Everything in Context….

This past week I made an enormous error by posting a very small clip of a scene without the full context. This isn’t the first time something was misconstrued so I should have known better, but hey, I continue to be human. Fortunately for me, I have readers who will let me know when something might be taken the wrong way.

This got me to thinking about context and how often what we say gets plucked out of context and posted all over social media creating a firestorm. It happens to politicians all the time. Now, in this instance it was a self inflicted wound, because I was the one who posted the quote without the context.

Here’s the thing, it is a lot easier for us to judge posted quotes out of context when we don’t like who is targeted. Thus it becomes easier for us to continue to think terrible things about people we believe are abhorrent. I will admit that I relish those stories where horrible quotes are attributed to the rabid right politicians. I am right there shaking my head and believing in their inherent evilness. However, sometimes it isn’t right to go down that road. Although, there are times when we should go down that road and call out bad behavior when it is warranted. The point is to have a discerning eye and take the time to get clarification, either in the form of a question or a post letting someone know how something came across.

Fortunately for me, there were brave souls who let me know that taken out of context my original post could have had a much different meaning. Others who know me were able to immediately decipher the meaning even without the context. Regardless, not being on the pointy end of someone’s smear campaign allowed me to clarify, and for that I am eternally grateful. I don’t believe I have too many enemies and that is probably what saved me from a social media campaign that could have made this so much worse, self-inflicted or not.

I guess I learned more than one lesson with this debacle. One, I should always read the full context before making my snap judgement on news articles, and two, never post a clip that could be misconstrued. Even at nearly 61 (yes my birthday is around the corner), this dog can learn new tricks!

For those who did not see the clip and the subsequent fuller scene. Here is the original quote posted:

“Oh, yes. He hands me the box and says I gotta plug the hole. Now, remember, I’m ten so I blink at him and ask, ‘what hole, Pa?’ He shuffles and points to his private parts and says, ‘ya got a hole somewhere in there,’ and he points again to his crotch. ‘My butthole?’ I ask.”

Here is a bigger part of the scene:

Maribel had a special smile when she talked about her father. “Pa was with me for every single competition I ever entered. All the way until the end when he was no longer physically able to get out of bed. He was good at supporting my shooting, but he floundered when I hit puberty. I got my period early, and it was a disaster.”

“No parent excels at those discussions because they always accompany the sex talk.”

“Oh, we never had the sex talk. He figured since I was a lesbian, he didn’t have to worry about me getting pregnant.”

“He knew you were a lesbian at…how old were you when you got your period?”

“I was ten and yeah, it was obvious even before I declared I didn’t want to marry a boy.”

“So, what happened?”

“I never cried as a little girl. Even when I would skin my knee or fall out of a tree. But when I went to the bathroom one day and saw the blood in my underwear I went running to my pa. I thought I had a terrible disease and I was going to die.”

“I can see how that would have been terrifying.”

“Pa grabbed a clean rag and a new pair of underwear. He told me to stuff the rag inside the panties. He assured me I wasn’t dying, and he was gonna get something for me. I’m standing there with tears streaming down my face, and I just nod and do what he says. He’s my pa, and if he’s says I’m not dying, well that’s the gospel. I believe him and begin to calm down.”

“Why do I think there’s more to this story?”

“Oh, there is.” Maribel chuckled. “I’m washing out my blood-soaked panties, and he comes back about fifteen minutes later. He’d gone to one of the neighbors, and she gave him a half-filled box of tampons. It was a variety pack.”

“Oh shit, no. I wasn’t allowed to use tampons until I was at least fifteen.”

“Oh, yes. He hands me the box and says I gotta plug the hole. Now, remember, I’m ten so I blink at him and ask, ‘what hole, Pa?’ He shuffles and points to his private parts and says, ‘ya got a hole somewhere in there,’ and he points again to his crotch. ‘My butthole?’ I ask.”

Blair began to laugh so hard she snorted. “No way.”

“Yes way. He says, ‘no, the other one.’ So, I ask, ‘how am I gonna pee out that hole, Pa, if I plug it up?’”

Holding her stomach, Blair shook with laughter. “Did he give instructions on how to use the tampons?”

“I still hadn’t quite figured out which hole to plug. Innocently, I asked, ‘I got three holes, Pa? Do you have three holes, too?’ He said, ‘yeah, you have three holes and if you put your finger down there, you’ll find the other hole.’ He told me girls are special ’cause they have one more hole than boys.”

“You know this conversation is priceless.”

“I know. But wait, it gets better. So, I’m smart enough to figure out that I need to remove the outer paper on one of the tampons. I’m even smart enough to figure out that I need to find the smallest tampon to plug the little hole I discover. Oh, and as a side note, that discovery leads to other joys.” Maribel grinned. “But what I don’t figure out until later is that I needed to remove the cardboard on the tampon.”

“How in the world did you ever figure out you were supposed to remove the cardboard?” Blair asked.

“I must have been walking strangely afterward, and then I told my pa I’d plugged the hole, but something didn’t feel right. Finally, he got the neighbor to come by. By this time, he figured he needed to bring in the cavalry. He found a way to get me sanitary napkins after that.”

So if any of you would like to read the entire book and not just what I caused a stir over…you know the drill the links are below!

One Shot at Love

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