Exactly what distinguishes a person’s rudeness from honest opinion or frank discourse. I keep trying to think of a recent incident of rudeness to use as an example and all I can come up with is that Kanye West’s outrageous behavior at the MTV Awards. I’m not even sure that’s rudeness so much as just someone being an ass. No, the kind of rudeness I’m thinking about is when someone zips into the parking space you’ve been waiting on. The rude behavior another driver exhibits by taking two parking spots instead of one. Then there’s the one that pisses me off the most.
You’re already parked and come back to find that the Beavis Butthead who parked next to you left you no room to access your car from the driver’s side. As a result, you have to crawl through the passenger side to the wheel. In that particular case, I wrote a note that said “Where the hell did you learn to park? I couldn’t get into my car from the driver’s side. Talk about being rude!” Did the note work? I’ve no idea but it did make me feel better. I confronted the rudeness. Now my note was probably rude, but if the person had been there when they parked, I would have politely asked them to move their car. One of these days I’m going to be like that little old lady in the YouTube video where she hits the car and airbags go off! Only I’m going to take a crowbar to their taillights. Ok, ok, if you know me well enough, you know that’s just bluster.Why do you think I’m a writer, I have a terrific imagination.
I think the deal that gets me the most is this mentality that we have to just turn and walk away from rudeness. What do most people do when someone jumps in front of you in the grocery store? They just give the person a glare. I’m the first one to say, um… excuse me, I was in line next or this person was next. I think to ignore rudeness condones the behavior. How do you call someone on their bad manners by just turning away? Now I’m not talking about acting rude in return. I’m talking about say, “Excuse me, but you need to move your car.” “Excuse me, I don’t think you’re mother taught you how to steal.”
What about the kids in stores who’re are running around like a hoodlum while the parent is either distracted or doesn’t care. I know people who hesitate to say something to the kids. I don’t I treat them just the same as I would my own kids. I can think of only ONE instance where the parent wasn’t either grateful or embarrassed by their inability to control their kids. When I see they’re embarrassed, I smile and say, hey they can be a handful, wait until their teenagers.
In the past eight years, the “mean girl” type mentality has become the attitude DuJour. I find appalling. The “mean girl” excuse is that they’re just being frank and open. I totally get and commend their desire to create discussions that are frank, open and honest. But for God’s sake, could we please, just please, have a little civility involved if someone doesn’t fricking agree with you. Why is it that the “mean girl” mentality says we have to rip apart this person, thing, attitude, or other viewpoint because it’s doesn’t fall in line with our beliefs.
And using the excuse that I just object to the “mean girl” mentality because people aren’t being nice is BS. I want women to feel strong and powerful in their own right. But by God, we don’t have to get down in the sewer with the rest of the rats to state our disagreement with something. It’s not about me thinking women should be nice and sweet all the time with their opinions, it’s about appearing like a human being who has the good sense God gave them to state their opinions and beliefs in a calm, non-confrontational manner. Rolling around in the manure doesn’t make you tough, it makes you stink. And I should know cuz I’ve been there, and I’m embarrassed by the stench I had at the time.
A large number of the population faces depression on a lot of different levels. Some are depression for brief periods, while others are depressed for much longer periods. What bothers me is the inability of people to ask for help. That’s not a criticism, but a sadness that people have that difficulty. Because when you stretch out your hand, in almost every case there’s someone there to grab your hand. I understand better than most that asking for help is a very hard thing to do. I view myself as a tough bird, and when I admit that I need assistance, I see myself as a failure. The truth is, it takes a really strong person to ask for help.
I’ve needed help since about March of last year. I kept pushing it aside, blaming my need for help on first my back pain, then on the stress of writing, then on the bills, then on the boss. It all came to a head about mid-December when I was sobbing at the drop of the hat. I knew my meds weren’t working so I got an appointment with a psychiatrist for the first time in five years.
I’d had the most wonderful doctor in Roanoke, so when we moved to Richmond, I just had my GP write prescriptions for my meds instead of trying to replace Dr. Joe. You might ask why I didn’t find a new doctor when we moved here five years ago. Well, just like a schizophrenic who is feeling better thinks ‘oh, I don’t need meds anymore,’ I thought I didn’t need to find a psychiatrist if my wonderful, thoughtful GP prescribes my meds for me instead. Now my GP is fantastic. Sig is this amazing doctor who knows his limitations and admits it. He’s also a devout Christian, and while we disagree on some core issues, he’s ALWAYS open to my thoughts as I am to his, and I love our brief debates when I see him. But he doesn’t specialize in bipolar disorder.
So I saw a new doctor yesterday. While he was a sweet old-fashion doctor he wasn’t right for me, which made the day even more horrible because of the way I was feeling, and still am. He changed my meds, but when it came time to schedule another appointment, I broke down in the scheduler’s office. She was quite sympathetic and said my reaction happens all the time in the clinic because not all doctors click with all patients.
Afterward, I made my way back to my car and sat there and sobbed for a long time. I really HATE feeling this way, particularly when I know it’s not ME, but the chemistry in my system is out of whack. It makes one feel helpless and out of control. Two things that gall me more than even rudeness. Okay, maybe not.
Now I’m not sharing this here because I want sympathy. Trust me, I’m in major self-pity mode already. Don’t need in enablers. What I do need is for anyone who reads this to take special note when someone seems blue and ask if there’s anything they can do to make that person’s blues abate. Sometimes just listening is the kindest thing you can do for a person. Okay, next topic.
Facing one’s mortality is something many Westerners put off until the last minute. Death isn’t an easy thing for us, and in western thought, we believe that suicide or assisted suicide is wrong. Now in general, I see suicide as a cry for help. I’ve done it, and I know it was my cry for help. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any doctors good enough at the time (when I was 19) to give me the help I needed. Instead I was on zombie drugs until I came out of the depths of hell and resumed some sense of normalcy, although I’ve NEVER been “normal.” So for me suicide has two different faces. One is the helpless despair and a cry for help.
The other face of suicide is more complex. It’s about a person’s decision to end their life when one has a terminal illness or one’s quality of life has degraded so severely that quantity makes a mockery of one’s life. I’ve always believed that it’s my full-fledged, God-given right to do what I want with my body. I don’t want anyone or any religion telling me what I can or can’t do. There’s the control / independence thing for me. Facing mortality isn’t the issue for me, it’s HOW I’ll end my mortality that frightens me.
I don’t want to lose my faculties because that would be the worst possible death I can imagine. You just go out with a whimper, and I want to go with all the gusto I’ve done throughout my life. I want to die as vibrantly as I try to live. I think the Creator wants us to embrace life, experience it’s full, robust complexities. I believe the Creator wants us to do it full-blown, throwing oneself out into the wind and letting it carry us to another place, taking chances. All of this has really been driven home to me of late as to how I shall end up my days.
Since Thanksgiving my wonderful husband has been dealing with aging parents (we can add this to my list of depressing things as well). His mother is getting senile, and his father is finding it difficult to care for her. When we visited over the Thanksgiving holidays, we could tell from the wretch, unclean state of the house that something needed to be done.
Now I’ll be upfront right now and state that the MIL and I have never really gotten along. But I’m bothered more than I thought I would be by her obvious declining state. I understand her frustration at being lucid and when someone tells her something she did she doesn’t remember. It’s that sense of having no control. I also teared up bad in the lawyer’s office when she and the FIL signed over power of attorney to my husband as well as their house.
I knew watching them sign those documents that I would one day be in the same place. And that is one of my worst fears. Losing control. Losing my independence. I know my girls love me and would give me their last dime, but the thought of having to be looked after is so distressing, no humiliating. So despite the MIL’s antagonism throughout the years, I feel a great deal of sympathy for her. I have told my girls that they won’t have to worry about a nursing home for me, because I’ll collect pills to end it in a lucid moment OR I’ll be sure to walk out into a boat load of traffic. I will NOT go gently into that dark night. I shall rage against the dying light until I reach another light where a new adventure begins.
So how’s that for a mixed bags of vent dujour? Depressed? Don’t be. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s just that some tunnels are a little longer than others. And it takes the tow truck a little bit of time to maneuver through the traffic to reach your stalled car. But help is always there. You just have to ask.Wow! I’m back to my usual lengthy post! This one might be a record. *smile*