Spoiler alert: This random collection of words contains phrases and thoughts which might not be considered appropriate reading for children, and will likely offend those who are easily offended. I’ve been on hiatus from writing and I’m back with an even more annoyingly loud attitude than before. Loud? Obnoxious? I don’t know, maybe adorably blunt..?
Also I’m not sure if this is a spoiler alert or me being a bitch right out of the gate. I don’t even feel like apologizing in advance. So I won’t.
The Givers & The Takers
It’s that time again, isn’t it? That time where I have not been keeping my keyboard warm enough, where I get pulled in a hundred different directions and use that as an excuse as to why I’ve not embarked on a creative journey in a while.
Shame on me! No, really, shame on me…for fucks’ sake, there are people not unlike me in this world, who multi-task all day long and still manage to get in a couple thousand words every night or every other night. My hat is off to all of you who do that. I have no excuse.
Except…I didn’t want to write.
Oh MY GAWD, what?! Yeah, it’s true. I wasn’t in the mood. So here I go again, writing another installment of You Can’t Say That because I don’t feel like telling a story or writing a poem, or letting tears roll down my face as I type a character into existence that I already know will die in just a few pages. Yeah. I get sentimental like that, because unlike the soap operas or The Walking Dead, I’m not fond of re-animating a person once they bite the dust. When you’re gone, you’re gone, man…unless you’re a ghost, and I don’t often write about ghosts because they don’t believe in me.
What I’m really in the mood to do is bitch and gripe, and if you don’t want to read something bitchy, please allow me to point you over to a much more interesting site where you can watch paint dry.
Seriously, we all have shit to deal with, and we all deal with our problems and issues differently. You might take your really heavy-duty shit out on those closest to you because that’s the only way you know how to cope. If that’s the case, it not only sucks to be you, it sucks to be those closest to you.
I’ve discovered that there are givers and there are takers in this world. There are also people who are a little bit of both, and I can only assume that those mixed-bag folks are pretty unbelievably awesome, especially if they give and take in a fabulously next-level kind of way.
The all-out takers usually piss me off.
My friend Eleanor is married to this guy named Chuck. Chuck is an asshole. Yes, you heard me, and fear not, Chuck will never read this because Chuck is too concerned about being an asshole to bother himself with a little ‘ole blog written by little ‘ole me.
Chuck suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis and has been in pain for over 15 years. He takes lots and lots of medicine, including pain medication that does help. Now, RA really is a serious issue and I have no doubt of his pain. C’mon, you think I’m just calling him an asshole because he’s in pain and perhaps lashes out at his wife because the pain is unbearable?
I’m crazy – not stupid. Here’s the difference. Chuck enjoys making his wife feel like total garbage. I’ve witnessed it first-hand! He likes to take that thumb and smoosh her feelings up against a wall, and it has been happening for a long time. If Eleanor has a great idea for a new pattern or design (she’s one of those artsy-crafty people, you know the kind: always creating something, improving something) and she shares the idea with Chuck, he immediately affects a resting bitch face and tells her that it’s probably already been done, or why should she bother, and where the fuck is my beer anyway? If Eleanor sells one of her project ideas to a company for a couple of grand (and she has!) the obvious response from Chuck is something about how she either didn’t get enough money for it, or “I wonder how long they’ll stick with that as it has A, B, and C wrong with it…”
Chuck was an asshole before the pain started, he’s an asshole when the pain medications work, and he’ll be an asshole no matter what. In fact, Chuck likes to remind his wife that he bears the pain and that she has no idea what that’s like. If she’s had a long day at work (she’s also a clerk at a huge store and she’s always running around) and she comes home tired, he enjoys asking her how she could possibly be that tired – and ya better not mention your feet hurting.
So, not to Eleanor’s face, I say FUCK CHUCK. Because of course she has no idea what pain he carries. She doesn’t have RA, how the hell would she know how it feels? I don’t have any idea how it feels, either! I have been in circumstances where I have been in immense pain, and not only would I never wish it on someone else, I wouldn’t dangle it in someone’s face and say, See this? You don’t know how this feels.
I’m very careful with Eleanor. I don’t tell her that I want to punch Chuck in his face. It’s not nice to say things like that, you know? And I’m sure I would sound like a complete dick for saying that I want to punch someone in the face who really, truly is in pain.
The difference is that I’ve met many people, some of which suffer from a lot of pain, and they aren’t assholes. They might not always be sociable, but their hearts are kind and it shows in the way they interact with the general public and with those they cherish.
Here’s the most interesting part about Chuck. He raises money and awareness for Rheumatoid Arthritis. He speaks at fund-raisers. He rubs elbows with the Haves and the Have-nots, and is extremely charismatic. People flock to him. His smile is so sunny, you’d swear you could save on your electricity bill just by having him hang out at your house at night. And? AND, he’s handsome.
Chuck does all of this without the aid of social media, but I’m sure if he utilized Facebook and twitter and Instagram, he’d be hash-tagging the hell out of some #RA phrases and he’d have followers in the thousands. Why, I bet he’d be an online celebrity!
And yet, he’s a dick. How is that possible? Apparently the public Chuck is just a persona to slip into, like a shiny suit, to amp up his self-esteem and make him feel useful…or something. I don’t know! The behind-closed-doors Chuck is the one who takes off that shiny suit and slips into something made with 30% rayon and 70% asshole.
When Eleanor and I first became friends, noshing on tacos and giggling together (yes I giggle and you should too; it’s SO therapeutic) she would tell me some of the things Chuck would say and really, I thought she was exaggerating.
She wasn’t. A year or so into our friendship I was privy to phone conversations, text messages, and even hanging out in the living room, witnessing the very treatment I’m describing to you now.
Turns out, Chuck really is an asshole. He’s a taker, and one of the worst kinds. He takes this debilitating illness of his, the one that has no cure, and he uses it to browbeat my friend. Nothing she does is good enough.
Eleanor? Well, she’s a giver. She would literally give you the shirt off her back, but I’m sure Chuck would bitch about them not being able to afford giving clothes away, or that her wrinkles would blind the one she’s handing the shirt to – yeah, it’s like that.
She’s sweet spirited throughout all of this. She pulls equal amounts of admiration and frustration from me. I know she won’t leave Chuck, and I get it. I understand why, because givers continue to give, because it’s the right thing to do, because you don’t run away when you’re a giver, you run into the fire and try your best to rescue as much from the blaze as you possibly can. You keep moving forward, and you hope beyond hope that maybe your best will be good enough, someday.
There’s no real moral-of-the-story to my rambling here, y’all. I just felt like bitching about Chuck for a while. I guess if I had to assign any kind of life lesson to this bit of writing, it would be to never, ever underestimate a giver. If you know a giver, if you are a giver, and you or they are attached to a taker, be it a relationship or a friendship, you must realize that a giver goes through more tumultuous emotional shit than your average Joe. The compulsion to be kind and the gift of empathy is so ingrained in a giver that even through a psychological beat-down, they will still throw themselves into enriching the lives of everyone around them in some small way.
Don’t think for a moment that a giver is weak. A giver might seem weak because of the enormous amount of bullshit they endure, but they actually possess huge quantities of strength and restraint.
Restraint? Hell yeah, otherwise Chuck would get a big fat “Fuck you!” and the middle finger.
Yeah, Chuck. Fuck off.