"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Aug 21, 2016

Diverging Interests

(Note: Dad was a graphic artist in the old days of advertising. These sketches, drawn for a client, were recently discovered in storage. Dad drew upon his own experiences, as artists do.)

I recently had fallings-out with two women I'd considered close. I won't go into details because we've all been there; suffice it to say, then, that you know how crappy you can feel afterwards, even if you are relieved at the same time.

My problems invariably revolve around my mouth, and still not knowing when to keep it shut.  'Foot-in-mouth-disease' needs no explanation. Dad used to claim Mom could kill a rabbit with a buckshot when it came to this ailment, and even though I'm still not 100% certain what that means, I heard it enough while growing up to understand the gist.

What I object to is another well-known expression, “Hitting below the belt,” especially at this age.  If it makes others feel better about their less-than-stellar lives by belittling me with cruel words so be it; but I still won’t resort to hurtful comments like,

(I just deleted two doozies)

because, at last, I’m bigger than that.

Whenever I've been shot down I turn to others for comfort, and I'm assuming most of you do, too.  If you have someone in your household to listen, great; otherwise you make do. One pal offered up the following wisdom some time ago which I cut-and-pasted and titled, "Read when Down about Friendship."  So just in case you're experiencing a similar mood, I'll share her words:

"As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that people can suck and they tend to be completely consumed with themselves, their own lives and they live in a bubble.  I include myself in this harsh but honest (I think) assessment.  There should be forgiveness between old and dear friends if something hurtful has been said.   I’ve run into “foot in mouth” disease myself on many occasions – some friends have forgiven, others have not.  Likely, I’m not friends any longer with the unforgiving – or if I am, it’s a strained relationship at best.

"In my opinion, if people are truly friends, yes, we should stop and think before we speak, but if we don’t the “friend” should understand that an unfiltered comment doesn’t change a relationship – or at least it shouldn’t.   I tend to be too honest but I also have a thick skin. Not everyone else does. Just my 2 cents.   I have never, nor would I ever, consider you a (purposefully left blank).   You make me smile, laugh out loud and I appreciate you!"

Wow, thanks, Ms. V!  As a member of the Thin-Skinned Tribe I need reminders; plus who couldn't use that kind of encouragement from time to time?  How lucky I am to be able to cut-and-paste such words. I hope to repay the kindness…once I finish bursting through my own bubble.

PS:  I'll confess my surprise about the earring in the left ear seen in half the sketches. I'd forgotten that became popular in the 1980's, and I'm guessing Dad was being savvy by offering both options to his client. But Dad was also a bit of a Buccaneer at heart, which reminds me of my one Pirate Joke:

"How much does it cost a Pirate to have his ears pierced?"

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Original gourd art designs Copyright 2020 Andrea Jansen Designs. Please write for permission.



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