Saturday, May 8, 2010

Letter to my mother

Dear Ma,

It's been years since I wrote you a letter....probably as many as my age. So, I thought I'd pen a few words about you, for you, and to you. The fact that you're my mother, sister and best friend isn't the topic of discussion in this letter. Neither are the facts that I always felt as loved and protected with the mere thought of you (when you weren't around), or that I love you dearly and have never known a more beautiful woman, a part of this letter. If you don't know this by now then you're crazy, and we can't have two crazy people in the same family (not talking about you dad).

No, this letter is going to tell you all the things I hate about you. The things that make be mad as hell and cringe with fright.

I hate your hips. Oh, on you they look fine (could lose a little off the edges though). It's the fact that I've inherited them and it takes me forever to keep them in even the slightest of decent shape, that I can't stand. Your eyesight! Can't stand the fact you can't see even an inch in front of your face without your glasses, but can see into the depths of my soul, without my being anywhere near you. I detest your intuition. You would always know when I needed you, though I tried to hide the fact, even from across the world. Your sense of smell is demonic! Every time I'd had a smoke you'd know, even before I entered the house.

Your dirty mind is one for a museum. Honestly, the things you've taught me could get even the darkest man red in the face with embarrassment. I think we can safely blame your mother for that one. You're crazy methods of relaxation make me want to crawl into the nearest hole, not because they work, but because they're too damned crazy not to. I hate your diplomatic ability, which has turned some of my worst moments bearable. I detest the fact you can teach anyone and anything (the cat) to do what you bid. I still remember scaring the daylights out of your tuition student, but you made him an honor student in his school. Your talent for all things artistic really irks me to no end, since I'm challenged in that arena.

I particularly can't stand your patience. It drives me nuts. You'd never lose sight of your goal, even when you were screaming and shouting at us, and always persisted, relentlessly, to achieve them (especially the goal to get me to behave). I abhor your tolerance, not only because you've accepted a whole load of crap thrown at you in your life with a smile, but because you always taught me to be the same. 

Your strength and absolute level headedness makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. I remember when my brother was burned, you swallowed your scream, and with a surgeon's precision started first aid, which later got you compliments from the entire burn unit staff for your quick thinking, while I ran around screaming my head off. I hate your steadfastness on things you know are right, and your inability to divert from the truth, no matter how hard it was to accept, especially for me. I especially hate it that you're always right, about everything, but have the decency not to rub it in my face with 'I told you so!'

I vehemently hate the fact that you always pushed me to be better than I was, especially because I was a girl. You let me make my mistakes and gave me space to understand them and learn from them, always in the background if I needed you. I don't even remotely like the fact that you've made me so independent that I could run a country on my own. I hated your constant nagging about my health, and the fact that if I didn't look after myself, no one else would.

But you know what the worst thing about you is?

I can never be you! That's a loss I mourn without even having. You are the epitome of perfection in my eyes, except the hips. I can only hope, as my children grow older, that they hate even a fraction of the things I hate about you. I am what I am because of you, but I hate it that you left me imperfect!

Love always
Your daughter.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Doers Don't Die!

It's not very often that I complain....I heard the collective snort! But today seems to be shaping up to be one big bitch fest. Before I open the proceedings, I would like to take a moment to blame my parents for making me courteous, giving, not too selfish, and a sucker for people who need my help! With that said...let the brain bashing begin.

SITUATION 1:  You need to be at an appointment half hour ago, You're stuck in traffic and will not, at least today, be able to make the appointed time. What do you do?
a. You call the other party and tell them you're held up in traffic. Apologize. Inform them you'll make it ASAP.
b. Call and reschedule the appointment. Apologize? The traffic's not my fault!
c. Wait for the other party to ain't wasting a dime on an unnecessary phone call.
d. you're already 3 hours late, they should have gotten the message by now.

If you chose (a), you may as well stand behind me with a sign on your forehead saying 'DUMBASS"! That's how I feel every time I have to wait for someone to meet me. In the age of cell phones it's amazing how careless and totally uncouth people can be, especially in a professional setting. If I have an appointment with my doctor, dentist, car servicing guy, swimming/karate coach or anyone else who I've given a time to, and cannot make it on time, I make sure I call them to let them know I'm running late (unless I'm piss drunk and can't remember the appointment). Isn't that the civil thing to do?

SITUATION 2: Someone sets up a group activity for your child, but the time doesn't gel for you. What do you do?
a. You thank that person, and perhaps ask if the timings can be changed a little to accommodate your child.
b. you tell the person the timings need to be changed to suit your child's needs. You'll thank them when the job's done to your satisfaction.
c. you confront them, accusing them of fixing the time purposely so that your child was left out, and threaten to get in your own activity group that would clash with the present one.
d. You refuse to talk to the person and make sure your child doesn't play with theirs.

If you chose (a), you may now change the sign on your forehead to "FREAKIN' IDIOT"! It amazes me to know that people are not only lazy, uncommitted and totally ungrateful, but top that with pigheadedness and unbecomingly rude, you've got a winning combination for the world's worst terrorist negotiator or parent (similar job profile). I know it takes different kinds people to make this world go around, but common decency is the crux of humanity....right?

These are just the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to dealing with really stupid people around me. In reality I do understand that every individual has the right to do as they please. But when it comes to societal situations it is a given that one should behave with others the way one would expect them to behave with you.

That's where my parents got it wrong!

In today's world it's every person for him/herself, no matter how arrogant, mean and bitchy you have to get. In this 'dog eat dog or get bitten on your ass' world, the concept of community seems to be slowly dying. Yes, we let our children play out in the park with the other kids. But where is the value addition for the community as a whole, where every member of the community comes together to do something as a whole, and possibly learn? It's impossible for me to just sit around gossiping about people who have no impact on my life. I'd much rather be in the thick of things that need to be done, but from my experiences thus far, I seem to be the fool. I sometimes wish my parents had made me a little less mannered, grateful, helpful and a lot more meaner,  ruder, and cruel. But then, I wouldn't want my children to grow up like that.

I have learned my lesson. I now fervently refuse to give up! I know my attitude gets me no votes as Ms. Popular, but that's not the it? Although I now refuse to put up with stupid people, I have come to the conclusion that teaching people, even one at a time, that common courtesy is expected from them at all levels, is the way to go.

They'll either do it or die trying!