I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Seasonal Madness


It amazes me to no end the sheer greed and selfishness of humans. This time of year seems to bring out the worst in ’em, too. I don’t want to get all Scrooge McDuck on ya, but damn! People are kind of assholes sometimes. No one specific. I hold nothing back, no secrets, y’all should know this by now (and a special thanks & hug for those who commented on Friday’s post, you’re the sweetest! Well, except that one asshole! I posted their email, feel free to do what you will with it). Just you know, the wish lists! Everywhere I go, the wish lists!

Really?! In this economy? Wish lists?! I could see a kid doing this, sure, no problem there. A lot of what kids do is hope/dream/wish/pretend/play (I miss that). But adults more than ever! To them I say, “Do you have no one in your life in need? No one for which you might feel ashamed about wanting frivolous garbage in front of? We all want things. We all want comfort and perhaps a bit of luxury, but shit if you see me doing this right now. Everyone in my life seems on edge lately and it’s no wonder: We’ve all taken quite the proverbial beating this year! Sure, I want frilly dresses and satin bows. But not because of a holiday and not because I feel I deserve such things. I most certainly do not.

I don’t like the word deserve. It’s an ugly word to me. I don’t think that people deserve things, ya know? Don’t get me wrong, I believe all people have fundamental human rights and with that some dignity and respect, but sports cars? Designer clothing? Not so much, actually. I believe in equality for everyone. I’m not educated enough to declare myself a socialist/Marxist/communist or anything close to any of those, but I just think people should be treated equally. People tend to misunderstand me when I say that, but it seems plain as day to me. We were all made the same and come into the world naked and slippery and should be treated, in my opinion, the same until proven otherwise (aka: you kill somebody? Yeah, you don’t get to have the same equality as the rest of us, just sayin’).

I know how easy it can be to get caught up in the spirit of the season (I’m not at all religious and no longer celebrate any particular holiday though the husband is a bit of a pagan and would like to begin celebrating solstices), but give a thought to those around you. There is something to be said of humility and modesty in such matters. Growing up I would never have asked for something outright. I would long for something and ache for it, but to ask straight up? That just seemed awful. Of course I grew up poor enough to know better than to ask; it would most certainly be met with words of admonishment and shame. However, my grandma always had a way of knowing exactly what I wanted or very close to it and I never once complained (too bad this non-complaining didn’t get passed to the rest of my family).

I just don’t think that people are present enough to appreciate what they have or to acknowledge the suffering of those around them. Yesterday while doing a craft fair with a friend (Ugh! Won’t be doing one of those again!), someone she knew saw her and they were catching up and then suddenly the woman began to cry. She kept apologizing profusely for her tears, but as it turns out, her husband passed away suddenly and now she’s about to lose her home and truly has nowhere to stay very shortly. I don’t know her, but offered what advice I could on the mortgage side (I used to work in that industry, before the bubble burst) and wished her the best while being simultaneously surprised by my friend’s offer of her couch & home to this lady. And that is how it should be! When times are at their toughest, we should be offering what we can to those who need it, especially those we know and love, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve been in touch.

On Friday, as I was having my stress-induced breakdown/panic attack, a good friend whom I can’t say that I truly know, offered me and my husband and our two babies (tabby cat and puglet) a room in her house if we should so need it. I was touched beyond words. Here I was at a very dark moment in my life and this truly amazing woman, who is going through a hell of her own at the moment, offered me more than I could ever ask of another person. That pure love extended its light to me and I felt it, yo! I felt it and it warmed my heart. Call me cheesy, but it made me think. It made me cherish and it made me humble and grateful. So when I turn around after this special moment and see nothing but “I WANT!!!” “HERE’S MY UNSOLICITED WISH LIST!” “BUY ME THINGS LOLZ!” it makes me fucking nauseous!

There is always, ALWAYS!, something to be grateful for. I know life can be in the shitter from time to time and sometimes that may seem like more than you can handle, I get it! But please, take a moment to think before proclaiming your wants. And maybe? Consider doing something for someone instead of buying them a gift wrapped with ribbon. Volunteer if you can or simply offer your services and help openly to those you know and you may just be surprised by who accepts your assistance and where this new path may lead you.

A big fat serious thank you to my readers & commenters. Sometimes, when I don’t know where else to turn and I feel completely bat-shit crazy, you make me feel so much better and worth something. Thank you! <3

posted under Bullshit, Shopping
17 Comments to

“Seasonal Madness”

  1. On December 6th, 2010 at 11:27 am Dee Says:

    Thanks for the reminder on what’s important in life.

  2. On December 6th, 2010 at 11:28 am Not Blue at All Says:

    You’re very welcome.

  3. On December 6th, 2010 at 12:36 pm Chutti Says:

    Yes, thanks for that very important reminder.
    I spent some time with an old business partner at a conference this weekend. In the past year, she’s gotten a divorce, sold her home at pennies on the dollar, put the ex-hubby’s dog to sleep, found out her dear cat is terminal, and that her mother has cancer.
    And what did she want to talk about? Her trip to Rwanda and how inspiring the people she met there were as they went about rebuilding their broken families and culture. About how the life expectancy there is UP TO 45 years. …How lucky many of us really are.
    Yep. Not buying any of that wish list crapola.
    I had already decided on sending donations in lieu of gifts to all my adult loved ones. But now I have something specific to tell them about why.
    The kids still need to open something. But the rest-let’s use that thought to do something positive.
    Thanks for the nudge.

  4. On December 6th, 2010 at 12:45 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    It is amazing, once someone “gets it” they tend to spread it! Wonderful stuff! Thank you for sharing this story.

  5. On December 6th, 2010 at 1:27 pm Twistie Says:

    And this is precisely why, every year, in the midst of the Christmas rush (I may be an atheist, but I adore Christmas), I try to find something I can send to a homeless shelter, or a shelter for domestic abuse survivors, or Toys for Tots. It isn’t much, because Mr. Twistie and I are not precisely rolling ourselves, but it’s important when times are rough to remember that someone else has it worse and would find life just a little easier if someone took the time to care about them. I also try to do something at one or two other random times of year when other people aren’t thinking quite as hard about it.

    And yes, I’ve taken in orphans of the storm before. The first time was when some friends of ours lost everything (including a puppy and two cats, sadly) in a fire. We didn’t have a guest room, but we had a couch and that did just fine until they were able to arrange something better. It made us all closer than ever, too. When another friend sent over some clothes she’d been considering donating to charity because she couldn’t use them anymore, but they would just fit our friend, well, let’s just say I’ve never actually seen anyone burst into tears of gratitude at a smily face sleepshirt before, but that’s a sight that will stay with me forever. It still makes me kind of misty.

    Alas, when we took in my brother when he finally ‘fessed up to a prolonged period of unemployment, it didn’t work out nearly as well. He came for ‘a month or two’ and stayed for five and a half years loafing around playing computer games and whittling away at my self-esteem. He’s been gone for a year and still hasn’t hauled his dead car out of our driveway. When I ran into him and his new fiancee at a crafts fair yesterday, I considered myself very, very good for not punching him in the face publicly. I may still do it at an undisclosed time when we’re not in public.

    But the next time someone I know needs a safe place to land for a bit, my couch stands at the ready. It’s just that next time if we feel there’s the slightest possibility of being taken for another ride, we’ll put a specific time limit on it.

    That said, I do have a wish list on Amazon… but I never have told anyone (even Mr. Twistie) where to find it. A good friend stumbled on it by accident, but I really do keep it just so that I can find the books I wanted again when I happen to have a few unclaimed bucks I can spend on me. Some of the things I want are a tidge obscure.

    Also, when a very, very good friend of mine who lives on the opposite coast called and told me she might be lucking into a whole buttload of Le Creuset cookware, I was able to do happy dances with her without an actual twinge of jealousy, no matter how much I might want that bounty for myself. My buddy is an amazing cook who will use the stuff often and care for it well. And if I ever get to scrape together the funds to go out and visit her, we will probably hole up for a week in her apartment cooking in Le Creuset pots and pans. But I still think it was terribly selfless of me not to get jealous.

    What? I’m a work in progress, and I still want a lot of stuff. I just don’t assume it’s coming to me because I’d like it.

  6. On December 6th, 2010 at 1:47 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Wow! You amaze me on the regular, darlin’. Seriously! Sorry to hear about your bro, but I guess family is another story. Not knowing your relationship with him I am unsdure if you should simply confront him or give him a 30 day notice before towing the heap he left behind. Either way I hope it works out for you. And I admit, I have an amazon list, too and for the same reason: So I can remember the things I want/need/etc or even for blogging reference. Ha-ha! <3

  7. On December 6th, 2010 at 2:26 pm Twistie Says:

    I have decided on the thirty days’ notice before I haul that dratted car out into the street to be festooned with tickets until it gets hauled off by the city. That’s a hell of a lot more than he gave me when he stopped paying for his storage space and never told us so we could either pay the rent on it for a couple months or help him get his stuff out before it was all taken to pay the storage folk.

    Yeah, he just let Mom’s crystal, Dad’s research on the family history, and huge numbers of irreplaceable family photos be sold off for scrap.

    If you can’t tell, I’m a little bitter.

  8. On December 6th, 2010 at 2:30 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    You have every right to be bitter, my dear. And who wouldn’t be?!

  9. On December 6th, 2010 at 3:41 pm Meghan Says:

    Ok- I think you’re being a little unfair here. Sure, there are people in horrible circumstances, and I and you, and most people I know are comparatively blessed. But because I’m not starving and sexually abused and with a terminal illness in Africa doesn’t mean I can’t mourn my being laid off last year, it doesn’t mean I can’t be genuinely distraught about a fight with my loved ones. If pain doesn’t count because other people in the world feel badly, then no one can ever be sad.

    And the same applies to wishes. Maybe I’m not wishing for water, or to not be a battered wife, or to not have a terminally ill child, but it’s human to want something better. And there’s nothing wrong in wanting the frivolous, just as long as you have the appropriate gratitude. In fact, frivolous desires can do a lot to making the world feel better. It’s hard for me to know what to do in the face of a suicidal friend, or one addicted to drugs- how can I possibily fix that? But if you want tassles and bows and sequins? That I can do. That I can do and it’ll make me happy to do it for you, and you happy to receive it.

    It really isn’t about the relative “triteness” of one persons fears or hopes or desires, because one can be constantly one-upped or bested. It’s about an attitude. It may not be a beautiful thing to see people all me-me-me without that apparent grateful attitude. But it’s equally upsetting to see someone who’s so holier than thou and all-knowing. You have no idea how important or dearly held someone’s wishes are, even if they seem trite and unimportant to you.

  10. On December 6th, 2010 at 3:48 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    You definitely make a great point. I guess this post was out of sheer overload of so many people’s wish lists filled with things that are just (in my opinion) absurd. But you’re right, I don’t know what motivated that wish or what it means to them. Thank you for being the voice for others. I truly appreciate it. =0)

  11. On December 6th, 2010 at 3:45 pm Meghan Says:

    And please don’t feel obligated to post that, as I had no intention of shaming you or being confrontational. But you really just sound so joyless and embittered.

    However, my grandma always had a way of knowing exactly what I wanted or very close to it and I never once complained (too bad this non-complaining didn’t get passed to the rest of my family).

    Do you not see the hypocrisy in this sentence? Complaining because your family never learned to complain like you did?

  12. On December 6th, 2010 at 3:52 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    The issue with my family is that no matter what you get them, they DO complain. Always! Nothing is what they want regardless of what it actually is. I do not see the hypocrisy of that sentence, but you may have misunderstood what I meant, I did word it funny. Ha-ha! Perhaps it did come across as bitter, I’m going through a pretty fucking rough patch right now and hey, I just tell it as I see it and value opposing opinions, too. I have no problem posting your comment or any other. I feel this is a safe space to speak one’s mind. Thanks.

  13. On December 6th, 2010 at 3:59 pm Meghan Says:

    And I’m sorry. I wasn’t very gracious myself. I hope things look up for you, and whatever your close-held wishes, they come true 🙂

  14. On December 6th, 2010 at 4:08 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    No worries. Thanks for being honest is all. =0)

  15. On December 7th, 2010 at 5:29 pm ladymeag Says:

    The wishlist thing? Gets on my nerves. I was raised that it’s incredibly rude to send out wishlists proactively. You don’t send your bridal registry on a card with the wedding invitation – your guests should ask your nearest-and-dearest where you are likely to be registered. You don’t throw yourself a baby shower, your nearest and dearest surprise you with a “shower” of love for your upcoming baby. You don’t send out Christmas wishlists until Auntie So-and-so from Far-away-land says “I don’t know your kids very well, what would they like for Christmas, you think?” Keeping a wishlist is one thing, shoving it in my face in daily “countdown to Christmas” blog posts is another.

    I have a friend who just had a new baby – no one threw her a baby shower because she already had another kid. Her husband was unexpectedly early-contract-terminated by Microsoft this week. They’ve got two kids, a recovering Mom and no Christmas. Five minutes after she sent email asking for job leads for herself and her partner to friends and family she got an email from a sorta-distant cousin with a huge Toys R Us wishlist for her kid and a note about how it was so they didn’t “double up” with all of the various family events and personal gifts. It made her cry and deeply upset her about what she can’t provide for her little ones this year.

    It’s rude, it’s inconsiderate and it is incredibly self-centered. You never know why Grandma hasn’t asked for Johnny’s wishlist yet this year, maybe she needs surgery and hasn’t told you all she can’t afford it yet. Maybe Uncle Bradley had his car stolen and lost his job as a result of not being able to get to work that day.

    I shouldn’t feel obligated to buy anyone a gift – if I give a gift, it’s because it’s something I wanted you to have. This is another reason unsolicited wishlists are tacky. The point of a gift is not for you to get something you really, really want. It’s for someone to give you something they really, really want you to have.

    (Which is also why it’s rude to follow up on a gift – maybe the receiver didn’t share your joy in the item. “Did you get that sweater I sent you for Christmas? It was so great!” “Thanks, Auntie Carole but I converted to Judaism three years ago and you sent a medium and I wear a 3X.” You send a thank-you note when you get something, if someone doesn’t send a thank-you note, decide what you want to do about future gifts on your own, without bothering them about the fate of your gift.)

    As you can tell, I have Opinons about this topic. 😛

    (As for the other thing, you made me happy-cry with your reaction! It’s an honest offer, really – I’ve been in some shitty places in my life and don’t like seeing people I like go through all of that.)

  16. On December 8th, 2010 at 8:49 am Not Blue at All Says:

    You totally got my point on this (and saw through my PC jargony talk). I was raised the same way, you were lucky to get anything and you damned well better be thankful even if it’s not much or not what you want. Too bad my siblings weren’t raised the same way. Ha!
    (As for the other thing, you deserve to happy-cry daily! You rock my socks on the regular.)

  17. On December 10th, 2010 at 11:50 pm Kath Says:

    Christmas has always been really stressful for me. From having to deal with an abusive family, to then being estranged from said abusive family, and then trying to live up to the rosy Christmasses of my friends (well, I perceived them as being rosy anyway), it’s always been a really stressful thing.

    However, I still love Christmas. I love the parties and the catching up with people, the food, the decorations, the Christmas cards, Santa and the carols.

    This year I decided to ask my friends to donate to Operation Baldy (my fundraiser for the Australian Cancer Council) instead of giving me gifts, and asked if they would mind if I did the same instead of giving them gifts. I would much rather spend time with them, than stress out about “stuff”.

    Suddenly the stress is gone and I feel so happy about Christmas!

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