I don’t think this will be the entirety of my blog today but I needed to write this down right now. I already have had two funny things pop into my head and, after telling myself to be sure to remember them, I promptly forgot them. Instead of making a post-it note like a normal people, I am going to make a mini-blog. (Edit: It turns out to not be all that mini. I don’t know that this is all I am going to post.)
Okay, first of all, social media befuddles my parents. I find it highly ironic that their spawn can believe in it as much as I do and come from parents like them. My father thinks Facebook is evil and we are all throwing away our privacy into a soul eating machine. I am not saying he is wrong, I am just saying there is more to it than that. It is a soul eating machine that lets me see funny things. He thinks Twitter is one of the signs of the apocalypse. I used to feel that way until I understood it. Now I know Twitter’s greatest evil is that people can be mundane as hell and Twitter their entire lives. (I am one of those folks.)
My mom, on the other hand, wants to know about the Facebook and use it since my sister posts stuff about herself and her kids. When I show Mom videos and stuff that Ellana posts, she always wants another Facebook lesson. A few days ago Ellana posted a video on my wall of my adorable niece being her kooky, adorable self making up a song and singing it to her Ipod. Today I showed it and some pictures from my last photo shoot with Tina. Mom LOVED my niece’s videos and a few of the pictures.
I pointed at one of the pictures and said, “I actually really like this picture.”
Mom responds with a pinched face, “I don’t.”
Ouch. Instead of getting my feelings all hurt, I make a joke about our family’s militant honesty policy and attempt to move on.
She said, “Well, Selina, I am not going to lie. If I told you I liked that photo and I don’t, you won’t believe me when I tell you this photo looks amazing.”
I assure her that I understand that and we move on.
Let me side track for a moment. I do actually believe this. I try to be honest with my praise. I don’t believe in being sparing with my praise; I will tell you how amazing I think something is down to the last detail, if I believe it is awesome. I try not to give superfluous praise though, because I think it makes judging genuine praise harder. I have this belief because when people compliment me, I suspect they are being nice even if they hate what I do. It makes me a paranoid, self-conscious wreck.
Of course, I fail at this on occasion. (By on occasion, I mean all the time.) I refuse to be harsh or hurtful. I try to either not comment or to find something good, even if it is insignificant. If you are willing to make the effort, everyone has something you can compliment. Tina has also called me out on lying to her. She knew I was telling her I liked things she cooked when I didn’t. As a result, she couldn’t trust my responses to her cooking. I tried to assure her that I would be more honest, but she told me I wasn’t capable of not lying to her about her cooking to prevent hurting her feelings. Tina, I PROMISE I will try not to lie to you about anything but your cooking. I will try not to lie to you about your cooking, but we know how that goes.
Okay, back on track we go.
So, after Mom gets up to do something else, I come in here and think of funny things to write about. Mom yells at me from the other room apologizing about the comment earlier. A bit later, I walked into the living room and she was sitting there obviously mad. This is what happens next:
Me: Are you mad?
Mom: You were kind of rude to me about what I said about your picture.
Me: I was rude when you said something kind of mean to me about a picture and I made a joke to keep from getting my feelings hurt.
Mom: Well, I am not going to lie to you about it.
Me: I know, and I feel the same way, but I generally try to cushion my honesty. Your honesty is a bit sharp.
Mom: I KNOW. I said I was sorry.
Me: This is kind of like me punching you then getting mad because it pissed you off.
Mom: I know.
Me: I am a bit mystified by you being mad at me.
Mom: Me, too.
A few minutes later as I was leaving the room..
Mom: I want you to come out later and do some cleaning.
Me: Are you still going to be mad at me then?
Mom: I don’t know.
Yep. You can’t make this shit up.
This is the photo of contention. Mom told me it made me look like I was trying to look to be tough. I responded that it was just my face. She told me that she knew. How the fuck was I supposed to take any of that?