A Follow-up Letter To L(A) (Part Four)

In my previous letter I mentioned that boys and girls end up facing different challenges in this culture, and your . . . non-arrival has particularly underscored that for me.

While your mother and Lala have been dealing with bouts of understandable sadness, I’ve found my biggest challenge has been in dealing with bouts of anger, not at you, but at the situation in general.  More than once I’ve had to forcibly remind myself that somebody meant well in their gesture, particularly when my gut reaction was . . . in violation of the social contract that frowns upon the idea of hitting someone just because they feel that tragedy is a good time to start talking about “God’s plan.”

(Yes, some people do take comfort in that idea, but I’m just not one of them.  The best *I* can do when someone says that to me is recognize the good intent behind the words, grit my teeth, smile, and thank them for the thought.)

I’ve also had to deal with a few times of resisting the urge to say, “Back off, man, we’re men for God’s sake!” when dealing with condolences from some of my male acquaintances, but in that case I’m just playing up social stereotypes to preserve my need for personal space.

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