I'm lying awake fretting about things and re-arguing arguments that happened years ago, and that's not very productive. So I will get up and put all those things HERE, because THAT will be...oh.
1. You remember my new blue-green leather chair? A cat has been scratching it. There are scratch marks, and there is a small RIP. I feel like patching the leather with someone's furry PELT. Why do we let ANIMALS live in our HOUSE?
2. It makes me mad when people say they don't mind what was said, they just mind the WAY it was said---when you know it's that they actually mind what was said, and that there was NO way it could have been said that would have pleased them. Related point: I had a friend in high school who used to say horrible hurtful things (mostly to her family) and then "apologize" by saying she didn't regret what she'd said, she just regretted the WAY she'd said it. And I was always listening to these stories appalled, thinking, "Oh dear no, I think you'd also better regret what you said, because ACK."
3. Or when people say "hurt" when what they actually mean is "mad." Example: Jen in MI and I had a college roommate who once told us she was "hurt" that we didn't do our share of cleaning the bathroom on a particular occasion. She was red-faced with fury. (And lest you think we were cleaning slackers ((we had a cleaning CHART)), it was a misunderstanding: I suppose we should have said, "Rather than stand here watching you do your share while we wait to do our share, we'll go do some studying at the library and then come back and do our share later.")
4. The claim that every opinion/viewpoint is equally valid and deserves respect. I DO get how/why people can think so, but I think there are certain opinions (racism being the one that springs to mind as most obvious/clear for this example) that don't deserve respect. That doesn't mean I get to express my disrespect by burning down someone's house or whatever, but there is such a thing as appropriate disrespect---and if I'm disrespectful of a point of view, it is with careful and extensive thought, not just "Anyone who doesn't see it my way is crazy and stupid!" in the manner of my late mother-in-law. I get, though, that it's pretty much impossible to draw the line between "everyone's opinion on this issue is equally valid" and "well, only within a certain range of options," and also that the line is dramatically affected by time and place, and also that it's impossible to apply this THEORY to widespread PRACTICE ("Here is a list of invalid opinions:"), and that that's why it's important to be careful and not go around setting fire to things willy-nilly.
5. The children have been lying to me, which makes me angry even though I realize it's a normal developmental stage. I remember being genuinely perplexed, even indignant, when my mom told my 4th grade self how hurt and upset she was by the lies I was telling (which, for perspective, were generally about how much candy I'd bought/eaten, as opposed to being about things such as who had been into the liquor or who had pawned the family silver). My feelings were amorphous and unfocused back then, but if I had to spell them out now I'd say they were "But what does it have to do with YOU? I am just trying to EAT MORE SWEETS." Anyway, I read some book recently that had a section on lying children and that has helped somewhat, but it still makes me nuts when I'm asking something perfectly reasonable such as "Who peed in the bathtub?" and everyone says "Not me!" even though my follow-up would be, "Ah. Well, please use the potty instead" rather than "Ah. Well, go cut your own beatin' switch." I get tired of having to be so very careful with my questions to avoid spooking them into lying to me. "Wow," I say admiringly, spinning my sticky web. "That sure is a big puddle of pee in the bathtub!"
6. It bugs me that the elementary school nags and nags and nags---and does it EVEN-HANDEDLY, so that EVERYONE gets nagged every few weeks about KEEPING YOUR CHILDREN'S LUNCH ACCOUNT BALANCES IN THE POSITIVE ZONE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY. My kids now have over $100 each in their lunch accounts, because I keep thinking "What if they mean ME???" And---AND---there is no way to check your child's balance unless you call the cafeteria and have them look it up for you! No wonder people lose track! (Well, okay, and some people are EXASPERATING FLAKERDOODLES who are MILKING THE SYSTEM. But not EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US needs the flakerdoodle treatment.)
7. Still on the subject of the elementary school, it further bugs me that when I sign up to donate stuff for a bake sale, there are a dozen bulk-email requests and reminders but there's no bulk-email thank you afterward. I LIKE donating to the bake sale! I LIKE it! But begging and nagging without thanking is ineffective, in terms of morale.
8. I made the children help me clean for awhile this afternoon, and not only was it like herding cats, one of them said, "It'll just get messy again." OH RLY. I wonder why THAT will be? In that case, let's start a daily group cleaning regimen, Mr. Logic!!
All right. I do feel better. I think people who keep diaries are probably people whose mental filing systems need some manual help.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...