But the day has been so incredibly uneventful that I decided to skip the day's story and write something else. I've been thinking on something recently, and I suppose the best place to get it out is here.
Over the weekend when hanging out with my mother, she would occasionally comment on things that she didn't like with mean words. An example would be when we were at home watching TV with her husband. The Tonight Show came on, and they were big fans of Jay Leno but don't really like Jimmy Fallon all that much, but they couldn't give me an actual reason. And then also instead of changing the channel, they just sat there insulting him. My mom said that she didn't like him and that he sucked, that he wasn't funny. The camera panned to Higgins, and my mom's husband said, "He makes me sick." Meanwhile I'm sitting on the couch nearby wondering why they're being so hostile.
Earlier in the day my mother didn't care for something and instead of just saying "No thank you" or "that's just not for me," she made sick faces and added extra mean words. Then I asked her why she had to be so mean. She tried to pass it off and say she wouldn't talk anymore - guilt trip or whatever - and I then told her that there are billions upon billions of people in the world and not all of them are going to like the same things. If you don't like something, that's fine. Just say you don't like it. But adding the extra commentary is dismissing that valid thing for other people.
It's like dismissing someone else's feelings.
I know someone who if you're talking about something they aren't interested in or don't care for, they'd say "Don't know. Don't care." And I would stare at them in shock thinking You claim to be so nice and giving and kind, yet you say THAT? These people who you claim to be your friends, and you dismiss what they love because you don't play the same games or watch the same shows or follow the same fandoms? Now this person is dating someone who is into all that and now they come up to me telling me about all these things that they didn't know or didn't care about as if I've never heard of them. I want to say "Um, remember that time we were all talking about it RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU?"
When I called my mom out on her words again in front of her husband - now mind you, I was speaking calmly and wasn't yelling, I was trying to be logical/reasonable - my mother got all defensive saying that it was just her opinion, that I'm holding her back from being her. And every time I tried to say "That's not what I said. I just don't see why you have to be mean about it," she had added the comment "It's not like they can hear me."
Now true, Jimmy Fallon and his sidekick Higgins can't hear her through the magical moving picture box, but that still doesn't excuse you from being mean. It's the principle of the thing.
My mother kept getting louder and louder when I tried to reason with her, and her husband was getting upset with both of us. (He's not very confrontational either.) But the dumb thing was that when he started to do the Thank You Notes, my mom was laughing right along with me. She was laughing at the jokes that she had proclaimed not moments ago that weren't funny. So why are you laughing? (Her husband remained unmoved, but that's a whole other can of worms I'll leave in the pantry of life.)
In the past decade of my life - give or take a year - I've been working on being nicer and not getting pissed off at every little thing. I choose what to fight about, what to get mad at, what to let effect me. When driving, I will still occasionally curse at someone driving stupid on the road - and since I'm a writer, I can get a little descriptive - but then I'll immediately take it back, apologizing to the universe for my own stupidity. I've had my own days where I've frakked up in traffic, and I know it's usually because I'm preoccupied with stress or whatever or I'm just being stupid. Who am I to rightfully declare that everyone else in the world that doesn't do as I do or likes what I like or is different in any way that displeases me is either wrong, stupid, or sucks?
My mom later texted to apologize about her bad behaviour... but I have to say it would have been nice if she could have said those words to me while I was still there.
I'll end with the bio from Nathan Fillion's twitter which reads: It costs nothing to say something kind. Even less to shut up altogether.
Later my lovelies.