musings

My blog is now more like Muzak…

A few years ago, when I was still writing on my Blogspot version of The Overeducated Housewife, I wrote a post called “The blog equivalent to Muzak… on seeking a return to obscurity”. I was tired of the drama that often erupted on my old blog and wanted to go back to a less stressful outlet for my posts. Too many unfriendly people were reading the old blog and stirring up shit. The shit stirring was making it a lot harder to do what I love. When I first started writing my blog, I didn’t even share my posts with friends. I was pretty anonymous, mainly because my husband’s younger daughter was still a minor. I wanted to stay somewhat clandestine for that reason. I became more open once she turned 18; and that was fine, until we moved back to Stuttgart– which is a microcosm of American military types. That’s when all the drama ramped up.

In my initial “Muzak” piece, I lamented the drama that had erupted. I was so mindfucked at that time that I was apologizing to people who were offended by my writing. I now think I was wrong to do that. I can’t control how people react to what I write. It’s never my intention to be hurtful when I write. I mostly try to be honest, even though sometimes I dip into rants. Rants are fun to write and are probably entertaining for some people to read. But there’s often someone who gets offended. Sometimes, they leave me comments. I think of my blog as my “home”. People visit it because it’s open. But they can only do that because I paid for the space and left it open. Ultimately, it’s my “house”… and I shouldn’t have to apologize for what’s at my house, as long as nothing I’ve written is libelous.

At the time I wrote that post about blog “Muzak”, it was October 2018. We were about to move, and I was pretty stressed out about a lot of things. I’d say about 75% of the reason I was stressed out was because of our former landlady. I dreaded having to deal with her as we prepared to leave Stuttgart. She had gone from being somewhat annoying and intrusive in the earliest months of our time in her house, to being full on passive aggressive and hostile. She was trying to force us to pay for an awning that she’d neglected to have properly fixed by a repairperson. She blamed me for “negligence” when the wind blew it over, and added on a lot of insulting comments about my character for good measure. She didn’t seem to realize that she was negligent for not having the awning fixed by someone more qualified than her husband. She is damned lucky no one was hurt or killed when it fell. I resented the hell out of the disrespectful way she treated Bill and me. But I soon found myself unable to process those feelings on my blog, because a spy was sticking her nose in our business. I guess that’s an occupational hazard of blogging, especially when the writing is honest.

One of the people who had lived in the house before us was monitoring my writing. Now, I’m not that naive. I had a feeling she might be gossiping about me with her “friend”, the ex landlady. But then, months later after we moved, she later came right out and told me, quite brazenly, what she was doing, apparently expecting me to apologize to her. Then she tried to shame me for the content of my blog. She basically said I was being mean and cruel– having made totally wrong assumptions about some fiction content I’d written– and she put it all on me that Bill and I were leaving our former home on bad terms. I was both horrified and angry that this person felt the need to monitor and harass me– especially since I really hadn’t written anything that was that earth shattering. She was probably hoping we’d take the blame for damages done when she lived at the house. I also think I was correct when I suspected that she and her husband had moved out of that house early because ex landlady was driving them crazy, too. She once left me an indignant comment, claiming that my suspicions were way off base. She later deleted the comment. Why? Because she was being dishonest and didn’t want to leave the proof in plain view.

I hadn’t written anything directly accusatory; she’d objected to two sentences in which I wondered if they’d been completely truthful about their sudden mid tour move. In a comment she later deleted, she’d insisted that she’d told us the truth and that I shouldn’t assume anything about what happened. I think the real issue was that I’d actually hit the nail on the head. If she and ex landlady were that close, she shouldn’t have been worried about what I wrote. Rather than leveling with me about her bullshit, she decided to try to censor me and bully us into letting ex landlady illegally withhold our deposit. She made things so much worse than they needed to be by meddling. If she had just minded her own business and not tried to make trouble for me, it’s possible that we never would have ended up going the lawsuit route.

Add in the fact that a lot of other Americans in Stuttgart were reading my blogs. Granted, I had openly shared the travel blog, because I had lived in Stuttgart before and I enjoy writing. The travel blog is pretty benign, but it was connected to my mainstream blog. Sharing the travel blog ultimately led to unwanted attention from people reading the other blog. So, by October 2018, I had determined that I wanted to go back into obscurity. I just wanted to be able to write in peace. I determined that there’s a downside to being “famous”. I wasn’t really famous, per se, but I did become somewhat known in the Stuttgart military community, and that led to notoriety that I didn’t enjoy.

A few months after we moved to Wiesbaden, the flying monkey from our former house sent me a private message that led to my final decision to move the blog to where it is now. The funny thing is, I had blocked her the night before I saw her message. She must have sent it before I had her blocked, and I didn’t notice it for a couple of days. That’s unusual for me, but when I saw her message, it really offended me. She’d made accusations about some content I’d written that were flat out false, and decided to interfere in my personal business.

The truth was, I had been wanting to move the blog anyway, for several reasons. I had noticed that the more professional blogs weren’t on Blogspot, which seemed to get wonkier by the year. The WordPress platform has more functionality. I can make some posts open to certain people. I can make some private. There are also themes I can choose from with different features. Yes, it costs money, where Blogspot didn’t. But it has a nicer look and it somewhat easier to use.

I didn’t like having Google as a landlord. I own the domain for this blog, so I can write whatever I want without getting a nastygram from Google about “inappropriate” content. I once got dinged on Blogspot because I had a picture of a used pink dildo on a post about a woman who had decided to try to sell it on a yard sale page as a joke. I was informed that the photo of the pink dildo, which looked like a chewed up dog toy (and probably was used as one) was pornographic, even if there was nothing at all inappropriate in the story that accompanied it. It was a funny post about people getting uptight about the sale item.

I get fewer rude comments by drive by readers on this blog. Part of the reason for that is because I moderate all comments from new commenters on this blog. The other part is because this blog is only now picking up steam. It took some time for it to attract readers, which made writing here kind of painful at first. But now I’ve got more people reading… a totally different audience, actually, which is a nice thing. I have fewer immature people from the military community reading and more people who are actually interested in what I write and/or me as a person.

So… all in all, the move to this platform was a good thing. I buried a lot of toxic waste, too. The old blog has a lot of rants about personal issues Bill and I went through earlier in our marriage. While I found the writing kind of therapeutic and totally justifiable, strangers who don’t know us would think I was crazy or toxic and leave comments to that effect. Granted… I have my moments of toxicity, but I am nothing compared to my husband’s ex wife. She has done some truly diabolical things over the years… terribly hurtful things that have affected a lot of people besides Bill and me. I needed a place to put that stuff. Maybe I should have kept it private, but I felt that some people might be comforted that they aren’t the only ones dealing with a crazy ex… and some of what we went through was truly incredible.

Before I met Bill, I had never known anyone whose children were completely and unfairly turned against them the way Bill’s kids were. Bill is definitely not someone who deserves that treatment. I know some people don’t believe that, but it’s the truth. He doesn’t have a mean or irresponsible bone in his body. However, he is mild mannered and empathic, so he attracts bullies and people who think they can steamroll him. He’s come a long way in the years I’ve known him in being more assertive. For instance, I’m pretty sure our ex landlady thought she could take advantage of Bill because he was always nice and conciliatory toward her. He never raised his voice to her or got obviously angry. I think she assumed he’s a wimp. I also think she’s taken advantage of a lot of Americans. She found out the hard way that his being kind and nice isn’t akin to his being a chump. Also… while I’m not a mean person by nature, I am not as nice as Bill is… and he has to share a bed with me. Another important lesson she should have learned is that it’s not wise to wage war with someone who plans war for a living. And that is literally what Bill does.

For all of her complaints about me, one thing ex landlady can never say I did is sabotage her ability to get new tenants. I have noticed on Bookoo that landlords are starting to advertise their places and disgruntled former tenants are running warning ads. I’ve seen two of them so far. Both places were also blacklisted by the military housing office. We didn’t have ex landlady blacklisted before she got her most recent tenant. She’s probably blacklisted now, though, and for good reason. We got a judgment against her.

I guess I like the quieter, more Muzak, less drama oriented version of my blog. I don’t like dealing with people getting pissed off at me for expressing myself. I can assure anyone who reads my blog that I don’t deliberately try to upset people. I don’t wake up with the express intention of causing anyone problems. But if I can’t write freely, I can’t be authentic. And if I can’t be authentic, I really might as well be writing something as bland as Muzak. The truth is, I am not the kind of person who writes about hearts and flowers. If I tried to write that way, it would not be interesting or successful. I liken it to wearing shoes on the wrong feet. Maybe I could make it work, but it wouldn’t be comfortable for me or anyone reading. Besides, there are plenty of chirpy mommy bloggers out there. I’m not a mommy, nor am I “chirpy”. But I’m also not evil, irresponsible, or all that mean and cruel. I just don’t suffer fools or foolishness.

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narcissists, politicians, Trump

“Life is just one damned thing after another…”

A little mood music for this post… it seems kind of trite today, but I like the attitude.

Years ago, my older sister Becky played the above song for me. It’s called “Excuse Me”, and it was written and performed by Amy Arena, whose personality seems to be a lot like Becky’s. Much like Amy Arena, Becky is physically very small (much smaller than me), but she has a big personality… and an artistic temperament that people seem to love or hate. She has issues with authority figures. So do I, for that matter, but my authority issues aren’t as acute as hers are. I remember I was newly home from Armenia, and Becky told me she had this CD, which came out in 1995. We shared a hearty laugh over “Excuse Me”, which was enough of a hit that it actually has an official video. I was going to share the video, but only one person on YouTube uploaded it and it’s not of very good quality. But if you want to see it, you can search YouTube and there it is… and Amy Arena is there in all of her brash, bitter glory.

I liked “Excuse Me” enough that I went on Amazon and searched for Amy Arena’s album, which someone was selling used. I bought it and listened to the whole thing, which Becky had played for me when she first exposed me to “Excuse Me”. There’s another song on there called “Cheeseburger”. It reveals Amy Arena’s lack of singing prowess… although the lyrics are clever and funny. Becky doesn’t eat a lot of meat, so I know she relates to this song as it describes a vulgar cheeseburger in nauseating detail. Amy Arena is making a statement about how gross and out of control some people are… and how gross meat is if you don’t like meat. And frankly, I wish I weren’t a meat eater, because it is pretty gross. Maybe I’ll be a vegan in the next life. This bit doesn’t have anything to do with the theme of this post, other than to get the musically inclined to listen to Amy Arena’s cynical wit.

My sister is very petite and, if you don’t know her, you might think she’s cute, quiet, and shy. But get her going, and you’ll soon find out that there is a lot more than pussy in those “tight fittin’ jeans”. Bwahahahha… I’m kidding. Quoting my pervy friend, Weird Wilbur, whom I “met” on YouTube. Wilbur remade Conway Twitty’s song, “Tight Fittin’ Jeans” and turned it into a song about a man who gets more than he bargained for when he had casual sex with a woman he met at a bar. Becky doesn’t have any diseases that I know of, but she does have a quick wit and sharp mind, and she can be fierce if you tangle with her. I know this from experience. She’s tiny, but mighty, and you don’t want to fuck with her.

No, Becky isn’t like the “gal” in this song, except that she’s not what she seems… I can relate. I’m not what I seem to be, either. I’m sharing this song because I think it’s funny… but the truth is, there is always more than pussy in those tight fittin’ jeans. Not that I wear tight fittin’ jeans these days…

I suspect yesterday’s blog post, which I titled “We wish you would just leave”, might be considered “click bait” for some people. I can see by the stats that some people clicked it just because they wanted to know why I titled the post, “We wish you would just leave”. It’s a title that sounds dramatic, and I know I have some readers out there who imagine that I’m the type of person who gets asked to leave a lot of places. I suspect I have some readers who were even salivating at the idea, because some of them seem to think that I’m always the source of trouble. Some of them might even be hoping I’ll be asked to leave Germany. And here’s a hint… if that ever does happen, I’m probably not going to be telling you about it. Here’s another hint. You clearly don’t know me as well as you think you do, but I probably know you better than you realize.

The only time I remember specifically being asked to leave somewhere was back in the early 1990s, when I was about to be interviewed for a job with United Consumers Club. I was newly graduated from college and had no idea what UCC, as it was called back then, actually was. I watched the presentation given by the proprietor and was kind of shocked and horrified by it. Basically, the job entailed cozying up to people at events and trying to talk them into joining an incredibly overpriced building materials and furniture “club” under the guise of saving money by being allowed to buy things “wholesale”.

UCC might have been an okay deal if you’re doing many thousands of dollars worth of remodeling and buying a lot of furniture. For most people, though, it was a complete waste of money that came with a contract that was extremely expensive and difficult to get out of. If I had successfully gotten hired for this job, it would have been my duty to convince people to join up and waste their money. I think I’d rather clean up roadkill.

Well, the United Consumers Club proposal sounded a lot like bullshit to me, even though I was only 22 years old. So, being kind of blunt and feeling legitimately aghast, I asked the interviewer, who was also the owner of the franchise, if this was a “hard sell” operation. He immediately became offended and asked me to leave the interview. That reaction, of course, told me all I needed to know… I didn’t need his piss ant $22,000 a year job, anyway. 😉 It was clear he was expecting his prospective employee to kiss his ass and accept any abuse he threw at them as he swindled decent people out of their hard earned money. The fact that I boldly asked him if he was running a hard sell operation made him realize that I probably wouldn’t take his crap. He moved on to the next person, knowing that someone in the group would eagerly accept his shit for a few crumbs.

Yeah… bunch of bullshit, this is…

Years later, I was watching TV at home in northern Virginia, and an ad came on for an outfit called DirectBuy. I had never heard of DirectBuy, but the concept sounded familiar. I did some digging and discovered that DirectBuy was, in fact, the old UCC… and that until about 2007, UCC had prided itself on never advertising and only picking up members entirely by word of mouth. A lot of people fell for the hype and wound up locked in iron clad contracts that ripped them off for years. I began writing a bunch of articles about DirectBuy and got some nasty comments from people who didn’t want me to expose their business for what it really is.

Notice on the actual video at YouTube, a franchise owner tries to do damage control. He doesn’t like the light being shined on his sleazy business.
“It’s a hard sell pitch…” That was exactly what I asked the franchise owner in Richmond. His response was not to answer me, but to ask me to leave. I was “bad” for recognizing what he was up to and calling him on it.

There are a lot of bullies in the world who think they can get away with shit by being threatening, confrontational, accusatory, and shaming. In fact, there’s even an acronym for this type of behavior. It’s called DARVO. DARVO stands for deny, attack, reverse victim, and offender. I’ve seen it in action a lot of times. I suspect most of us have. When you run into a certain type of person and it becomes clear that you’re catching on to who they are and what they’re really about, they vehemently try to thwart your attempts to reveal them. They deny that they’re the problem, start attacking you, claim victim status, and suddenly you’re the bad guy. Most people are left bewildered and shocked after such a vicious reversal. Decent people will start to question themselves, wondering if they really did get it so wrong. But after awhile, it becomes even clearer that you’re not the asshole stinking things up here…

Even South Park has addressed DARVO.

If you want to see DARVO on a global scale, just watch the way Donald Trump behaves. He gets called on his egregious shit all the time. Not once have I ever heard him take responsibility for what was legitimately his mess to clean up. Instead, he blames someone else. Right now, according to Trump, it seems to be Barack Obama’s fault that the coronavirus crisis is so out of control in the United States. Trump is just a “victim” who inherited Obama’s mess. Yeah, right. Unfortunately, a lot of very stupid people believe wholeheartedly in Donald Trump and will defend him until their last gasps of breath… unaided by the ventilator that isn’t available to them because they listened to Donald Trump and conspiracy theorists instead of scientists and people who know something about medicine.

I guess this is still a thing… or at least it was before the coronavirus struck.

I’m suddenly reminded of something else that happened in college. A hypnotist came to campus to entertain everyone. Sure enough, he was very good at his job. He called up people to the stage and proceeded to put them under… but not everyone fell under his hypnotic spell. A few students were stage assistants to the hypnotist and if they noticed someone wasn’t falling for the act, the unmoved students were escorted off stage. That was done so that they didn’t ruin the show. In fact, the hypnotist did get one guy I knew to dance like a crazy person in front of all of his classmates. It was hysterical, and he was completely unaware of what he was doing at the time. Later, when people kidded him about it, he was pissed off and annoyed. But he’d volunteered to be hypnotized and he fell under the spell… and put on a hell of a show for his friends.

I think bullies of all kinds are sort of like hypnotists. They use their overbearing personalities and willingness to throw people under the bus to get what they want. They “hypnotize” people into thinking they’re stronger and more powerful than they really are. They rewrite history, and try to inflict guilt on decent people who attempt to hold them accountable, and reveal what and who they truly are by simply being themselves.

I make for a convenient scapegoat for some bullies, because a lot of people find me too outspoken and obnoxious. On my old blog, it was usually because I wrote frankly about my husband’s ex wife. On this one, it’s because I write about Donald Trump… and other bullies and abusers. Because I’m not a fan of “call out culture”, I don’t usually name names. But the guilty among us still don’t like it when I write about my honest impressions of things. I figure, the guiltier they are, the more vociferously they object and protest… and the more obsessively they stalk, rewrite history, and cover things up to make sure the narrative is to their liking.

Well… as Amy Arena sings, “Just excuse me. Excuse ME!” for being someone that not everyone likes. And excuse me for disappointing some of you because no one actually has justifiably asked me to “just leave”. You know why? Because I’m not the enemy. The people that Donald Trump blames for his daily failures and moral shortcomings aren’t the enemies, either. A lot of them are very decent people just trying to do the right thing. It’s not good to let greedy, arrogant, dishonest people get away with ripping off others. It’s easy to let things slide and not upset the apple cart. It’s a lot harder to call bullshit… and sometimes people act badly not because someone else deserves it, but because they’re greedy bullies who throw tantrums when they get held accountable.

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mental health

Being unlikeable isn’t always a bad thing…

This morning, Bill and I listened to James Taylor’s new Audible book together. The book, called Break Shot: My First 21 Years, is all about James Taylor’s first 21 years of life, the time before he was famous. I wrote about Break Shot the other day, before Bill had a chance to listen to it with me. I wanted Bill to hear it, since I related to so much of it and I figured he would, too.

After the book was over, we had a conversation about this pressure many people feel to be “liked”. Bill is a very likable person. He’s kind, generous, friendly, thoughtful, respectful, and decent. I, on the other hand, am not always likable. I have a tendency to be loud, opinionated, profane, annoying, disrespectful, and unfriendly. However, one thing I have noticed is that while I may not have tons of friends, the ones I do have tend to be high quality people who treat me well. Bill, on the other hand, has some good friends, but he also tends to attract people who try to take advantage of him. Those people might be “friendly” and “nice” to him to his face, but then they would roll all over him.

Several times in his life, he’s found himself a doormat to others who were willing to make a scene. Or he’d do favors for people who probably didn’t deserve the consideration. More than once, I’ve witnessed him helping people who don’t appreciate his efforts and even criticize him when he doesn’t do exactly what they wanted. It seemed to be lost on those people that he was doing them a favor– he could have just as easily told them to fuck off. In fact, I probably would have, in a less profane way. Bill gave up a lot to those people because he couldn’t stand the idea of not being at peace. It was easier to give in to his ex wife when she did crazy things than put his foot down and say no. It was easier to be apologetic and understanding to other abusive people in his life than demand that they treat him fairly, or not take advantage of his good nature. I have often joked with him that he needs to develop a resting bitch face more like mine.

I’ve always thought it was curious that my husband, who would bravely and willingly go off to war, would be so quick to let things slide on the domestic front. Having gotten to know him for the past twenty years, I can see where he’s learned to be so accommodating. Bill’s parents are also extremely nice, likable people who don’t like strife and hate disappointing other people. My parents, on the other hand, were a lot less willing to put up with abuse from others. They didn’t mind having enemies, and they taught me that having enemies isn’t the end of the world.

I think Bill and I are very compatible because we even out each other. He’s made me feel less depressive and angry, and I have prompted him to be more willing to stand up for himself. I have tried to teach him that it’s better to have a few genuine friends than a lot of people who “like” you, but feel no compunction about screwing you over. I’ve also tried to show him that it’s not the end of the world if someone has a public meltdown. In fact, I even told him about a book I read some years ago where this point was illustrated. The book was called Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy People at 35,000 Feet. Written by flight attendant, Heather Poole, it was an entertaining collection of anecdotes about working in the airline industry. I wouldn’t have thought I would take a nugget of wisdom from a book like hers, but sure enough I did. Here is the pertinent excerpt from the book:

What is the wisdom I gleaned from this anecdote? A man was being abusive to a flight attendant who was simply trying to do her job. When she corrected him in an assertive way, he became even more belligerent and abusive and said “fuck you” to her. He probably figured the flight attendant would back off and maybe even offer him a free drink to calm him down. Instead, she leaned over and whispered “fuck you” right back to him. He then proceeded to completely lose control and was escorted off the aircraft. Who was the loser in that situation? It certainly wasn’t the flight attendant. She kept her cool and said “Buh bye.” to the guy as he was dragged off the plane. Do you think she cares if the guy who said “fuck you” to her thinks she’s a bitch? I highly doubt it.

Was what the flight attendant did something a “nice”, “likable” person would do? No, not particularly… but I’ll bet that profane passenger thought twice about using abusive language when speaking to a flight attendant on his next airline experience. The moral of the story is, if someone makes a “scene”, it’s not the end of the world. As embarrassing as scenes can be, it’s helpful to keep in mind that if someone makes a scene, other people aren’t going to be looking at the person who is calm and mortified. They’ll be looking at and probably judging the person who is making a scene. They’re the ones who are out of control, not you. Adults are expected to be in control of their own behavior, and you can’t control anyone’s behavior but your own. If someone thinks you’re a bitch or an asshole for standing up for yourself, they’re not worthy of your company.

I am a firm believer that you have to teach people how to treat you. That doesn’t mean being mean, nasty, or rude; it means being assertive and having the courage to stand up for yourself. Of course, it’s wise to pick your battles. Some fights are simply not worth the effort. However, if someone is being an asshole, it’s not wrong to call them out. People have called me out before and, fortunately, I have matured enough to take an honest look at myself and apologize when I behave badly. Everybody behaves badly sometimes, and being apologetic when it’s warranted never killed anyone. But neither has standing your ground when it’s warranted.

Bill struggles with wanting to be liked. He grew up with little conflict. He and his mom are very close and rarely fought with each other. He saw less of his dad when he was growing up, but when he was with him, there also wasn’t much fighting. Bill has a huge, sympathetic heart and he loves to please people. He’s one of the most service oriented people I know. It truly brings him joy to help others, especially when they appreciate his efforts. I, on the other hand, grew up in a family where there was a lot of fighting and selfishness. I certainly didn’t enjoy the fights and, to this day, I get really upset when people yell at me. I can remember having panic attacks when my parents and sisters fought with me. However, because I had those conflicts, I think I’m less concerned about ruffling feathers than Bill is. I know it won’t kill anyone if I piss them off. If they’re reasonable people, they’ll eventually get over it and we’ll repair the relationship with strengthened boundaries. If they’re not reasonable, then the relationship is worth letting go. Not everyone is worthy of being a friend. The older I get, the less time I have for people who aren’t reasonable and decent. I have NO time for abusive, unreasonable people anymore.

So, while we were digesting James Taylor’s early life story together, Bill and I were discussing what we took from the Audible. Somehow, we segued into talking about situations in which Bill has often found himself. It may be unbelievable to those who have never met him, but he is one of the kindest, most understanding, genuinely loving people I have ever met. I look at him every day and can’t believe my luck. He’s willing to give so much… to a fault, really. He’s already been through hell when he was dealing with his greedy ex wife, who separated him from his children, tried to ruin his relationship with his parents, and demanded that he give her much more than she was entitled to. He’s survived that experience and is now thriving. I was with him every step of the way. I remember telling him that this shit with his ex wife was temporary and that he’d come out of it a survivor. And he has. He doesn’t tolerate her abuse anymore, either.

Ditto to when Bill went to war in Iraq with an abusive colonel who played mind games with him, demanded all of his time and energy, and did everything he could to humiliate him. Think Donald Trump in a uniform– completely narcissistic, uncaring about other people’s needs, and selfish. Someone finally stood up to that colonel. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Bill who took a stand, but that guy finally did get his comeuppance in the form of a very embarrassing and public firing weeks before he had been planning to pin on as a brigadier general. It was very satisfying to watch that guy’s career go down in flames, knowing the way he regularly treated the people under him, especially while they were in a war zone.

I remember taking calls from Bill when he was in Iraq. He told me his boss reminded him of his abusive ex wife. I knew it was really bad when he compared his boss to his ex. Fortunately, Bill is now thriving after that experience, but it took some time to undo the mind fuckery. And years later, when that abusive colonel wanted to add Bill on Linked In, Bill felt fine about ignoring the request. That guy wasn’t someone who deserved to be in Bill’s life, even if ignoring the request felt like a “mean” thing to do. Bill established boundaries and enforced them. He’s looking after his own interests, as every wise person should. It’s noble to want to help people, but even in a plane crash, you’re told to put on your own oxygen mask first before trying to help other people.

We’ll have other challenges ahead of us that will require backbone and assertiveness. But we’ve already survived a hell of a lot. Sometimes it’s scary to be “unlikable”, to rock the boat and ruffle feathers, and to take a stand. But we’ve already survived so much. If someone doesn’t like us for standing up for ourselves when it’s warranted, that’s their problem.

I often run into people who don’t like me, especially in the military community. There’s often an undercurrent of misogyny in military circles. I’ve seen it directed toward female service members, but I’ve especially seen it toward wives of service members. Women who are “dependas”– overweight, uneducated, entitled women who sit on their asses and spend their husband’s paychecks are frowned upon, of course. But so are educated women who refuse to shut up and color and dare to speak up when someone is abusive. In fact, in some ways, the educated women get even worse treatment and less respect. It’s usually from insecure men who can’t stand the idea that a woman might make him look stupid. Of course, there are a lot of people like Bill in the military, too. Some service members are true heroes in every sense of the word. But some are abusive and disrespectful to everyone they think will take it without a fuss. I’m less likable because I protest when people are shitty to me, and I don’t mind speaking my mind. Could I be more likable by sitting quietly in a corner? Sure… but what’s the payoff? Someone who pulls a jock strap over my face? No thanks… I don’t want to be liked by that type of person, anyway.

Sometimes being too accommodating really stinks…

You may not like me. Lots of people don’t. Plenty of people find me annoying on many levels. Those who know and take the time to understand me usually find out that I’m not a bad person at all. I have my good points and my bad points. I don’t suffer fools and I don’t tolerate a lot of bullshit. But I’m a good and loyal friend to those who deserve it and can tolerate my idiosyncrasies. I may not be as “likable” as Bill is, but I also don’t tend to be crapped on by people for very long. When people crap on me, I tend to answer in kind somehow. If I were more like Bill, I doubt our marriage would survive because there would be no end to fending off people who want to take advantage… especially Bill’s ex wife. He needs a partner who will call bullshit and risk being in the dog house without being abusive and exploitative. In that sense, I think we’re perfect for each other.

But I would never be cruel enough to use liquid heat on someone’s jockstrap. That’s truly a “dick” move.

Those who would like to read Heather Poole’s book can follow the Amazon link. I am an Amazon Associate, so if you purchase through my site, I will get a small commission from Amazon. But there’s never any pressure. I share these books because I think they’re worth reading.

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