Author’s Note: There is a huge difference between being judgmental and not accepting someone’s bullshit.
For my entire writing career, I’ve had a lot of hard & fast rules. A list of “don’ts”, per se. I’ve stuck to those rules, and I’ll continue to stick to the ones that are genuinely important (Zero plagiarism is Rule #1, obviously.). However, in lieu of my upcoming anniversary this Spring, I’ve decided to throw the majority of those additional rules out a metaphorical moving car window.
There is a time and a place for everything, both in daily life and with the written word, but lately people’s behavior is feeding me such rich material (It usually does.) and I’m tired of letting people slide on things. They don’t know they’re doing it, but they’ve unwittingly become cannon fodder. And so, I want people to know from here on in, if you want to remain on my good side, don’t be an asshole who says stupid, ignorant, foolish shit to me. Treat me the way you want to be treated, so I don’t have to write about it. If you don’t care what you say, how you behave, or you forget who you’re talking to, then you’ve merely proven my point; you’re asking to be cannon fodder, and fodder you shall be.
Two members of my family are expecting a baby this summer, a firstborn son. I immediately got a gift idea in my head and decided to design it myself. I knew they’d love it because it is 100% unique, completely tailored to their interests. I’m pretty crafty when I want to be and have an impeccable eye for detail. She (the person not directly related to me) then makes a comment on Facebook about how what she’s looking for is unavailable everywhere she has looked and that what she’s seen from people who craft is “subpar”. Excuse me?! People who craft are some exceptionally talented folk. I can drool over stuff on Etsy for hours; stuff I cannot for the love of G-d make on my own, and that is some incredibly talented craftsmanship through my varied interests and tastes. In turn, I found that comment immensely disrespectful. I can do it myself, and I guarantee it won’t be “subpar”. $80+ in materials for a custom-design that no sane person would ask for, and she’s got that kind of attitude? That’s not rude or anything. <rolls eyes>
I specifically told her NOT to order an item or purchase one, that the gift was intended to be a surprise for them. I then get a Facebook message from her letting me know how sweet that is, BUT “she wants everything to match the baby’s room”. A room that is obviously not painted, has no furniture in it, and is a completely empty canvas. Call me crazy, but you just bitched to everyone you know, including your mother and mother-in-law, about how you cannot find designs with your fucking dog on it. I am willing to do one that you could literally use for additional children, if you’re so blessed, and you’re being a bitch to me? A person who you haven’t even met. Real classy. <cue the snarkiest eye roll you’ve ever seen>
In the midst of her rudeness, she then asked when she & my cousin could visit me or if I wanted to meet them somewhere. I’m roughly 30 minutes away, depending on traffic. Her sudden interest is bizarre because I’ve been here for over a fucking year. My Hand to G-d, I nearly told her to go fuck herself. I was super-polite, and then short with her and dismissive. She’s too stupid to realize that my tone went from warm and accepting to 100 below zero. She cannot accept a beautiful gift with graciousness, like every other pregnant woman I know (People are telling her they’ll make baby blankets and other items for her, all of which she is completely accepting of, so yes, I have every right to feel that her behavior was completely rude and disrespectful.), so now I’m too tired to spend months making a mobile for the baby’s crib. She can register, like normal first-time mothers do, which I heavily implied she ought to consider doing, and I’ll decide whether or not she’s deserving of a gift or not when the time comes.
Despite having not bought the materials yet, I let her know I was annoyed, for which she apologized and claimed she was making my cousin and her mother “insane”. Yeah, I weep openly for her mother (Not at all.), but my cousin I truly feel sorry for. He has enough problems without her behaving like a spoiled brat. I don’t appreciate her attitude or disrespect. I’d love to tell him that, because he’s mostly got my back in a lot of ways, we have a very good relationship, but I know he’ll immediately repeat what I say to her, to his mother, etc., and thus, I will become “the bitch”. Not true, but it’s how that side of the family likes to twist things. They all think they’re perfect. That simply isn’t possible. No one on Earth is perfect.
Normally, I might skip the gift altogether because I will play no significant role in this child’s life, but I was invited to the baby’s Bris (six months in advance). I wasn’t particularly fond of the way the Facebook Messenger “invite” was worded, either. What is WRONG with people? Does everything have to be announced and discussed via social media?! Can’t you just mail an invitation like a normal person? Or a potential save-the-date? Seriously?! Yes, with a Bris there is a timing issue, eight days, but you don’t have to message me on Facebook, the land of the impersonal pretending to be personal.
For starters, I was asked to attend, but was also apologized to, “incase ritual circumcision is offensive to me”. I wish you all could have seen me reading the message. Why would ritual circumcision offend me? I’m as Jewish as they are. It might offend someone else, but to me, it is a natural part of having a boy with Jewish parents (Please save your opinions for yourself, I’m not having a discussion about whether or not to have a circumcision on your own son, or for you to go out and have it done as an adult! I’m explaining a situation, not debating religious beliefs.). The next statement was this winner: “I was afraid to tell people we’re having a boy because most people aren’t into the simcha, they just want free food.” What the fuck did you just say to me?! That comment 100% rubbed me the wrong way. I read it five times to make sure I hadn’t hallucinated or had a stroke.
#1- I’ve never gone to an event, be it a family function or otherwise, for the fucking food. Seriously, you cannot impress me on that level. I’ve given five stars restaurants a huge thumbs down.
#2- Unless you’re planning on having me cater the event, you don’t have to worry about people going into a food frenzy <Yes, I’m rolling my eyes, but I also mean it.>.
#3- Perhaps you should only invite your immediate family (of which I am not), close friends (of which I most certainly am not), and loved ones who attended your wedding ten years ago (Despite being family, I wasn’t on the guest list.).
I know if it were me, such ludicrous thoughts would not be in my head. I’d be ecstatic and want to share with loved ones, which is less than 20-25 people, so obviously I don’t have to worry about such psychotic things, like whether or not someone is attending for “free food”. The fact that it was said truly appalls me.
When was the last time I attended a Bris? When my cousin Seth came home from being adopted. Loosely translated: A long fucking time ago. I don’t feel a deep desire to attend this one, not with such attitudes in the air. However, if I am still living in this state, I will try to be present. Try being the operative word. Mostly because it’ll kill his mother to be in the same room with me. 😉
In truth, I will have to go based on how I feel that day. If I’m not feeling it, then I’m not going. I can send a gift with someone else or mail it. Believe me, my absence will not be noticed by anyone attending. I do NOT feel obligated to kill myself for unappreciative, rude people.
When you’re pregnant, there are more important things to be concerned with than baby bedding and preparing a room, especially when you’ve got an over-bearing mother, obscenely over-bearing mother-in-law, and a slew of psychotic relatives who will bend over backwards to help you. If you’re a first-time mother, the best thing to do is make sure you’ve got a portable crib in your room because that’s precisely where the baby will spend the majority of his or her time, especially if you are nursing. In fact, I told her “You have plenty of time.”, in my attempt to give her the chance not to be a bitch and calm her down a bit. However, the entire time I was trying not to say “Hey bitch, accept a gift with a thank you, like a normal person. You’re behaving like a spoiled brat.” How I stifled myself, I do not know.
Instead of asking about the design and maybe using it as the focal point for the room, which I gave her the opportunity to do for well over two weeks, she storm-rolled over me in her desire for “everything to match”. Babies can only see black & white for the first few months, so color is beyond them. I know many people go with shades of white and grey with little black details, and they do this for that very reason before introducing color. Plus, it’s easy to change the room over as they grow. Anyone who is doing color immediately is doing it for themselves. The baby is NOT going to be impressed. On this level, I know she is trying to compete with her sister-in-law, who recently had her second child, and who moved into a enormous mansion last summer. She doesn’t have those things, so she’s obsessing over unattainable “perfection”. I, however, don’t have to tolerate the nonsense.
My Goddaughter’s custom-made mobile was a HUGE hit when she was born in 2011. It still hangs in her room, not because it needs to be there any more (My G-d, she’s almost six!), but because it was a cherished, respected, appreciated gift. It was also an item no one thought to purchase or make out of all the people who did send gifts and visit, so the beautiful piece remains in tact. It plays music and she has always loved it. Score one for Aunt Lisa.
Gift-wise, I could still do the mobile and let her deal with it (Though I personally feel she’s undeserving of such beauty at this stage in the game. Especially since I have to apologize to the person who was making the dogs for me. Dogs based off of photos of their dog. Seriously, it’s a pretty damn thoughtful gift idea for people I’m not even remotely close to.), or I can wait until the baby is born and do something last-minute with zero personality. Normally I hate the last-minute thing, but in this case, maybe she’ll be less bitchy once she realizes that the most important thing in all this is not the perfect, matching nursery, but having a happy, healthy baby and a healthy, safe pregnancy.
Women have babies all over the world every single day. Not all of these babies survive. In turn, I feel she should focus on what’s truly important; delivering a healthy child into this world, as opposed to being an ungrateful bitch. Apparently she’s picking up on some of the uglier traits of her in-laws. That or she’s always been this way, I will never know for sure, and I refuse to allow people to make excuses for her behavior and how she spoke to me.
This is how she turned herself into cannon fodder. She won’t be the first and she certainly won’t be the last. And before you ask, she will likely never read this because her IQ is pretty close to a sock. Bless her heart. Moreover, I would not care if she did read this and cried because quite frankly, her rudeness will not be forgotten. If there’s one thing I don’t care for, it’s rude, attention-seeking little shits. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Hers resulted in over two thousand words. What does that say about her?
A lot, I’d say.
New rule #1? Piss me off, pay the consequences.
copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED