Don’t Be Like the Rest of Them, Darling

I’ve been quiet for awhile. I haven’t been too busy, just quiet. Life speeds up, then slows down. I could say its unmanageable at times, but it isn’t. We always manage to manage. Word modifying a word. Shameful.

Anyway, I’ve been quiet. There have been things to process, and you know I internalize eons before I externalize. Believe me, its a good thing for everyone outside of my box. I’ve continued to be amazed by people on all ends of the spectrum of humanity. I generally love the humanness of people. The flawed, hasty, emotional, chaotic mess that makes up all of us is beautiful and sacred somehow, and touching that makes finding the eye of our storms that much more precious. However, some parts of the raw human underbelly are downright shitty and offensive. Ha, yes, this girl right here said “offensive.” I know you’re thinking, “What in the holy hell has taken over her mind? Nothing offends her…” Let me tell you, some things absolutely offend me and should offend you, too, if you’re worth your weight in beans as a person.

If you are petty, you offend me. Since Webster defines “petty” as not very important or serious, I know no two people have the same definition. What is petty to me is maybe important to you, and that’s okay under most circumstances. After all, my toilet paper rolls from the top, not the bottom, and if you screw that up in my house, I’ll come behind you and fix it. Ridiculous to some, important to me. Silly example, but you get the point, and easily forgiven. I fix the toilet paper, you call me neurotic and obsessive-compulsive, I agree with you, we laugh. Done.

Here’s a not-so-easily-forgiven example: You actively or passively criticize my manners, mouth or parenting. Sisters and brothers, we are navigating life to the best of our abilities while we are hear on Earth. All of us struggle, and all of us wake up day after day with the intentions of doing better than we did the day before. You don’t get a thank you note following a gifting holiday? I suggest you let that thought pass out of your mind as quickly as it came in. If thank you notes and general accolades are the backbone of relationship maintenance for you, please bow out now. We are real around here, and we think about real things and have real problems. I grew up southern, and female and Baptist. I get the social importance of thank you notes and casseroles. However, at some point, after shit got quite real for us, it just seemed a little silly. I’ll oblige those who came before me and send thank yous and deliver casseroles when it fits into my already busy, complicated, atypical world. But if I don’t, I don’t and you be grateful that your world allows you the time and energy to actually ponder such pettiness… of course, maybe only in my book, but that’s the one I’m writing.

I’m thirty-three years old and sometimes, I have the mouth of a well-educated sailor. Little passive comments and scoffs are not going to change that. Believe me, I could be judged for a lot worse. I seek and nurture relationships with family and friends who love us for us. Period. “Catholic guilting” doesn’t manifest change any more than “Baptist bureaucracy” manifests organization. (Side note: I love my Catholics and my Baptists… If the previous analogy left you feeling butt-hurt, eat a Snickers. You’ll feel better.) If your take-away from this post is that I said shit a few times, please lose the link and reconsider your place in our lives. Why are you here? Self-imposed obligation? Curiosity? Spite? Go. Go now. The kids and I have been throwing away that kind of litter for years now and lately I’ve gotten more aggressive with it. Again, petty. Be thankful you have a spare moment to ponder my soul due to my affection for profanity. I promise, my soul is just fine. If dropping the f-bomb in traffic is the worst thing I do all day, we should all feel lucky.

Parents are really catty by nature. Seriously catty. You see me correcting my son at a restaurant or bribing my daughter with a treat, you smile and walk on by. Most parents who feel the persistent urge to “help” me through situations or offer unsolicited advice come from affluent, two-parent families in the suburbs. That’s not us and I am not interested in what you have to say if that is you. Guess what. I don’t have anyone to clean my house, pay my bills or discipline my children for me. I do that. All of it. By myself. So before you criticize corporal punishment or suggest that I should “hug it out” with my kids, consider the differences in our situations. Mutual respect and a sense of perspective goes a long way. I do things a certain way generally because I have to, not because I want to. I wish I got to sit around and do fun, June Cleaver, Pinterest activities with my kids all day and had someone else to worry about the finances and the spiritual well-being of my family. Turns out, that wasn’t the hand I was dealt, and I’m doing the best with what I have. If you aren’t helping, you’re hurting, and we are simplifying around here. I’ve been apologizing for silly things for far too long. I am who I am for very specific reasons. If you have questions about why I do and say what I do and say, please feel free to ask. I want to fill you in if you are truly interested in understanding. However, if you are driven by the need to teach me a lesson or prove a point, you can pack that shit back up and move on down the road. I’m not interested, and I promise, neither are you.