Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Common Denominator

August 15

When I first moved back to Fairhope in 1988, several of my childhood friends, now married with grown children, had moved back too. At a party, the husband of one of my classmates from the Organic School and I were talking about what it was like to return. We complained about the usual – low productivity, slow action, some difficulty in getting basic things done that in other parts of the world were more efficiently discharged if not instantaneous in comparison.

I said, “It does take longer to get a service performed. Sometimes things just don’t get done. It’s trying – being forced to lower your expectations.” My friend’s husband agreed.

“But there’s one thing the people all have in common, one thing you don’t find everywhere else – ”

“What’s that?”

“They’re all nice. Everybody is doing his best, and they’re all nice.”

“You’re right,” he said. “You don’t find that quality everywhere.”

In other places we had both lived, you had to keep your guard up with people until they had been tested and found trustworthy. But it seemed to us at that time there was a high level of kindness in Fairhope. I’m sorry to say that over the ensuing years that has changed. The schemers, opportunists, neurotic shit-stirrers and just plain snakes have moved in with all the nice folks. Although their numbers are smaller, because they have moved into virgin territory, the damage they have been able to do is noticeable.

There appears to have been a sea change everywhere. I can’t blame Fairhope. It’s just that it's harder to reconcile the overall change here, where idealism once bloomed and opportunity meant a chance to make the world better through reform that benefitted the group rather than the self. I am sure my vagueness here will make you demand details, but there are too many examples to go into at once. I shall reveal more as time goes by, but today I just miss the days when being fair was a given from which all ideas and hopes sprang. And being nice was the least one could do.


Benedict S. said...

Why's a nice young lady like you staying in a place of deteriorating manners? Well, here's one answer: where's there a place that's half so nice?

Glad you made it thru the surgery. I had the same sort of thing done ages ago. Wound up with capped teeth and a better life.

Incidentally, that John (A) guy knows whereof he speaks ... and he did not pay me to say this.

Finding Fair Hope said...

It's more than manners, unfortunately. Ah, well, maybe it's just a mood brought on by sore gums -- but you are correct, benedict, that even at its worst, Fairhope is better than most other places.

jon said...

Could the veterenary office be a sign of which you speak? My old yard cat is in need of doctoring beyond my ability. He has a cauliflower ear and a hematoma that seems to appear everytime the summer rains set in. The first vet visit several years ago cost $20, and the next $40, next $75 and I almost collapsed from that bill. But this time the estimates exceed $200 for the same ear work which previously took not more than 1/2 hour to complete. Preying on the humaness of animate care is big business for sure including life insurance and burial procedures, usually for humans. Where did the good vet who is concerned for animals go? It seems that they are now trying to keep $$ equal to people doctors as well as put folks all over TV for animal cruelty even when the masters cannot afford to pay their exorbitant office charges, lab fees, billing fees, med fees and of course actual vet contact with an animal. I am a retired school teacher and there is some nobility in that especially since care and education for humans is important to all. School teachers cannot arbitraryly raise their salaries for human care, and many would not. So, why then do other caring professions gouge deeper and deeper to the point of sacrifice for the recipients of their craft? It seems to me that that should be in the line of luxury, not care.

I recently had a sinus bridge operation, losing 2 molars. I had to "save up" to get it done. I am now saving up to get implants. I have used the UAB School of Oral Surgery in B'ham. since it is cheaper, even with the frequent trips. I've had gums scraped too, no big deal. Nowadays insurance is something you just pay for and get little in return. The insurance is that you will have to pay more later , again and again.

So, the vet dilemma is still everpressing. Do I let my old cat take his chances, or do I neglect my own needs. All due to greed......the current nature of the once Fair hope.

John (America) said...

Fairhope sounds like a wonderful place to live.Pity me that I have never been to the South.I have been to the Middle East,Tibet,India,NYC and places in the West and Southwest,but never in the South.

Miss FF,don't let benedict fool you,I did to pay him to say that about me.heheheh

Finding Fair Hope said...

Okay, folks, I've written a blogpost for today, August 16, and can't get it posted. I've been doing this every day since February, and today there seems to be some change in the method, or it's broken down, or something. It's six A.M. where I am and I've been writing for half an hour and I'm fed up. I'll try later in the day to post, but this may be all you get until I'm able to crack the mysterious code of Blogger. Let's all clear out our chakras and be patient.