The city is installing signal lights to take the place of a four-way stop at an intersection near my house. The intersection has been closed for quite a while so they could widen one of the streets and put in turning lanes. Currently the signal lights are up but not operational yet so we have temporary four-way stop signs. Here’s the problem: People are idiots. I thought people had trouble at the old intersection, but now that there are four turning lanes it’s ridiculous. People either sit at the stop sign for far too long, or zoom into the intersection taking someone else’s turn. Why can’t people get it together?
A fellow blogger recently posted about something that made me think about honesty. Her post wasn’t really about honesty but it put me in mind of sharing opinions about things. I am not talking about the kind of honesty you offer as a result of being asked an opinion; I am talking about sharing your honest feelings that were not solicited. First of all, I value an honest opinion when I ask for one. If I don’t want an opinion, I don’t ask. But the latter kind of honesty is tricky. Unless it’s positive, feedback that was not asked for is rarely received well and you run the risk of alienating people. I have a friend who is very honest and generally says exactly what she’s thinking; there’s very little filter there. I value her honesty but there are times when it is not very welcome. I’m a very sensitive person (something I’m working on improving) and sometimes her feedback hurts my feelings. So when do you just keep your mouth shut? And when do you share an opinion that you feel is for the persons own good? I have a pretty strong filter and am able to, mostly, keep my opinions to myself unless asked. Because of this, people generally feel very comfortable telling me their deep, dark secrets. I love that people feel that comfortable with me. But there are times I wish I had the courage to stick my neck out and risk a little anger on the other person’s part. I think there are times when unsolicited feedback is necessary and you need to have a thick enough skin to handle a negative reaction. At least I think I think that. This is all coming out in a jumble because I have so many mixed emotions about it. I’m very much a “live and let live” kind of person and rarely stick in my nose where it doesn’t belong. Am I just being a wimp? I should clarify that I DO say something if someone is being bigoted. I firmly believe that saying nothing in those situations is just like being a bigot yourself.
One thing I hate is when someone gives an honest reaction to something that does nothing other than hurting someone’s feelings. I have an example. I make greeting cards that I either sell or give to friends and family. I once made a card for a woman and I believe she thanked me (I recognize that I probably have selected memories of the situation) but she followed up with a negative comment about part of the card. Now why was that negative comment necessary? It did nothing but hurt me and, obviously, that’s stuck with me. Again, I realize I am overly sensitive at times but I refuse to believe that a comment like that would do anything but cause hurt feelings. That kind of honesty is unnecessary in my opinion. I never ask people if they like my cards because I don’t want to put them in the position of either having to lie and say they like them or be honest and risk hurting my feelings. I did not ask this person for feedback so I was surprised when I got it. I’m hoping if I write about it I can let go of it because it’s not doing me any good to hang on to the negative feelings it causes.
What are your feelings about honesty? How about opinions that are not asked for? Are you able to take feedback well, even if it wasn’t asked for? Perhaps this is a weakness of mine and I need to work on it. Or maybe I am being conscientious about their feelings and that is a valued trait. I don’t know; I’m confused. I’m now asking for your feedback.
Ok, Paula Dean. I have mixed emotions about her current situation. On the one hand, I find it difficult to persecute someone based on something they said 30 years ago. On the other hand, however, I think it’s dangerous to accept racism in any form. All things considered, though, I think she’s paying a pretty high price for her transgressions. What I think is an interesting question is why she is losing almost everything while Alec Baldwin isn’t suffering at all for calling a photographer a queen. In my mind a homophobic slur is just as bad as a racial slur. Is it because he’s a man that he’s getting away with it? Or is it because, based on his behavior in the past, we come to expect it from him whereas it is a surprise coming from her. I don’t have the answers but I think they’re important questions.
The dramatics at the gym continue. There were two incidents today that left a bad taste in my mouth. First there was an exchange with a woman that went as follows:
HER: Do you work?
HER: Do you go to school?
HER: Well, what DO you do?
ME: I work out.
I left it at that but inside I was thinking, “What business is it of yours?!” I don’t want to come across as combative so I respond in the nicest way I can while not inviting further questions.
The next thing that happened kind of floored me because I wasn’t expecting it at all. The owner of the local franchise has taken a special interest in me because I work hard and I have definite goals in mind. So we were sitting there talking today and out of the blue she asked me if I belonged to a church. What?! So I said that I didn’t. She asked if I had ever belonged to a church and I said I was baptized as a Christian when I was 16 and then converted to Baha’i after a couple years. Then she went on to discuss how she wishes I would establish a relationship with god because some day I will regret not having a relationship sooner. She told me her preference would be for me to join HER religion but the important thing is to have a relationship with god. She invited me to her church (First Assembly of God) for a Sunday service. I just nodded and told her “thank you” and tried to get away from the whole conversation.
I should say that I’m not sure I believe in a god which is why I stopped going to Baha’i feasts. I’m very conflicted on the whole subject but I do know one thing for sure – I DO NOT like being proselytized to. I’m all for freedom of religion but that means I have the freedom to not belong to any organized religion. I felt uncomfortable that we were talking about it and just wanted to get away. If she brings it up again I’m just going to tell her the topic makes me uncomfortable and let that be the end of it. Can’t I just go to the gym and work out in peace?
At the end of the conversation with the owner she mentioned that she’s gotten nothing but positive feedback about me. Again, WHAT? I felt as if I was her employee rather than her customer. She went on to say that some of the other women have mentioned to her how proud they are of me for working out. Um, yeah. That’s more than just a little bit condescending. She ended with, “So people are talking behind your back but they’re saying nice things.” That didn’t really make me feel any better somehow.
My friend suggested that I go to another location of the same Curves franchise to get away from that owner and the nosy bitties who work out there. I understand what she’s saying but, even with all the drama, I’m used to it at this location and would feel like I was starting all over at another location. I’m not big on change (anyone who knows me knows what a massive understatement that is!) and I’m afraid I’ll lose my momentum if I switch now. I don’t want to alienate anyone at the gym because then it will just be more drama so I smile and answer as few questions as possible and try to keep to myself.
Speaking of the gym, I was weighed and measured last week and in the past month I’ve only lost 4.5 pounds and 1.25 inches overall. Sigh. I really wanted better results than that. I mean, 4.5 pounds should be what I lose in a little over a week, not in an entire month. People usually say that you should pay more attention to the inches than the pounds but since I have so much loose skin I really don’t feel like I can rely on the inches either. I was very frustrated but didn’t let it dissuade me from going to the gym and working out as hard as I can. I’m also working on my walking stamina. Currently I can only walk for about eight minutes but I’m determined to build that up to an hour before The Trip. So I get out and walk and try to add a minute a day to my walking time.
Finally, I’m totally addicted to the show “Deadliest Catch.” I don’t have cable or satellite TV so I download it from iTunes. Wednesday is “Deadliest Catch” day when I can download the latest episode. It’s a good day. So there wasn’t anything very eventful this week but they showed coming attractions of future shows and there is going to be a ship stuck in the ice with their hull breached by the ice, a man goes overboard, a Coast Guard rescue, AND they showed the absolutely mauled hand of one of the deckhands. It looked completely gruesome and I would be surprised if they didn’t have to amputate some of the fingers. Man, I love that show.