We've had more than our share of rain this summer, a fact backed by the weather experts. But last week's sunny days have harkened my thoughts to remembrances of how blessed a day can feel.
The recent spate of sunny days is more deeply appreciated because of the preceding months of wet. It can be easier to recapture fondness for something you haven't had for a while, which leads me to think I'd be awfully fond of a hot, semi-wet Montreal-style kiss right about now.
If the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is true, then "togetherness can be a nightmare" should also be true, no?
Standing at my booth at the Addison County Fair and Field Days-seeing hordes of families pass by-enables me to understand how patience and tolerance are essential ingredients for building long-term love and commitment within a tight family unit. At the fair, I don't know for sure, but I can guess the families who're effectively utilizing patience and tolerance, simply by watching their children.
You don't have to look deeply, so much as you have to take your time looking into a child's eyes to guess if he or she is being reared with ample touches of patience and tolerance. Don't guess the rambunctious child is from a wild home and the tempered calm child is from the settled healthy home, because the opposite could be true. It's in the eyes I tell you.
My booth happened to set next to a gal with a sweet family unit consisting of a husband and four kids, all under the age of eight I believe, 'cept the husband of course. It was interesting for me to watch them interact, and very easy to see how the parents mixed just the right amount of discipline, with equal amounts of patience and tolerance, while also allowing the proper amount of leeway into their little ones lives. The kids were way full of energy, but they were considerate, and content, as were most all the kids I saw last week at the fair.
How the hang you parents manage to do the extremely difficult work of raising children is beyond me. Nice job. I can barely remember not to leave the house without my Shaw's card.
Two beautiful women stopped by my booth to share feelings they have about the intent of my comedy. A young women with two children told me she feels my material is very often disrespectful of Vermonters. She also feels the heavy Vermont accent I affect isn't close to being accurate. The entire time we spoke, nearly five minutes, she wore a smile. She laughed a handful of times too, and never once did I detect an ounce of anger directed toward me.
Not 90 minutes later, a second woman walked by my booth looking like she wanted to rest; I offered her my extra seat. She was a strong healthy gal-I'm going to guess, maybe, early seventies. Though she could easily have been one of those folks who're much older than they look. She told me that when she hears me on the radio she often thinks I'm trying to put down native Vermonters.
I told my senior visitor, as I did the first women, that in fact my character and entire brand is built on my love of Vermont and Vermonters, and I try my best to speak in deference to the Vermonter. I told them that I always try to present my bits in such a way as to promote how the native working class Vermonter is, if not always, at least most often, as or more intelligent then the standard highly educated professional. After giving each gal an example of one of my stories, both ladies, the older one more so, thought they understood my intentions more clearly.
Any honest reaction to my material is pure and legitimate and I would never try to defend it. I only offer the person another pass of the offending piece, to see if they might pick-up something they hadn't as they sat in the theatre and heard it the first time through. If after hearing my stuff a second time doesn't effect their first reaction, that's fine. I respect their feelings. I'm tolerant
My show, material, character and brand, isn't the point of this piece. The point is, both ladies showed tolerance for me by taking time to try and understand my position.
Tolerance. It's a funny word when you look at it isn't it? It's also very difficult to be tolerant. I'm not even sure the above piece is addressing what tolerance is, but I tried. Thanks, ladies, for being tolerant of my show. Thanks readers for being tolerant of this piece on tolerance.
Rusty DeWees tours Vermont and Northern New York with his act "The Logger." His column appears weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen for The Logger, Rusty DeWees, Thursdays at 7:40 on the Big Station, 98.9 WOKO or visit his website at www.thelogger.com