Sunday, January 29, 2012

For Kathy: the egg

Once when I was a kid my mother asked me to bring her an egg from the refrigerator. I dutifully went to the refrigerator and got one for her. I forget the manner in which I was carrying it, but I do remember that it was not to her liking. Up until that point I was carrying it fine without any struggle or distress. My mother looked up from whatever she was doing, saw how I was carrying the egg, and said loudly "Don't hold that that way, you're going to drop it." I was so startled by her angry admonition that instantly at that moment I dropped the egg.


One day I was weaving my way through students walking along at my community college and I noticed how graceful and almost ballet-like I was moving. I stopped for a second and thought about this. I supposedly was awkward and uncoordinated, at least according to my family. And yet here I was sliding in between everyone with style and flair. I realized that most of the negative things that I supposedly was I only was around them. For whatever reason, their projections about me changed my reality.


I was watching an episode of Kitchen Nightmares (the American version) where the chef of a Greek restaurant came to prep and was hectored by his mother and aunt as to his worthlessness. As they continued to carp and snipe and carp and snipe you could see him shutting off. But the aunt and mother didn't even realize that by focusing on his failures, they were causing the very thing they hated.


In William Glasser's book about marriage he talks about how complaining is the one of the greatest destroyers of marriage. When faced with a constant onslaught of criticism, rather than improvement you get disengagement, which, of course increases the criticism.


I try not to tell people what I am doing anymore, because their words, their thoughts, their projections seem to be able to influence my world, even now. The closest Kathy and I have ever come to a fight is because of something someone else said, projecting their negative feelings and impressions of me to her. I would say they bold-faced lied, except that they believe what they are saying is true.

Although my FOO and I are in a better place now than before, I hesitate to introduce her to my family because I am afraid that it will forever taint my relationship with her. She finds her family very supportive and positive for her. I have told her that she should cherish that, because it is a rare and precious thing.

Be careful what you say and who you say it to. You may be making people the very bad things you're berating them about.

Bach, for no particular reason.

No comments: