversion to touching is a manifestation of that culture.

She talked about how touching is accepted differently in different cultures. For example, if two British acquaintances meet each other on the street, they'll touch each other an average of four times in a half-hour conversation. Americans? Eight times. Italians? One hundred and eleven.

If I'd heard that in my twenties, I might have made fun of those touchy-feely Italians. But now, I think of the Italian culture as, well, more natural. And, something else occurs to me: Italians have a low rate of alcoholism, despite having a high rate of alcohol consumption. I think it's safe to say that Italians aren't imbued with a culture of isolation. How many folks turn to alcohol abuse to fight feelings of isolation?

I could delve into this further, but I'd need a couple of beers to fuel the delving, and doggone it wouldn't ya know, I'm on flight duty. Besides, if I had a couple of beers, I might want to touch you a hundred and eleven times. (Not anywhere blatantly inappropriate, mind you.) I'm not Italian, but hey, I'm married to a half-Italian woman. I guess it just, y'know, rubs off.



Kelly said...

Interesting figures there, Hal. I evidently have no Italian blood in me since for the most part I'm not a touchy feely person. However, with age I've learned to be one at the appropriate times.

Pam said...

I AM a touchy feely person. With my own grandsons I'm that way. Also, this is almost a necessity when working with the impaired kids that I do on a daily basis.

What these kids seems to need more than anything else is affection, touching, hugging, sometimes just the soothing touch of a hand on a leg or arm.

Even the one that is most resistant to being touched unless on his terms needs that hugging and contact at various times during each day. He has a habit of coming up to me and taking my face in his hands and patting me or stroking my face gently and smiling.

Sorry to hear about Deb's husband.

Have a fun Spookfest with the family! We're donning Star Wars costumes for this year's trick-or-treating.

Well, the boys are. I'm the usual witch at the front door giving out goodies to the little goblins.

Debby said...

Pam: You are right about kids. We all need to be "hands on" parents.

Hal: the gall bladder thing has been a marvelous opportunity for Tim to experience the shoe on the other foot. My sister and her husband stopped by last night (with a loaf of homemade bread right from the oven...) and we had a very good laugh about the situation. Tim laughed just as hard as anybody else.

quid said...

Enjoy the delving, Hal.

I'm a hugger. In my latest career incarnation, I'm working in Human Resources. (sigh) So most of the hugging has stopped.

I am working at an endless pace. I envy you the 4 day.