Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

Just another weblog

Humble Pie, anyone?

You know, I thought I learned my lesson living in LA. Apparently I forgot those lessons. Why? You ask? Well, I realized yesterday that I had been doing something that I swore I never would do. I grew up around people who were highly judgemental of others. They felt that they were above everyone else because of clothing, employment, religious beliefs, etc. Things that are completely irrelevant in the real world, things that have nothing to do with the kind of person someone is. I always tried to not act that way, but when I moved to LA, I had no other frame of reference, so when I met people who were different in one way or another, I would distance myself from them, without taking the time to get to know the person. Then my friend Bob made me realize the error of my ways.

And then yesterday my epiphany: I had partially reverted to those old ways. I was not ‘friending’ people on Facebook because of silly things. People who I’d been friends with growing up, but had lost contact with. Stupid things, lame excuses and reasons. I had ignored several friend requests from one specific person. My thoughts were, oh well, we have nothing in common now, and looks like someone’s had a rough life.’ Like I said stupid things.  I heard Sandra Bullock’s Oscar speech and I keep playing that in my head. No class system, race, color, or religion makes one person any better than another. That is so true. I used to believe that, but was slapped in the face that I had fallen off the wagon, and I wasn’t happy with myself for it. I am not any better than anyone else. Well, maybe other than someone who’s a hardened criminal who commits violent crimes just because. Who am I to think that I’m any better than any of these people who want to be in contact with me again? Now dont’ get me wrong, I don’t accept friend requests from people I totally don’t know. Never will. but…You get where I”m going with this.

I lived in California and had my eyes opened to the bigger world, I’m not the tunnel-vision, hyper-critical, judgemental person that moved out there. And I promise you one thing, I will work my hardest to never be that way again. Any time I catch myself with a nasty thought about how someone looks, I reverse it and remember who I sound like as I think it. The person I don’t want to sound or be like. And remember that someone else may be thinking the same thing about me!

Let’s all try to be more accepting of others, not make snap decisions about them based solely on their wardrobe, skin color, or religion. We all make bad wardrobe choices occasionally. Skin color, well, we can’t do much about that one, it’s how God made us, the colors of the rainbow. Religion, my thought about that is, I think they are basically all different means to the same end. Don’t get me wrong, I do not condone anyone who uses their religion to commit violent crime against humanity. but to use religion to discriminate or ridicule or persecute others, not acceptable.

Ok, off my soapbox. I’m finished with my humble pie. Anyone else want a slice?

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The Book and Its Cover

I try to not be too preachy or philosophical. I really would love it if we could do what Rodney King wanted and all just get along. Live peacefully together, along side one another, no matter our color, race, religion, sexual orientation. Just one big happy family. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? No one judging someone else  because of something superficial.

I was going through some old photos in search of a co-worker from my LA days. He recently died from cancer and I wanted to put up a picture I have of him. As I was going through these photos, I found some of another co-worker who became a very dear friend. And that dear friend is the reason for the title of my post.

A little history of me: I was brought up in Oklahoma, the center of the country. Good old boy country.  Redneck country. Although I feel like I’m pretty far from being a redneck, I have been surrounded by those ideologies my whole life. I’ve been surrounded by people who rather than going along with the adage “If you cant’ say something good, don’t say anything at all’, would whisper and snipe and spew venom and pick other people apart acting as if they were somehow superior to these people. Even though it was quite possible they had no idea about the other person, where they came from, what they had been through, etc. That sounds like the classic judging of a book by it’s cover.

So, naturally, when I moved, I was flung into the most amazing culture shock I’d ever seen at that point in time. I’ve seen much worse now, but then, it was like night and day, literally. I had barely ventured beyond the borders of my state when I made the trek half-way across the country to move to LA. My concept of the world was, um, pretty narrow, I guess is a good way to put it. Very sheltered. Where I’d grown up, it was very white-bread, not a whole lot of diversity.

When I got my job in LA, my eyes were opened in a way I never thought possible. I was in the minority there.  I was outnumbered by blacks, Hispanics and Phillipinos. It was a really strange feeling, really to stand out like that. And being a very fair-skinned person among all of these people of color, well, let’s say at first I felt like the proverbial turd in the punchbowl. Oh, and the whole Oklahoma thing. They loved teasing me about that one. When I first started there, they asked me if we had electricity, cable tv and hot water! I get it, though. All you ever see of our part of the country is westerns or read it in the history books about the cowboys and Indians. A lot of the guys who would tease me were LA born and bred and had never really been outside of LA. Why would you need to? Everything you could possibly want to do is right there: museums, beaches, sports, concerts, amusement parks, skiing, it’s all there.

The first time I saw Bob, I was terrified. He was goth from head to toe. An asymmetrical haircut that, sorry Bob, looked oddly reminiscent of Kate Gosselin, a long hank of bangs on one side and shaved on the other. Goatee, skull earring, skull collar points, black shirt, black pants, black Doc Martins and glasses. A guy’s gotta see you know. I caught a glimpse of him and the wall became my new best friend. I had never seen a goth person in my  life outside of the movies. I didn’t know exactly what to make of him. I know I was rude, whenever he spoke to me in the halls, just to say hello, or anything, I completely ignored him, I was certain that he wanted to make me part of some weird blood sacrifice ritual on the full moon. I was also certain that he must be on drugs, wasn’t that what Goths did? I didn’t get that whole goth lifestyle. To be perfectly honest, I still don’t get it, but hey, people are people. You have to do what you feel is best for yourself and as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else or involve a felony, I say, fine, go for it. You want to cover yourself from top to bottom in tattoos? Go for it. win the Guinness title for the most body piercings, fine, knock yourself out. I’m not into that much pain, but hey, go for it.

Then one day, my whole idea was tossed on it’s ear. Bob and I worked on opposite floors and since the lunch breaks were staggered by floor, we never had lunch together, until my department was moved upstairs to the same floor as his. I don’t remember exactly how it happened. Maybe one of us was sitting at a table with other people. I can’t remember exactly. What I do remember was being shocked at how funny and intelligent he was, still is. The more we talked, the more I liked him. He was a great guy. Very sweet and thoughtful and not at all what I expected when I first saw him. We became very close friends, which, unfortunately, his wife wasn’t too crazy about. I tried to be friends with her too, I did. I didn’t have any romantic designs on him, I loved him as a friend, still do. But it was just too much for her, so I tried to stay out of the way. I didn’t want to cause any friction between them.

I moved back to Oklahoma and lost touch with Bob. It made me sad to lose his friendship, but being 1200 miles apart and being afraid to call for fear of getting him into trouble makes it difficult. Last year, I found my wonderful friend again on Facebook. Say what you will about it, but I am so happy to have found him again. he’s such a special person. I’m happy to report he’s recently remarried to a lovely lady who apparently is not quite the jealous type. I haven’t met her yet, but I hope to some day in the not so distant future.

So….the moral of my story is really what they say, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, if you do, you may miss out on a wonderful friendship, or even more. That time in my life was really transformative in the way that I view myself and other people. I came back a completely different person than when I left, and for the better. I would wish that for anyone. A journey of self-discovery, find out who you are, what you want in life and go find it. I didn’t know what I wanted when I was there, but the things that I saw and learned while I was there, I think, helped me become the person that I am now and helped me get where I needed to be to find the people and situations that were going to be my future.

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Who am I to decide?

I am a bad, bad friend.  My best friend in the whole world is a wonderful, beautiful person.  She’s had some really rotten  things happen to her and had her heart really badly broken earlier this year. She still presses on and is not only surviving, but she’s thriving, which makes me really happy.

How am I a bad friend, you ask.  She started dating a guy not long after a really painful breakup earlier this year.  He was a rebound guy, we both knew it.  My suggestion to her was to take some time to be alone, be by herself and let her heart heal and focus on herself for once.  She’s always taking care of everyone else.  She’s a big girl and I know we all have to make the best decisions we can for ourselves.  We have to make ourselves happy because no one else can.

This guy she’s dating is, um, well, not what I would pick out for her.  He’s way shorter than she is, very scruffy, and just not the person I pictured her with. But who am I to determine who she should be with anyway?  I have been leery of this guy and relationship because she was hurt so badly last time and I hate to see it happen again, but she’s a big girl, I’m just trying to be a good friend.

In my stupidity last night, I was exceptionally rude to him, which in turn hurt her.  I have been a narrow-minded, judgemental hag in my thinking of him.  I treated him the same way I was treated, still am treated, by people who are legally ‘family’ by marriage, I acted like he wasn’t even there.  I remember a time in my life when I was much younger these people couldn’t be bothered to speak to me when I was in the same room.  They acted that way towards me at my own damned wedding and I hate that feeling.  That feeling that I’m not worthy of someone else’s time, even just to be polite or civil.

I can make no excuse for my behavior.  All I can do now is apologize and hope my friend will forgive me.  She feels he is the one she’s been waiting for her whole life.  How can I argue with that?  If she loves him, and he her, what’s my problem anyway?  Isn’t that what I wished for her since we became friends ten years ago?  simply because he doesn’t look the way I think her significant other should is an injustice to her.  It shows that I am so petty, I can’t see past the exterior and look at what’s inside, and that’s what really counts right?

So, what would you do? Suck it up and have dinner with them?  I don’t know what my trepidation is all about. I’m in a quandary and really unsure what to do next.  I did send her an email and apologized for being such a rude ASS of a person. But what comes next, I just don’t know.