The Odd Wife

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Life 101...sign me up.

redsitIn high school Home Economics was a required course. It was a short class, lasting only one semester with brief coverage of cooking, sex, sewing, budgeting and family planning.

Doesn't it strike you as funny that the one life lesson we most need isn't given real attention?

Home Economics should be retired and replaced immediately with a class called "Life 101". It should be a year long course and you should be required to take it twice. "Life 101" and "Advanced Life 101". In this course, you should be taught the essentials of credit scores, sex, marriage, parenting, corporate politics and human interaction.

When did we as people stop learning how to interact?

I have a co-worker that I pal around with. She's young, but I like her. Everyone in the office thinks she hates them because she's a bit aloof. She's baffled at this development...she thought she was hired to work and that's what she's been doing... She's a full-time student with a full-time job and a triple major. She's not always interested in idle chat or socializing.

EH and I had a major falling out last year. He was frustrated with a dream job that turned out to be a dud, his work hours and other issues and instead of talking to me about it, he turned to someone else online for a sympathetic ear and pretended all was fine in front of me. All he had to do was talk to me, tell me what was on his mind and so much pain could have been avoided.

My best chum got irritated with a joking-ish comment I made and waited a full 24 hours to bitch me out over it...on my birthday. No card from her, go figure.

I don't get it. We're all humans. Why do we tap dance around things? Tell people how you feel about things. Since when did having an emotion become a bad thing?

Today, if you cut someone off on the road - intentionally or not, they freak out as if you had just called their mother a pig-lover. On New Year's Eve, I was driving through a parking lot and an elderly gentleman stepped off the curb from between two parked cars and I didn't see him right away because in that split second, I was checking my mirror to make a left turn down an aisle. He must have been 90. He actually spit on my car. Well...he tried to. He couldn't muster much up, but he made a valiant effort to be a jackass.

In the elevator, we stand silently. We watch the numbers on the lit up floor, we fidget with our bags...but we never say good morning or hello.

In a store, a cashier would rather die than to pretend you matter as a customer 9 times out of 10. They don't look you in the eye, they don't greet you and they most definitely do not thank you.

It's now acceptable to swear like a sailor in the presence of small children in public. If I politely say "Excuse me" to curb SG's profanity education they glare at me as if I were the offensive person.

What is this world?

Why are people afraid to be courteous or friendly? When did morals go the way of history? When did values become old-fashioned? Why did we start treating strangers with open hostile suspicion instead of with any kindness?

Guess what, you're not perfect. Neither am I. And we all know that you aren't perfect, so you can drop the act. Why are we afraid to say "I'm having a bad day?"

I don't have the mental filter required to keep my feelings bottled up. I'm pretty much a walking open book. Last week, a potentially nasty situation rose it's head and I went to every person of authority in my office and said "Look, I have this situation. I't not pretty but it may become a factor and you need to know about it." Problem solved. I feel better. I have their support and presumably their respect and I feel better. All I had to do was discuss it. They all knew I'd had some personal problems last year and were more than supportive.

If something is on my mind, I just say it. If I hold it in for more than a day, it must be major...because keeping it inside is sure to be driving me insane.

Last week, over lunch with my mother and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend says to EH that my mother gives him the silent treatment when she's angry about something and he asks if I do the same thing.

Me. Silent Treatment.

When he stopped laughing, EH replied, "I wish!!! When OW is ticked, she just unloads it until it's all out in the open."

...and just what is wrong with that? When I spill my thoughts, I have the chance to sort them out, deal with them and get input on them.

It just seems as if more and more people are trying so hard to fit this model of emotionally balanced perfection and they're afraid to show weakness. Weakness makes you human. Sure, you should aspire to perfection...but don't be afraid to just be a person too.

A co-worker is being asked to have a lunch meeting with the boss to discuss her aloof attitude. She's terrified. I don't get it...if they were firing her, they wouldn't take her to lunch. They'd just do it. The lunchtime opportunity is allowing them a chance to have an open dialogue and resolve the problem. I would think she would welcome it!

I'm Odd Wife. I'm sloppy, forgetful, occasionally lazy, self-centered and dramatic. I have good points too, but you already know all of those. Right???

Posted by Red :: 2:44 PM :: |
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