I know I’ve posted on here that I don’t watch the news. I find the “It bleeds, it leads” premise disgusting. There is very rarely anything positive reported. And I just can’t deal with it. I read headlines online, so I’m not completely oblivious to the world around me.
I’ve also posted that I have disconnected cable. I did it at the beginning of the year. If I want to watch something, I have Netflix or Hulu. And so far? I don’t miss it. I missed all the awards shows, which are gross displays of excess and self-congratulations, in my opinion. “Who are you wearing?” “How big is your diamond?” Really? Who cares? $5,000+ for a gown that you can only wear once? That’s disgusting. But, then again, I don’t know who most of the young actors are anymore, anyway. One of the benefits of not having cable is that I don’t see movie trailers, so I don’t know what’s playing or who’s acting in them.
Then she wrote about giving up all social media. I’m not ready for that yet. Her comment that she doesn’t want a 140-character live makes sense to me, but I do like Twitter. I met Debra via Twitter. I’ve “met” a lot of amazing people and found blogs, blogging, stories, websites all because of Twitter.
For months though, I’ve been irritated and logging on to Twitter less and less. I was “muting” people rather than “unfollowing” them. Heaven forbid I unfollow someone and hurt their feelings. (Insert eye-roll, here). I felt like I was sifting through loads of noise to find the posts of people who matter to me.
So, this past weekend, I set up a new Twitter account. And deleted my old one. I am following 40 people (I think) and have 13 following me. And it’s lovely. When I pull up my timeline, I know there are going to be posts by people who I would love to meet. I will get my news. I can keep in touch with people, to a degree.
This is just one more way to turn down the noise.
About a week or so ago, a friend confided in the privacy of a chat, that she had slapped her daughter during an argument. Slapped her “a few times”. (Her words). Slapped. Her. Daughter.
No. I just wrote out what I know about Louise* and her story, but A) it isn’t my story to tell; B) I only know about her story that which she has shared; and C) this post is only about the slap and my reaction. So I deleted it.
Suffice it to say that Louise is making a huge change in several areas in her life. One of her daughters has been acting up – lying, promiscuity, possibly drugs – and this is all completely out of character for the daughter. So they have been fighting a lot.
Last week, Louise joined the chat and said “XXX and I has a HUGE fight last night. Everything came to a head. We were yelling at each other and I slapped her. A few times…. but the result was XXX”. Again, that’s the big part of what you need to know.
All the other women in our chat were “Oh, I’m sorry you have to deal with that.” “Teenagers are hard.” “You did the right thing – she needed a wake up call and you got her attention.”
I? Remained observant in stunned silence.
- I was never slapped by my parents, as a child. I was spanked, but rarely.
- I don’t have any children (that I know about), so I cannot put myself fairly in her shoes.
- The magnitude of the changes Louise is making would make anyone crazy, I would imagine.
I was going to write this post the day it happened, but I couldn’t. I wanted to marinate in her actions, and more importantly, my REACTION to her actions before I wrote anything.
My response to Louise at the time was something like: “I have to be honest. I’m struggling with the slapping portion of your story. I AM NOT JUDGING YOU, but I’m having a hard time with it. I’m glad you got XXX to open up and talk though.”
But who am I kidding. I did judge her. I think I still am. I haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly what it is about “the slap” that has affected me so profoundly. I’m not a mother. I don’t know how bad the argument was. I don’t know the degree to which XXX was acting up.
I mean, I know how frustrated I get with my cats. But really? They’re cats. I know it’s not the same thing, by any stretch of the imagination.
I reached out to my friends at The Band to get their perspectives. They seemed to be as shocked/horrified/disturbed about it as I was. Not that that makes my reaction right. (BTW, are you with The Band? You should be.)
So, your turn.
If someone told you this, how would you react? What do you say? Am I blowing this out of proportion because I don’t have the parental-perspective?
Not great. Not bad.
Things at work this week look like they might calm down a bit, so I’m hopeful that I won’t be as exhausted by the time I get home in the evenings. Who knew sitting at a desk could be so exhausting!
I’m 2 months in now, and I have a long way to go. But I *will* get there. And it *will* be before Thanksgiving.
192,351 down, 1,807,649 to go.
Week 6 – 23,966
Week 7 – 30,340
So, I forgot to post last week, for no apparent reason. I was crazy busy at work, but that’s not an excuse.
Week 6 started really good, but I petered out towards the end.
Week 7 was pretty consistent on a day by day analysis.
This week? I’m “working from home” tomorrow, so I hope to get some good walking in. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and cool-ish. I have something to mail, so I could walk to the post office, but it’s closed.
As the weather gets warmer more consistently, I will walk outside more. And it’s getting lighter, later these days. Plus, isn’t daylight savings time coming into play here soon?
164,872 down, 1,835,128 to go.
My friend Chibi tagged me in a meme. I’ve never been tagged in a meme before. It felt kind of nice. *heh*
- What colour are your underwear right now?
- What’s your least favourite food?
- Does it bother you when I put extra letters in my word? Well, too bad: I’m Canadian, eh?
- How do you like your eggs?
- What book are you currently reading? Should I read it?
- Did you have an imaginary friend? What was his/her name?
- What is your guiltiest pleasure, keeping in mind I’m Prudy McPruderson, Mayor of Prudeville?
- If you could have any job in the whole wide world, what would it be?
- Do you watch Toddlers & Tiaras?
- What CD is in your CD player? (Do you still have one of those? If not, what was the last song played on your MP3 player? Should I be listening to them/her/him/it?)
- Shoes: off at the door, or wear ’em through the house?
I used to wear them through the house, but as I get older I’ve become more of a germaphobe, so off they come. *shudder*
So, 11 questions for you, if you choose to continue this:
- Do you ever tell anyone your middle name? What is it?
- What is one book you recommend to everyone?
- What’s your favorite way to spend a rainy afternoon?
- If you could live in another country, which would it be and why?
- Do you like what you do for a living?
- What is your best memory from high school?
- Would you travel back to that time if you could?
- Do you journal regularly?
- What is your opinion on flavored coffee or fruity beer?
- East coast or west coast?
- What do you do that makes you goofy-grin happy?
Yesterday, as I scrolled through my reader, I found this post by Jana. She is talking about how she uses her “fine” china for every day use. Because, it really is silly to have such beautiful china, to have spent so much money on it for your wedding, or whatever, and to never use it.
It got me thinking.
I am pretty sure I have a set of china in my cellar that belonged to my grandmother, or something. I might have to check it out.
We have all read those articles about how we need to treat ourselves and to use the good china, etc. Who does that, though, really?
But, Jana’s post got me thinking. A while ago, my mother gave me a few antique tea cups and saucers that I had considered too fancy or fussy and thought about selling them on eBay. Now, I think I am going to rinse them out and use them for my evening tea. Or my morning coffee.
And I think Jana is right. I am worth it.
This was a good week. I like it.
The days are getting longer, and the temps are getting warmer. Soon, I will be able to walk outside without having to bundle up like the sta-puft marshmallow man.
I feel better when I move more. And that’s hopefully getting easier. Or more regular.
Last week was long and exhausting. Too many meetings.
Looking ahead, I don’t think I have as many meetings. Thank goat. Too much time on the phone makes Kitten cranky.
110,566 down, 1,889,434 to go.
Tonight, while at the hockey game (We sucked, we lost) I had a very enlightening experience. And this time, it wasn’t the fights. And there were a bunch. Good ones.
Early on in the game, I’m there playing on my phone, and I notice 3 people coming in to sit in the row in front of us. Normally, I will look and move on. This time, there was a young-ish man helping a woman down the stairs. Naturally, I started to wonder – what happened to this girl. Was she mentally handicapped? Was she ill with a progressive disease? Was she in an accident?
I resumed watching the game. Occasionally, I would notice this girl flirting with the guy that helped her to her seat. And I noticed a modest engagement ring. My mind? Oh, I wonder if she got sick after they were engaged? I wonder if she had an accident after they were engaged? Either way, I thought, what a lovely man for not “giving up on her”. I had no idea.
Meanwhile, I’m thinking “My arthritis is acting up. This rots.”
Jump to the 3rd period.
Our team scored (that in and of itself was a miracle – did I mention they sucked tonight??) and the woman – who, I might add, had never stopped smiling and enjoying herself – turned, smiled at me and shook my hand. Then she turned and did the same to Herb.
Then, in short succession, 2 pucks came flying into the crowd, very close to where we were sitting. I noticed the woman flinch – understandably under the best of circumstances – and sort of lean in to her fiance’. She turned around to me and took off her hat and lifted her hair. Right along her hairline, she had a horrible scar. It was somewhat faded, but still very visible. Then she took my hand and put it on her head. I could feel the lumps and bumps of where the bone healed.
It was a little off-putting, but she was sweet. Then she took out her phone, and showed me a text. This woman? She had been driving when she was 16 and was hit so hard by a drunk driver that to this day? She has no memory of the accident. Her left side was crushed and she still wears a brace on her left leg and left wrist. Her vocal cords were damaged, so she cannot speak well. She is now 30.
Then she showed me a picture of herself with her fiance’. They looked very happy. She pulled up another text. (These weren’t really texts. It was more like her story, saved to her phone.) Anyhoo, this one said that she and her fiance’ had been dating for 2 weeks, when he found out he was being deployed to Iraq. So he asked her to marry him.
I said to him that he was a really good guy! He said he was just a really lucky one.
She showed me a few more pictures and was all girly. It was so cute.
Then her story said she didn’t remember the accident, and would love to find out who did this to her. Her family knows, but won’t tell her. Her fiance’ said it was because they don’t want her upset or to do something to the guy. The other driver was only 17, so I guess it is hard to find out anything about him.
I find that part odd. I can see the family keeping all the horrible details of the accident itself from her, but the other driver? They didn’t do anything to him? That’s odd.
The fiance’? He doesn’t know who the other driver is either, because he didn’t know her back then.
So. What have we learned? This woman, at 16, basically had her life taken from her. And yet, she is out in the world, living a happy life, and engaged to a lovely man. Who met her 2 years ago.
He didn’t see the “damaged” her. He saw a lovely woman who obviously has a love of life. She is in love.
So, while I sat there whining to myself about my arthritis, this couple and their friend were out, living. Sure, she is still angry about what happened to her. Sure, she would love to do something to the guy who did that to her. But she didn’t let that stop her. And he didn’t let it stop him.
It was really beautiful.
So the next time, my arthritis is acting up, or my tea is cold, or I slip on the ice, I need to think about Kelly and Bob*. The next time things don’t go really my way, I need to think about this couple.
Things in my life could be SO MUCH worse. But in all actuality? I have it pretty good. Compared to some others? My life is a virtual fairy tale.
Thank you Kelly and Bob for teaching me that tonight.
*not their real names