Thursday, July 13, 2017

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

     If you read my posts for news on antiques, frugal stuff and Bigfoot... you might want to gently close this and tiptoe away.

     I am about to rant. 

     I am 58 years old. The Brick is 62. (There, now you know.)  The Brick and I, in spite of some difficult times, have a paid-off house and no debts. (Until we borrowed for the trailer, that is.) We pay our bills -- period. This is largely due to God's grace...and a lot of finagling. We have 401Ks and a savings account.
     We would be considered reasonably successful in this area, I think.

     The Brick has decades of experience in not one, but THREE careers: the Navy, as a mechanical engineer (a registered P.E. too, no less, which he still is), and a bus driver/trainer/IT man in transportation for public schools.  He has spent decades of work in music, just for his own pleasure and our church Worship Team. (In fact, the guy is brilliant in arranging music, changing keys and combining songs -- something I hope he does more of, after we get the house on the market.) He can fix practically everything, using little more than spit and a few pieces of wire.
     I married a very clever, intelligent man. Suffice it to say: I am a lucky woman.



Here he is, with our darling daughters. Yes, hunting.


     My own work has been more focused. I've always been a writer, not only for newspapers and magazines, but on the Internet, as a long-time blogger. (Since 2007 -- seven years, how can that be?!) I've been a paid staffer for several other blogs. I've written six books (working on #7, #8 and #9 when I can) and hundreds of articles, on subjects as varied as collecting silver to dealing with friends who Get Up Too Early. (That's for you, Jo and Chris.)
    I am also known as a teacher, judge and lecturer in the quilting and craft field. Encyclopaedia Britannica's quilt entries (except for 'redwork') were written by yours truly. I've done venues all over the country -- ever since 1984. Do the math.
    My third career is as a personal property appraiser. (I can't let the Brick be the one who does more than one thing!) I've been certified by AQS, the American Quilter's Society (with a few months break) since 1999, and nearly done with certification by the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), a much larger group that contains both personal property and real estate.
     I appraise anything and everything but houses and cars -- I've done this now for more than a decade, and more than two decades for textiles and related items.
     I don't think that I am God's Gift to the World. But I'm no dummy, either.

I'm not bragging about these accomplishments, for either of us. I'm just saying them.
      Because they're true.

So why is it that...

Several times in past weeks, both of us have had sessions where we're being condescended to, yelled at, lectured, or treated as if we're either idiots -- or kindergartners.

Why are our memories -- clear ones, and yes, we were both there -- dismissed as unimportant (at best) or outright lies (at worst)?

Why is our experience disregarded as irrelevant? ('Of course, you would have no idea about this.' Said or implied in a high and lofty tone.)

Now that the Brick was able to retire -- does that mean we 'don't work,' or don't understand the 9-to-5 world anymore? (In fact, I would say we work harder than ever, especially right now.)

     Are you allowed to have a different opinion without being ridiculed, dressed down or lectured to?

     Isn't it possible to hold that differing opinion without being told you're evil, or just too stupid to know better?  (Trump-haters, take special note here.)

     I can understand some of the rudeness and hateful remarks for where they're coming from: frustration, envy and dislike of the situation they currently find themselves in. (Or even because it's been so dingdang hot.) But in nearly every case:

     They were angry about something else.
     This had little or nothing to do with us personally. We were just convenient. 
     It was a way to punish us for disagreeing with them in the past -- days, months, weeks or years ago.

Why were we the targets?

In part, I think, because they knew we would not fight back.

For one thing, this behavior is wrong.

For another, it's ridiculous.  Many of the circumstances started with something that seemed pretty trivial to begin with, and got blown up totally out of proportion.

And finally,

Where does respect come into play? 

Haven't we done enough, and accomplished enough, to deserve at least a little of it? If I am doing my best to treat you with respect...don't I deserve some, too? 

I am trying hard not to blow up and respond in kind. (In fact, this post is part of that. I have GOT to get this out of my system.) But it's getting more and more difficult.

Okay. Rant over. 

The next post will be on some of the beautiful Hanky Panky pieces my students did some weeks ago.

I feel better, already. Thanks for listening.









8 comments:

Marilyn Maher said...

It s good to let things off your chest. Not sure what has happened to basic curtesy, values, morals, and respect. It is rampant in todays society. Many prayers for you and your family. You have been a valued colleague and friend. Love and prayers Marilyn

Cindy Brick said...

You are very kind, Marilyn -- thank you.

Thanks for writing. (My mom still thinks of you and your husband fondly. I do, too.)

Sue Ewing said...

No one deserves rudeness of people no matter what the circumstances. It seems to be so prevalent that people in all walks of life do it. Last year we were looking into possibly doing a reverse mortgage. The lady we were dealing with talked to us like we were children and of course she turned us off to ever dealing with anyone in the field.

I agree that some have the holier than thou attitude think their shit don't stink. One thing they have to remember we all get up and dress the same way one leg or arm at a time everyone was born the same way. Naked and without anything other than the right to learn to survive.

Hope all goes well with you and your next chosen path.

Sue

gaye ingram said...

Cindy, I know the kind of thing you describe. In reading the early part of your remarks, I saw myself some years ago----justifying why I or some informed opinion I'd given deserved respect. One day I stopped that. Don't start it. Every human being deserves respect as a child of a common God and as a fellow human being. We need to treat others as we would like to be treated. No credentials needed.

A college roommate once told me that when treated in the ways you describe, she just narrowed her eyes, arched her eyebrow, got very quiet and in a level tone asked the offender, "Excuse me. But did you just say what I thought you said to me?" She said that gave the person time to consider his misstep. If, however, he maintained his arrogance---for that is what it is---she simply stepped away and acted as if he did not exist. She said it was very important to appear happy as you did that, even though you were seething. She was a Natchez, Mississippi girl, and she knew who she was and what she deserved in the way of respect. I'm from Louisiana and had a slow start, but I've learned to follow her directions, more or less. People may question your opinions if they really want an answer, but only then. And they have to remember equality and to respond to the evidence, not to you.

Years ago I contacted you about something quilty which I no longer can remember. In the course of the conversation you said the kindest things about a person in the quilt world who had been shafted by "friends" and about whom I'd heard little good. I didn't know her except through her books. But your remarks led me to write her a note telling her how much those books had meant to me. All these years, when I've heard or seen your name, that is what I've remembered---your kindness. Nothing else about that short conversation. I'm sure there are others like me.

I myself have been shocked by the arrogance of many in this recent election. And I'm not easily shocked any more. But I pass along the technique I've spent a lifetime trying to get down pat, straight from a Mississippi woman.

Gaye Ingram

Quiltwhisper said...

Hang in there. Rants are always allowed between friends (even if we only know each other online)

Cindy Brick said...

Thank you, all of you. I just couldn't stand it anymore...the Brick got up this morning, and I was typing away. He said, "What in the world are you doing??" I was so busy thinking that I forgot I was in my birthday suit!

Ah well...as he said, 'Naked truth' does everyone good.

I read once, "You are human. That is enough to make the lowest beggar lift his head in pride -- and the highest king bow his in shame."
I also have been surprised at the levels people on every side of the election -- no party's innocent here -- will stoop to insult, denigrate and just plain be obnoxious. We MUST stop this trend, if we're going to survive...otherwise, it will tear us apart.

Thank you SO much for your words...and encouragement. They mean a LOT.

Judith Stewart said...

Cindy,

I have always admired you and found you reasonable, kind, and caring, as well as really smart and impressive! As I am nearing 65, I too have been occasionally treated as a dotty old lady who doesn't know much, which I don't put up with. I'm afraid I'm guilty of pulling out the "I'm a professional chemical engineer" line to deal with those attitudes. Maybe not exactly humble, but it does tend to stop arrogant snobs. Ranting works too!

Cindy Brick said...

Thank you, Judith. Kind words, gratefully appreciated.

Zzzzzzzz...

After four hours at Tuesday Morning's checkout line today, I can honestly relate. Okay, maybe a nap AND a cookie.