August 11, 2009

Say What You Mean

Buona sera. I'm going to keep this short and to the point.

In my lines of work as well as my personal lives, I don't have much tolerance for having people waste my time or toy with my emotions. I think some of that is because I'm getting older, too. If my time is going to be wasted or my emotions are going to be toyed with, I'm going to be the one choosing to do it.

What I'm going on about is having to guess what people mean. When one of my goomahs says, "We don't have to go out tonight", then fine, she doesn't want to go out tonight. If Tommy the Knocker says that he doesn't want the last piece of pizza, then it's fair game for me or one of the others in the crew to grab it. I don't want the babe whining at me later that she really did want to go out, or Tommy to grumble because he didn't get the last slice.

What, I'm supposed to read between the lines? I'm a freakin' mind reader? (Besides, mind reading is illegal on dozens of civilized planets, as well as being a violation of privacy.) When someone gets bothered because I took him at his word, I get bothered right back.

And I will not accept a guilt trip.

I know, I know, sometimes in a relationship you figure out how the other person ticks, and you do learn to figure out what they mean instead of what they say. When it's a regular thing, then it's a manipulation tool.

Somewhere deep down, I also feel like it's dishonest to play guessing games by making people try to figure out what you meant because you did not say it. Be honest with me and you have a much better chance of earning my respect.

I know a woman who does this kind of thing, too, but it's more subtle. When she was living with her mother and my pal Neil, she would make a remark like, "It's hot in here." He mother would have to get up and open the windows, adjust fans, whatever, just so that lazy bones did not have to get up off her lazy tail and actually do something for herself. Neil wanted her mother to just say, "Yes, it is hot in here" and leave it at that. But the poor broad has such low self-esteem and has been manipulated by the control freak for so many years, she couldn't help herself.

I guess one of the reasons I get along with Lela and the guys in the crew that know me is because they take a direct approach; there's no guessing games. And I have the basic viewpoint of, "Here I am. If you don't like it, well, sorry. But I'm not changing just to please you." (With the possible exception of a hottie, I may make a little extra effort before I remember my basic vows to myself.)

There's wistful thinking about the Old West, or maybe just the old days in general, when a man's word was his bond and a handshake was as good as a written contract. People could be more direct. That's a concept that I wish we had today. My own integrity is important to me, and I prefer to say what I mean and not make people guess what I mean, instead. Capice?

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