I’m the first to admit my mouth flaps and says things I perhaps shouldn’t at times. It’s an occupational hazard of being my mother’s daughter – she, a lawyer, moderated what she said, but she had opinions and wasn’t afraid to speak them.
I lack her professional filter. My MS has eaten what little of it was left. So I share inappropriately, say shocking things, reveal too much.
And, on occasion, I get annoyed. I spend such a lot of time NOT getting angry, trying to be sweet, trying to make the world a nicer place in my Pollyanna-ish way, but sometimes even I feel the urge to snap.
Like at the woman I know who tells everyone how they should be grateful for their illness, because she is – without seeing that her life is much much better than some of the folks she is reproving for their ingratitude.
Like at the friend I’ve offered scallops cooked in Pernod, for the love of mike, who can never find time to see me.
Like at the series of twelve traffic lights that block my way between my house and the highway.
Like at people who don’t see injustice or the loss of our freedoms or the increasing stranglehold of our government on the neck of democracy.
Like at poverty and ignorance and hatred and this darn tear on the side of my fingernail that always gets stuck on things.
You know. All that stuff.
So I say something. Even just a little something. I try to make it funny, so it doesn’t feel like I’m really mad, even when I am. but I’m obviously not as,good at that as I should be. And because people, don’t expect it of me, they react as if slapped. Because I am supposed to be nice.
Eventually the spring breezes will blow and I’ll be back to singing through my road rage and laughing at people who treat me dismissively, but tonight I am cross.
You see, a little bit of politeness goes a long way. I try to keep that in mind. I contort myself sometimes trying to avoid hurting people. I try to help, I try to understand, I try to be accepting. I don’t always succeed, but I try.
But then, I get hurt, too.
And apparently it’s not okay for me to react to hurt. I am expected to soldier on, cheerfully, smiling sweetly and saying nothing.