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Thursday, 8 November 2012

46: Two wrongs..

Whenever I finish writing a piece, I always wonder what I will work on next.  Yes, I have about 10 pieces on-the-go but quite often, these pieces just sit there until an incident 'pops up' and provides some insight, or an ENTIRELY new topic will emerge and take on a life on its own.  This is one of the latter:

Recently, I received an unpleasant call and a few bitchy texts because of  “50 Shades of Green”.  From what I gather, in spite of my efforts to be quite generic in one of the illustrations for foolish behavior, someone decided that out of some THIRTY-SEVEN lines (yes, I counted), two referred to her current situation and was so ‘shocked’ she called around to garner support for a “Mishy hate-fest”.   One particular girl rang to give me a piece of her mind but when the conversation turned thuggish and feral, and after failing to reason with her and explain she got it wrong, I had little choice but to hang up.  Rude, I know.  But I get awfully emotional when someone is yelling at me, being sarcastic about my ‘perfect family’ and trying to dictate what I can and cannot write about.  Sorry, but since when did I proclaim everything in my life was perfect?!  Obviously she has not read my scribblings and lives in La-La Land if she believes in ‘perfection’.  Anyhow, I did follow it up  with a calmer email to try to address the points raised in her accusations:

  1. No, a GENERAL commentary on the state of relationships today does not break-up marriages -- people’s careless behavior within AND outside of a relationship causes break-ups.
  2. I don’t go around telling her or anyone else what to wear or how to behave (don’t start me!), so nobody has a right to tell me what to write about.  And if she (or anyone) doesn’t like the content, don't read it.  Please.

Now, I could continue this piece with a further narration of what happened next and reveal this particular girl’s duplicitous behavior and her on-going charade of ‘sugar-and-spice-and-all-things-nice’.  In fact, when I first wrote this piece, I did.  And then I deleted it all.  Why?  Although all I would have had done was laid bare the truth, it made me feel physically ill that someone else’s venom and spitefulness could manipulate me into an exchange of hateful and sarcastic verbal warfare. Quite simply, as I previously said in “Mean Girls”, two wrongs don’t make a right.

Don’t get me wrong.  Normally, my primal instinct is to fight back and throw ‘mud’ back at my aggressor.  Nearly always.  After years of being put down by bullies and taken advantage of, I spent a good chunk of my late teens and early 20s like a bull in a china shop, under the mistaken belief I was fighting for the truth and HAD to stand up for myself.  And then,  I realized something.  I didn’t like being that person, the one filled with anger and a poisoned tongue, always ready for a fight.  And of course, becoming a mother also made me mindful of what kind of learned behavior I wanted the girls to have – if only for them to have an easier life in the ‘jungle’ of life.  And so, over time, I learnt to choose my ‘battles’.  At times, it has meant biting my tongue, hoping that the truth would come out, only to be disappointed.  But time is a great healer and no matter the end-result, once the initial indignation and disappointment fades, I ALWAYS feel better in myself that I didn’t stoop to the other party’s level.  After all, silence, they say, is golden.

I took the girls to the National Library yesterday to change their books.  As I was attempting a reverse park, a woman used her car to aggressively ‘nudge’ me to ‘speed it up’.  Much to her dismay, and especially fed-up after the drama from a couple of days ago, I stepped out of my car and approached her’s – mid-pivot.  Nervously, she wound her window down.  My “there is no need for that sort of behavior.  Please be patient…” was met with her haughty “just move your car”.  I shot back with a “you have terrible manners!”, finished the park, and headed upstairs to return the girls’ books.  Low and behold, a couple of minutes later, the same woman stood behind us in line.  As my three girls were first in line, I told them to stand aside for the woman as she seemed to be in a hurry.  They did and she said thank you – somewhat grudgingly.   She hurried away looking a little shamefaced.   My little one recognized her and asked why we let her go first even though she was so ‘mean’ before.  I just said, “Sweetie, two wrongs don’t make a right and sometimes doing the right thing is the best action.”  And with that lesson passed on, we continued on our way. 


1 comment:

  1. Before going around and judging people and talking about their relationships writing/advising what they should do to keep things interested.... Have you looked at your life? Maybe your "perfect life is not so perfect"
    What makes you think your husband is not cheating on you?
    Maybe you just haven't found out yet!?