Who’s Zooming Who: When Being Polite Doesn’t Work In Your Favor

What is it with people lately?

You’re with a group of people and one woman, Queen Bee, starts to talk about her moral dilemma “blah blah blah” problem.  She wants everyone in the group to tell her what to do, that’s how distraught she claims to be.

You remain politely reserved saying nothing, thinking to yourself this isn’t a problem you crowdsource for a solution, while everyone else [oh. my. to. the. goodness. gracious.] tells Queen Bee what is wrong with her. And what she should do. And how she should do it.

Eventually all eyes fall on you so you go all Glinda the Good Witch.  You say something like you don’t need any help because you’ve always had the power within you to solve this problem.  Just put on your magic slippers, click your heels together, Dorothy Queen Bee, and you’ll find your way home solution.

Well a short time later you run into Queen Bee who tells you that she has no intention of following any of the advice from the group.  In fact she says that she only talked about her moral dilemma “blah blah blah” problem because she was testing everyone to see who was on her side.

Oh dear.

In a nanosecond you realize that Queen Bee now considers you a supportive friend.  You find yourself wondering how it is that being polite got you into this situation?  And how in the future you’ll be politely distancing yourself from Queen Bee?

Your new deceitful [I. don’t. think. so.] friend.

A Character Study: Justifying Your Rationale About Doing A Tango With The Truth

~ INTRODUCTION ~

I NEVER INTENDED TO write about this person, she’s someone I knew a long time ago.  I’d guess that I haven’t been in touch with her for over a decade, maybe longer.

I got thinking of her because I found one of her business cards wedged in the back of my desk drawer.  I’m surprised I kept it, to be honest– but there it was and memories of her flooded into my brain.

So here’s a story, a character study if you will, of a pleasant someone who had her own unique way of rationalizing that which she said and felt no shame about telling, what were ostensibly, falsehoods.

• • •

ONCE UPON A TIME I knew a lovely woman who introduced me to a college acquaintance of hers;  I shall call this acquaintance Nedra.  The lovely women moved away but out of respect for her, Nedra and I still got together for coffee every few months.

Our relationship was superficial, but delightful at first.  Nedra and I had interests in common, reading and healthy eating.  She was dating at the time and had funny stories about her experiences.  I was remodeling the kitchen and had ridiculous stories about my experiences.

All would’ve been well IF I hadn’t come to realize that Nedra was making up stories about her love life. And her career. Stories that she told me, doing what I’d describe as, a tango with the truth.

• • •

I STUMBLED OVER THIS dance with reality while we were having coffee one day.  I hadn’t seen her in a while and I asked her about a guy she’d been on a date with, a date that she’d described in detail months before.

Well, she looked confused, baffled by my question– and told me I must be wrong about her, that she’d never been on a date like that.  Clearly I was mistaken.

Except I wasn’t. I’m not that addled-brained. I remembered quite specifically her conversation and joyfulness vis-à-vis this date. That hadn’t happened, but she said it had. Uh huh.

• • •

AS YOU CAN IMAGINE after that conversation I became more disinclined to believe what Nedra said to me, but I was intrigued because I’m a curious person who pays attention to people– and here was a character for me to watch.

Up close and in action, so to speak.

Time passed, like a year or so, and I was to a point where I didn’t want to meet Nedra for coffee anymore.  Beyond her propensity to make up stories, I no longer needed to be in her part of town on a regular basis so getting together with her was a chore.  On many levels.

Still, I wanted to know more about her reasoning for making up stories: why she did it and, you know, if she experienced any remorse about deviating from the truth. So I asked her, politely, tactfully, why she made up stories about her life and this is where it got really interesting.

• • •

NEDRA BELIEVED THAT BY making up stories about her life she was showing people how to make themselves whole.  She was, she felt, merely using her fictional tales to guide people to make better decisions about themselves.

She justified this by saying that when you think about it, scripted TV shows and movies were often fabricated stories that we accept as having a real impact on our minds, hearts, psyches.  We believe the stories and accept the messages contained within.

Therefore she was doing the same thing with her stories on a smaller, more personal, scale so that she could help people become more self-aware and feel empowered to do better. And as such she felt no guilt for what some of us might call lying.

• • •

Have you met anyone like Nedra who does a tango with the truth?

Do you think she has a point about scripted TV & movies being basically lies so why not do it too?

Was she naive or manipulative?

Have you found a business card from someone you lost touch with and got thinking about them, for better or for worse?

~ THE END ~

In Which Ms. Bean Confirms She Is Who She Is: A Dreamer

I took the fast & fun interactive What’s Your COLOR ID Quiz on the Sherwin-Williams website.  Click HERE to go take it for yourself.

My quiz results told me I am a Dreamer.  A Dreamer is defined thusly:

I was further told that as a Dreamer I do the following:

Here is a screen shot of a few of the Sherwin-Williams colors that a Dreamer likes to see in her home.

Here is a photo of the wall in this particular Dreamer’s home office [or study if that’s what you want to call this room] where she is currently sitting.  This wall is painted SW 7666 Fleur de Sel, one of the colors shown in the image above.

It’s not often that I take an online quiz and end up with results that I agree with 100%.  In fact some of my previous posts [here & here] have been less than kind when discussing my quiz results, but for whatever reason, this time the quiz results made sense to me.

And with that I’ll end this pleasant post about knowing who I am by wishing you, my gentle readers, a Happy Weekend.  May it be colorful in a way that pleases you and filled with sweet dreams ’til sunbeams find you.

Goodbye Spring: Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky, NOT

Purple petunias in terra cotta pot as seen in humid, hazy light. No filter involved. Photo taken mid-morning.

With a hat tip to Jimi Hendrix, I’d like to share with you, my gentle readers, that this has not been a wonderful spring.  This makes me sad because I love late spring.

It’s my second favorite time of year. Oh yes it is.

However this year, to continue quoting Jimi, “Lately things they don’t seem the same, Acting funny, but I don’t know why.”

Which is me alluding to the fact that all it does around here is rain.

Soggy parsley.

I’m talking inches of rain, daily. Flash flooding. Mudslides. Slippery sidewalks.

Overwatered pots of formerly beautiful geraniums and petunias, now looking like death warmed over.

Pots of herbs so wet they are existing in a weird soggy stasis, looking pathetic.

Sad basil.

In the parlance of ye olde weather forecasters who claim to know why we’ve had this excessive, soul-sucking rain: there’ve been “numerous ripples of energy” that have brought more rain showers and thunderstorms to the region than are normal.

Uh huh. That’s nice.

However, be that as it may, while the rain continues unabated I’ll just contemplate “am I happy or in misery” while I’m stuck inside the house today in my own version of a caffeinated, irritable, non-psychedelic purple gray haze.

Me happy. NOT.

Stone steps down to terrace as seen in humid, hazy light. Again, no filter involved. Photo taken mid-morning.

High Hopes: Growing A Houseplant, Sharing A Mother’s Day Memory

“Just what makes that little old ant, Think he can move that rubber tree plant…”

Over the weekend Zen-Den informed me that the houseplant I think is a rubber tree plant is, in fact, a jade plant.

Apparently I do not know my houseplants, even if I can grow them.

“Anyone knows an ant, can’t, Move a rubber tree plant…”

Z-D became aware of my botanical ignorance when I was happily watering and singing to what I believed to be a rubber tree plant.

I’ve mothered and nurtured this NOT rubber tree plant for the last few years, channeling Shirley Feeney every time I am near it.

“But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes, He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes…”

My efforts have resulted in a healthy houseplant that I feel adds a certain joie de vivre to our family room.

It, the plant, being so healthy and all. Me, the plant mama, being so loving and all.

“So anytime you’re gettin’ low, ‘Stead of letting go, Just remember that ant…”

But there’s more to this story than my confusion about a houseplant.

Yes, this is a hat tip to my mother who adored Shirley Feeney’s spunk and who had me singing in the Cherub Choir at the First Presbyterian Church when I was but a little sprig.

“Oops there goes another rubber tree plant, Oops there goes another rubber tree plant, Oops there goes another rubber tree plant.”

It was there at a luncheon dedicated to mothers that we little cherubs, standing in three rows on risers, sang “High Hopes” to our mothers. Thus to this day whenever I sing this song, I think fondly of my mother.

Regardless of the kind of plant I’m watering while I am singing the song. 🙄

~ ~ • ~ ~

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who is celebrating it this weekend

~ ~ • ~ ~

One Martini & I’m Rebelling Against My Own Arbitrary Rule

Busy week, fast story…

You know how you say you’ll never do something for one reason or another, then one day you do that which you said you’d never do and nothing bad happens to you.

And you begin to wonder why you had the self-imposed rule to begin with and you become somewhat distraught mildly perturbed because you cannot remember why it seemed important to you to not do that which you just did.

That’s what I’m talking about here. All of that.

So what did I do that I said I’d never do?

Ah yes, good question. Thank you for asking.

You see the fastest way to explain what I did is to refer you to the photo at the top of this post. Saturday night I took that photo of a Pear Martini, my new favorite cocktail, while we were sitting at a table in an upscale restaurant.  The drink tasted & looked so good that I pushed aside all hesitation and pulled out my cell phone to take a picture of it.

And that is something I said I’d never do.

Early on when I got a smart phone I declared, oh yes I did, that I would never be one of those people who takes pictures of food and drink while in a public place.  Yet, as the above photo proves, I am now one of the collective.

Like a Borg, but only for Instagram. Resistance is futile.

Which brings me to an epiphany about who I am now.

While you may think that I’m going to wax on about my wonderful Pear Martini, I’m going to tell you that whilst sipping it and musing upon my arbitrary rule to never snap a food or drink picture in public, it dawned on me that I was caught up in some sort of generational way of thinking that no longer served me.

Who cares if I take a fast photo of a drink? Absolutely no one, myself included.

I caused no harm, I had some fun, and I realized that, with a hat tip to Bob Dylan: “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

Overheard: I Know How Old An Old Person Is, According To The Neighbor Girls

I believe the children are our future… let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.

With a hat tip to Whitney Houston, here’s a short conversation I overheard when the neighbor girls next door were playing outside with their cousins and friends.

In total there were seven girls, ages 6 to 12.  They are creative girls, boisterous, and oh. so. funny. when they get together.

Girl #1: I know. Let’s play theater up on the deck.

Many voices, shouting at the same time: Yes! *yay*

[Sound of small feet running all over wooden deck as they drag metal furniture around on it.]

Girl #1: I’ll play the sister!

Many voices, talking over each other: I’ll be {indistinct words}. *blah, blah, blah* No me… I wanna be {indistinct words}. *blah, blah, blah*

Girl #1: OK. Now we need someone to play the old person.  

[Complete silence. Nary a peep. Total quiet.]

Girl #2: I’ll be the old person.

Many voices, filled with concern: Are you sure? Really? You want to do that! 

Girl #2: Yes, I’ll do it.

Girl #1: How old will you be?

Girl #2: I’ll be… (dramatic pause)… seventeen.

Many voices, in unison: *gasp* That old? {indistinct jibber-jabber} Oh my!

And that, my gentle readers, is all I heard because the girls started talking quietly among themselves, presumably to prepare for their big performance.  Of an unnamed show that I can confirm has at least one sister– and an old person in it.

Break a leg, girls. Happy Friday, everyone. 😊