Friday, January 15, 2010
No Good Deed
Lots of good things to think about with the comments this week! I think Lana's comment about expectation is right on so I'm going to go with that issue on this blog post. Thank you, my dear!
I remember the first time I heard the old expression -- What does assume do? It makes an ass out of u and me. This gem came out of the mouth of a fellow lifeguard I didn't like at all. Darren (his real name, not the real spelling) had the uncanny knack of finding someone's soft spot and picking at it, like a dog nipping at your heels and finally biting hard enough to draw blood. Darren was the first male bulimic I ever knew; he'd gorge on bags of fast food and vomit in the men's room at the pool. If you are desperate enough to force yourself to vomit Taco Bell, Chicken Express, and McDonald's in such a nasty place, you have some sympathy from me. But then he'd do something to fuck it up like call the morbidly obese woman who had ventured out to the pool Shamu and make me hate him all over again. I avoided him for the most part and aligned myself with the older lifeguards who wanted to keep the radio tuned to Hendrix and the Eagles and Skynyrd, not the new rap music that the younger guards favored. Which is now called old school rap. How evil and quick the passage of time!
I grew up in a house with a bunch of rattlesnakes so I didn't assume much about anyone, only that I was sure there were places that were calmer. On this fact, I was right, although not by much. Expectation was a different matter, though. When you act well or do a good deed, you most of the time expect that you will be treated accordingly. Wrong bat breath, my dad would have said to such an assumption. No good deed goes unpunished, my mother would have replied in a sage voice that my sister deemed her Oh Wise One posture. But both were right, of course, because sometimes those we give our love, time, and support don't give a shit or can't reciprocate in kind. So we end up feeling like we're constantly giving to the shiftless friend who never has any money except when he or she wants to jet off to Paris for the weekend. This said, I think that giving is best when freed from the constraints of a fair return. Once a boyfriend said that he thought relationships were investments and that you put in your time and energy and when that person became successful, your investment would pay off. Sorry, buddy, I am not Bank of America! Your best bet is to enjoy the giving and the receiving of any particular moment, taking as many self-protective measures as you need. (Lana's suggestion on remaining anonymous works wonders here --if there's no way you can be rewarded except karmically, you don't worry about it. Another way is to avoid being put in uncomfortable situations -- give as much as you can without feeling used. It takes some practice to know the limits, but I assure you that you'll know the line once you cross it.) Once I had a rosary where Jesus popped off the cross. I guess he was tired of his perpetual crucifixion. I put Him in a drawer where He could rest, take a break from forgiving my sins for a spell.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"We create monsters and then we can't control them." Joel Coen
Drinking movie suggestion: A Serious Man (finally got to see this one and LOVED it!)
Benedictions and Maledictions