Saturday, March 9, 2013

Not Worth The Bother

I guess I could blame it on the grumpiness of old age, but some folks age rather gracefully. Those people develop the patience of Job as they get older, but my wife and I seem to be going the other way when it comes to dealing with other folks. Yet, in most situations, I have the patience of Job myself. I think that as I age, I realize more and more that my time here on Earth is limited, and I don’t want to waste it on unappreciative souls. At least, that’s the excuse on which I’ve decided.

My wife comes from a large family, and the siblings were all close as children. As often happens, though, they drifted apart to some degree as they got older. One sister and one brother turned into know-it-all, liberal, irreligious, rabble-rousers. They don’t speak to each other, and for several years didn’t speak to my wife, either. For the last several years, to her credit, she bit her tongue, over-looked their hateful actions and words and got back on speaking terms with them. The effort was entirely on her part. They haven’t changed a bit during that time, unfortunately.

A couple weeks ago, her sister was launching into one of her telephone rants and my wife simply wasn’t in the mood for it, so she hung up without saying anything further. She commented that if her sister ever wants to talk, then SHE can dial the phone.  She knows that her sister will probably never speak to her again.

Also, recently, we took the brother out to supper. We hadn’t even ordered yet when he heard a remark that my wife made TO ME, and asked a question as to what she meant. My wife wasn’t able to even get the reply to his question completed when he got on his high-horse from taking her unfinished reply the wrong way. Had she been allowed to finish, he would have learned that what she was saying had nothing to do with what he THOUGHT she was saying. She just glossed over the situation and moved on to other subjects, rather than explain herself. Afterward, she told me that she would be avoiding him from now on. Her explanation was that she was too old to spend the rest of her life walking on eggshells, waiting for the next explosion. Likewise with her sister. It’s sad, but I can’t blame her.

A few days ago, on Facebook, a young former co-worker was taking one of her friends to task in front of the world about a site the friend had quoted which she considered to be racist. She also told her “friend” that she was unfriending her. Curious, I went to the site and found it to be largely a spoof of things black people do by doing the same things as a white person, to show the silliness and hypocrisy of some blacks. Granted, I stuck my nose where I probably shouldn’t have, but I told her that she was being rather hard on her friend for simply trying to make a point, regardless of how politically incorrect it might be. The whole reason for the site (and my reply as well) swept by her in both lanes, and she responded by pleading Christianity and “loving your brother.” Another reader suggested that she show a little bit of that love toward her friend. I COULD have asked if her Christianity had any problems with her shacking up with her boyfriend or why she was recently looking for a church that DID NOT preach the divinity of Christ, but I knew that would be way over her head. I had always considered her liberal “open-mindedness” just a sign of being na├»ve, but the realization came to me that the poor girl was just plain stupid, and as they say, “you can’t fix stupid,” so I shut up. I logged back onto Facebook a few hours later and she was STILL publically giving her former friend a hard time. I figured that was enough stupidity and unfriended her WITHOUT saying anything about it (until now).

Yesterday, I tried commenting on several of the blogs that I follow, only to be stymied on three or four by “word verification.” All were on sites where I and other followers had asked that they consider disabling the function. If the system worked decently, it would STILL be a great inconvenience, but it rarely is legible or works right. So, I quit following them. At least one must have been a follower of my blog, for I very quickly lost a follower myself. Apparently, there was no love lost.

I enjoy the comments that I get from my readers. Sometimes, their comments are more interesting than my posts. I want to make it as easy as possible for folks to comment on my posts. Sadly, I had to give up anonymous comments due to spam. Understandably, that’s the same defense that most of the word verification folks use. Unless you have dozens of comments daily, though, it only takes a few seconds each day to get rid of ALL the spam when you moderate. For most of them, then, I think it’s just plain laziness. Since they are usually the less frequent folks at posting, and rarely or never comment on my posts, it just isn’t worth the bother to me anymore. I guess that you now know why the word “grumping” is included in my blog’s name. © 2013


MuddyValley said...

As I have often told my wife, just because I am closely related to someone by blood, doesn't mean I have to associate with them. I have a couple of cousins I am quite happy to ignore. It helps that they are 3,500 miles away now, but then I never saw them when we were 30 miles apart either. It seems they are still fighting a feud from a previous generation.

Linda said...

Gorges, I had to snicker at your last sentence "grumping" is included in your blog's name. One day I had forgotten the name of your blog and whilst trying to find it I typed in "Gorge's Grouch". LOL! (instead of Grouse). I thought it was funny and laughed it off afterward, and I am hoping you see the humour in it as well, as I meant nothing by it, I had just forgotten the name. :)
As for the incident you mentioned on Facebook...glad I didn't see it and that happens a lot (unfriending people) over there. I keep asking myself why I went back there after almost 6 months of absence. It won't surprise me if I close my account again soon...and this time permanently.
Thank you so much for reading my blog posts and for your kind comments on them, I really appreciate it.

Ralph Goff said...

Maybe as we age we have to get more selective in who and what we are patient with. I like to think that is what I am trying to do.

Michael Silvius said...

Glad to know that I am not the only one who is not on speaking terms with his relatives. After many years of effort with only heartbreak and tears I have come to the realization I simply refuse to aggravate my life any further over the issue. It makes me terribly sad but I have learned to accept that there are things beyond my power to mend. Broken artifacts I can usually figure out how to repair, relationships ..that's an entirely foreign science.

Gorges Smythe said...

Some folks are just best appreciated from a distance, MV!

You shouldn't have told on yourself, Linda: now I'll never speak to you again! (And if you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you.) ;-)

That's it,Ralph, we're getting better taste in friends!

Phillip said...

That was a real good crouse/grump and just too true. As I get older I appreciate my own company more and more, never had reason to unfriend myself.

Gorges Smythe said...

I know what you mean, Phillip.

Alicia Price said...

I LOATHE CAPTCHA! They really are the scourge of the blogging world. I don't know about you but, I think the look more like spilt noodles than recognisable characters. When you have spent ages writing a comment and a CAPTCHA pops up it is a right slap in the face. Worst thing is, I'm sure lots of bloggers don't even know they are using it!

On a brighter note I have started using CAPTCHA bypass software called Rumola ( which reads and fills in all CAPTCHAs for me. It is now much less likely I will throw my laptop out of the window in a fit of rage!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Isn't Facebook a strange thing. You "friend" someone supposedly knowing how they are and what they find interesting, etc. and then quibble when they don't do everything your way. Well, not me, I don't friend anyone that I know I wouldn't want to listen to. I've only turned off feed (not unfriended) that came out of my past and was so vulgar that I couldn't let that feed go out.

Well, good luck with the relatives. I'd explain that as long as they a acted like adults should act, you will interact with them but the first time the ranting starts, shut it down and walk away. They eventually will learn to behave or simply go away.