Before I could even open my eyes all the way this morning, a terrifying bug jumped from the kitchen sink and down my shirt while I innocently tried to rinse out my mug to make my cup of tea. Previously there was some question about how much of a girl I am, but after my high-pitched screams jolted the kids out of their beds at 5:40 am, we are all pretty sure I’m absolutely female. As a bonus I stripped out of all my clothing right there in the middle of the kitchen. One of the three kids is now permanently scarred, but I couldn’t be bothered to look to see which one was in the doorway moaning, “Oh Mom. Why???”
You might theorize that the tiny spider or ant encounter was the most annoying part of my morning. Or you might think, correctly, that I’m annoyed because I blew off work all weekend in order to lay around at the pool and on the lake, reading and drinking, and now I’m facing down a 4 day work week with absolutely zero ambition. You might also assume that it’s annoying that instead of starting on my next writing project, I have to drive across town to get the damn special bread my kids like in their lunches, because for some reason many years ago I thought it would be a good idea to teach them that the manufactured bread at the grocery store is full of chemicals (it is, but still, a slice of Wonder-bread wouldn’t kill them now and then). Underlying all of these enormous first world problems lies the fact that I can feel tiny bugs crawling all over me, because, you know, I’m sure that the one bug from this morning has called out all his friends in order to seek revenge on me for my slight over-reaction.
But no. None of those things is insurmountable. What’s really bugging me (I’m sorry, the pun is absolutely intended and yes I know I’m a dork), is other people’s drama.
I used to only try to avoid mean people, because, well, mean people suck. But lately I’m finding that I can deal with mean people, as long as they are up front about it. What I really can’t handle now are people who can’t be real.
I understand that not everyone likes me or agrees with me, and I’m okay with that. I’m very aware that people don’t like my views on religion or politics; that the way I parent is annoying and lazy; that I joke around at inappropriate times; that I refuse to follow perfectly good rules because I don’t see the world as black and white. I often over-promise and under-deliver.
But with all my faults, what you get from me is 100% real. It might be 100% really not your thing, but it’s all out there.
What I can’t understand are people who play games, who stir up drama, who lie to my face because they think it’s nicer than telling me the truth. I can’t understand people who agree with me just for the sake of being agreeable. Even more, I can’t understand people who lie to themselves.
A big fear of mine is that my kids will grow up thinking they have to be someone else in order to fit in. Or that they’ll learn this drama game that others play, and they’ll get sucked into whatever it is that makes people enjoy deception and power struggle.
Baring an actual health problem or tragedy, life doesn’t have to be so hard. Just be who you are.
And if you’re struggling with this, go read a good book about the Holocaust. Or visit someone who is sick and too young to be dying. Perspective is a powerful thing.
Now go sing that Pharrell song.
(since we’re being real here: I like Pharrell, but I really hate that song)