Bitch on the Blog

March 15, 2011

Cards on the table

Filed under: Communication — bitchontheblog @ 00:33

I was in middle of answering a comment of Jean under heading of my previous “war path” when Conrad sent a message. In a similar vein. I will try and answer both here. In one wash as it were. Son came in in between. So has been a while. Hope memory will serve me.

Jean asked why I stir the melting pot yet appear to mind when being stung myself. This was my half baked answer to her (pasted): 

“Jean, yes, I do stir nests. Unfortunately most of them not inhabited by hornets but half dead dung beetles. People need to be shaken and stirred. It’s what we and our brains are about till we die. Otherwise what’s the point?

If there is one thing I do NOT do, as you suggest, it’s to complain when I get stung. Not since my father harshly told me, I was about eight and had just, literally, been stung by a wasp inside my elbow on a Sunday afternoon – of all days – not to cry over being stung. Fine. Don’t cry. It hurts. But don’t cry. So, I don’t cry – other in the privacy of my own tears. He also taught me to question, question, question – always, everything, anything, anybody. One of the joys, pains and grievances of my life when he and I talk on the phone. Maybe once a week. It’ll be hours. I know this because my mother keeps track of time. His brain so sharp; yet – emotionally and to my astonishment – he has mellowed in his later life. Don’t know what I’ll do once he is gone. Bestest friend of four decades and my son both similar to him. None of them will let up. And neither do I – or so it appears. Though to be honest, Jean, at times I feel like giving up in certain quarters. What’s the point? So disheartened after today. Not for the first time. Though always seem to recover so very quickly from any setback – even when kicked where it hurts. It almost amounts to a character defect: My ability to bounce back. Probably all in the training.

Nests need to be stirred, because people are too complacent. Yeah, sure we all cry over whatever the current crisis is somewhere in the world. But it is just so much bollocks in most cases. Crocodile tears. Sick and tired of it.”

No sooner was I signing off the above with my signature ‘U’ Conrad comes in. On a reconciliatory note. Yet also questioning as to my integrity. Conrad, me not having compassion? You must be joking. The people around me, the ones who know me, do criticise the hell out of me because I weep for others. No,  not crocodile tears; neither would I ever volunteer to look after lepers (mainly because my son has a greater claim on me). But by god, if there is one thing I cannot be accused of is not knowing about others’ plight and delight. Am I egotistical as suggested? I don’t know. Rarely are we the best judges of our selves. Which is why it is so nauseating to read some blogs. People protest too much. Doesn’t matter. Nothing matters much. To me. Other than Angel’s well being. If I am being made into something by those who read me fine. Who cares? It so does not matter to me. Nothing that a long walk round the park and the harbour won’t take care of.

However, Conrad, and you are right, and it needs to be considered: There is something about me that raises hackles. Not with everyone. But some. I now have a choice: Do I make it MY responsibility how any of you feel about me; or do I leave how YOU feel about me to all of you?  Don’t brush the question aside. Worth thinking about. Similar question was once asked off me. Did I hate it? You bet. Thus you learn to take responsibility.

You know, Conrad, and this probably marks me as contemptible, possibly egotistical,  but at least honest: I don’t give a damn. People can take me or leave me. Virtually all I meet in person take me. As Felix recently said to me when I mentioned an odd remark made about me by someone who knows little of me: “But, Mama, you ARE different to most people. Anyone can see that.” Never had I heard sweeter words. If it pains me at times.




  1. U, I am getting the feeling that you would leave a different impression face-to-face than you do on paper. Second, I bet it would be to your advantage. Why? There would be a warmth that gets lost in mere words. There would be immediate feedback and course corrections, interplay that is so important in nuanced conversation. There would be touch. And there would be twinkles in eyes.

    Or, who knows, maybe it would be like your and Ramana’s upcoming nuptials: chasing with knives and the breaking of dishes followed by dancing and ouzo.

    One thing for certain, no one would be watching reality TV shows.

    Comment by Conrad — March 15, 2011 @ 00:48 | Reply

    • And this is why we love you too, Conrad. Am I running on both sides of the fence? Maybe. But I react to what I see.

      Comment by bikehikebabe — March 15, 2011 @ 01:09 | Reply

    • I love Ouzo. Haven’t imbided any for years. Will be my ondoing. Can you imagine it: A wooden table, white washed brick walls, a court yard, maybe a lizzard, the sun, my splendid self and a bottle of Ouzo (replenished at all times) – holding court to all of you? Dream come true. Do bring knickerbockers. Hope I won’t have another nightmare about consortium, assorted, tonight. But please do join me. Not in the nightmare. Neither will I chop my ear off.

      As to Ramana and me, and please don’t tell him since male ego fragile: I am not keen on people of a certain circumference round their waist (or should that be ‘waste’). In fact he would waste himself on me: He confessed some time ago to gaelikaa that he prefers the dark Nefroteetees of this world. I don’t know this minute how Nefrotete spells herself. Too many ees. So, being white Causcasian of a whiter shade than pale at times of nausea never far away from me I do not hold any allure for Ramana. Wish Barath had contemplated his brother’s predilections first before laying into me as a faint prospect to R’s future happiness.

      Still, a party is worth making sacrifices for. And, as unbelievable as it sounds, I do not break dishes. All I do when I run out of words (never) is close a door behind me. This is where the English language falls short: Bang a door? Sweet. Eine Tuere zuknallen. Sounds so much closer to the hallowed truth; and silence to be broken.

      When you think about, Con, and I will consult Daphne on this: Isn’t it awful on what pretext weddings will take place? Which is why it’s useful to have Barathesses intervening before forking out for printed invitations.

      Warmly yours,

      Comment by Ursula — March 15, 2011 @ 01:39 | Reply

  2. Lurvely mixed metaphor ;Stirring the melting pot and getting stung…

    Reminds me of a boy at school, Tunstead County Primary, Back in 19furble burble Michael went round to the back f the School field where there was an old rubbish dump. On this dump grew Elder trees and other plant life. In a hole in one of the trees was a wasps’ nest. Now Michael was a ginger haired tearaway and he had decided to stir the nest up with a stick. He was stung. And he was caned. Well, not caned as Charlie Hewitt, the snide little Yorkshireman, used a blackboard pointer and not a cane.
    Next day Michael was back at the wasps’ nest with a bottle of paraffin and some matches. Now that did stir up the wasps. But he was unrepentant. After all the first visit was just to see what was going on. The wasps need not have stung him.

    What that has to do with anything I do not know but I was reminded of the events.

    I think that the only thing my father really gave me was the spirit to Question, question, question and not be satisfied with any answer that did not make sense. I hope that I have brought my sons up to question, I know I have, they question me, a thing I could never do with my own father if he were to walk in now I would still be afraid of him. I hope too that I have given them confidence to be different, not run of the mill followers of the flock but to be their own person with perhaps some of my own values amongst theirs.

    When the world stands up and hits you square in the solar plexus and follows up with a fist in the face and a foot in the groin then good for you if you can still stand your ground. And hey…you may be completely wrong after all. That is where the real strength comes in useful.

    Comment by Magpie 11 — March 15, 2011 @ 01:05 | Reply

  3. “Nothing that a long walk round the park and the harbour won’t take care of.”

    Thanks. So the next time you go off on a rant I won’t worry. I’ll just think of one of my husband’s favorite sayings, “And a good time was had by all.” I am sad to give up my vision of you marrying Ramana, though.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — March 15, 2011 @ 02:17 | Reply

  4. One thing still puzzles me. I agree we should take responsibility for our reactions and feelings. Why do you choose to get your knickers in a twist about what Ramana and Barath do and/or say? I assume you enjoy it?

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — March 15, 2011 @ 05:18 | Reply

    • You have asked me a similar question before, Jean. Can’t remember whether I answered it at the time.

      I do NOT get “my knickers in a twist” over what anyone says. What I do get is upset at times. I am only human (surprise) so, yes, sometimes I hurt. What Barath said is so uneducated. This is assuming he meant it. Maybe he didn’t. Maybe I don’t recognize his brand of the dreaded humoUr that so many, so misguidedly, pride themselves on.

      What I can’t emphasize enough that – where I come from – argument, challenging an other’s thought processes, picking holes, will almost always be fierce but on an intellectual level, not a personal one. When it gets personal you know that drink has been flowing too freely. As an aside: Even one of my sisters hates me the next morning. Not because I said something untoward. But because I never suffer hangovers (she does).

      Neither is intellectual argument about being RIGHT or WRONG. Something not well understood by some of the people this blog addresses.

      Jean, when I say we should “take responsibility” for our reactions to others I did not mean to say that there isn’t a vulnerable side to any of us. An irrational side, an emotional side – a little out of our conrol. People show kindness by knowing when to stop. Sure, I could have walked away from Barath’s assessment of me. Actually, that’s what I did. Didn’t I? Walk. As luck had it it wasn’t even raining. All of us have a soft side. Pick apart my argument but leave the core of a person alone. I am who I am. If that is not good enough for others they know where the door is. I will yet have to find anyone who doesn’t stay. That’s not big headed; it’s just a fact. A fact I am glad of; and one I don’t exploit.

      As it is Barath has shown ME the door. Of his brother’s abode. Beware of meddlers.

      As I have said before the group dynamics within the consortium and those who follow it are baffling. I think David summed it up memorably, more than once and last time yesterday: Why is it that some take umbrage of me (is ‘of’ correct? Maybe it’s ‘to’) and others don’t? It’s worth reflecting over. I never paid much attention in chemistry lessons but even I recognize a Bunsen Brenner alight; and I know that water and oil do not gel. Or maybe that’s Physics (the other side of the corridor – similar theatre, different professor).

      You assume “I enjoy it”. Yes, Jean, I enjoy sparring. As I love the elegance of fencing. What I do not enjoy is being knived. Neither do I like that Ramana just stood there letting his brother do the dirty. That he didn’t jump to my defence does not make him a bad person. It just makes him a person I wouldn’t choose as companion should I ever find myself stranded on a desert island. I’d prefer Tom Hank’s football. Now there is a fine subject for a post.


      Comment by Ursula — March 15, 2011 @ 08:33 | Reply

      • I’m running on your side of the fence here. (For the Bush/Obama election, I sat on top of the fence. Fell over to Obama side.)
        I’d hate having you as opponent on a debate team.

        Jean doesn’t get her knickers in a twist about what people think about her. But nobody says awful things. I wonder, what if they did… But she’s more cryptic [I’m not sure that’s the right word] about her pokes so no one pokes back hard.

        Comment by bikehikebabe — March 15, 2011 @ 17:02 | Reply

  5. What’s the difference between getting your knickers in a twist and getting upset?

    You seem to think you’re trying to challenge people intellectually. A lot of people think you get too personal and are knifing them or their loved ones. It’s that disconnect that’s causing the problems, I think.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — March 15, 2011 @ 18:43 | Reply

    • I think that’s very perceptive, Jean. It isn’t a matter of right and wrong, but more a disconnect. I think you have precisely pegged where that disconnect occurs.

      Comment by Conrad — March 15, 2011 @ 21:54 | Reply

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