Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Quixote

Okay, I'm cheating a little on this one and I'm re-running the "Q" post I used during last year's A to Z Challenge. But I'm doing it because it's up there in my top ten favorite posts that I've ever kicked out into the blogasphere. Plus, there are probably enough new readers that have never seen it before, and there are probably old readers that can suffer it again.

quixotic: –adjective;
1. impulsive and often rashly unpredictable
2. extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical, or impracticable.
3. resembling or befitting Don Quixote.
Synonyms: idealistic, chimerical, chivalrous, dreaming, dreamy, foolish, impetuous, impractical, impulsive, romantic, starry-eyed, unrealistic

Dear Dictionary,

You define one of the most fabulous words in the English language like it's a bad thing. You make it sound as though emulating Cervantes' Don Quixote is the worst that could happen to a person. According to you, to take charge of one's own destiny and run full force at what we believe in is folly and silly.

Granted, Quixote was a bit overly zealous and not just a little irresponsible, but sometimes we need to run headlong at a problem before we figure out it's only a windmill. And, okay, yes, on a regular basis he set up his good pal, Sancho to take the fall. But, what are friends for? And Sancho never said, "Yo, dude. Enough. You really need to get laid." No, Sancho was in it for the sake of adventure. In fact, after Quixote returned home, caved to the depressive side of his mania and took a good long nap, he regained his sanity and gave up his knight-errant ways. But... Sancho tried to talk him into it all over again!

So, who's the crazy one really... huh?

Is it right to dis a guy because he ran to the aid of damsels in distress? Yeah, I know... most of them weren't really in distress, but the guy was desperate to do right by them. The world could use more characters who are desperate to do right. For example, just yesterday I was limping back from the mailbox with a very heavy parcel. A salesman was canvassing the neighborhood trying to sell vitamin supplements. He walked right up to me. Did he ask if he could help carry the parcel? No! Instead he stood in my way and asked me if I wanted to buy his "health products." I could have used some damned chivalry!

Do you think that you, Dictionary, would have come into existence without the help of some idealists and dreamers? You didn't just magically appear. Some folks sat around, slurping mead and talking about words and meanings and all that delicious syntax, rhetoric and power, and one of them said, "Y'know what I wish? I wish there was a book with all the words in the world. Something we could reference whenever we need to." Another guy at the table said, "Lofty dream that." Yet another chimed in, "Now wait a second. It would be difficult, but not impossible. We can do that!"

I hereby request that you no longer snub your nose at the quixotic among us. We may be misguided at times, but we are sincere and our hearts are in it. We may be dreamers, but our dreams take us places and we get things done. We may be impetuous, but not everything in life requires a series of checks and balances - some stuff you've just gotta let fly. We might romanticize the day, but we stop and sniff the posies. So, give us a break, huh?

We're quixotic, but we're quality folks.

Thank you, that is all.

Best regards,

Barb Black

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