Over the years I’ve seen a lot of times when family members take each other for granted, and in so doing, unintentionally treat each others’ feelings carelessly or even callously because they know that regardless of what they do now, their family will always love and support them. Good relationships may see less of this behaviour as they are more aware of the possibility of slipping into careless ways, but I think, at some time, we all experience either taking someone for granted or being taken for granted. Good communication, however, can go a long way towards ameliorating this tendency.
I’ve seen it a lot in families by blood or marriage, but lately, I’ve been seeing it in a family by regularly shared activity and venue.
Last year, one of the couples we dance with got engaged and everyone was thrilled for them. I didn’t think much about it past that point as we’re not all that close, but just know each other from dancing and share a regular participation at a common location. However, a couple of weeks ago, she started passing out invitations at the club to what I thought at the time, was her select group of friends. The other night, she gave an invitation to two ladies with whom I’ve become friends and even they remarked that they believed they only received one because someone else wasn’t going to be able to come. But the real kicker was when a couple who only come in maybe once or twice a month asked if I was going to the wedding! Clearly, there is some kind of problem with this woman and she has neither the class nor the balls to just come out and tell me what, if anything, I’ve done to offend her. They’re having the wedding at the club on a Saturday afternoon which means that I’ll be showing up to dance, most likely, when the party is winding down. My daughter suggested not dancing that night and I made it very clear that someone else’s lack of good taste would never prevent me from doing something I loved where I loved to do it! We will simply walk in with our heads held high and be the better for it. (and heck, I don’t have to waste money on a gift!)
But the lack of manners doesn’t seem to have stopped there. Tonight, one of the couples who has a table reserved next to ours arrived late to find that one of the other regulars had taken it upon himself to assume that they weren’t coming and changed the reserved sign on their table to his name and to top it off, he invited someone else to share the table with him! This same “gentleman” tried to excuse his rudeness on the dance floor a week or so ago when I asked him not to try to talk to me while I was focusing on learning a new dance with the comment “well, that’s just how I am!”. Sorry folks, but the rest of the world is not obligated to accept, respect or understand your rudeness or misbehaviour any more than they are obligated to accept, respect or understand mine. Frankly, if I have offended someone, I want to know so I can apologize. About 95% of the time, I am not trying to offend someone and if I have inadvertently done so, I would appreciate it being brought to my attention so that I can not only apologize to the injured party, but learn from what I did to avoid offending or insulting someone else in the same way in the future!
Now that my rant is over (or over for now) I want to point out that once my hurt feelings and annoyance are dealt with, I need to focus on something within myself which is reflected by such offensiveness and from which I need to learn. If these incidences cause emotional responses in me, there is something I am doing which makes these behaviours annoying to me. I know for a fact that I’m hardest of all on myself, but I also try to be brutally honest and try to improve upon the me I am today at every opportunity. But I’m really at a loss! I know it’s not worth getting my feelings hurt over something so stupid and fleeting, but damn it! They are! But I realized that the best thing for me to do was to act like they were people I don’t know to prevent me from saying something hurtful that couldn’t be taken back. I will just wish them a lovely event and life together and take a line from “Fiddler on the Roof”. May G-d bless and keep them….far away from me!
One friend suggested that it was because they weren’t invited to Heather’s wedding, but I wasn’t sure that could be it as Heather invited only a few of the people she’d come to know well herself, and not necessarily those who were better acquainted with just me. And we certainly didn’t pass out invitations at the club, but obtained addresses and mailed them out, thus minimizing, though not eliminating making anyone feel singled out.
One thing is for certain here. I am going to make a special effort to make the people I’ve come to love and care for know that I appreciate them and want to be called on any behaviour which makes them feel like they’re being taken for granted or having their feelings dishonored! So many people have touched my life in the past few years and made it a much better place for me to live! I love and appreciate all of them every day, even if I don’t get around to saying so. And I will make sure that I get around to it a lot more after this little wake up call! Perhaps, when all is said and done, that’s all I was meant to learn from this.
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for opportunities to reassess how I treat others.
2. I am grateful to be able to acknowledge my feelings, even when it annoys me that I can’t control them as well as I’d like.
3. I am grateful for loving, caring friends and family.
4. I am grateful for dance nights as, for the most part, they keep me centered.
5. I am grateful for continued opportunities to learn and better myself.
Love and light.