Being ecologically friendly has become a more common virtue instead of the purview of socialist hippies. However, it is important to know your Green Personality to better facilitate the ways you will naturally be more green. Because we’re talking about human personality, I think they can best be summed up by four types and no more.
Any chance you have to buy something is a chance to prove your commitment to the environment. Packaging on any product should have no fewer than three of the following: a cheerful green leaf, the recycling symbol, the declaration that the product is free of something, a symbol stating that the product is organic, the words “pure,” “local,” “natural,” “vegan,” or “raw,” the homey names of the company owners, or undyed brown paper that is not necessarily post-consumer. When friends enter your home, they will see that you only choose the best gluten-free, natural, glycerin hand soap and that you have eschewed the cotton towels you already have for new eco-friendly, sustainably-sourced bamboo towels. You will invest thousands of dollars to save a few bucks on heating and cooling each year. In the warm glow of your retail therapy, you know you’re doing your bit to save the earth.
In Beowulf, the term “peace-weaver” is used to describe noblewomen who are married to an enemy clan in an attempt bring peace. The role isn’t an easy one, and a bard sings the story of Hildeburh: a peace-weaver whose husband breaks the truce and she loses her husband, brother, and son in the hostilities that inevitably break out again. Hildeburh is a tragic character pulled between strong, opposing loyalties, but she is also an exemplary one; she does her best to keep the peace and pretty much does everything as right as you can considering the situation. The use of Hildeburh’s story is more of a foreshadowing device, but I still remember being struck by what a raw deal she had.
For most of Western history, marriage was about two men formalizing a political or economic bond through use of a woman. Whether the woman was kind or pretty or intelligent didn’t really matter as long as she was related by blood to one of them and able to make blood-related babies with the other. Women were used as a way to strengthen individual families and as societal soothing device. How a woman was as a flesh-and-blood human being seemed inconsequential unless she was rebellious (in which case, tame that shrew) or very rich and influential (in which case, it’s important to get invited to her parties.) That’s not to say that there weren’t amazing women in the past, we’ve just lost most of their stories because their marriages didn’t stop or start wars.
“Hey, Drew,” Mina says, “is everything okay? Did my package arrive?”
“Uh, yeah. Not yet. I was just, you know, checking up with you. I wanted to make sure everything was okay with you.”
Her sigh crackles over the phone connection. “Well, you know how these things are. Hurry up and wait! The surgery went pretty well, so we’re just waiting to see how Dad recovers.” Her pause stretches out over several seconds. “Thanks for checking in, I guess.”
“Hehe, well, I was just, you know, being neighborly! Lookin’ out for you!” Drew tries to swallow, but his mouth is dry.
“Right. Okay. Well, thanks again. I gotta go.”
“Sure, yeah. Bye now!” Drew hangs up and looks at the blank screen of his phone. “I lost your fucking cat.”