The nail that sticks out, or something.

Today we went to the beach with the playground to wear Rosie out a little bit (sun, slides, sand and surf, dude. It'll wipe anybody out.) We've only lived here since October-- that's, what, 7 months? We ran into four separate families that we know. And as the months go by, the island is only going to get smaller.

Living here is my first experience with having to make a community work. Knowing that we're going to be here for a long time, with these same people, in these same situations, over and over-- makes me approach problems slightly differently than I've needed to before.

My first example: the librarian is an SOB. He's notorious. Every parent on the island knows of him, and stays away from his library because he is so rude and HATES children. Every time we go to the library (every Friday, 11:30) he tells Rosie to "be quiet or get out!" This is especially annoying when she's saying things like, "Rosie! Loves! Libwawy!" I'm sorry, is his heart three sizes too small? You'd think an elementary school librarian would be thrilled to have a kid squeal, "yaaaaay, books!!"

But anyway. The first time he kicked us out, I was so angry I thought-- I hate that guy, I'm never coming back.

But then I had the first creeping feelings of community-mindedness. "waaaait. I live here. The library is within walking distance. It has everything I need in a library. I'm not going anywhere. That's MY library. I refuse to let his issues offend me so much that I disappear. I'd be the one losing out."

I donno if I am explaining it properly, but it was sort of a revelation. I can risk continued encounters with this nasty person, just because this is my community and I want to work it out! And I can't let myself get too offended because-- what good will that do?
Maybe it's the kind of lesson you're supposed to learn in 4th grade, but. You know. Maybe I'm a little slow.

I can see this kind of community mindedness in the way that long-time locals interact. You can't really afford to have any kind of intensity in relationships. No big blow-ups or involved dramas-- because in 15 years you're still going to be running into these same 300 people at the beach every weekend. So people are very even, very laidback-- in a way recalcitrant-- with their interactions. Which isn't to say Kauai is some magical Utopia-- there is drama. But it's like family drama-- you may get into a big fight on thursday, but of course you're coming to the BBQ on sunday. And of course your kids still go camping next weekend. Who knows, you could be grandparents to the same baby someday-- best not to make any bad blood.

So wave to everybody as they go by, be polite in traffic, watch out for all the kids at the playground. Even if you haven't met each other yet, you will, and soon.

Comments

  1. I love this! Don't let the man get you down.
    I try to master this every time I move and most times fail miserably, but as long as I keep trying I'm good, right?

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  2. ahhhhhhhh, it has appeared that this might be the some training they get? and then DON'T GET IT? don't know, but take the guy cookies and treats every time.....every Friday. ask him his fav. T.V. show. oh, and someday play your harp in the Library....with Rosie Jo playing the triangle....or a little drum.....community....did it in Kahuku Elem/high library....;yep, when we left, to make it all even....had a fine for my 17 years of there.....almost $200.00. THEY ARE MEAN WITH FINES....pay attention. it's my children that didn't pay fines and I didn't want to leave without paying it. found some books later in the unpacking. ha. It was in the Honolulu Library that I performed with the U of H Early Recorder/viole de gamba music. How I loved that chapter in my life.

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