Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Thursday, August 29, 2013

6-20-13 RMB Blue Dots and Red Bows

6-20-13 RMB Blue Dots and Red Bows
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
I enjoyed reading the “blue dot theory of human sexuality” first hand in chapter seven of Bingo. I enjoyed it all the more because the main character states “I subscribe to the blue dot theory of human sexuality. Actually, I don’t subscribe to it; I made it up.”
I had heard of the theory via other writers writing about Rita Mae Brown. Reading it for myself, I felt like I had arrived in some way. Does it mean I have read enough of your work to have reached a certain pinnacle? I don’t know. Maybe it is more of a connecting of the dots, no pun intended. I heard of it and now I’ve read it in the work where it was first written…sounds awfully melodramatic.
For anyone not privy to the theory… “If on a given day every single person who has ever had homosexual sex woke up with a blue dot on his or her forehead, either three quarters of adult America would stay in bed or they’d be brazen and hit the streets, and finally all this huffing and puffing over who sleeps with whom would be over…the color of the dot should reflect the level of one’s activity…” and there is more of course. I like the theory. I like that you made it up.
I made up the “red bow” theory. A “red bow” is a task or process that you must do to keep the powers that be in charge happy, whether it makes any sense what-so-ever or not. It originated one evening while I was working in a restaurant. I was minion number four and minion number three decided he needed to argue with the power that be on that particular shift about a certain process, the equipment, proper procedure, etc, etc, etc.
I informed my co-minion that if so and so said do it, it was his job to do it. “Take it up with management later, but for tonight…just do it…please!” I did not want to do my work and minion number three’s work too. I could see the writing on the wall was quickly heading that way.
He proceeded to explain to me (and I could not have cared less) about the proper procedure, process, measurements, blah, blah, blah. I said “You are absolutely right.” He was smugly surprised by my assent. “However,” I continued, “she is in charge and if she says put a red bow on that piece of equipment, then it is your job to put a god damn red bow on that equipment! You can tell the manager tomorrow what a waste of a perfectly good bow it is. But tonight, she is in charge. You are not.”
Needless to say, he did not get my point. He lost his job over the need to be right at the wrong time.
Since then, my family and co-workers have become familiar with the “red bow” theory. Every once in a while a mom, or a boss will spout a directive and two or more others nearby will recognize it for what it is, roll their eyes and mouth the words… “red bow”.
Sometimes getting along means allowing someone else to be right…even if they’re not. Cheers to blue dots, red bows and finding a way to get along, to accepting one another, to accepting all shades of blue dots and the occasional red bow task…for the sake of the greater good.
Many happy returns,

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