“E” day for A to Z blogging challenge.
“Excuses are like assholes: everyone has them and they all stink!”
Seriously. Here’s the deal. I am an opinionated and passionate woman who’s awkward and uncomfortable in social situations. I have very few friends and I’m freaking lonely. To top it off, when I get a chance to meet new women and socialize I usually mess it up.
Wednesday, I read a book excerpt by Jill Smokler, and while mostly it’s spot on, one line still really pisses me off:
I shall not preach the benefits of breastfeeding or circumcision or home schooling or organic food or co-sleeping or crying it out to a fellow mother who has not asked my opinion. It’s none of my damn business.
I am that mom. Sometimes, I just need to say something. I have to do it or it hurts me. It curls up into a ball in my stomach and starts punching me and tearing at my insides. It crawls into my brain and starts scratching at the door, begging to be let out. So I do. It is born in the form of a statement or a question. It is not a judgement even if my comment does not jive with you. I’m sorry. I am working on this. Believe me.
If you dislike what I have to say, politely disagree and we can move on, really. I don’t need you to spare my feelings by pretending. Please, don’t make up an excuse. A “yes, but I can’t…” excuse. I know (always in hindsight) that you are only trying to be nice, and don’t give two flips about my opinion. I’m okay with you not agreeing with my opinion. Really, but chances are, if you offer me your “but” excuse, I’m not going to realize that you are uninterested and I will press, trying to be helpful. You, dear one, will think this is me being preachy, because you failed to woman up and tell me what you really thought.
So now, you’ve made your “but” excuse, and I’m trying to be helpful and help you find a solution to your “but.” Really, your “butt” because you are sitting on information I need. I need to know that I am making you uncomfortable so that I stop, a.k.a. stfu. Because what happens when I press and you feel uncomfortable but don’t tell me is that secretly you start to hate me. Secretly you cannot stand my “preachy” ass and you don’t want to talk to me anymore. You certainly don’t want to hang out with me anymore.
Here’s what I secretly think. I think your inability to say, “We’re happy with the way we do things,” really means you are unhappy or question yourself and instead of admitting that, you make an excuse. I know in your world, these falsehoods, these “butts” are the norm. It’s like making up rules for a game, but not telling the players until they foul. It stinks. Be a woman, a grown woman, and tell it to me like it is. Tell me you’re not interested. Tell me you’d like to change the subject. Tell me anything so long as it’s true. I’m a grown woman, too. I promise I can take it.
I don’t think I’m the only mom with this problem. I know it seems like we are just being Nosy Nellie’s or Know-It-Alls, but really, most of the time, we just care too much, and it hurts not to say what we feel. I know some of us carry it too far, and when they refuse to listen or back off you are totally justified in your annoyance. But please don’t ask us to not care. Don’t ask us to crawl into your box with you and “empathize.” We do empathize, but we also see a different picture outside of your box. So, please excuse your “butts,” tell us the truth, and don’t take us the wrong way.
Here’s my addition to Jill’s manifesto:
I solemnly swear to say what I mean and mean what I say.