Three Things That Gripe My Grits

“Unfortunately, there are assholes and psychos mixed in with regular people everywhere you go, and they’re not labeled as such, so you can’t identify them by sight.”

~ When I Blink [author’s name], If the Fashion Industry Gave a Commencement Speech

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1)  Let’s review the basics.

Q: What must we do?

A: Be proactive and not use the word should. 

Explanation: When applied to oneself the word “should” speaks to wishful thinking and lazy follow-thru.  By using it one denies his or her own power to make things happen– which is not good, kind of pathetic and will get you a Gibbs head slap from me.

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2)  Let’s talk about friendship.

Q: Who do we have the best relationships with?

A: People who behave the same way as we do.

Explanation: That is to say, chronological age is not necessarily what keeps friends together.  Shared values and subsequent actions are what keep people close, so do not tell me to limit my friendships to people within my age group.  That’s nuts.

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3)  Let’s talk about manners.

Q: What must everyone do after receiving a gift?

A: Write a thank you note and send it.

[Also acceptable answers depending on age &/or physical condition: Draw a thank you picture and have Mom or Dad send it.  Phone a thank you message.]

Explanation: Lack of gratitude is epidemic in our world.  Do not be part of this problem;  instead, be classy and say “thank you” in a meaningful, time-honored way.  Be part of that proud thank-you-note-sending tradition.

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Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

20 thoughts on “Three Things That Gripe My Grits”

  1. Good ones. I myself must work on No. 1 with you and others. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insight.


    1. Zen-Den, wisdom and insight? Interesting. I was thinking more along the lines of fed-up and ticked-off. But your description is so much nicer than mine, so I’ll go with it. Thanks. 😉


      1. From adversity comes wisdom. Unfortunately the challenge comes when we try to share our wisdom with others, and the buttheads don’t get it.


        1. Zen-Den, so true. Fortunately adversity also brings with it a certain perspective that tends to make me laugh more often than fret. I mean, as your sister so often says: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” From what I can see, there are a lot of thirsty horses walking around out there!


  2. I’d never heard the “should” issue put that way. I like the change of perspective from should to must. It seems to me, though, that “wishful thinking and lazy follow-thru” is a little judgmental. I know what you mean, but “should” is a big trigger word with depression, used to beat yourself up for, you know, not following through and being lazy or stupid. Albert Ellis had a whole thing about not “shoulding” on yourself.

    I am often shocked by people who don’t send some form of thank you. I remember sitting down on Christmas afternoon to write thank you notes to our grandparents and it’s still one of the first things I do when someone sends me a gift. Far too often, I feel like I’m left hanging when someone doesn’t even let me know their gift has arrived. I can live without a thank you but it’d be nice to know you actually got it.


    1. Zazzy, I get tired of people telling me that they “should” do something. Either do it– or not. I’m rather simple-minded about life sometimes and the vagueness associated with this word bugs me.

      I know what you mean about never knowing if the gift was received. I could never leave another person hanging like that, but far too many people do. And then without sending a thank you card, I’m left even more baffled.

      Am I to believe that my gift was not wanted? Not appreciated? Not necessary? OR am I to believe that it is just a given that the recipient deserves a gift from me, so the recipient need not bother with thanking me?

      Either way, it’s not right.


  3. I’m working on #1, and getting much better! A lot of times the situation is a little scary, so I have to make myself follow through and just :do it”.

    I have many friends of all different ages. It’s so interesting to see/hear their perspective on life. That’s what makes the world go around!

    I too am peeved about the thank you notes. So many times I’ve mailed gifts for a wedding, graduation, birthday, etc. and no thank you or acknowledgement from the recipient. It drives me nuts!! I hope I’ve taught my kids the right thing to do.


    1. Beth, the thing about the word “should” is that there are lots of other words that carry a stronger message both to yourself and to others. No one wants to perceived as ineffective– yet that’s the message I hear when someone says “should.”

      About limiting friends to just other Boomers or GenXers or Millennials, I don’t get it. Yet some friends of mine are dead set on only socializing within the same age group. I see it on Twitter too with the hashtags. To me [and you], it’s weird.

      And rest assured that you did raise your kids right. They all have sent prompt, nicely worded Thank You notes upon receipt of a gift from us. Clearly you have instilled good manners into them. Yeah you!


  4. Your “should” diatribe (!) reminds me of a famous bit from EST way back in the groovy 70s and 80s. If I say I’ll “try” to do something, that is equal to “maybe I will and maybe I won’t.” And doesn’t that actually end up being a piece of advice from Yoda?


    1. midlifebloggers, I hadn’t thought about EST in years. Now there’s something that had its 15 minutes of fame! You are so right, my dislike of “should” is very Yoda-like. Hadn’t put that together before. Who knew that Star Wars had affected me this deeply. 😉


  5. I HATE the word “should.” It makes me feel inadequate and stressed. As a first born child, I react strongly to any kind of expectation and I’m STILL fighting that. I either send a thank you note or call, but usually send a card because people treasure those sometimes. Some of my friends are several years older than I am, but others(at school) are decades younger. Many of them are not of the same political party as I am and would not agree with me on other issues, but we have shared experiences and a bond.


    1. Margaret, maybe the reason that I dislike “should” is the same as you– first born reacting to expectations. Never thought of that. I do the same regarding the giving of thank you. And like you, I have friends from decades above and below me, so I really don’t get that we-all-must-be-the-same-age attitude that I encounter occasionally. Seems insecure to me.


  6. Rather than ‘should’, let’s say ‘shall’. I shall do x or y. It shows determination.

    The age thing has never been a big thing for me. I have friends who are 20 years older than me, and 10 or more years younger. Maybe as I age, I’ll get even younger friends. I like who I like. The number 1 virtue for a friend of J is loyalty, and next is a sense of humor. I can get past a lot of other things.

    I’m a big fan of the thank you note. My huband is just now getting into it. We’re trying to get our daughter into it, and she’s pretty willing. I do think that if someone takes the time to give you a gift, cook you a mean, do a kind deed,whatever…they deserve a thank you. But I also think that if the gift is given in person, and the thank you given verbally, then the note is optional. No one would criticize you for sending it, but you can get away with not doing so if you’re so inclined.


    1. J, brilliant! Yes, let’s all use “shall” for the exact reason you state. Determination I adore.

      I’m like you in my expectations regarding friendship: loyalty and sense of humor– and may I add, ability to forgive? No bitter grumps need apply to be my friend.

      You make a good point. Saying thank you in person works for me. When I wrote the above I was thinking about when I send $$$/a gift for graduations or weddings, then never heard a word from the the graduate or bride/groom about receiving the gift. The lack of closure on those scenarios drives me bonkers.


      1. I’m with you. VERY frustrating when you don’t even know whether the person has received the gifts. My daughter has been the recipient of quite a few envelopes with cash in the last few days since she graduated. I’m all over her about the ‘thank you’ cards. She’s doing OK, but I’m not convinced she’d stay on it without a bit of nagging on my part. Perhaps I don’t give her enough credit.


        1. J, good that you keep Maya on her toes. She’ll get them written in no time– and might even take on the responsibility of doing them without nagging the next time round! 😉


  7. I can proudly say that I hit a grand slam with number 3. I send thank you notes for EVERYTHING. I even sat down and wrote a thank you note to everyone who’s written a review of my novel if I have their address. They’re so, so important, because you’re right…….nobody takes time to write them anymore.

    And I will go even further and say a handwritten thank you note means so much more than an email. I’m not judging those who text or email thanks, because that takes time, too. But a handwritten note conveys sincerity in that it takes real time to put one together.


    1. Andra, you are good, my dear. Miss Manners is smiling on you.

      I agree that a handwritten [or drawn] thank you note is the best. But I will gratefully accept email or text, if that is the way the receiver chooses to communicate. If nothing else, I at least get closure on knowing whether or not the gift got there.


  8. I am a stickler for thank you cards (and I plan to make my son one too)!! People are forgetting the basics because they are too busy trying to keep up with “reality stars and celebrities”. I also love that you say gripe my grits. I say grind my gear hehe and people act like they have never heard a saying like that before whenever I use it.


    1. Barbara, I think that you’re onto something with your idea that the lack of thank you notes is part of the fallout when ones tries to keep up with reality stars. Never put together that together, but now that you mention it, makes sense to me.

      Also, never heard the phrase “grind my gear” but it is definitely the same meaning as “gripe my grits.” Thanks for sharing that with me.


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