family, mental health, music, psychology

“It may be no big deal to you, but it’s a very big deal to me…”

Back in 2007, when Bill and I were about to move to Germany the first time, I picked up Lyle Lovett’s then new album, It’s Not Big, It’s Large. That album had a great song on it called “No Big Deal”. Although I haven’t listened to that great album recently, I am reminded of Lyle’s song, “No Big Deal”, as I write today’s post. Below are the lyrics, written by Mr. Lovett himself…

It’s Sunday morning, the club is on
That great cat’s still yawning
Because Saturday is gone

And I still feel the feeling
Of how you felt upon me
And it may be no big deal to you
But it’s a very big deal to me

You were down and dirty
And he was tall and twenty nine
And I’m only disconcerted
Because you said you knew I wouldn’t mind

But I still feel the feeling
Of how you telephone me
And it may be no big deal to you
But it’s a very big deal to me

But you can’t make a cool cat crazy
Like you can’t make a gray cat brown
And you can′t keep a wild cat
When she knows the wildest cat’s in town

So it′s Sunday morning
Yeah and I guess I had a coffee
Ooh ’cause I start recalling
A time I went astray

And I still feel the feeling
Of her last words of warning
She said, “Man, it may be no big deal to you
But it’s a very big deal to me
.”

She said, “Man, it may be no big deal to you
But it’s a very big deal to me
.”

Lyle says this is a morning song…

Lyle says he wrote this song years ago, while crashing on his friend Robert Keen’s couch in Nashville. I’m assuming he means Robert Earl Keen, the great songwriter. They’re about the same age. Anyway, Lyle is an earlier riser than Robert is, and he had this song in his head. I have a feeling someone in particular inspired it. Maybe Lyle was hurt by someone he thought was a better friend or lover to him than she actually was. And maybe he’s hurt someone who loved and trusted him, only to be betrayed.

This morning, I saw yet another AITA (Am I The Asshole) post that inspired me. This time, it was about two brothers who are no longer on speaking terms. Granted, I understand that a lot of these posts are made up, but I think this one is very plausible, because I hear about people doing this kind of shit all the time. Have a look:

This is a story about two brothers. Five years ago, the original poster (OP) had a girlfriend of three years. His older brother, Kevin, had an affair with her. The original poster found out about the betrayal and was very upset. He broke up with his girlfriend and moved back into his parents’ home. The post doesn’t mention if the two brothers were sharing a place, but my guess is that they must have been living together. Why else would the OP move?

The OP showed the proof of the affair to his parents, obviously expecting them to take his side. But, after a month, the parents started pressuring the OP to make amends with Kevin, who had started coming over to their house to apologize. The OP, still hurt and angry, rebuffed his brother, and was even more hurt and angry when their parents and his ex girlfriend tried to pressure him into getting over his pain on their timeline, and on their terms. The end result was that the OP decided to go “no contact” with his brother and his parents. Fair enough.

The OP stayed in touch with a cousin, who was keeping him apprised of his grandmother’s fragile health. She got very sick and was in the hospital, so the OP went to visit her. He ran into his brother, Kevin, at the hospital. Kevin tried to speak to him, and the OP acted like his formerly close older brother didn’t exist. The end result is that Kevin got so upset that he tried to overdose on pills.

Naturally, their parents were very concerned and they begged the OP to forgive Kevin, which he refused to do. The OP’s parents said they missed their family unit and desperately wanted their sons to reconcile. The OP claims he doesn’t care about them anymore, even though despite having gone “no contact”, he gets his parents’ messages to him. Then he asked if he was the asshole.

I was pretty triggered by this post.

(skip this if you’re only interested in the AITA post)…

Those of you who know me, might know that Bill has two daughters. For many years, both of them, plus his former stepson, were very estranged. When they were children, this estrangement was 100 percent Ex’s doing. She refused to let them have contact with Bill, because he dared to accept her divorce proposal. For this transgression, she believed he should lose everything, including his daughters and his parents.

Back in 2006, when older daughter was about 15 years old and younger daughter was 12, they wrote letters disowning Bill. The letters were obviously coached, and younger daughter later confirmed it. She said her mother stood over them and made them hand write the letters that she dictated. Then she photocopied the letters and sent them to Bill, along with adoption papers and several boxes of Bill’s belongings. All of this arrived just in time for Bill’s 42nd birthday.

I distinctly remember that older daughter demanded that Bill sign adoption papers so that #3 could adopt her and her sister. She explained that she wanted an “everyday daddy”, and warned that if Bill didn’t do as she demanded, she would never speak to him again. Both girls also addressed their natural father– the man who changed most of their diapers, took care of them when they were very young, and paid pretty much all of their bills– by his first name.

Seventeen years later, older daughter has been as good as her word. She doesn’t speak to Bill at all. Both she and younger daughter changed their surnames– again, at Ex’s behest. They probably got adopted, too, once younger daughter turned 18.

Younger daughter eventually came around and now she and Bill talk all the time. Bill hasn’t yet worked up the nerve to ask her if she’s been legally adopted. However, clearly, younger daughter thinks of Bill as her father, even if she is legally one of #3’s heirs. As for older daughter, who knows? She refuses to have anything to do with Bill.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I heard that when Bill’s father died in November 2020–older daughter’s beloved “Papa”– older daughter felt entitled to attend his funeral. She and Ex, who had hatched all this toxic bullshit in the first place, were sitting at their home, grieving over Bill’s father’s death, thinking they had a claim to publicly mourn him at the funeral. They wondered “what it would be” for them to get to attend the funeral.

Uh…FIL was in their lives because of Bill, who was his only son. Older daughter disowned Bill, changed her name, and probably got legally adopted. What the hell right does she have thinking she’s still in Bill’s family? Her paternal grandparents are now #3’s parents, not Bill’s parents. She voluntarily opted out of the family when she decided to disown her natural father. If she got adopted, then legally, the most she is to Bill’s family is a friend. That doesn’t automatically entitle her to be at family events, like funerals. Getting legally adopted by your mother’s third husband is a very serious thing, and it has very serious consequences.

As it turned out, my father-in-law’s funeral wasn’t well attended by anyone, because it happened during the worst of the pandemic. Not even Bill could attend his dad’s funeral, due to the lockdowns and travel restrictions. I’m pretty sure Bill’s awesome sister pretty much put the kibosh on Ex and older daughter being there, anyway.

Younger daughter told us that she tried to reason with her sister and said, “Why would you assume you’d be welcome at the funeral after the hostile way you’ve behaved toward them? You haven’t had a real relationship with them in years.”

But then in the spring of 2022, Ex showed up at Bill’s stepmother’s house in Tennessee with older daughter and her daughter with #3. SMIL, still grieving and lonely, welcomed them into her house. During that visit, Ex asked SMIL for money, and proposed that she move in with Ex up in New Hampshire. When SMIL demurred, Ex gave her some boxes and said she could use them to pack up anything she wanted to “pass down”.

Um… excuse me? YOU ARE NOT IN BILL’S FAMILY ANYMORE, EX. And that is 100 percent YOUR doing. Older daughter followed your lead, so she’s not in the family, either. She’s a 32 year old woman who is apparently smart enough to be in graduate school, studying in a mental health field, of all things. She’s old enough and intelligent enough to understand that when you go no contact and do extreme things like disowning people, changing your name, and getting adopted, the sword can cut both ways. You don’t get to dictate how people react when you take extreme measures against them. And no, you aren’t entitled to an inheritance– especially from the family you threw away!

Please don’t misunderstand me…

It’s not that I don’t think people have the right to go no contact, particularly if it means protecting their mental health. I absolutely agree that sometimes going no contact can be the healthiest thing a person can do. But if you’re going to go no contact for your health, I think you should really commit to it. That means that you don’t contact people who are close to those you’re ostracizing.

If older daughter is happier and healthier being #3’s daughter, so be it. But she has no business trying to connect with Bill’s family, if that’s really how she feels. That’s still Bill’s family, and he was there first. She was in that family in the first place because of Bill. Bill is the one who made “Papa” her grandfather. Moreover, cutting Bill off because he agreed to divorce a toxic, abusive, narcissist who actually PROPOSED the divorce in the in-laws’ home on Easter, does NOT make him the asshole!

Bill would love to talk to older daughter, and I would never try to stop him from doing so. But frankly, I wouldn’t blame him if he decided to counter going no contact with her. Keep in mind, though, that I’ve never been a parent, so I honestly don’t know what parental love and devotion feels like. I also have a much lower tolerance for abuse than Bill does.

Of course, the way I think “no contact” should work isn’t how it ends up working for a lot of people. Humans are complicated, and the majority of us form relationships with other people. Sometimes you can cut someone off completely and there won’t be any messiness. But when it’s a family member and you have any kind of connection with other family members, things can get very complicated in a hurry. Not everyone is going to agree with you that going “no contact” is the right approach, and they won’t all take your side and share in your extreme decision.

If you still have a connection with those people, you will continue to have a connection to the person with whom you’re trying to go no contact. So really, what you have is more of a toxic “low contact” scenario, which personally, I don’t think works very well. If you feel so negative about someone that they need to be completely cut out of your life, but then you hang around their relatives, you WILL still be in contact with them.

I think Ex is okay with that. She never lets anyone go, and never intended to leave Bill’s family or their marriage. She doesn’t want to be no contact with him, although she’d never lower herself to sincerely apologize for ALL of the things she did (Bill takes full responsibility for his part). She thinks his family is still her family, just as she thinks what belongs to other people belongs to her.

That’s why she felt entitled to invite herself–and US— to Bill’s dad’s house for Christmas, back in 2004. If I were to drop dead tomorrow and she heard about it, I bet she’d try to hoover Bill. She’d be quite shameless about it. I’ve seen her in action. She thinks he’s weak, and the only reason she can’t have him is because I control him. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Back to the post in question…

Based on the original post that prompted this entry, I get the sense that the “no contact” decision is fairly new (five years can pass in a flash, once you’re over 21). The OP has only fairly recently cut off his family. He has every right to be pissed at Kevin and his ex girlfriend. What they did was very hurtful. He also has a right to be angry about what happened with his parents, if that’s how he feels.

However, I also think the OP is being pretty self-centered. His parents weren’t the ones who slept with his girlfriend. Kevin is their son, too. Obviously, Kevin has mental health issues of some sort, which means they believe he needs their support, even if he’s “toxic”.

I don’t know if the suicidal gesture was a genuine attempt, or if it was just Kevin trying to be manipulative. While I think any suicide attempt should be taken very seriously, I also notice that Kevin used a less lethal method of making his attempt.

It sounds really morbid, and I’m sorry for that, but men have a tendency to use more violent means when they attempt suicide. Statistics show that women are more likely to attempt suicide, but men are more likely to die from suicide. While people absolutely do die of overdoses, it usually takes some time for that to happen… time that would allow them to be discovered and taken to a hospital. Based on the AITA post, that’s what happened in Kevin’s case.

It’s certainly not the OP’s fault that Kevin overdosed. He’s not responsible for Kevin’s mental health or lack thereof. Not knowing the people involved, I can’t tell if this behavior is one of a long string of issues that made the OP finally decide he was done, or if this behavior is new. Sleeping with your brother’s girlfriend is pretty toxic stuff, although obviously, the girlfriend shares the blame in that decision. Maybe the OP dodged a bullet, thanks to his brother. Good that he didn’t marry the girlfriend. She probably would have been unfaithful.

It sounds like the overdose was, perhaps, Kevin’s way of forcing the OP to “rock bottom”– as a means of showing him what he was “throwing away”. That was another one of Ex’s tactics… and it was very shitty, manipulative, and totally disrespectful. She did it to Bill (not through a suicide attempt, but through deliberately causing huge problems), and later, she did it to younger daughter (that time it was an overdose– “suicide attempt”).

The concept of “rock bottom”, by the way, isn’t about causing catastrophic problems for the target. It’s about forcing them to deal with their “bad” behaviors without enabling them. So, if the OP or Bill were drug addicts, for instance, their friends and loved ones wouldn’t give them a place to stay, buy them food or clothes, or bail them out of jail. That would be helping them to reach “rock bottom”, where they might finally realize things are so bad that they have to change their lifestyles. Feigned suicide attempts and trying to get the family to ostracize or pressure the target are not what “rock bottom” is about. That’s just toxic manipulation.

The part I think the OP is missing is that his parents are stuck in the middle of this mess. They just want peace and harmony, and it’s hard to take sides, especially when it means choosing between sons. The OP is punishing his parents for loving Kevin, which is only the natural thing for normal parents to do. He’s their child, just as the OP is. It’s not fair to put them in a loyalty bind. In fact, the parents should stay out of this, as it’s not really their business. Moreover, the parents did let the OP move in with them, even though he was a grown man when this happened. He repaid them by demanding that they take his side in a situation that should have stayed between the actual people involved.

OP certainly has a right to his feelings and his responses to those feelings. However, he should realize that other people also have rights to their feelings and responses. If the OP wants to go no contact, that’s fair enough. But he shouldn’t be upset when he runs into his brother and parents, if he’s also going to stay in contact with cousins, grandparents, and other people in the family. That’s going to happen, particularly at family events like weddings and funerals or visiting someone in the hospital.

If the OP wants to go no contact for his mental health, he needs to be “all in” and really go no contact. Otherwise, he’s just as manipulative and toxic as they are, and this is just about him being vindictive and punishing his brother and his parents. Personally, I think it’s pretty sad to throw away a brother and two parents over a cheating girlfriend… but maybe it’s part of a larger pattern, in which case going no contact makes a lot more sense. If OP had been married to the woman, that would be more serious, in my view.

My verdict on this situation? Everyone sucks here. They all sound like they need to grow up. Unfortunately, in these kinds of family messes, ultimately fixing the issue usually isn’t up to just one person who suddenly decides to be mature. A group effort is necessary. On the other hand, someone does have to take the first step. I would hope it would be taken in a healthy way, and not in a manipulative, dramatic, dangerous way, like overdosing or staging “interventions” that blame the victim.

What Kevin and the girlfriend did may not have been a big deal to them, but it was a very big deal to the original poster. He’s not wrong to be angry about it… but he might want to reconsider if shitcanning his whole family is really the best response. Because if he really wants to be no contact, that’s what it’s going to take.

On a side note… when I typed in “men suicide attempts”, Google wanted my location.

Standard
communication, condescending twatbags, dogs, rants, social media, stupid people

Welcome to my block list, fool!

Be warned, y’all. I’m in the mood to rant. There will probably be some profanity, and yes, I’ll be spelling out all the words. I don’t like the practice of using asterisks in swear words. Fuck that noise. Proceed with caution.

Some time ago, I got tired of George Takei’s Facebook posts. I decided to unfollow him, because too often, I’d find myself having hostile interactions with his followers. A lot of Takei’s followers are of the left-wing variety. I’ve got no issues with that, until they try to ram their opinions down my throat. If a stranger responds to my comment with anger, I don’t usually bother to read what they say. Sometimes, I’ll even use my block button.

Now… I’m not referring to someone I’ve directly addressed and pissed off in some way. What I mean is, if I’ve written a stand alone comment and a total stranger immediately responds to me with vitriol or mocking, I consider that offensive. Chances are good I won’t bother to read what they’ve written. Same thing goes for people who respond to me with condescension or derision. It’s poor communication, and I don’t have time for it. Gotta think about my blood pressure. Would rather clean the lint out of my belly button than read that.

Here’s my reasoning for this. I don’t wake up in the morning and deliberately decide to write something that is going to piss someone off. I’m a decent human being and I deserve basic respect. If I leave a comment, most of the time, I’m being serious. I’ve usually given thought to what I’ve posted. So, if your response is to “laugh” at me, or try to tell me off, I’m going to turn off your ability to interact with me. Ain’t nobody got the time for that bullshit. Go troll someone else.

I need this t-shirt.

Somehow, even though I had unfollowed George Takei some time ago, I ended up being resubscribed to his posts (which I suspect aren’t his posts anymore). Like a lot of other formerly good pages, lately George Takei’s Facebook posts now mostly consist of “Am I the Asshole” stories from Reddit. Some AITA posts are entertaining. Some are infuriating.

A couple of days ago, there was a post about a guy whose sister took his kids out and bought them a puppy without his permission. The guy didn’t want a dog and the sister knew it, but she bought the puppy anyway. The kids were delighted, of course, but their father was furious. He demanded that his sister take the dog back, but she refused. She claimed that her landlord wouldn’t let her have another dog. So the guy immediately took the innocent dog to the pound!

I just went looking for the post on my personal Facebook feed, but I couldn’t find it. My original comment for my “friends” is that taking a dog to the pound immediately makes the guy an asshole. But I also think his sister is an asshole for bringing the dog home and refusing to find it an appropriate home. So, in my opinion, they’re both assholes. Maybe it’s a genetic thing. Who knows?

On Takei’s post, I simply posted “Give the dog to a rescue!”

Now… I do understand that giving a dog to a rescue is not always that simple. Sometimes it takes time to arrange that. However, I was reacting to the AITA poster’s very profane and mean comments about the dog, a defenseless creature who was not at fault in that situation. The guy was saying things like “I don’t want a fucking dog.” and “No way are we keeping the fucking dog.” And, then, he didn’t care at all about potentially sentencing that poor creature to death by dumping it at the pound, hence my response that he (or his sister) should find a rescue. It was mainly a comment of disgust, more than anything else. I know the guy isn’t going to read my comment, and it’s too late, now, anyway. Most people are bright enough to understand that, right?

I wonder about the decency of people who dump dogs at the pound in places where they might be euthanized simply because they’re taking up space. In fact, I wondered, given that man’s insane and profane comments about the dog, if he was even a decent parent. He seemed abusive and cruel to me. But I do know that not everyone likes dogs. He was rightfully pissed that his sister had tried to dump a dog on him, so maybe cussing about it wasn’t totally wrong. It WAS wrong to just dump the dog at the pound, though… in my humblest of opinions, of course.

Anyway, a couple of days passed, and last night, I got this comment from some woman who, not knowing a single thing about me, decided I needed a good schoolin’. She left me this condescending lecture response about why contacting a rescue is the wrong thing to do. I didn’t bother to read beyond the first sentence or two, because she was insulting my intelligence, and that was offensive. I was in no mood for that shit, so I gave her the orange emoji and wrote “I know. I’ve rescued six dogs myself. Spare me the lectures.”

Her response to that was to employ the laugh reaction emoji. So I immediately blocked her. I figure, I don’t need to have anything to do with an asshole like that. Ain’t nobody got the time for that bullshit!

Maybe that seems like an extreme response to something insignificant. I know it’s an indication that I need to quit bothering to respond to most things, because there’s always a chance some idiot out there in Internetland is going to feel the need to engage me in a disrespectful way. Moreover, the vast majority of people you run into on Facebook are people you won’t ever again be having any other interaction with at all in life.

On a different day, I might have been more in the mood to politely engage with the woman. Yesterday, I wasn’t feeling up to it, and I didn’t appreciate her ignorant comment to me. If she knew me offline, she’d know that I’m really into my dogs. But she doesn’t know me, and yet she felt emboldened to try to school me. It’s a waste of time, and I definitely ain’t got the time for that.

I don’t know this woman from Adam. She might be the most wonderful person, ever. But I truly didn’t feel like having an interaction with her, because I honestly didn’t think my comment needed her “correction”, and her approach was patronizing and obnoxious. When I responded to her, I was clearly annoyed. Any idiot could see that, based on the orange reaction. Most normal people, when they’re offline, don’t feel the need to keep “poking the bear” when it’s clear the person they’re talking to is irritated. Especially when it’s a total stranger.

ASSHOLE!!

I mean, what the fuck is wrong with that person? I don’t owe anyone a polite conversation, particularly when I wasn’t responding to them in the first place. When I do address people, I try to be civilized, at least at first. Anyway, because the fellow Takei follower mocked me, she took her place with all the scammers, abusers, real life idiots, and MAGA trolls who currently populate my block list.

This morning, I got to use the block button again. This time, it was against someone I don’t know in person, but with whom I have had a few unfortunate past encounters on Facebook. He is a very conservative friend of someone with whom I went to high school. I don’t enjoy engaging with the guy, but because I sometimes comment on my old friend’s posts, I’ve occasionally run into him over the past couple of years. I’ve even blogged about his stupidity a few times. After today, I probably won’t do that anymore, because like the Takei post idiot, he’s now on my block list.

The interaction that caused me to use the block button involved politics. My old friend from school had posted about Mitch McConnell’s apparent “mini stroke”. Someone posted about Joe Biden being a “criminal”. I did not directly respond to that person, but I did leave a general comment that I hate it when people call Joe Biden a criminal when Donald Trump is so much worse. I mean, he just got indicted again yesterday. I’ve lost count of how many times Trump has been indicted by federal and state governments, and yet people still champion him and would love to see him return to power. Why put someone in power who has no respect for the law?!

Anyway, my friend’s conservative “$1.89 gas loving” friend laugh reacted at me. So I decided to use the block button. I ain’t got time for that shit. He wants to laugh at me when I’m being serious? That just shows he has no respect for others. I don’t want to waste time interacting with him. I don’t have time for it. He can stay in his echo chamber with the rest of the red hat wearing cult crowd. I’ll engage with people who still have actual brain activity.

To be clear, I don’t necessarily have a problem with conservatives. I have lots of conservative friends and family members, and for years, I identified as one myself. I value other people’s opinions, because that’s how a person can develop a well rounded approach to living. But a person who laughs at those with whom they disagree is disrespectful, lacks an open mind, and doesn’t value other viewpoints. I take that as a sign of someone with low intelligence. So why bother interacting with them? I figure I’ve already lived half my life. Time’s a wastin’. Don’t need to be trying to mesh with someone who feels the need to mock others.

I mention my school friend’s “friend” because I want to show that I generally don’t block people willy nilly. I’ve had a number of interactions with that guy when I was in less of a “mood”. I’ve repeatedly tolerated his stupid comments about how great Trump is because gas prices were lower when he was the president (presidents don’t control gas prices). I’ve repeatedly read his dogged attempts to sway people to his MAGA cult, yet I’ve really tried to maintain basic respect for his rights to his own opinions. I don’t try to argue with him about his deeply held beliefs. It would be a waste of time, not to mention disrespectful. Even after blocking him, I still believe he has the right to his opinions. I just don’t want to read them anymore. We are not going to be “friends”, so he might as well not exist in my world. 😉 May he go with God, and all… and enjoy a fulfilling, fruitful life… far away from my Facebook feed.

To the half dozen or so people I expect might read this, you might be wondering why I have these extreme reactions. Call it a “psychological sunburn”… or maybe it’s more like an allergic reaction. I’m allergic to people who don’t take me seriously. It probably comes from being the youngest child of four, with many years between me and my next sibling. For most of my life, people have treated me in a demeaning way because I’m younger than they are, or I giggle a lot, or I’m female, less conservative, have blonde hair, or some other dumbassed reason. They have failed to realize that I’m a responsible, basically intelligent person with feelings. I don’t deserve to be insulted or mocked, particularly by strangers.

Before the age of social media, I wouldn’t have anything to do with the vast majority of people who find their way to my sphere today. But, because of technology, and my choice to use it, here we are… dealing with idiots who don’t know how to behave with basic decorum. So I use the block button to protect my sanity. Honestly, I’ve gotten this way with my own family members, too. When they are blatantly disrespectful to me, I put more distance between us. Because fuck that. I’ve had my fill of disrespect, thanks.

I decided to write about this today, because I haven’t seen it addressed that much. I found one thread on Reddit by someone who wrote that he thinks people who use the block button are immature. He wrote that he thinks it’s better to just ignore them. But isn’t that what blocking does? If you block someone, you’re putting them on ignore, so you don’t have to be exposed to their bullshit. It’s like a vaccine against aggravation. Nobody owes anyone else access to them, or their sense of peace.

Besides… I doubt the vast majority of people in the world care about having communication with me, anyway. I seem to annoy most people simply by being alive. So I might as well spare them, and myself, the pain of an interaction. Some people think blocking people is weak and immature. I say, if blocking irritating people is wrong, I don’t want to be right. I’ve got enough issues. So, if you want to be an asshole, be one somewhere else. I’d rather go wash my hair.

Standard
communication, domestic violence, relationships

Sometimes a person’s palms really can predict the future…

Ugh… Thursday again. Time to break out my riding vacuum cleaner. I’m kidding, of course. I don’t own a riding vacuum cleaner. I wish I did. Maybe I should buy a couple of robots to do the vacuuming, as that is one of my least favorite jobs, ever. I need a nice slim one, that can get under the bed!

Before I get to my most hated household chore, I want to write a blog post about a couple of relationship fails I’ve read about this week. I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but Am I The Asshole has become one of social media’s hottest trends. It seems like a lot of formerly awesome content providers, like God, have resorted to sharing AITA posts from Reddit. It’s pretty tiresome, although sometimes they do share some thought provoking doozies. That’s what I’m going to write about today, because I don’t feel like writing about politics or religion.

Both of the AITA posts I’m going to address have “hands” in common. Hands are a powerful means of action. They can be used for so many good and useful things, from doing work to communicating. They can even be read by palm readers, seeking to tell the future. But hands– particularly the palm part of them– can also be used as weapons, either through physical contact, or by spreading disease, as my discussion of these two posts will demonstrate.

Post number one…

There’s a lot wrong with this.

I’d like to know what redeeming qualities this guy has that his girlfriend hasn’t dumped him yet. Basic hygiene is something most of us learn at very early ages. It’s especially important nowadays, in the wake of the pandemic. And yet, here’s this apparently grown woman writing to Reddit about her boyfriend, who doesn’t bother to wash his hands after taking a dump. She thinks his refusal to wash his hands properly is why she keeps getting urinary tract infections.

Now… there is something to be said about washing too much. Some people really are germaphobes. Overuse of antibacterial soaps is also not good for a person’s health, since it can lead to antibiotic resistance. However– basic handwashing is essential for preventing the spread of disease. Moreover, it’s just super gross not to wash your hands after going to the bathroom. Even if you haven’t pooped, other people probably have, and their fecal residue is everywhere. When you flush the toilet, that shit literally flies everywhere. So yes, you need to wash your hands with soap. If you don’t do it for your own health, you should do it for the continued good health of the people you love.

Eeeew…

Secondly, it really says something when your partner says they will honor what the people on Reddit say, rather than what you, as their significant other, say. It sounds like this guy has no respect for his girlfriend on even the most basic level. He has no self-respect, either. I can only think of one reasonable explanation for his reluctance to wash his hands… and that is that maybe he subscribes to the George Carlin theory on hygiene.

But George, who is currently dead, did at least wash his hands when he shat on them.

If this guy actually was a George Carlin devotee, I would hope he’d have more self-regard than just doing whatever people on Reddit tell him to do. I like to think of most George Carlin fans as higher evolved beings. Anyway, this situation would be a hard pass for me. I’d be ditching this guy ASAP and finding someone a little less dangerous. Asking your partner to wash their hands, especially after shitting, is a small request that should be honored, for everyone’s health and well-being.

Post number two…

Uh… physical violence is definitely a dealbreaker (as are all other forms of abuse).

In this second post, we read about a man who managed to escape a physically abusive relationship with a woman and decided that he would never again tolerate being hit by a romantic partner. He was engaged to his girlfriend and they got into a fight. She slapped him hard across the face. They were both sober at the time, which doesn’t really matter. Drunk or sober, putting hands on someone else in violence is a no go.

The guy who wrote the above letter explains that after his girlfriend slapped him, he wisely decided to call off their wedding. He is obviously a considerate type, as he writes that he said he’d continue to pay his portion of the rent of their shared apartment until the lease ends. However, he doesn’t want to marry her anymore.

She’s claiming that he’s an asshole, because he’s getting so upset over “just a slap”. She says that he’s overreacting. Most telling is that when he told her she’d crossed a boundary, her response wasn’t contrition. Instead, she got very angry and berated him, then basically said he was being ridiculous for establishing a boundary. That’s a huge red flag. He’s right to be concerned about her instinct to strike out physically when there’s a disagreement. And her reaction isn’t to take his concerns seriously, apologize, and address them calmly. It’s to discount and gaslight him into accepting that behavior.

Those of you who have been reading my blog may know that my husband, Bill, endured years of abuse at the hands (and mind) of his ex wife. She gave off many warning signs before they married. In fact, the day of their wedding, they had a fight. However, because Bill didn’t want to make a fuss or disappoint anyone, he went through with the wedding… even though the warning bells were chiming loudly on their wedding day!

That was a huge mistake…

Almost ten years later, Bill emerged from that relationship in serious financial trouble, with literal physical scars, and figurative mental and emotional scars. He was estranged from both of his daughters for many years, and remains estranged from his older adult child. That relationship was terrible enough for him, but it also had ripple effects on many of his loved ones: his mom, his dad, his stepmother, his sister, his children, and me… as well as anyone who has had to listen to or read my rantings about his ex wife’s latest bullshit.

Divorce is messy and expensive, and it’s a sure bet that if this fellow marries his girlfriend, there WILL eventually be a divorce. The only way there wouldn’t be is if one of them died, or if they went through some very reformative relationship counseling. Moreover, if the guy did call the police after being physically abused– which he should be able to do without any fear— odds are, he would be the one in handcuffs.

I think the letter writer is smart to break up with his girlfriend over “just a slap”. Men absolutely can be abused by women. I’ve seen it up close and personal, and it’s not good. So no, he’s NOT the asshole for breaking up with that woman. Hopefully, she will get some therapy and deal with her issues before someone else marries her.

Bill and I are very fortunate. We get along extremely well and barely ever fight, let alone hit each other. There was only one time in over twenty years of marriage when I did put my hands on his neck, but it wasn’t meant to be an act of violence. It was not an angry action directed at him, and he wasn’t hurt in any way. He did automatically react to it, which immediately made me feel terrible. I even offered to sleep in the guest room, and he said it wasn’t necessary. I also apologized profusely, and it has never happened again. But even in that incident, I wasn’t fighting with him, nor was I even angry with him. I just reacted in the moment, not realizing that he would automatically be triggered in the way he was. The fact that he did react in that way is very telling.

Unfortunately, our culture promotes the idea that only women can be victims of abuse. Although most people are sensible enough to realize that anyone can be abused, some people– like Ex– take advantage of the idea that women are always the victims of domestic violence. When Bill and I were first married, he told me that he knew he could hurt his ex wife, yet he was telling me stories that were clearly indicative that he was a DV victim. When I gently pointed out to Bill that his ex wife was a domestic abuser, he was shocked and horrified. But then he agreed, had the roles been reversed, and Ex had been treated by Bill the way she’d treated him, he wouldn’t have questioned it. Even younger daughter knew Bill was abused by Ex; she probably saw #3 being abused, too. She went as far as sending him an article on male victims of domestic violence.

So no… the letter writer in the second post is NOT an asshole at all. He’s being smart. It’s better to be alone than have to live with someone like that and then get divorced. I endured physical abuse from my father, and it made me decide that anyone who hits me had better kill me. That doesn’t mean I would respond with violence; it simply means that they might really regret their actions afterwards. As I’ve mentioned before, I am NOT a people pleaser.

Anyway… there are more ways your palms can tell the future than just through a palm reading. If you’re with someone who refuses to wash their palms properly, especially after a bowel movement, you might want to move on. Likewise, if you’re with someone whose palm ever meets your face with force, it’s time to flush that turd of a relationship and find someone more respectful… and respectable.

So ends today’s post… Now, I’m off to tend to the chores of the day. It’s a holiday in Germany, so it’s probably going to be a boring afternoon.

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complaints, condescending twatbags, funny stories, karma, sex, social media, YouTube

She wants sex. She just doesn’t want it with you.

I’m on quite a roll this week. I noticed that yesterday’s headline got a lot more clicks than usual. I suspect today’s headline will also be provocative for some readers. I hope there’s more to today’s post than just a funny title, but we’ll see.

First, a little old business. I wish to update yesterday’s post about men peeing while sitting down. It seems that one Irish Times Facebook commenter from Ireland was quite put out that I wrote, jokingly, that German women “train” their men to sit down when they pee. He told me that was “absolutely false”. And yet, there’s a book written about the phenomenon, signs in public (and private) restrooms, and lengthy threads on social media platforms and message boards about how German men are expected to sit down when they urinate. I probably should have added a caveat that they sit if there isn’t a urinal for them to use.

Now, this topic actually isn’t that big of a deal to me, personally. I just think it’s kind of funny and interesting. I don’t insist that Bill sit down when he pees in the toilets at our house. He voluntarily does so sometimes because it’s easier for him. But I don’t actually care either way if Bill sits or stands, as long as he cleans up after himself. He’s very good about that, so this isn’t a subject that we discuss very often, except for when we see the signs in public men’s rooms and laugh about them. Below are just two such signs.

I’ve never seen this anywhere else but in southern Germany…

I posted the link to the book called German Men Sit Down to Pee. That was the end of it, as far as I was concerned. I went on about my day. Hours later, I got a notification that the Irish guy had come back. He left a comment along the lines of, “I see you weren’t able to ‘prove’ that German men are trained by their women to sit down to pee.” Then he added a link to some article about this topic “proving me wrong.”

The Irish guy caught me at the end of the day, so I “laughed” at him and wrote something akin to “Nah. It just isn’t that important to me. I just know what I’ve seen in many years of living in Germany.”

In fact, I was already over the subject hours earlier, so I hadn’t even read his “challenge” to prove that German men sit to pee. Men sitting down to pee was not really what the Irish Times article we were referencing was about, anyway. That article was a classic example of a headline being too inflammatory to actually get people to read the article. Everyone was too busy commenting on the title, instead of reading the op-ed that followed.

You’d think that would be the end of it, but no. This guy is apparently very triggered by the idea that a woman might dare tell a man what to do when he pees. Again, I don’t do that to Bill, because he cleans up after himself. That’s honestly all I care about. But the Irish guy obviously needed to have the last word on the subject… or, perhaps, the last piss? 😀

I didn’t bother to read Irish guy’s next comment. I think he’s a little psycho, and continued engagement with him might encourage me to further “take the piss”. 😉

Think it would “piss” him off if I responded with this video? 😀

Now, on with today’s fresh topic… SEX!!!

Today’s featured photo is a screen grab from the hilarious short film, “Laid-Off: A Day in the Life” by Odd Todd.

Worth a view… This is an oldie but a goodie, though it has little to do with the topic below…

I’ve noticed that the God page has really gone downhill, lately. A lot of pages on Facebook have gone away from posting fresh, insightful, thought provoking content. Instead, they post endless “am I the asshole” posts from Reddit. I’m getting a little tired of that trend, myself. However, sometimes they do post some pretty funny AITA articles. This morning, I saw one that made me laugh. Behold:

It should be mentioned that the original post was removed. I don’t know if it’s because the answers this guy was getting about his “problem” were too embarrassing and humiliating, or because of Reddit’s
spam filters. I didn’t read a lot of the responses to this post, because frankly I was too busy laughing. In three paragraphs, this guy has basically stated the following about himself:

  1. He obviously thinks he’s a great lover and his wife isn’t a match for his virility.
  2. He obviously thinks she’s not very attractive to other people. Or, he did until she started having sex with other men.
  3. He’s selfish and entitled, and he thinks he “owns” his wife.
  4. He lacks communication skills.
  5. Sex is the only thing that is important to him in a relationship.
  6. Other men know how to treat his wife better than he does.
  7. He’s jealous and immature, and thinks his needs are the only ones that matter.
  8. He’s a loser who’s about to be served with divorce papers.
  9. He’d really like to watch his wife with other women.
  10. She actually does want to have sex. Just not with her husband. I can’t say I blame her.

What does this clueless guy have in common with the Irish guy? On the surface, maybe it doesn’t sound like much. However, on closer examination, I see a certain similarity in their attitudes. Both guys are a bit overbearing, and obviously think women are beneath them.

The Irish guy acted like I owed him “proof” of the veracity of my offhand, joking comment about German men sitting down to pee. He was surprisingly insistent about it, continuing to try to engage me, even when I wrote that sitting down while peeing isn’t that earth shattering a topic and I don’t think it’s important enough to argue about it with a stranger from a strange land. 😀

The immature guy in the Reddit post obviously thinks that he doesn’t have to adhere to the same expectations he has for his wife. This comment pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

“When I asked for her to also sleep with women or I’d want to close the marriage again she rolled her eyes and said no. One of the guys I fear is trying to seriously date her. He brings her flowers and food, pays for her nails and never even acknowledges me when he’s over. I feel like she’s dismissing my feelings and I’m getting frustrated. I want to close our marriage again.”

Um, guy,… maybe she felt a little “dismissed” when you said that after five years of marriage, she’d already given you all she had to offer, and though it’s “not her fault”, you expect to be allowed to have sex with other women at will. You “generously” ask to open the marriage and she generously obliges. Somehow, you are are shocked when she has more sex than you do… with other men, because she is “bisexual”, after all.

Mood music…

This guy doesn’t mention being interested in having sex with men. He’s apparently not bisexual. He doesn’t mind participating in sex with other women or watching his wife have sex with another woman… or women. He was clearly hoping she’d find him another woman with whom to get his jollies. Now, he’s basically accusing his wife of lying to him about her sexuality, because she’s been having sex with other men. He’s jealous, insecure, and frustrated. I’ll bet she can relate.

I don’t think this couple is going to survive unless he’s got something better going for him that compensates for being a totally insensitive clod. I hope she dumps his clueless, selfish, narcissistic ass, and hooks up with the guys (or gals) who treat her right. Life is too short for BAD sex. 😉

I’m glad that sex isn’t the only important thing in my relationship with Bill. Otherwise, we would have divorced a long time ago. Every day, he reminds me of why I love him so much. I could probably list a new reason every day without thinking too hard about it, but I think at the top of the list is the fact that he doesn’t just think of me as just a life support system for my vagina. Sometimes, when I read these AITA posts, I think that a lot of people are in very transactional relationships that aren’t based on love, friendship, or regard. How sad that is.

Well, it’s Thursday, so that means I have to vacuum later. I guess I’d better close this post and get on with it. Arran had his latest chemo last night. The vet was pretty sad to see that his lymph node is so big. He does seem more tired lately, but his blood work isn’t too bad at this point. The disease is progressing, but he’s in good spirits. I hate canine cancer. 🙁

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condescending twatbags, family, holidays, mental health, narcissists, psychology, social media, Twitter

Christmas should not be a time for a grand performance…

I wrote a “mushy” post yesterday. It was because I realized how much more I enjoy Christmas than I did when I was younger. Watching my husband put a duvet cover on a weighted blanket he bought for me gave me all kinds of warm, fuzzy feelings. I realized that I don’t care about things. I care about the one person who makes me really happy and loves me for who I am. And Christmas is fun and relaxing for us, because we’re compatible and satisfied with each other. It’s a beautiful thing. Last night, Bill read my post and cried.

I’ve written a lot of posts about Christmases past… ones with my family of origin, and one that directly involved Ex, who is the Grand Poobah of Holiday Misery. Last year, I wrote a post about this topic that I absolutely stand by today. The post was titled “I refuse to let anyone mess up my holidays, and it’s a good policy to have.” It was about realizing that we all get a vote. Christmas is for everyone who wants to celebrate it. It should be a time of peace, love, understanding, good will, and enjoying the good things in life. If you’re Christian, it is, above all, about honoring the birth Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of man.

The religious part of the holiday is not what I want to focus on today, although I know it’s important to many people. What I want to focus on is the stress that inevitably comes from all holidays, but especially THIS one. Christmas is, after all, the biggest holiday of the year. But when it comes down to it, it’s also just a day. It shouldn’t be a day for grand performances, and by that, I don’t mean actual performances involving singing or dancing. I mean people who do things to make a judgmental point, being sanctimonious, or trying to be someone they’re not.

This morning, just before breakfast, I read an AITA (am I the asshole) post on God’s page about a woman whose turn it was to host Christmas. She decided that she wanted her dinner to be “dry”– as in, no booze allowed. When I first saw the title of the post, I immediately had some sympathy for her position. It was, after all, her house. If she doesn’t want to serve alcohol in her house, that’s her prerogative. But then I read the actual post. I note that the Redditors labeled her the “asshole”.

Yup. I agree. She is the asshole.

It sounds like the OP unilaterally decided that there shouldn’t be any boozing in her house. It’s her right to decide that, of course, but her attitude toward her husband’s family is not very kind or charitable. She doesn’t make a polite or respectful request, nor does it sound like she told people a long time in advance about her rule. What would have happened if her sister-in-law hadn’t called to ask about what she should bring? It sounds like that was when she mentioned her “no booze” rule, not when she issued the invitations.

I would have more empathy for the OP’s position if she had stated outright that she preferred the dinner to be booze free, rather than allowing the rule to be spread on the family grapevine. And then, she reveals that she thinks people in her husband’s family are “childish” and need to “grow up”. Those are insulting remarks that aren’t very Christmassy at all.

Her sister-in-law decided to host her own Christmas dinner, which she is well within her rights to do. And the family has decided they would prefer that invitation to the OP’s, who refused to budge on her no booze rule, with no hope of compromise. And she assumes they are going to the sister-in-law’s house because they can’t stay sober for one day, not because she was disrespectful to them.

Sister-in-law even invited the OP and her husband to their house, so there wouldn’t be any booze in the OP’s home. But she’s butthurt about it and refusing to go… and she’s “making” her husband stay home and spend Christmas with her. As if she has the right to dictate where another adult spends their time… I wonder how she would like it if her husband told her she “couldn’t go” somewhere she wanted to go. Some people would call that abusive.

What if the OP had compromised and allowed beer and wine below a certain ABV? Maybe she could have allowed wine only during dinner, or operated a “cash bar” set up, with people paying for libations. The money raised could then be donated to an agreed upon charity, or put in a pot for the next family gathering. Or maybe she could have come up with some other compromise that didn’t involve shame and judgment. That might have cut down on the drunkenness and sloppy behavior, while still allowing adults to have some fun. If she really didn’t want any alcohol in her home, she could have stated it kindly and lovingly, instead of with a judgmental and insulting attitude. Even if drinking alcohol to excess is unhealthy and can lead to obnoxious behavior, offering to host a family dinner and self-righteously lecturing people about their habits on a holiday is very poor form. No wonder alternate plans were made.

And then there’s the “grand performance” intended to put someone in a good or miraculous light.

How sweet.

Against my better judgment, I took a look at Ex’s Twitter page last night. She made several posts directed at Oreo, Betty Crocker, Wilton Cakes, and Spangler Candy. She videoed her supposedly severely autistic son, whom she has said is “non-verbal”, and her youngest daughter. They were decorating cookies and making what appears to be a train made with Oreos, frosting, and candies. She’s presenting her son as “miraculous” somehow, as he reads aloud, reminding everyone again that he’s “non-verbal”. And yet, obviously he ISN’T really non-verbal. Non-verbal would mean he can’t or won’t talk. Obviously he does have the power of speech and uses it. She’s mentioned before times when her son was “trained” to say things (that was her word for it). It serves her when he seems worse off than he actually is, as it gets her sympathy. But she’d rather he not be worse off in reality, because that makes life harder for her… or her daughters, who are evidently the ones who look after him most of the time.

I didn’t watch the whole video, because hearing Ex’s voice was too upsetting for Bill. But she also taught her son a song and dance, which he gamely performed on the video. I was torn between feeling good for him that he was trying so hard and having some fun, and feeling disgust for Ex, because it’s obvious she’s hoping to go viral and, perhaps, score some money from big companies. I don’t think her videos will get that kind of traction, but she plainly has high hopes. It seems to me that maybe it would be better to turn off the camera and focus on her time with her family, rather than trying to pitch her son’s handiwork with sweets to corporations.

@BettyCrocker⁩ Autistic children are amazing, beautiful perfectionists!!! How do you like ***** sugar cookies?

@Oreo⁩ a gift for you from ****!!!

I could see making these kinds of posts for friends and family members, but she only tagged big companies, and it was kind of obvious that she hoped they’d think the display was cute and offer her some kind of sponsorship or endorsement deal. Once again, it looks like she’s making her offspring perform in the hopes of scoring some “easy” (for her) loot. I can see now why a couple of her kids have moved far away from her. Because I have a feeling that this kind of thing is a regular occurrence, especially at Christmas. There’s an image to project to strangers, but very little love for actual family members. I also never see her posting about her husband, who was so much “better” than Bill.

The funny thing is, I’d bet $100 that Bill had a much nicer holiday than they did… And he also got to share messages with his mom and his daughter yesterday. There were no performances or pretenses. It was just everyone being themselves and genuinely wishing each other well. Nobody got drunk or obnoxious or had a meltdown, either. And… everything I bought for Bill is paid for in full. I don’t know if he can say the same thing, but I do know that he can pay for everything if he needs to. Ex can’t say that. In fact, she was recently lamenting about how she had no money for Christmas… but she had lots of money for sweets, which she is now promoting on Twitter. Go figure.

Anyway… it’s not my business. I need to end this post, too. We have a lunch date. Hopefully, steroid mad Arran will stay out of trouble while we’re out… my first time out in a long while. If he stays out of trouble, maybe that will be our Christmas miracle. 😉

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