IKEA

I finally visited IKEA.


In all of my 55+ years, I have never set foot inside the store.

After Evensong on Sunday, I asked D for his thoughts on dinner, then suggested that we visit IKEA.

The meatballs were tasty, the mac & cheese even more so.

I came home with a small teapot with infuser, a new dish brush, and some serviettes.  And I could have spent a fortune.  New closet?  Sure!  New kitchen?  Yup.  New rug for the dining room?  You bet! (And I’m serious about that last one.)

What a place!  Design for days!  And what an investment in parting people from their money . . . .

My bubble

On Friday, a brief Facebook exchange resulted in a someone — with whom I attended high school — deciding to delete me on Facebook after I deleted comments this person made on my Facebook wall.

This person told me to stay in my bubble.  To write a blog.

Well, guess what?

Dear M. —

I will indeed stay in my bubble.  I like my bubble.  My bubble is warm, and embracing, and not filled with vitriol.  

My bubble is world-embracing, aware of the truth that we are intrinsically and inextricably connected to a wider world.  I buy Irish butter.  And Brazilian Guarana.  And clothes made for me in Hong Kong and India.  

My bubble includes travel to four continents, living in apartments and homes with citizens of other countries.  My bubble is composed of experiences in other cultures and with people who speak different languages.  And I’m a better person for having these influences in my life.

My bubble wants to embrace a global economy, with appropriately open borders for trade and the easy flow of citizens from one country to another, just as I wish to be able to travel easily to & from other countries. 

My bubble expects leaders of my country to appeal to our better instincts, not our baser ones.  To provide details, not rhetoric.  To exemplify honesty and integrity. 

My bubble does not include, to quote an article I read, a man who “has normalized sexual assault, bigotry, xenophobia, the mocking of the disabled, and so much else that takes decades to bat away. In one swoop, the worst human instincts have now taken up residence in the White House.” And frankly, my bubble doesn’t include others who can embrace this behavior, normalize it, call it appropriate or at least ignore it, and vote for a man who who has demonstrated it.

My bubble is doesn’t post grumpy comments on the wall of people I barely know or remember from high school. You see, my bubble understands that anger and bitterness is ugly.  That conversation matters, and that Facebook comments solve nothing and rarely lead to any kind of deeper understanding.  But my bubble allows me to post as I wish — usually reprints with which I agree — and be in charge of my own page.  

My bubble includes these thoughts (quoting now from a colleague who posted this on Facebook):

Can we please stop fetishizing “outsider” as a prima facie qualification for the job?

Sure, Old Boys Clubs be damned; sometimes the so-called “establishment” can rightly be accused of allowing its dated (and unjust) ways to be calcified, and we should guard against that. But experience and expertise matter, and I’m tired of thoughtless, cavalier endorsements of thoroughly unqualified “outsiders.” 

Call me an out-of-touch liberal elitist, but I want the Secretary of Education to know something about teaching, measurement/evaluation, etc.

Say what you will, but I value what the scientific “establishment” has to say about climate change and what the medical “establishment” has to say about the iron-clad safety and absolute necessity of vaccines.

Berate me if you must, but when 4 out of 5 dentists recommend daily flossing, you won’t find me lauding the bold, rogue stance of the 5th.

My bubble gladly embraces the liberal elitest title.  And cries out that all of these world travels over the last 20 years remind me that we are indeed connected.  And requires me to love others, no matter the station, the finances, the ethnic or national origin, the underlying belief system.  

My bubble is broad and wide and has room for many who embrace the kinder, happier, long-view focuses that I personally believe are the right views.

And today, my bubble is troubled, and afraid, and yes, ready for battle with the monstrous system that elected a billionaire who appointed other billionaires to fix the system that made them billionaires. 

My bubble is more progressive than ever.  More liberal than ever.  More local-activist than ever.  More financially commited than ever.  More willing to spend my tax money for good than ever.  

I like my bubble.  I don’t understand why you don’t too.  My bubble makes sense to me.  

My bubble is done with Facebook.  It’s ready for real conversation. My bubble is weary.  My bubble is scared.  But my bubble is hoping that human decency. . . that love of the common good . . .  will prevail in the final accounting.

So M., I’ll live in my bubble, thank you very much.  It’s a good bubble, and I shan’t trade it for any of your own bubbles.

With hope for our future, 

Jeff