Sunday, September 18, 2011
I used to think that good deeds would always be acknowledged, that somehow the Universe was tallying the good things we humans do, and that one day our goodness would be rewarded somehow. Like with the lottery machine spitting out winning numbers, or starting that new business at exactly the right time, or with finding a $20 bill in those jeans you put on for the first time since April. This isn't about religion, either, because I know some of you may say: "But darling, God is watching you, and you will reap your rewards in Heaven." And those of you who know me, know that I am rolling my eyes at the thought of hearing those words.
It's not about that kind of stuff; it's about always doing the right thing, always being the bigger person, always being good, and then not seeing anything positive for your efforts.
Truth #4: I am very tired of being the Bigger Person.
I am the person who will always look at the Bright Side when something unfortunate has occurred; I have the wisdom to know that I can't change it, so I need to learn something from it and move on.
I am the person who will never speak badly about my wasband in front of my children, because they are his children, too, and what kind of example would I be setting?
I am the person who will always shake hands and say "It's nice to meet you," even if the person is someone I "know" from word-of-mouth or reputation. And yes, even if the reputation is not a good one. I'm a firm believer in not judging a book by its cover.
I am the person who will stay at work to finish a project or cover for someone who wasn't able to make it in, even though I just know my efforts will go unrecognized, and that the absentee isn't really sick.
I am the person who will go to the wedding/baby shower/funeral despite the fact that I don't really feel like celebrating or remembering with a bunch of people I don't really know that well.
I am the person who will attend my children's school events, even if they never acknowledge my presence and walk ten feet in front of me to get to the car before someone sees them with *gasp* their mother.
I hold doors open for people. I smile at people walking their dogs. I make goo goo eyes and talk funny to babies. I make small talk with people I know from my previous life as a waitress & bartender, and ask about their pets and children and lives, even if they were bad tippers.
And most days, I am okay with this. I recognize that how we treat others is indicative of how we feel about ourselves. But for one day, I would like one of the following to happen: either I would like to be recognized in some way (and it need not even be monumental, like winning the lottery or anything, just...anything), or I would like to have a Free Pass at telling others how loutish their behavior is.
I would like to take children who are in public and acting unruly by their ears and drag them to a corner and tell them in a very stern voice that means ALL BUSINESS that they need to knock it off, already. I would like all bad drivers to stay home. I would like to scrutinize out loud every fashion faux pas I see. I would also like to stand at the checkout counter at the grocery store and refuse to let people purchase certain items; snarling teenager with you? No Mountain Dew or ramen noodles. Does your MediAlert bracelet say you have diabetes? No soda for you either. Are you obese? Only raw vegetables for you today. And no, you can't have soda either. Not even diet.
You catch my drift? I feel like the past month or so I've been biting my tongue so hard and so often that it takes an extreme amount of effort for me to not spew what I'm really thinking at people, lest they get covered in the blood that has been pooling behind my teeth. It's not lost on me, either, Dear Reader that Yom Kippur is coming in just a few weeks.
You may be wondering why,all of a sudden, I feel this way. I won't say (because I am certain that no good will come of me telling you), but I will point you to this post for a clue. In the meantime, re-read the Swedish proverb above, and remember to be thankful for the blessing that is this day.