605: No, thank YOU

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I am so dreadfully sorry that I was in conversation with my husband, and neglected to notice that you held the door for us to enter the establishment. I am sure my error was compounded in triplicate because you are black and I am white. I can assure you it wasn’t intentional, nor do I expect such service from strangers, or black people in particular. Neither my husband or I am visibly handicapped, so you offered (of your own volition) to hold the door which you could clearly see we were capable of opening ourselves. That was both courteous, and kind of you.

What wasn’t, was your announcement in overly loud voice of that sarcastic “You’re WELCOME” when we neglected to immediately and profusely thank you ourselves for your kind (and unnecessary) gesture. Believe me, your deliberate rudeness put our unintentional forgetfulness squarely even and then some.

Why bother to offer a kindness (necessary or not) if all you are after is the public notice of your nobleness? And your conduct when you didn’t get your thanks (for whatever reason) certainly left us both with a clear impression of your “nobleness,” didn’t it?

Yes, it is our usual habit to acknowledge such a gesture with spoken thanks. Yes, we were engaged in our conversation, and we forgot to thank you. I don’t believe I have lowered myself to that level when my polite gestures have gone unrewarded and unnoticed, and if I ever have, I am thoroughly and utterly ashamed of myself.

586: OOPS…

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I am ashamed that I have not cheered you on as I should have done when you were awarded an honor (and I was not).

I admit, my first thought was how will this work, when you are, and I am not? How will it fit, and how will we fit with it?

I did not demonstrate to you (like I think I should have) that I was proud of you for being wanted, at least not as much as I think it deserved, because I was thinking about me, us, and how it all would work out.

I apologize, and please know that I am cheering for you. Congratulations! You deserve it!

462: Slap in the Face

Wow. Sometimes it takes the astute observation of another person to make you realize you have not been honest with yourself. I like to think that I am honest with myself (who doesn’t?), that I am fairly logical and think things through. Well. NOT. Looks like I have some work to do.

I am divorced.

Nobody likes admitting and looking at failure, particularly when it is their own failure. I skirted around this issue, being divorced, because it’s just easier, and there is less to deal with socially, if I just don’t mention it. That is a form of lying to myself, and to others as well. My marriage ended, formally on paper at least, about a year ago.

The problem with loyalty as a character trait is that sometimes it gets in the way of taking action that you know that you need to take. Especially when it involves people you care about. The person you cared enough about to marry is a prime example. When a divorce is amicable, with the good of both partners considered, no fireworks or screaming, it can be another problem all in itself. Screaming and anger makes it much easier to walk away – run away, probably. We did not do that, even though I did move, on my own, to another country.

So, for a time after the paperwork was finalized, we communicated, and continue to do so. I don’t hate the man. I just could not continue to live with him. Being friendly, even on a long-distance basis (we were in different countries, for Pete’s sake) led to the idea that possibly, somewhere down the road, the relationship we had (mostly a good one) might be resurrected. I toyed with it, I considered it. I know better. I always knew better. I just wasn’t facing it.

As time moved on with no change in his circumstances, and as part of my own process of moving on, I took a new job in a new country. And, I joined an online dating site – determined to do something concrete to begin the search, once again, for a life partner (by long-distance, written communication first, where there was no physical attraction to gum up the works). I hoped that getting to know someone intellectually first, discovering common ground in interests, values and goals in advance of a face-to-face meeting, might make for a more secure foundation for a long-term relationship that what I had done in the past. So far, so good. Nice theory, and I hope it works.

It took an astute comment from someone I met online (who is thoughtful and wiser that I), however, for me to finally come face-to-face with my own intellectual dishonesty – to myself and to others. I was still referring to my ex-husband as my husband, and I have been doing that for some time. Even when I met with him one last time to discuss the future and how I did not want it to include us as a couple, I continued to refer to him as my husband….not my ex-husband.

Damn. I am not liking what I see in the mirror today. It stinks being ashamed of yourself, especially when it was something you did to yourself. and you have absolutely no one else to blame but your own stupid self.

415: My Country, T’is of Thee

I am American. I amĀ  fiercely proud of my country, even when she is led by idiots. Americans give of their time, money and goods to the rest of the world, unlike many others. American politicians think they are the world’s policemen – and I already mentioned even when she is run by idiots. Proof positive. CHINA now has the world’s largest standing military – let THEM do the world policing for a few decades, and reap the un-thanks for doing it that we have harvested over the last double-handful of decades. It is time for America to close its doors and take care of its own – but first, she needs to shake a lot of illegal fleas off her back – back to their countries of origin, to get in line with the others who are filling out forms, paying fees, standing in line and waiting patiently (or less-than-patiently, as the case may be) to become American citizens legally.

Doing anything illegally is not how it is done, and the fact that America is being run by idiots right now does not change or mitigate or alter that truth in any way. I am not sure how it is possible to be so fiercely proud of my country and so completely, utterly and totally ashamed of her leadership – but there it is.