Friday, July 06, 2012

FMB: Honesty and In-Laws

Something that never fails to drive me a little up the wall:  When people aren't capable of being honest with themselves. 

I'm not talking about little things like "Surely if I eat this entire chocolate bar I won't feel ill afterwards" or "Why yes, this skirt is flatteringly cut and not too short."  I'm talking about a systemic failure to 'fess up inside one's own head. 

Two that got me lately:

1) An acquaintance of mine going on about how it's best for everyone to only have one child.  Er.  No.  I'm perfectly willing to go along with: there are advantages for both an only child and the parents, such as more attention; this is the right choice for our family; we wanted another but found it biologically impossible and  are making the best of it; and so on. 

2) My in-laws.  Oh, my in-laws!  Categorically unable to separate "this is how we live our lives" from "this is the best and only true way in the entire world."  Examples: Nutter Christianity; meat every day, usually twice; a new car every year.

And while we're on it, their inability to deal honestly with the consequences of their own damn actions!  Specifically, being fiscally irresponsible DOES leave one without a terrific cash flow, and refusing to come visit us because they "don't feel welcome" DOES mean they won't see the little one.

Five minutes are up, DING!


  1. This type of thing drives me bonkers too! When people extend their own prejudices/habits/conceptions to apply to everyone and vocalize their opinions. Just because something happened in their experience does not mean that the same will be true for everyone, how can they possibly not understand this???

    I used to get really angry whenever someone started making general statements such as that you mention in 1.), especially about such personal topics. What has helped me is just translating their generalized and belligerent phrasing in my head into something I'm more comfortable with (for example, if they say "everyone should have just one child, it's the only right thing to do" I make it "boy, I'm sure happy we had just one child, it really has been the best decision for our family". Ah, better. :)

    1. I generally smile and nod and say nothing. In my head I think it translates into "This person is not wearing their sensitive pants today."

  2. It's totally best for all families to only have one child. No. Wait. It's actually best for all families not to have children at all. No. Wait. People shouldn't even have families. I don't know HOW you hold your tongue when confronted with things like this. I know I am an ass in many ways and say all kinds of stupid and offensive things, and wear shirts that are too short and not flattering, but I feel like I have SOME insight into the feelings of other people and SOME ability to introspect. LORD.

    1. It is best to worship Dread Cthulu. (I occasionally say tactless things too... once, memorably and unfortunately, while sitting in front of the person's mother. Oops.)

  3. People, people. It's really very simple: the best thing to do is always whatever I say it is. Just ask! There are no stupid questions!


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