I’ve been trying to examine my faults in my quiet moments. Not an easy thing to do.
One thing I’ve discovered is I like to do things my way—and I tend to think that’s the best approach most of the time. I think I can blame my mother for this one (doesn’t everyone?)
My mother raised us by three sayings:
Do Unto others as you would have them do unto you.
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Have the courage of your convictions.
Okay, I think I’ve done very well on the first one. I try really hard to treat everyone equally. I generally get along with most people and I’m usually pleasant to be around.
Score one for me.
As for number two—that one has been a lot harder for me. Some people are just begging to be mocked…… I mean, have you seen People of WalMart.com???? It was our main amusement during the down moments at the theatre to riff on assorted celebs and crazy-ass patrons. We were getting paid crap wages, we had to have something.
And when you’re in the kind of work where you deal with the public on a regular basis—as I have done with all of my many jobs—it is necessary to have the time to go off some place and, basically, rip the douche bag you’ve just waited on a new one.
So maybe I get a pass on some of those? Maybe? (It is Christmas time.)
Now—the third one.
That’s the one that tended to get us in tough situations—and the one that came back to bite my parents in the ass the most. Of course, my mother set the tone by having the courage of her convictions to not be the kind of cookie-cutter mother that was expected at the time she was having children. And she has continued to do that by re-inventing herself about 4 times. Most recently, she came clear across the country to move into a place sight unseen and live in close quarters with her adult daughter.
My eldest brother had the courage of his convictions when he refused to fight in the Vietnam War. And he paid a dear price for it too. (See this post and this one.)
Brother #2 has had the courage of his convictions to live as an out gay man his entire adult life—since pre-Stonewall days, I think.
I guess you could say I had the courage of my convictions when I moved in with my boyfriend without benefit of marriage in 1972.
So, you see there were precedents.
As a child, all six of us sat around the dinner table every evening and had discussions as we ate. From an early age we were encouraged to ask questions and formulate our own opinions on matters of importance. This is what I was used to.
Now, imagine a kid like that—a girl—going to Catholic school in the 1960s. I had a terrible time. I could not understand why the nuns didn’t want to hear my opinion on things. The whole “Children should be seen and not heard” thing was an alien concept to me.
And I’m still trying to come to grips with it. Anyone got any good tips