Like Water Off A Duck's Back.
So my Step-mom and Father visited this past week. I see them maybe twice a year and that works out just fine. My father and I talk about the family and gas prices then he will usually find one quirky thing I do and tease me about it for a week (this year it was the shape of my poor, over used coffee maker). It is a perfect relationship- we chitchat, with a little bit of mockery peppered in. My Step-mom is very different. She is very articulate, well rounded and loves to hear herself have a discussion. So when she talks, you sit and nod while she explains, then she explains again from another angle. And in her very persuasive, around the mountain way she will tell you what is best for your life. She is the queen of euphemisms.
I am the most sensitive girl on the planet. If my husband says to me “boy, it’s been a while since you have been to the gym, do you not have time right now?” I am ruined for the next couple of days. Or if my ex- boyfriend -who decided to write a blog of our whole long, tedious, and tragic story of a relationship- then post it online, I get a bit self-conscious. But my step-mom saying “ Minneapolis is the most wonderful place to raise a family and it would be a shame for the kids if you moved the whole family on a whim…” right after I told her that I wanted to move and start my new life in a city that caters to a particular career I was thinking of having… Well that is just dream squishing!
My husband told me this story when we first met:
Two sages, one young and one old, were silently walking in the forest. They came to a river and standing there was a woman figuring out how she was going to cross. She asked for help and the older sage picked her up and carried her across, the younger sage followed. The woman thanked him and they went their separate ways. The sages walked on for quite a while in silence and then the younger one said to the older “ It was inappropriate that you carried that woman across the river”.
The older sage replied, “ Why are you still carrying her?”
There is nothing more I would like if I could be thick skinned. To let these comments wash off of me and walk away. So it got me thinking, if the euphemisms were hard, how would I handle the truth? Just a decent conversation between two adults telling each other how they felt. Could I handle it? So I tried it. I talked, he talked, we were honest and to the point. I cried then I walked away. I new the truth and there were no misinterpretations. I have got to believe that is better- but in the end they both hurt.
Euphemisms may protect our feelings on the small stuff that, for some reason, still affect our happiness. But what about the big stuff? People’s perceptions of what is important are so different and that line between the big and small stuff is so gray- we are dooming ourselves to more white lies about bigger issues just to spare our feelings. When did we become afraid of feelings? We don’t need protection from them we need to embrace them and learn from them- then we can stop carrying them.