Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I know that many people blog simply because they enjoy writing, and this is one venue when others are clogged up, dried up, or feel like danger zones. Yeah, I am talking about those of us who really want to write that novel, but can't quite get a handle on it, so we blog in order to write something. At least that is how this whole thing started. I have discovered that there is a flipside to this blogging reality. And that, my blogging friends, is this: people in the real world are not very nice. There is a very real lack of kindness out there. Have you noticed?

If you have been blogging for any length of time, you may have met some people on here who are more friendly and kinder than anyone you actually know. It is comforting and discouraging, all at the same time. It is a relief to meet someone who is nice. It is horrible that they live in your computer.

I called a friend of mine who lives here on Christmas Eve, her birthday. Turned out not to be a good time. She said to call the next day because her family did everything on Christmas Eve. I called and got the machine. She promised that she would call me back. I left a message saying that I would be up until at least 10pm. Call anytime before then. Never heard back. That day or any day since. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I always was the one who called her. She never calls me. So, I am very undecided about what to do. So far, I am not calling again. Her son is good friends with my ex-husband. I called him (my ex, not her son) to talk about the kids this past weekend. Turns out he was at her house and it sounded like she was having a party. He also said he would call me back. Still waiting on that return phone call, too. There is definitely a part of me that is glad to not be at the top of my ex's priority list... However, common decency does dictate that I would like a call back within 48 hours. We are now well beyond that. And the fact that he made the guest list and I didn't on a party... well, that just sucks. No other word for that.

So today was my annual mammogram. Actually, my first ever. And it wasn't bad. Everyone should go if you are at that age. As in 40 or over. It was yet another dual lesson in kindness. After you get checked in, there is another small waiting room in the back. At a certain point, I knew that I was next. However, about four other women had come in. All of them got called before me and put into dressing rooms. At that time, the tech with my chart came in and saw what had happened. She became really angry because she knew what had happened. I had no idea, but I thought I was supposed to be next. She mumbled something about dressing rooms and said, "We're going to get you a gown and you can change in the room." And that is what she did.

As we got into the room with the machine, she handed me my gown. She told me that I was next in line, but the other techs were trying to beat me to the machine by getting their people into the dressing rooms first. She foiled their plan by taking the room with the machine and locking the door. Apparently, the unwritten rule is that if the person who is next is not "ready," then the following person on the list can supersede them. So, all the techs put their people in dressing rooms to see who could get undressed and into a gown first. It was like sharks in the water. It made my girl mad. Apparently, this was not a working environment where kindness reigned and co-workers looked out for one another. Where has all the kindness gone?

I was trying to explain this to my mom in the car while we were driving to the Sam's shopping complex. She had an exchange to make at Tractor Supply Company, and then we were making a fairly quick stop at Sam's Club. She never did quite grasp the situation. The idea that the co-workers were trying to jump each other in the line for the machines (there were two small plate, one large plate) was an alien concept to her. She simply couldn't wrap her brain around it. She is a "you do it the right way" person. Well, so am I. I would have had a tough time working there. Migraine city.

In the middle of all this, we were dealing with the interstate and merging into traffic. Some yo-yo was right on her tail and she got really upset about it. I was afraid we were going to have a repeat of what I call "the incident" from when I was in junior high. That would be the time some guy flipped off my mom in traffic, and it made her so mad that she rolled down her window, whipped out her middle finger, and shook it at him. She was screaming at the top of her voice, "To you too, buddy." I was holding a vanilla shake from McDonald's that I almost ended up wearing in my lap. That was as close as I had ever come to seeing my mom curse. Ever. My hands went limp and my whole body went into shock. I wasn't able to speak for nearly ten minutes. Like I said, we almost relived that again today. However, this time I was expecting it and I had no shake. A shake would have been nice, come to think of it.

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  1. Yep, totally get this post. I find most people start off nice, then turn into aggravated, angry people - eventually. As for the people online, yeah - everyone seems really nice. Though - I am a cynic.. I wonder.... :-)


    Here's to finding happiness in the oddest places!

    As for that "friend" - if you can.. cut your losses.

  2. It's funny -- usually, the anonymity of being online lets people feel they can behave in any venomous way they choose to. And yet, in my experience, my blogging friends are truly some of the best people I know -- always encouraging, supportive, cheering me on. In real life, people are just so consumed with their own needs that it utterly escapes them that other people (there are other people?!?!?) might have their own needs. We should behave the same way towards others whether we're hiding behind a screen or looking them in the eye; and we should always behave with integrity. Yeah, good luck finding THAT, huh???

  3. I say don't call that rude woman who you call friend back. Make new friends who know how to treat a friend.

    That Mamogram jockeying for position thing is bizzare.

    My mom never got mad about anything. I have always tried to be calm and am pretty much but today I was coming back from an appointment and in the late to make a left turn. The first car in the line was wanting to make a u-turn. Doing this she was blocking the left turn lane as well as the right turn lane on the road we were turning onto. Usually I would just wait but I laid on the horn. She turned left and went through a little parking lot and back around; which is what she should have done in the first place.

  4. My mom just doesn't curse and doesn't get mad. That is why is was sooooo shocking when I was a teenager and I remember it so vividly. She is still not one to curse or get upset easily. I think that she is more nervous as a driver and when that fellow was right on her bumper when she was trying to merge, it caused her anxiety. Had he flipped her off after making her so tense that he might run into her, that just might have been the last

  5. It's hard looking at all the anger makes me angry. I was listening to the preacher on the radio today, and actually I read a book by the dalai lama some years ago that addressed the same issue, or the same problem..of anger begetting anger. I can count on one hand the number of times I have returned kindness for anger. And it always worked in diffusing the situation. returning anger for anger....well, it generally escalated the situation. In one instance I was sitting in a chair in goodwill, and an old lady came up and out of nowhere started haranging me for sitting in one of two chairs meant for sitting, she said I was selfish and that I should get up and let others sit...granted there were other people sitting, I said "I'm selfish"...she said ""YES" I said "I'm ill mannered?" she said "Yes"....I was sooo pissed...but I heard this little internal voice telling me to conduct myself as jesus had with one of his disciples when his cloak was I stood up and bowed and waved my hand toward the chair. She was so stunned she just stood there. lololol.
    I walked away. The lady beside her got out of her chair and left as well. The old lady tried to call me back to sit down, and I just walked away. But man, that was one of the hardest things I have ever done, to swallow my pride and walk away. I am still proud of that. But the thing is, it would have been bigger and better if I would have gone back and shown her compassion. There is always room for improvement. I wish I would think more when I am angry, I am working on it. I would like every response to perceived injustice to be that good. lol.

  6. As usual, Robin, you struck a nerve. But I've got to believe that the people who are eliminating you from their social circle are the very people who don't deserve you as a friend. Let them go and try not to be hurt by their snubs. The new year brings new beginnings and not all of them are easy to take. Enjoy those who make you feel good about yourself. As for the rest, *&^% 'em! Cheers!

  7. What a good post. I'm sure many people have found the same same as you. People online in 'Blogworld' are so much nicer than those in the real world. I had a friend like yours and I seemed to be the one who made the effort to arrange visits etc. Hubby said to leave the phone calls and wait for her to do her part and guess what she never did...still waiting to hear from her.
    I've not a had a mammogram yet..I think I've 'slipped through the net' here but as our health system is a complete shambles I think I'll just wait for the pleasure. Every time I had to go to hospital when I was young and undergoing lengthy treatment I had to queue for hours in a little room and never knew when I'd be seen. It's so depressing isn't it? Still your girl at least sorted you out.
    My mother and father have also never ever sworn...(I'm sure some motorists would probably like to curse at my mother's driving though) As for me swearing well that's a different story:)
    Cyber hugs to you

  8. Kindness is a trait that seems to have gone by the wayside for some reason. I don't know whether it is because everyone is in competition with each other or what the story is there; but there certainly is no shortage when it comes to less than kind people. The blog world seems to invoke a different kind of moral standard. For the most part, everyone seems to be the complete opposite of those people in the outside world. They are kind, caring, respectful, genuine and sincere.

    Wishing you much happiness this year my friend.

  9. I actually giggled when I read about your mom ... I know it's not really funny, except I sort of imagined her to be a bit like my own mum ... and it would be so totally out of character that I can completely relate to your shock! What annoys me is that the "nicest" people who so rarely get angry (like our mothers) get taken advantage of so often by people who are not so nice. Might is not supposed to be right, and yet bullying often gets rewarded in adult life, in a way that we wouldn't tolerate with children.

    Through out my twenties and thirties, in my own reactions, I struggled with the pendulum swinging from the extreme non-confrontational peace-maker zone, to the "I have to stand up for myself!" confrontational position. Now that I'm in my 40's, I think I've sort of mellowed out a bit. Maybe it's a cop-out but I don't think so ... I think I just don't want other people's meanness, rudeness, bullying to turn me into something less than I am meant to be. I am meant to be a peaceful, kind, and loving person and I don't want to let someone else's bad character to rub off on me.

    To that end .... I have gradually withdrawn from friendships that are one-sided where I have to do all the work for little or no reward. I will not let my self-worth be destroyed by someone else's lack of courtesy or kindness.

    Robin, your value is not based on whether or not one of your "friends" has the courtesy or the interest in returning your phone call. You are a kind, loving woman. Don't let someone else's rudeness influence how you view yourself! And wherever possible, surround yourself with people who will give back to you when you give to them, who understand what real friendship is all about.

  10. Sorry it took me so long to comment, I've been a bit under the weather. I hope you are having a great and happy and very successful new year!

  11. I try very hard to focus on the ones that are nice and forget about those who aren't. Gee, and a vanilla shake sounds pretty good to me right now too.

  12. Robin: This is one of my all-time favorite posts! I am only blogging one year, but I have found my blogging friends to be great people. I wish I could meet them all. I think it might be that birds of a feather..... who knows. In any event, there are many nice people in this world.

    Years ago, I would get angry or upset with people for things they did or said. I no longer do that. Even if someone is a complete jackass, I think to myself, "Why is he or she acting that way"? I have discovered that once in a while it is me, but more often than not their behavior has something to do with their personal lives beyond my knowledge. I find myself very understanding, and I live virtually stress free.

    That being said, mean people suck.


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