Bitch on the Blog

March 24, 2017

Hop Scotch

What of the theory that certain character traits and talents do tend to skip a generation? Do you think it bollocks or can you cement the above with examples of your own life’s experience?

U

March 16, 2017

Appearances

Filed under: Accuracy,Bureaucracy,Errors,Family,Future,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 20:39
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Let me bore you, and ask you as, no doubt, have done so before: What’s in a name?

I don’t mean surnames. From a woman’s point of view and/or if you were born out of wedlock, your father later marrying your mother, you may have had as many surnames as me, namely a few. I will not beat Liz Taylor’s record as I am not the marrying kind.

So, first names. How did you come by your first name? If any of you have already told me, that’s fine. I am more than happy to be told the same story many a time. Repetition is what anchors an anecdote in one’s mind.

Myself? I am rather in love with the story how I became an Ursula. All down to my beloved grandmother who registered my birth. My mother’s preferred choice would have caused me no end of pain. She registered her second daughter under the name she wanted to give me. Which is why I am a little bear and my sister is a rock. Not as in reliable, but as in immovable. Stone. Hard as nails. She was followed by our brother, named after “The Great”, and Cornelia, our youngest, who feels short changed to this day. What Cornelia doesn’t understand that someone does have to be the youngest – even if you were part of quadruplets. Perish the thought.

So, please do indulge me and tell me, if you know or at least have an inkling, how you came by your first name. Why you love it, hate it, are indifferent to it. What you’d name yourself if you could be arsed to apply for a name change. What was your name shortened to if at all? No guess what our very own Nick’s of “here and now” fame complete name is. And, last but, not least: Were you given a nickname? By whom? And why?

U

 

 

February 12, 2017

Hell, water and drowning

Just when you think yourself as snug as a bug in a hug with, more or less, all questions of ethics and their answers under the belt one sneaks up on you.

Holy cannoli – the noose tightens.

This, drawn to my attention a few minutes ago, is so awful I am in knots.

For sake of argument you have to assume you have more than one child. You find yourself at the mercy of the elements and you can only save ONE of your children. Which one would you save? This is so awful I can barely get my head round it. Naturally, as one does, I cast my eye back to my family of origin. Who would either of my parents of four have saved? I dare say, being quite a bit older than my siblings and therefore stronger, both my mother and my father would have left me to fend for myself. But that still leaves them with three to choose from. I’d rather not pursue this line of thought. It’s unsettling beyond belief. At least that’s tonight’s nightmare guaranteed. Not that members of my family normally play much of a role in my dreams.

Any crutches of your own thoughts on this truly horrendous scenario welcome.

U

December 5, 2016

Strife

Filed under: Family — bitchontheblog @ 12:11
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Just because November has gone and I am still alive doesn’t mean the worst is over. It isn’t.

To take my mind off things I phoned my youngest sister yesterday. As I do every Sunday. You may remember that my youngest sister, think Mona Lisa, is the militant in the family. She digs in her heels at the slightest provocation. So, for years, she has broken off all contact to my father. My mother appears to be a write off too. All in the name of my youngest sister being indignant. I try and steer the boat but do not flatter myself that I can avoid her Titanic sinking before my mother snuffs it. It’s awful. Awful, awful, awful. Yes, so it’s awful, and Dog Almighty, me, the older sister, can do shit all to make it better. Rarely have I felt less helpless.

On a lighter note (please do note pun: “Lighter” as in match) my sister reported that three of her four children do smoke. And she found them out. The last bit the bad bit. If you are being found out by my sister your marching orders will be given before you know where your feet, never mind your boots, are.

I tried to convey that whilst good mothers make sure that their children’s grazed knees, bruised egos and whatever, you can make better”,bla bla bla bla, as long as they are little and run to you, there comes a time in life when you have to abdicate (with a heavy heart) and leave those well honed bodies, souls and health to be wrecked at your kids’ leisure – or not. Oddly, my/our mother knew this – instinctively. I moved out from home – one minute to the next, literally – and my mother gave me her blessing. My father went ballistic. He always does. Sometimes I think, don’t tell her, that my youngest sister and my father are so alike they should be locked in a padded room and sort it out between the two of them.

I am sure it’s marvellous to have siblings. Only surpassed by being an only.

U

September 25, 2016

What a pity

Filed under: Family — bitchontheblog @ 14:19
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Loosely linking in with my last post, the enchantment of being the eldest sibling.

What “only” children and eldest have in common that they came first. It’s indisputable. And in the latter case you will be resented – by those who come later.

Do I understand? Not really. But that’s because I AM the eldest (by a long margin) and have never had to walk in anyone’s steps.

My brother (number three in the line up) isn’t difficult. He is affable. My two sisters? Well, since they are my sisters I shan’t say what I really think. Except that when I have my mother (age 83) on the phone weeping over her youngest daughter’s negligence I feel like going ballistic. Obviously, that won’t help. So I don’t. But what do I do? What can be done?

My first instinct, but I am too far removed (geographically), to bang my fist on the table and ask questions. My sisters aren’t ticking alright. Both of them in their own way. Though one of them (the much adored by me till she sold me for a shilling) my parents always excuse. I understand my parents. I don’t condone it. But I understand. In all our lives there are people who get away with something close to murder.

Back to my youngest sister. She herself is the mother of four children – yet finds it in her heart to make that of her own mother a misery. How this will pan out once we gather around a grave I do not know.

I can see it now. They’ll be looking to me.

U

 

 

 

 

 

September 6, 2016

Diversion

Filed under: Amusement,Family,Formalities,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 16:01
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By way of taking our minds off weighty issues:

How do you feel when you meet a namesake?

Ursula

September 4, 2016

All agony aunts and uncles to the rescue

Oh Wise Ones (that’s you, Sweethearts, in case you don’t recognize yourselves),

I need advice. Conundrum is as follows. For reasons not important this minute, though urgent as they are, I need to make contact with someone. A friend. Her husband has made it clear years ago that such contact is not to take place under any circumstances.

Naturally, initially I didn’t take his dictum seriously. After all, in my opinion, couples don’t come as parcels. Free will and all that. So I suggested to her a “clandestine” meeting (coffee). She replied she couldn’t. Because they have “no secrets” from each other. Well, all I can say her husband sure has done a good job at brainwashing. Brilliant, don’t you think, spouses being appendages to each other? What next? Mind police in the marital drawing room?

Anyway, that’s some time ago. Yet, god damn it, I need to make contact with her. However, and this is where Catch 22 chases its own tail, if I do [make contact with her], indeed my subterfuge in my professional capacity catching her out as a business contact, a potential client, will she still “report” me back to sa(i)d husband and all hell will break loose? Again?

What is it with some people that they can’t stand their ground? And before you ask, she herself has pleaded with him many times. No doing.

So, now what? And trust me. This is not airy fairy funny. It’s serious, it’s complicated and it needs to be resolved.

U

August 18, 2016

That which binds us together doesn’t divide us

Filed under: Culture,Family,Friends,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 18:01
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One more thought and then I’ll shut up on the subject of religion that’s occupied my thoughts the last few days:

One may ponder – and I have done so – why even those of us who wouldn’t describe themselves as religious do get married in church and, later on, have their children christened. And we, the collective we, do so, merrily, in our droves. Does that make us hypocrites? I don’t know.

Being of a practical bend I see those ceremonies as that what binds a family, a community, together, officially, through celebration. In the case of a christening – the welcoming of a child and introduction into wider family, “god” parents vowing in public to look after a child in parental absentia should the worst come to the worst.

What an exhausting subject religion proves to be – again and again and then some more …

U

August 15, 2016

Divisions

Filed under: Children,Communication,Family — bitchontheblog @ 17:10
Tags: , ,

It’s been long in the making. Now it has dawned on me.

Parents of more than one child please do take note: Just because one or two of your children give you grief, demand your constant attention, doesn’t mean that the rest of your brood is immune to life’s vicissitudes.

U

May 23, 2016

Not necessarily

Filed under: Family,Happiness,Observations,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 15:08
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On the whole generalizations stink. However, yesterday I made a my earth shattering discovery. Stand by to be astounded: Generalizations  (a bit like cliches) do serve a purpose. Don’t raise an eyebrow. They do they do they do [serve a purpose]. Namely that they simplify things.

Why this hadn’t occurred to me earlier I don’t know. I suppose some of the best is left to last.

Yes, sigh, so there I was watching an astonishing family drama unfolding. On screen. I have always known about family dynamics but this was a bit like rinsing my contact lenses/glasses to see more clearly. I haven’t got the faintest idea what the hell is going on.

There are six characters. A mother and a father, and four siblings – three brothers, one sister. Which, I suppose, is worse (for the boys) than being one brother (like my own) among three sisters. The bit that kept and keeps confusing me is that I continually mistake the second son for the eldest. Why? Because – remember we are talking about generalizing/stereotypes – in this epic the eldest is the bad boy, the black sheep. Whilst number two is the good guy, the responsible one, you get the drift. It’s the wrong way round. Naturally, the youngest is a total emotional pain in the proverbial – but that’s what you expect of the youngest. No surprises there.

So, yes, my world is now slightly topsy turvy, having to pinch myself to remind myself who is who in the sequence of siblings. I don’t know what your assorted experiences are, either within your family of origin or the family you have created yourself. Please do let me know if you can stomach it.

In terms of how far psychology can throw its stone and cast its shadow I am BOTH, hallelujah, an only (because I am quite a bit older than my siblings) AND an eldest (with all that entails – remember, the subject is generalization/stereotypes) so I have, literally, had the best of both worlds. I don’t say this lightly not least because it reflects on me if after my own experience of family and observing those of others there are only two things to be: The one and only, or the eldest. I am so grateful I dare hardly to whisper it.

Slaughter me. Little more damage can be done than the havoc my siblings have (in recent years) created. I am the eldest – my mother’s words to that effect ring in my ear and to this day she expects me to be the peace maker – and, by nature, I am [the peace maker], but you can only make as much peace as the other players allow. My youngest sister, again playing to stereotype, recently confided in me that she always felt she was looked upon as totally incompetent. Really? Well, I never. Can’t believe it. We used to call her the “Professor” when she was barely big enough to sit on a swing. She had that deep thoughtful look. Not, of course, that a frown makes for intelligence.

My other sister? The long awaited and so eagerly greeted by me first sibling? She fits the stereotype of the second child so perfectly it’s painful. It took decades for her to reveal how much she resents me. Mind you, that’s nothing compared to the fact that she (earth mother) left her family, a husband who loves her and a bewildered herd of children (she wanted) in their teens a couple of years ago. But (I suppose) that’s what seconds do. Self destruct. So, yes, back to my watching of aforementioned TV drama, I am confused. That set of siblings does not play by the “natural” order of things.

In case you are wondering about my brother (number three). He keeps well out of everything. To the extent that he appears (note APPEARS) – but isn’t – totally aloof to conflict. His wife of over twenty years, one of the many women who adore him, asked me the other day about my take on her husband’s inner workings. Well, what can I say? Obviously by the time he hit his teenage years I’d already left home so I wasn’t privy to all that happened. All I know that he is one of those affable people who avoid conflict at all cost and, in my opinion  grow an inner crust. Let’s just hope he won’t implode.

So, my dear readers, having laid a significant part of my life open please do let me know where you are in the order of siblings or if, like my brother, you’d rather not be too close up and personal tell me what you think about my theory on generalizations. Namely that they simplify.

U

 

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