I’m finding that my attitudes in my 40s are similar to my son’s attitude in his teens. I’ve got the eye-roll thing down to an exact science. I just fear that one day I’m going to forget to wait until the person walks away and I will be busted with my eyeballs rolled back into my head like a 16-year-old.
Worse than my normal passive-aggressive responses, though, I’m starting to get more vocal about it. I’ve started telling people when they’ve said something offensive. I’m not sure who is more shocked, them or me. Luckily, the guilt and obsessive worry about things that I spout off is decreasing right along with my patience. (Somewhat. I can’t abandon my OCD all together.)
I can’t explain this change. Perhaps it’s the beginning of you know, “the change.” Or perhaps I’m just tired of people saying whatever they want without worrying about consequences and hurting others, while I obsess about those types of things constantly. If you can’t beat them, join them, right?
I actually said to someone the other day, “Did that really just come out of your mouth?” And I’m pretty sure that the look on their face meant that they thought the same thing about my statement.
You know when you have a baby and everyone has advice on brands of diapers or what age to potty train and things like that? You learn to grin and bear it because people really do mean well. Then after my divorce, I received even more advice about what I should or shouldn’t do, how it was taking me too long to get over it, and what I should do to deal with all of the drama. I cringed a bit at times because sometimes it felt like they didn’t just think that I failed my marriage, but that I was failing at life. But I knew that truly, my friends and family meant well, so I
didn’t tried not to get offended.
But I’m not talking about that kind of stuff. You know, that well-meaning advice that sometimes misses the mark. Nope, I’m talking about the stuff that people seem to let spew from their mouths that is in no way well-meaning or helpful. Sometimes, it seems just plain mean. It’s like the world has taken the whole “entitlement” thing to a new level. As if they think, “Well, she needs to hear what I have to say,” or “I need to say this because the world would run better if everyone listened to me.” Or at least, that’s how it comes across.
Let me give you a few examples. Let’s just say that you are sitting in the stands at the baseball park among friends, when one of your friends complains about the bottom of your team’s batting line-up. “We always fall behind at the bottom of our line-up.” And it just so happens that your kid is in the bottom of the line-up. How is that okay? I’M RIGHT HERE. I CAN HEAR YOU. Or when another dad snidely remarks, “automatic out” when your son gets up to bat. HOW OLD ARE YOU?
Now people have Facebook and other social media outlets carry out their dirty work. Status updates to blast to the world some wrong that they know how to right, whether it’s the terrible food at a certain restaurant, or a teacher that is allegedly picking on their child, or being jilted at the alter. (Okay, I could forgive that last one. Seriously, blast away.) Here’s the thing that they seem to forget. The people who work at the restaurant that serves those sub-par burgers rely on those sales to make money. Send them an email directly to let them know your issues. Don’t post it in your status as if EVERY single burger or item on their menu sucks. Give them the opportunity to improve. Or honestly, just shut up. Who cares that you didn’t like the burger? Perhaps we don’t all share your caviar taste and we happen to like that burger. And perhaps we know the chef and regardless of the bland flavor, we are offended or hurt by your statements and all of the comments by the bandwagon-ers. Geesh.
Or maybe they should email the teacher or the school administrator of the school about those other kinds of issues? Why damage the person’s reputation when you are getting the facts from your child? I mean, in most company Human Resources Manuals, the policy states that employees should report issues to their supervisor and if that doesn’t work, go up a level. No where does it say that you should blast the person on social media so their friends and family can see it.
Oh sure, sometimes these Negative-Nelly Facebook Posters try to make vague negative statements to seem like they aren’t blasting anyone, but come on, we all know who and what they are talking about. We live in a small town for crying out loud. Because of this, I have been deleting Facebook “friends” like a mofo.
After I say my piece.
The other day, when someone posted something negative about the place that I work (this happens more than you can imagine), I posted, “Can you please take the knife out of my back? It hurts.” No really, I did. No more pretend-I’m-tough-as-nails-and-ignore-them crap. Just politely asking them to SHUT THE HECK UP. I’m here. This building isn’t full of anonymous names and faces. We are the same people who sit in the stands with you at Little League games. Remember me? You probably cut down my kid, too.
Oh, but it gets worse. At the final basketball game of the season, we traveled out of town. I don’t keep up with one team or the other. I rarely remember if we won the last time we played against them or not. As soon as I walked in the gym on this final game day, I remembered this team, however. The kids were obnoxious. The had terrible sportsmanship and their tactic seemed to be playing dirty and messing with the kids heads, instead of playing basketball. One kid had this haircut with a rat tail, which made him memorable. That and the way that he clapped in the kids face if he got them to foul. Seriously, I’ve never disliked a kid more. When we last played against them, it was in our home gym, so I didn’t notice any parents. They didn’t make the trip. Oh, but in their gym, they showed up. They didn’t really yell much, except for this ONE couple. They were obnoxious. They heckled our kids. They called one of our players a thug. They yelled things like, “He can’t shoot” or “He can’t guard you.” They also stomped their feet during free throws and yelled “Airball” if someone missed the basket. Grown people were acting like this at a high school basketball game. Obviously, they think their kid is destined for the NBA and they are practicing.
Guess who their kid was? Rat Tail. Makes sense. Which is exactly what I told them. “No wonder your kid is so obnoxious. It’s a learned behavior. You people are obnoxious.” Imagine how well that went over. It actually encouraged them to be even more obnoxious, which caused my blood pressure to rise even higher. After the game, when the father was STILL yelling at our team, I turned around and yelled, “Shut up, you fat ____!” Omg, I still cringe about it. His wife went bananas and started yelling and chasing me down the stands. It was not one of my finer moments.
I just couldn’t help myself. I don’t know why.
It seems that these days, I’m typing comments and sending emails and making phone calls and YELLING with a vengeance. I’m not sure where my patience has gone or if it will ever come back. I might be destined to just be the crabby old lady that says whatever she wants.
Just call me Maxine.