“Would you like to come down for a turkey dinner on Sunday?” Mum asks. I consult my to-do list but there’s nothing big or outstanding to do, nothing that can’t wait or be rescheduled by a few days.
“Sure! I’d love to” I reply.
“Oh good” she says, “I’ve got another turkey crown to use up so I thought that the five of us could have a turkey dinner together, given we didn’t really have that much of a Christmas.”
“Well, Merry Janmas then!” I joke. It was supposed to be casual and dry, almost sarcastic even, but Mum seems to love it.
“Merry Janmas” she repeats, “I love that!”. I grimace. Not another one of my stupid-good ideas?
My brother now knows about Janmas, and today is now known as Janmas Day for my family. So it begins in the madhouse.
Next time, I tell ye Dear Reader, I’m keeping my mouth shut. Every time I come up with some stupid idea, someone, sonewhere thinks it’s atually a good idea. Lowering the urn containing my father’s ashes from his fishing rod was only supposed to be a joke until I found myself and my family sat around a table with the urn central between us, tying dozens of half blood hitches to keep Dad secure until we released him into the ocean. Nobody was supposed to take me seriously, but they did.
I love being able to influence people for good sometimes, but you never l know quite how or when you will influence people, or how many people, and so once you do then it can so easily go from you, too. Take for example an unintentionally successful TikTokker/YouTuber who’s videos I comment on a lot, who I just love because he speaks so much truth – @TheRealSpeechProf. If you haven’t seen his videos, I strongly advise that you check him out; he’s sarcastic, kind and makes me think of my own Dad. TheRealSpeechProf is a Latinx male trans ally, who intentionally uses Latinx instead of Latino to be inclusive to the trans community. For all of the love he gets (including from me), TheRealSpeechProf does also get an awful lot of hate from, and would you believe, predominantly younger heterosexual cis white males who, for example, confuse being “cis” with being gay. It’s misinformed, sure, but then you can’t cure stupid, can you? You can try to educate it, though.
In one video, he shared a TikTok from a wife who asked her husband if he would accept a pie from a female colleague and, unwittingly, he said yes. Pie is pie, why wouldn’t he accept pie? It’s pie!
She, however, could not believe that her husband would accept the pie from a female colleague. For her, pie was now synonymous with cheating.
So I called her out, I said that she seemed insecure and that though it’s not pie, my husband’s colleague once baked cupcakes and invited him to have one. Matt doesn’t have a sweet tooth, but instead he wrapped it up and bought it home for me and I was so touched by the gesture that we split it in half and shared it. That was that, an opinion and a story. Nothing more, nothing less.
At the time of writng, it’s had 1.6k likes. That’s almost 8x more likes than I have WordPress followers on both sites combined!
I commented on a video about female-led domestic violence and I said that I have defended men (even in court proceedings) and that, as a “true feminist”, I will gladly do it again. I shared my story about getting a female abuser punished and how women who intentionally manipulate the system to get men into trouble make me sick. That’s had 272 likes.
I commented on another video from TheRealSpeechProf last night, about a man who “makes” women fit through a very small gap and he determines women who can’t pass through as being unworthy of spending the night with him. I commented and said that the moment a man tries to “make” a woman do anything, that is her cue to leave. When I woke up this morning, that was at 17 likes.
So you see? Sometimes it’s not hard to be ununtentionally imspirational, sometimes you just.. are.
I don’t set out to be inspirational or funny or whatever in my comments. I share opinions and stories, ideas, in my own voice and in my own words. Sometimes I interject a little bit of humour too, and if people like it anyway? More power to me I say!
Matt bought me another ice cream yesterday, another in our battle of wits. I get sauce as well this time. Raspberry, because of my allergies.
He hesitates initially, then does so anyway. I smile.
Frankly I’m not sure what pleases me more, the fact that my husband doesn’t back down or the fact that he thinks I’m worth the ice cream. I’m a little fearful of an all-you-can-eat ice cream scenario, a bit like the one my father inflicted on my mother after she told him how much she loves tiramisu, and that she could eat it all day if it came to it. Oh well, I can live with the danger.
“You know, I have no idea who’s winning this little battle?” I say, taking a lick of the ice cream, “but I think, all things considered, then I think it’s probably me.”
A red flag to a sadist? Maybe.
I started working on my hair yesterday too, the hair that has been an abysmal mess in so long. It frustrates me because I have been putting myself last for so long, so now is the time that I am beginning to turn all of that around. I’m not raking it out, not in the way that my mother used to do wihen I was a little girl, or the way she did when I was in a bout of major depression. It wasn’t about making me feel better, it was about making me look better, and I was left with a sore, scabbed scalp for days after as a result.
No, this time is different.
This time is about little and often, a little each day and then stop. If a spot gets too sore then I leave it alone for a day or two, and if my arms ache or something just feels otherwise not right, I stop. It’s not about doing it all right now, it’s about just doing something. Something will always be better than nothing at all.
“You were right” I mutter to myself, “you can’t please all of the people, all of the time.”
But damned if I won’t try!
I still remember that coversation, I was about eight years old. Sat on the stairs in the house that I grew up in, my mother delivered her lecture:
“You can please all of the people some of the time, Helen, or some of the people all of the time, but you can’t…?”
“I dunno, what?”
“You can’t please all of the people, all of the time!” she concludes. It’s poignant for sure, but it still hasn’t sunk in.
Maybe, just maybe, I’ve needed a whole team of people getting on my ass for me to finally listen. I tend to be a little like that. It’s easy to argue with one voice but it’s much harder to argue with a whole team of voices all telling you thay they’re right. A strength-in-numbers kind of thing.
Me? Stubborn? Who knew?
I’ve got to take myself clothes shopping at some point and I need to buy some more slippers, because I deserve much more than slippers with inch-long holes that are letting all of the dirt inside. I need to buy t-shirts too, good t-shirts, nice t-shirts. T-shirts that I actually like to be seen in and not just ones that are simply about covering up my body. My body deserves to feel good.
Maybe I did listen, I just wasn’t in the right place too listen.
I was, ahem, trying to do it all.
I did think about my ex again yesterday, again, and for as much as a part of me wants to hate, a part of me doesn’t know that I can. Hate feels so conclusive, so all in, and even if I have things to hate him for then I have things to thank him for, too. Even if I got rid of that piece of rope, it doesn’t really feel like I’ve gotten rid of anything. It almost feels etched into my skin.
That annoys me too, though letting it be feels calmer.
You don’t have to like it, you just have to accept it.
If he knew my worth, then why didn’t he tell me sooner? If he knew that I was doing too much, why didn’t he say so before? If I was being too self-absorbed, why resort to a sarcastic dig instead of honesty? It was partly him, sure, but it was also partly me.
Was he afraid of me? Afraid of what, exactly? That I’d destroy him for being human? That’s not what I do!
Don’t hurt me, and I won’t hurt you. I might not be a nice person sometimes, but I am a very fair person. Of that I can give you my word.
I don’t hate him, in fact when I look back now then I think we were two deeply stressed, Type A people, two deeply feeling, feeling disrespected people, two people who didn’t have the emotional energy for one another, and who really needed it from one another. I believe that he was stressed out with his work, and I was stressed out by blogging too much and trying to run a bome, and when he said to me “that sounds like a you problem” then I took that with offence and anger because I felt so invalidated and unheard. It was selfish of me, yes, and maybe I’ve come to realise that sometimes I really do complain too much and sometimes I need to be more sensitive to the plights of other people. It also doesn’t mean that it’s a good or right thing to say – it conveys apathy terribly – but then maybe it’s not wrong either. My problems are my problems, and sometimes I really can save myself. I have now, and in part thanks to him.
But then “that sounds like a you problem” has also become a bit of a catchphrase around here, and you know what? Used right, it does actually work! It started off as a joke, kind of a survival technique if you like, and then…
The thing is, and this really is the caveat, it doesn’t work by text. In person you can see the reaction, you can see when someone is on the verge of tears and you can taper your reaction depending. I might use it in a tongue-in-cheek fashion with someone who is griping about getting a parking ticket or whatever, but I wouldn’t use it for someone who looks like they could use a darn good hug. There is a time and a place for sarcasm, and using sarcasm sometimes really is a matter of how much do you value your life?
Or your relationships in some cases, obviously.
Still I know that there is no back, because for as much as he has changed me now then we want very different things. Monogamy was a key thing for him, and for me? I am polyamorous. My relationships are all emotional connections with at least some sexual desire, and it wouldn’t be fair or right to prioritize one and sacrifice the others. I am who I am, and the people who love me, love me for who I am. Why shouldn’t I love them back?