Bitch on the Blog

January 4, 2010

False promises

Filed under: Uncategorized — bitchontheblog @ 04:51

Anger is a much loved companion; usually only around for a few minutes at any one time since my anger flares up, burns bright and extinguishes itself just as quickly as it was sparked. Today’s  inspired by an article I read and then snowballed in my brain from there.

And before any of you jump in: I manage my anger perfectly well.

Anger is good. Anger propels me into action. A friend of mine, who is also my son’s father, remarked (astonished and usually slightly irritated by it) how any argument makes me get  up, clean the house top to bottom, do an inventory of all my books on Excel and write lots of letters to people who would rather not hear from me.  Not that that has ever stopped any of them asking for more. 

So yes, the happy fallout of today’s anger is that the flea problem has been solved most efficiently, my study is so tidy even I am frightened, the washing machine and tumble dryer are on non stop and everyone who came  round earlier is worried about me.

What induced my wrath?

The happyness industry that’s what. I do not buy into it. 

I have been around for a while so I know: There are times to be happy, times to be sad and times to be thoroughly pissed off.

So it should be; except, of course, that we are not allowed any longer, to be UNhappy for two seconds otherwise pills are proffered to clean up our untidy lives. MY GOD, the cat dies and you are expected to get grief counselling.

Say you (not me) are terminally ill.  You have lost breasts, testicles, a bladder, are totally frightened as to what your lymph nodes and/or liver have soaked up; chemo is imminent, you order your wig, statistics are stacked high up against you surving for more than five months if lucky – just enough time to rewrite your will, tell everyone how it really was, plan your funeral and tidy both your underwear drawer and the rest of your life; and please don’t forget to chuck away your handwritten diaries since there will be enough tears at your funeral without adding to your unloved ones’ grief by revealing your inner thoughts. If only I could be there to wipe their tears.

On a side note: That’s the trouble with funerals. The obituary is all about you, yet the only one who can’t hear your trumpet being blown is yourself. And of course once you are down six foot under or about to be burnt to a cinder people will sugar coat you as if you had been theeee most perfect being and, naturally, you will be pronounced as having been “full of life” – if I hear that last phrase one more time I shall make another muffled sound when biting on my famous piece of driftwood. I hope someone at MY funeral will have the courage to say that I am full of death and worms will do the rest.

Back to both ill health and that much hyped positive thinking:  A whole industry now lives by it. Whilst munching the grapes and arranging the flowers, you keep visitors at your bedside happy by being completely fake in the face of adversity in order to spare THEIR feelings.  Smile.  Generate happy thoughts out of misery. And thus, and I finally come to my point, Pollyana promises you that the DIS-ease which has befallen you will be kept at bay. And, in the face of your determination will, miraculously, vanish.  Bullshit.




  1. You’re right there Ursula. There are times to be happy and times to be sad. Read the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible if you feel like it. It’s all there.

    There are some individuals who seem to make a habit out of grieving and feeling bad. I think the positive thinking stuff is for them. Not for balanced individuals like you. Or me.

    Comment by gaelikaa — January 4, 2010 @ 06:13 | Reply

    • Gaelikaa,

      I don’t wish to be fascetious: After having outgrown Sunday school, for years and years the bible was my bed time reading in hotel rooms. Whether five star or a bed and breakfast you can bet your bottom pound stirling, Euro, Dollar or any other currency there will be one in your bedside table. I wonder why hotels all over the world do not cater for other faiths. In the spirit of globalisation there might be a market out there. What does one find next to your bed in, say, Dubai?


      Comment by Ursula — January 4, 2010 @ 20:44 | Reply

      • In India, you are very likely to find both the Gideon Bible and the Bhagwat Geetha.

        Comment by Rummuser — January 5, 2010 @ 06:01 | Reply

  2. A friend was worried that nobody would come to her husband’s funeral. He was pretty awful (even she admitted). It was crowded with lots of phrasing comments. I didn’t have any driftwood to bite on.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — January 4, 2010 @ 18:48 | Reply

  3. I had to come again because I misspelled PRAISING. That wasn’t a typo. Was a mis-braino.

    Maybe the crowd was celebrating his death & not his life. (Naughty me, to have thought of that.)

    Comment by bikehikebabe — January 4, 2010 @ 19:20 | Reply

    • That’s brilliant, Bike Hike Babe: Celebrating his death. His widow dancing on his grave. The congreation cheering her on.

      And don’t worry about typos or mis-brainos: Did you know that including the odd mistake (as I do deliberately) instead of always being perfect is supposed to make you more loveable and human? Yeah, well, we all need to be loved even if it pains me.

      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 4, 2010 @ 20:29 | Reply

    • Comment by bitchontheblog — January 4, 2010 @ 20:37 | Reply

  4. I agree with you about Johnny one-notes who say you have to be uniformly happy, but for me it’s not that simple.

    Your talk of funerals reminds me of my mother’s. I was exhausted. I had helped nurse her while she died and had stayed up most of the night writing a eulogy for her. When she realized she was deathly sick she asked me to write her obituary and told me what she wanted me to include. She also told me what kind of funeral she wanted and asked me to give a eulogy at her funeral.

    It was a Catholic funeral and we the family were sitting in the front row. We didn’t know when to stand or kneel, so we figured we would just take our cue from my sister, who’s Catholic. But she just sat there as people behind us stood and knelt at the appropriate times. I figured as long as we all did the same thing it was all right. But finally my husband couldn’t take it any more and said, “I don’t care what you do, but everyone else is standing, so I’m standing too.” He stood up and the rest of us popped up too, not in unison but more like popcorn. It cracked me up and I laughed through the tears, knowing full well that my mother would have been laughing too. It was her kind of humor.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — January 4, 2010 @ 19:36 | Reply

    • Jean, I am nothing but in awe of people who know when to stand up, salute, clap or whatever else people in a crowd do. I haven’t got a clue and therefore, as you say, take my cue from the rest of the audience. Not that all that yo yoing up and down is good for those whose knees are creaking. I feel sorry for them. But that’s the church for you: They make their “children” suffer even when inside the sanctuary. Anyway, that’s another subject. As is your popcorn.

      My ‘first’ mother (my grandmother who brought me up the first years of my life) died when I was eight. One of the most defining moments of my life. She was my safety net. Dying, death, accompanying rituals, grief and undertakers are the subjects of one of my major studies.

      Many of my friends have, like you, lost their mothers. My own, with an irreverent sense of humour like yours and on a bent like BHB’s, is still alive (she is only 76) and fit. Sometimes she appears to be counting her days. She never shirks from the subject when it comes up. And, of course, what unites us (amongst many other things) is our memory of her beloved mother, my grandmother, which cannot be shared by my siblings because one was too young to remember and the other two not even born when she died.

      People think you ‘morbid’ when you talk of death. It isn’t. It’s part of life. Just because you avoid looking at it doesn’t mean it’ll go away. It won’t. I have always loved that saying that there are two things certain in life: Death and taxes. Though not necessarily in that order.

      As usual I am getting carried away on a train of thought …


      Comment by Ursula — January 4, 2010 @ 20:21 | Reply

  5. The man in my comment was 56 when he died. Coincidentally, another friend’s husband died at 56. He said his father died at 56 & so would he. He did. He was a heavy smoker. My friend was standing at his grave & she “heard” him say, “Come on down.”

    Another man (about 96) was immobile on a bench at the ski area. They couldn’t wake him up, so called the ambulance which hauled him away. He wasn’t dead, just tired.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — January 4, 2010 @ 20:49 | Reply

    • Yes, age when you die. Seems to make all the difference to comfort those who survive.

      And there is, as you say that belief, that you’ll die the same age as, say, your mother or your father. One of my uncles did. Another is hellbent on it.

      I admit to the same mindset in as much that when my son turned eight years of age fear and night terrors were mine (see my above reply to Jean). How could I have left him to his own devices? And yes, he does have a conscientious father with a Pollyana Californian wife; but it would hardly have been the same, would it? Now he is 18; and I am still hanging on in here, not least because he’d be so cross if I kicked the bucket early.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 4, 2010 @ 21:00 | Reply

  6. My friend, who incidentally is also my GP, has a short fuse. He however envies me for my naturally low blood pressure, a genetic rarity, for my long fuse. I am human and do lose my temper and when I do, you can see fireworks like on the Independence day. This is however so rare that when that does happen, people around me wonder if I am the same person!

    Just to lighten up matters pertaining to flies, you might like to visit

    I am a great fan of the Darwin Awards which enables me to look at life with my particular brand of eye glasses.

    Comment by Rummuser — January 5, 2010 @ 06:05 | Reply

    • Ramana, glad to hear it: Low blood pressure is the key to a long life. Which is why I shall live to about 150. I also feel faint occasionally – I think they call it’headrush’.

      As to your fireworks – I think I said it to Jean in one of my comments – it’s the quiet of nature you want to beware. When they explode you don’t know what’s hit you. Those, like me, who smoulder habitually are no danger to anyone.

      Please do not make me laugh, Ramana, I have got a sore throat at the moment and it hurts: My current curse are fleas not flies. Flies are docile in comparison though disgusting. One of my brothers-in-law (they live in the country) is a dab hand at swatting them with one of those bendy plastic fly bashers. Fleas, to me, are a fine example of what happened in those seven days when God occasionally got tired, distracted or plainly didn’t care any longer. What are blood suckers (and flies) for, other than to torment animal and human alike? I’d pay someone to answer my question. Probably to test our patience. I might just about be able to make a case for flies – though I’d have to scratch my head. All my life I have felt so very sorry for cows trying to fend them off with their long tails. Not with a lot of success. If I don’t stop now we’ll be on nervous ticks in a minute.

      Which reminds me, Ramana, veering off the original subject: Do people in India use the expression “Holy cow”? Or would that be seen as minor blasphemy? Also, why are they [the cows that is] usually so thin?


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 5, 2010 @ 07:01 | Reply

  7. No, most Indians do not use English at all. Holy Cow is rarely used, and only by snobs like me. The listeners do not usually understand the term any way. The cows and other cattle that you see photographs of are cattle abandoned by their erstwhile owners after their working life is over. They will not kill them or sell them to be slaughtered by Muslims who will eat them. These cattle roam around scrounging for anything to eat and quietly pass away somewhere. Most Hindus will tolerate them and accept them as part of the scenario. For a Hindu, a cow is indeed holy as it is the first change for non mother feed. The cow, the bull and the bullocks were all important part of India’s agrarian culture which is slowly disappearing with the advent of tractors and organized dairy farms. The cattle population of India however is 187.38 million cattle which is about 15 per cent of the world cattle population. Everything about India is in huge numbers!

    Comment by Rummuser — January 5, 2010 @ 12:58 | Reply

    • Thank you for that, Ramana. I am now even more gutted over cows than before. I am one of those people – and it irritates others – who can’t read anything in the papers without the danger of tears welling up when I realise that life is less than perfect.

      That’s why I hate explicit adverts which remind one of all the suffering going on in the world. Those are the moments when I am glad that Bill Gates invented Microsoft and gives millions, even billions of his fortune away to prop up some of the worst areas of the world.

      As you say, India works in huge numbers. I shall now go and find out the percentage of Swiss cows in the world cattle population. In Europe we have that image of fat happy milk cows on the alms, grazing on lush greenery, resulting in all that chocolate or, even better, a phantastic variety of cheese. I’ll let you know.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 5, 2010 @ 13:35 | Reply

  8. I wanted to tell you about the skinny cows walking alongside the road in India but Ramana got there first. England & India are closer on the same time schedule than USA. But he knows more about it & did a better job.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — January 5, 2010 @ 15:12 | Reply

    • My dear Bike Hike Babe, I am sure there is plenty you could contribute on the subject of cows – in general and in particular. In fact an idea is brewing in my head.

      I have to put up the world clock again on my comp. All I know is that my correspondents are either asleep or awake and I am – round the clock – usually half and half.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 5, 2010 @ 15:32 | Reply

  9. About fleas, flies, etc. The Cheerful Cherub has it right:

    God made the star-hung skies for us,
    And singing trees and hills and lakes.
    Of course He made mosquitoes too–-
    But everybody makes mistakes.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — January 5, 2010 @ 16:38 | Reply

    • You are too forgiving, Jean.

      Mosquitos, yes, I’d forgotten about them. They are the ultimate tease in the small sized animal world: No sooner have you turned off the light they will make that lovely buzzing sound warning you (to be fair) of their imminent attack. But try and find them once you have turned the light back on. It’s a game which, at the call of the mosquito, can be drawn out for some time. The game usually ends in a blood splattered splodge on a white wall.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 5, 2010 @ 17:11 | Reply

  10. About long fuses—As you’ve guessed, I have one too, but I don’t erupt in fireworks when I occasionally get angry. It erupts as a “No! Enough is enough!” Then I go do something else until the angry has subsided and we start resolving the problem. My brain is my favorite toy and I enjoy solving problems more than I do stomping around.

    A while back, Ursula, you said the stress-hardy people you know don’t exhibit my traits of stress-hardy, resilient people. But it seems to me the way you handle anger is an illustration of “They understand that emotions are great sources of energy and motivation….”

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — January 5, 2010 @ 16:54 | Reply

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