by Laura J. Wellington
Imagine this. Your driving into the parking lot of your local market - entering through a different entrance than you normally do - when suddenly (and quite unexpectedly) an enormous penis jumps out at you?
Imagine your surprise...or mine for that matter...as that is exactly what happened to me. Confused and a bit “off-put” admittedly, my state lingered for quite some time, thereafter. It also caused me to begin to ask questions of both myself as well as some of the locals, who would certainly know more about this ten foot metal structure erected magnificently, albeit, unassumingly in my Stop & Shop parking lot than me given my newness to the area.
I would come to learn the name of this piece of art as well as the artist, herself, and the foundation responsible for its availability to our small town community and audience, none of which has any real relevance to the point of this article, so divulge, I will not. That said, what I will share is a very deliberate and needed “reminder” -- one bequeathed to me by a 6 year-old little girl whose innocent and untainted thinking engendered wisdom that every Conservative and Liberal across this nation needs to take to heart and hold close, especially given the intensity of the discourse between and the destructive delivery of the opposing views by the two sides.
I don’t count myself out of this pack, mind you. As a natural born Conservative with strong Liberal leanings, my internal struggle as to the acceptability and placement of the piece kept growing. On the one hand, my more Liberal inclinations rationalized that “This penis was art and really incredible art. So why should it be hidden?” But then my Conservative tongue screamed in response, “Because this is a family environment and penises are private matters.”
And so the internal argument continued...so much so, in fact, that I brought it up with several moms whose sons played on the same baseball team as my 8 year-old. Ironically, no one had noticed the penis up-to-this-point. Given my quandary, however, that would change. A week later, a few of the moms would return with an array of opinions, none of which would bring me any closer to resolving how I truly felt about the penis -- less one, that is.
This mother went on to share the reaction of her young daughter (a kindergartener, mind you) while staring at the penis alongside her mother. The girl would go on to blurt out, “That’s not a penis. It doesn’t have any balls.”
"That’s not a penis. It doesn’t have any balls.”
And there you have it, folks! An explanation that finally made sense, one which compelled the realization that my internal struggle arose, not from the actual penis, itself, but from the meaning I chose to assign to it. This child’s innocence allowed her to view this piece as a mere object (and a faulty one at that) where mine was laden with sexual underpinnings, which caused both sides within me to fight, the benefit of which forced me to learn and evolve at the hand of a messenger that I was willing to listen to and not shoot.
Hence, the reason why we as a nation would be lost without both the Conservative party and the Liberal party as well as every other party seeking to spew. We need the differing mindsets and the friction resulting from the rubbing up between to fully equip us with the ability to solve all of the problems that come about over time. Otherwise, we are apt to shrink back while initiating our own demise well before the planet ever shakes us off.
This friction is the reason we will soon be celebrating Independence Day and why, no matter what side of the penis you cling to, you should be grateful you are looking across from another. As he’s the guy who stands between you and all of us, concerned citizens and species, truly being f-cked.