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Archive for March, 2010

Although taking a trip and taking vacation both require taking time off of work that should be the only similarity. A trip can be a pleasant experience in that children are visiting parents or parents are visiting children and grandchildren. It can also be a time of sorrow such as an illness or death in the family. Trips are often taken for a job or to attend a wedding, or when long distant lovers meet. In these cases then it is assumed that the goal of the trip is to reach our destination at as expedient time as possible. We are leaving home expressly to see people that are important in our lives.

A vacation is something that most of us take as a reward to ourselves for some r and r after a hard years work. Vacations are then intended to be taken to add to our lives and not to be taken care of by people that are not in the entertainment or hotel line of work. Vacations were never intended to be spent at other people’s expense but to be spent at entertaining ourselves and taken at our own expense.

My husband and I have been quite fortunate this month as our oldest daughter and grandchildren took a trip to see us this last weekend and we are leaving this weekend to take a trip to see our youngest daughter. Just so I make myself clear, trips are as much fun and sometimes more fun than vacations. We look forward to both having our children and grandchildren visit as we do going to visit them.

In some cases we can and do take both a trip as well as a vacation. In the fact that often times when we reach our daughter’s home we then go together for a few days of travel and r and r to the Ocean. Vacations are spent with all members of a group or bunch getting together to enjoy the experience. This could be a highschool reunion, a family reunion or a college reunion. Usually with the group meeting in a common area to celebrate old memories and not at the expense of one over the other. Vacations are not intended to be taken at the expense of one’s time and trouble over the r and r of our own.

Most of us will enjoy both over the years as it is during our younger years, as a rule, that we do take trips to see family and friends, since most of us can not afford to take vacations. If we do take trips to see family or friends then it should be with the understanding that we are not all on vacation. Whenever I had people coming to visit I would make sure that the house was cleaned,the laundry done, the lawn mowed and trimmed, and all or most of the cooking done before their arrival. It would entail both making salads, casseroles, and all baking up ahead.

It just always struck me that most people that would be arriving would want to feel as though they were on vacation and so I tried to make them feel that somehow the trouble they told me not to go to had been done by a genie or some mysterious worker prior to their coming. Apparently it worked as they all left with the thinking that I did nothing other than sit on my butt while they were here so apparently that also was what I did when they were not here.

So long story short, because we are taking a trip to see our youngest daughter we will arrive at a reasonable time without feeling rushed to get there and then do our share as her guest to make sure that we all can enjoy our time together. We realize that she does not run a short order cook business and that our arrival will alter her changing her plans while we are there. It is as important to be a good guest as it is to be a good host or hostess. We can’t wait to see her!

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It has been many years since I attended school, but after spending a winter such as we have had in the bible belt, it is time to break loose and to knock off the cabin fever. I am collecting on my birthday gift.

This time of the year, the trip itself is usually an adventure. Trying to get past the snow blocked passes of the Rockies, is of itself a challenge. This year, though, a trip East, North, South, or West can very likely be met with flooding. One of the advantages that we have when we travel is that we do not set an alarm clock nor do we plan to meet or stay with friends and family. It is always the two of us and if we get snowed in or out of an area then we enjoy the local cuisine and wait until travel is advisable.

A few years back Oprah and her friend traveled the U.S.A. in their Chevrolet and then filmed it for her audience. In doing so they showed travel as an unpleasurable adventure and unfortunately the way that many travel. I have never understood people that plan vacation around staying with family and friends beyond their own children and grandchildren anymore than I understand the idea that many have that travel means spending day after day in a vehicle and eating snack food from convenience stores or from coolers.

If I had to travel in that manner, I would hate it myself. Travel and vacation are meant to go hand in hand and in leisure. It is not a time to rush to get somewhere as that is how most of us spend our working weeks. I know you argue that if you did not rush the trip or eat that way or stay with friends or family then you would not be able to afford to travel. That too is my argument. That is the exact reason that we did not travel until our responsibilities were taken care of, financially, and then we spent the year saving for the next years’ trip.

Living in the Country and at convenient midway stops for travelers we had more than a few people stay at our home as if it were the Howard Johnson of the plains. Trust me, when people say that they will be delighted to see you it is no different than when you ask people how they are feeling. It simply is a polite way of treating a situation where the person being informed that you are coming does not have a way to get out of it so they might as well make it pleasant for both. No different than when you ask someone how they are feeling, you really do not want to hear about their stomach ailments for the past five years.

People think that if they tell their hosts that they will take them out to dinner or to not go to any trouble then they somehow have a free pass to stay as a free guest because it fits in with their trip. WRONG! Many times while you are making plans to stay as a free guest the host and hostess are thinking about how are they going to be able to cancel their own plans. Will they have time to air out the guest room? Where in the world will they possibly put all the things that they have stored in the guest room and now must find a place for it? This can be everything from husband’s clothing in the closet to furniture not being used to a current hobby or project materials. Not to mention that the home office is in the guest rooms of many homes and personal records are strung out there as well.

Just know that most people do look forward to seeing people that they do not see on a regular basis but only if first you ask them if they have plans or if it will be a bad time to visit. Then when you tell them not to go to any trouble then mean it. Meeting them at a local restaurant for lunch while you pick up the tab or even stopping for an hour or two visit is all together different than moving into their homes for an overnight or in some cases where you actually make it your vacation and spend a week with them or in their area. There is no such thing as staying with anyone and they will not go to any trouble. In many cases we all have people that stop to see us that we know would never do so unless they can get a free night of lodging. Just because we knew each other at one time does not mean we still have anything in common. Most hosts and hostess will spend time in their life away from their plans to accomodate your life. By doing so they cannot help but go to trouble for your needs.

I enjoyed most people that stayed with us over the years but as I age and become more incapable of entertaining it no longer is a high priority on my list. That does not mean that I still do not enjoy seeing people. Ask me if I will be in the area at such a such a time and if I have plans, and I will be the first one to welcome you to come stay, if I don’t. On the other hand if I do have plans and it isn’t a good time for you to visit. give me the option to say so, without you getting offended when I do. One of the advantages of getting older is that our homes stay fairly clean.

DO NOT plan your trip and then tell me that you are going to be so busy while back here that the only time you have is such a time on such and such a day and then expect me to stand on my head welcoming you. If you are going to be too busy then please leave me out of your plans this trip and include me the next time. For heavens sake do not tell me if you are too bored doing something else, that you will try to slip up to see me! Rude is rude!

This does not mean that you come and stay with us and then spend your time elsewhere visiting everyone else. It means if you cannot find time to visit this time, that you fine lodging elswhere as well. A phone call while you are in the area would be appreciated by most. Especially if everytime you visit us, you spend time on the phone talking to other people.

With all that having been said, I look forward to our trip out of the area and half away across country. People that fly everywhere miss out on so much of the great beauty of our Country. It changes with the seasons and offers something new each time we travel it by car. I particularly enjoy visiting the desert country this time of year, and seeing the beautiful desert blooms. I have said everything I can say on healthcare at this point and now it is time to shake the cabin fever!

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With only 6 of the top economists saying it had a negative effect. The gross national product rose to 3% as versus a 2.2% growth without the stimulus dollars. There was an overall 1% growth rate because of it.

Love or hate government the truth is: it was not commerce or religion that ended slavery but instead it was the government; it wasn’t commerce or religion that gave women the right to vote but rather the government; it was not commerce or religion that gave civil rights to women and minorities but rather the government; It is not commerce or religion that houses and cares for our elderly but rather government; it is not religion or commerce that feeds our hungry children but rather government; It will not be commerce or religion that makes our education start working again but it will be government; It was not religion or commerce that irradicated small pox or polio but rather the government. All legislation at the time was introduced and passed by what was known as liberals at the time of it’s passing.

In short, the government is, “we the people” and it will be government encouraged by us that makes the healthcare system work. It will not be commerce or religion that will pass it but rather they will fight it in the same way that they have fought all major change through out the history of our Great Nation, unless “We the People” encourage government to pass healthcare now. It will take the very same liberals that Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh rant against now, to do what is the right thing to do, just as our ancestors before us did with slavery, and civil rights and irradication of childhood diseases.

The unemployment issue will require the same initiative that our grandparents took during the Great Depression. Government can only help up to a point and then it is up to the unemployed to move to where the jobs are or show the initiative it takes to tighten the belt and start a new career or enterprise much in the same way our parents or grandparents did during the Great Depression.

Ultimately it has always been government inspired by “We the People”that has simply leveled the playing field so that all people could enjoy the “Democracy of this Great Nation conceived of Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal.” It is now up to us to determine if it will “Long endure”.

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Some how this does not surprise me at all. I have only known one other couple of my generation that started in their late twenties or early thirties to save money towards retirement, and then hung onto it instead of giving it to at least one if not both of their children. Our generation, in our favor, got cut off at the knees before anyone knew what happened. We were the first generation to find out about the lack of Company loyalty. Corporations began laying off our generation by the age of 45 to 55.

Our parents were pretty well guaranteed a job for life and then given the “gold watch” at retirement time. Once laid off we were considered too old to be rehired as we were replaceable by both the younger college graduates as well as so much of the factory and office jobs changed to machinery and tech.

There was the saying, “that it takes money to make money,” that caught many of our generation up into a debt they could never crawl out from underneath. The generation before us could put their money in shares and leave it there and then be rewarded by the dividends on retirement. Their pension funds were written in gold and untouchable. Neither was true with our generation.

That having been said, it no more excuses most of our generation than it explains the majority of people that got caught short at retirement time. After World War 2 homes were thrown up overnight with the GI bill making it possible for the majority of our parents to be able to buy homes. Some of our generation was given everything by parents that had come through the Great Depression with their parents. My generation in many cases never learned hardship. So many dropped out to drop acid, make love not war, and disappear across the Canadian border to avoid war.

At some point it was no longer popular to be a drop out and do drugs and they were no longer living in communes. These hippie children joined the work force at a much later date than others, Usually gaining a hand up from Mom and Dad. They then turned around and gave everything they had to their children, as they had learned from their parents, including the drug problem.

So many of my generation spent money like there was no tomorrow either on risky business adventures or in spoiling their children. Most of those children being the Generation X group, with some of them, who still depend on their parents for their livelyhood or to buy their houses or bail them out of trouble Just as their parents did them in many of the cases. Just as our generation, for those of us that earned every dollar we ever made, were called on to support our parents generation, who did not provide for themselves, because they paid adult children’s expenses, until they died. Generation X is now going to be the next generation that will be called on to support the babyboomers.

I see some justice in that when it is one generation after the next that refuses to let their children grow up or their children refuse to grow up, passing on the lack of responsibility. It never has nor will it ever be fair to the families that lived within their means and taught the next generation to do the same.

Statistically over 3 generations every family will have at least two acoholics, one drug addict and one spend beyond their means person in the make-up of an extended family that has refused to force those members into taking responsibility for their own choices. These scenarioes can vary with the number of spenders and drug addicts being variables of the alcoholics but all families have destructive tendencies. Example of that being:the first generation makes the fortune, the second generation holds it together or adds to it,and the third generations loses it all. These family short comings existed long before women left the home to work. Anyone of these problems will bankrupt the older generations as long as they refuse to let the adult child grow up. The person suffering in these families many times are not the alcoholic, drug addict, or out of control spender.

Instead it is the family of the enabler that holds the rest of the family hostage in favor of it’s weaker members. The one that forms the co-dependency that makes it possible for the siblings or parents to all contribute to their manipulation. I also do not know a single family that does not deal in one of these ways with an out of control person in their lives bankrupting the entire family.

What we as a Nation have failed the greatest at addressing is excusing poor behavior at the expense of good behavior. Why then do we expect to elect politicians that will spend money any differently that what has been going on in three generations now or to be free of the weaknesses that strike all of our families. The fact that only 43% of baby boomers will live on the government cuff actually surprises me as from my own experiences I would have thought that number much larger.

The only way that I can see that there is some justice for the responsible family members that deal in cash only, pay their own bills, and force the family member that is draining the family into treatment, or at least acknowledgement of their own poor character is to pass healthcare reform.

To think that the next generations, that do pay their bills, and teach their children to be responsible, are going to be able to withstand yearly raises of 30 to 40 % increases by the insurance Companies who currently have no regulations, is ludicrous. Even if we didn’t already have a 12 trillion dollar deficit. At some point, hopefully when it isn’t too late, Corporations and special interests will be seen as the enemy amongst us when it comes to the cause of corruption that does spread through the government. It is time to recognize the lies and to pass healthcare reform now.

Simply put, it is time to understand that it will be government, not capitalism or religion that will save the middle class. Passing healthcare is the right thing to do. Take courage and stand up by letting your elected officials know it is time to pass healthcare reform, now!

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Living in a State ,which could be one of many at this point, I am wondering which is more likely to happen this week. Will we see the sun first or will the Democrats have enough votes to pass health care? Both are vital for our own long term endurance.

Not to mention passing healthcare is the right thing to do. We all know that the number one objection of healthcare is special interests with Republican spokesmen and if we don’t then we should, know that. Do you really think the same people that created the 8 trillion dollar deficits are now screaming we can’t afford healthcare simply because they did a 360 degree turn around when the Democrats got control? They went from spending in the interests of big business and now they are concern about the American voter? I know better and so do you!

Most people understand that the flooding going on in their States, will continue if the Sun fails to come out and the rains continue but I doubt that the same number of people are aware of how important it is to stop the GOP’s drive to defeat healthcare.

We are going into the final week of both. In areas where the rain continues the floods are certain to remain or to start. In areas where the Republicans continue to fight healthcare the drain will continue, on the pockets of the middle class. With another 10 million people projected to lose health care, without our doing something about it, the Republicans are opening the flood gates against the future of the middle class.

If we the people do not contact our own representatives in Washington NOW to pass healthcare reform, then we have no right to complain later, when we find out that the truth has always been that they are more driven by special interests and insurance companies, than they are by the people they are elected to protect.

Anyone that is unaware of who their own representatives in Congress and the Senate are only needs to type in your State’s name followed by United State Senate or Congress in the search engine and then go directly to thier own sites where they can all be contacted by e-mail and simply say, “Pass Healthcare Now!”

All things that require change starts with the first initial step, and it is either now or never. Even with out healthcare it is costing all of us 2.3 trillion dollars a year before the ten million others that are projected to lose healthcare are added to the system.

As far as the sun is concerned it is bound to appear any day now for most of us, and Thank God when it does! Unfortunately if healthcare is defeated it will be years before it is introduced again. It is now or never for healthcare.

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On your way out. We finally have a chance folks to get rid of an old bag of wind. Rush Limbaugh has made a promise that if healthcare goes through he is moving to Costa Rica. It would be great if he would take a few more with him but to get rid of someone that is constantly quoted in areas of the Country,as well as the foolish on the inter-net, as being gospel, it is almost like Spring has arrived. Lets urge our representatives in Washington to pass the healthcare reform now, to make sure he gets his wish.

Costa Rica has free health care no different from Canada and France so I can’t see it lived out on a better person than dear old Rush. Of coarse the kind thing to do would to be make sure the realtors of Costa Rica would be warned against selling him property near any living humans. I’d love to see old Rush baking in the sun with nothing more than his own thoughts to live with. But then again, maybe a home in the hot sweaty jungle where the mosquitoes bite back would be more fitting of justice for Dear old Rush. Maybe he can get Glen Beck a place next to him, if it proves too overwhelming for him to have to live with himself.

Passing healthcare now is a must anyway, if we are ever going to get the change in healthcare that we need, but doesn’t getting rid of Rush Limbaugh just make passing it that much more desirable? Sadly though since he is not what knowledgeable people would refer to as a man free from stretching truth, the question is: would he go or is it just more hot wind? We won’t know unless we urge our elected representatives to pass Healthcare now.

Have a nice day while I day dream about just what America without old Rush not being quoted by the gullible would look and feel like. Hell I’ll even raise the first dollar to send him on his “bon voyage!”

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This is it folks. Either you voted for OBama because you wanted change, improvement in education and healthcare or you simply voted for him because you were upset with Bush. Which is it? It is now or never when it comes to healthcare. If we do not put pressure on our own Senators and Congressmen now to pass healthcare then be content to wait at least another ten years with insurance companies raising your premiums as much as 40% each year and giving you less coverage in the process.

As it was OBama was not in office for 6 months when all the propaganda and lies started against him. Certainly you do not believe in 6 months time one person, with out the lies, could have made such an upset in our Country do you? The same Country where we set back and let the Republicans spend 8 trillion dollars of our money that created the mess that we are in, and no one said anything?

For those of you that are upset because he tackled healthcare before jobs let me remind you as to why it was necessary. Healthcare was and has proven to be the biggest bone of contention. The Democrats minus the 14 hold outs are jeopardizing their very own futures in order to get healthcare through to the people in need. If you do not believe that then just look at the millions of dollars being spent on ads by the insurance companies and special interest groups that are scaring you to death if your representatives in Washington pass healthcare through. Had OBama waited to do healthcare he would not of had the early momentum that each new president gets to get through to the point that he has.

This is time to use your common sense and discount the propaganda. The best way to determine that it was lies was the total lack of respect that was being shown to the office itself before OBama was even close to having 8 months under his belt, as president. 2.3 trillion dollars is being spent now, out of our pockets, each year in both premium costs and taxes for far fewer people that do not have healthcare coverage and it is only going to get worse as it approaches the mark of 18 million people being uninsured. You will feel it come directly out of your pocket each time you need to visit the Doctors office, have surgery or you loved one gets sick if healthcare is not passed, in much more direct way than you are feeling it now. Right now without healthcare that is a guarantee!

I don’t like governments past history of operations either. At least this administration is giving auditors the insentive to find the fraud and greed by paying them only if and where they find it. This is something brand new for government. This is the change that we all voted for when OBama and the Democrats ran for office. Those that have shamed themselves by holding out to get their own religious needs met over what they were elected for or are showing the same scandal that haunts Washington, is not what healthcare is all about.

When was the last time that Insurance Companies or special interests ever governed themselves? Have you ever had to fight with them to pay a claim or gone in to a hospital thinking you had coverage only to find that you had been refused? These are the people that you are placing all your faith in over the person that we elected.

OBama has been doing his job, now we either support him, by putting pressure on our electives or we throw him and all of his efforts for us, not him, after all he has his own Dr. going everywhere with him, under the bus. Are you going to sit back and show through your own behavior that you are mad as hell at OBama for doing what he was elected to do or are you going to support his efforts. It truly is, now or never! It’s up to us to now take responsibility to do our part to get it through so that Obama and the Democrats and the few Republicans that do care about jobs, can move ahead with unemployment, at long last!

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Have you heard about the restaurant in New York as well as other places, that are experimenting with making cheese out of mother’s breast milk? If that is not a Yuck I don’t know what it is.

Also have you noticed how much fatter babies are that breast feed? We hear so much about it being healthier to breast feed, but if children develope their fat cells by the age of two and they appear to be much heavier than bottle fed babies could that be having an effect on the greater levels of obesity? Is anyone other than the AMA (American medical Ass.) in charge of providing nutritional or medical theory? Isn’t that the fox watching the hen House?

In 1942 the USDA established the 7 basic food groups which changed to 4 basic food groups in 1955. With some moderation then it became the 5 basic food groups plus 1 (which was fats). Finally then in 2005 the USDA has settled on the 5 basic food groups. Wow what effect does this have on the possible confusion of one generation of mothers teaching daughters nutrition and diet?

Maybe it isn’t all McDonalds. For years the nutritional levels set and made mandatory by the government the 3 servings of milk with 6 servings of vegetable etc. etc. was the bible of nutrition. It has just been recently that any actual studies were done on it and it has come out as one of the more unhealthy diets a person can eat as it leads to people eating much more than their bodies require. Americans, as a rule, regardless of what they eat, eat more in one meal than what many of the world eat all day. Not to mention that we are the most reliant on transportation.

If we had grown up eating rice instead of bread and potatoes like the Japanese and the Chinese as well as other Asian Nations have, would we be less obese? My guess is that the American diet always has been bad as the Asians become more able to eat Western style their health also worsens.

I know people all over the World really enjoy raw oysters and sushi but count me out on that one, although I have eaten both. I cannot enjoy tartar either, as the French do. I won’t eat bird nest soup, fried grasshoppers, cat and dog as both the Chinese and American Indians have done for generations either. Nor could I do as the Africans do and eat monkey. I understand it is a cultural difference and what we find to be normal growing up. I know the hotdog is made of disgusting things as well as they find rodent hair and droppings in it but NEVER will I be able to disguise my taste buds to eat cheese made from women’s breast milk. Sometimes YUCK just says it all.

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If you read my previous blog I would like to stress that we all like a bargain and I am no different than anyone else. I am simply against them when it comes to a birthday or Christmas gift. For instance to buy a day old birthday cake for someone’s birthday simply because you get a bargain on it is very tacky. To buy a book from the book bend because it is cheap and looks good but has nothing to do with the interests of the person you are giving it to for Christmas, is just plain cheap. To regift, unless it is being done in deliberate humor and was given in the same light, is always tacky.

No one is more turned off than I am by the person that deliberately buys Gucci when all they can really afford is Payless. The other being people that deliberately knowingly buy gucci rip offs just because they want to establish an image. I think I speak for all of us when we say if it is something that the receiver genuinely enjoys and you get it from Sam’s Club rather than a High End store that is fine with me. Most gifts that do come from the heart are appreciated.

I can for instance, because I am interested in collecting antiques as is my oldest daughter, gift her with a bargain for her birthday if it is a piece that she has been hunting for and has not been able to find. On the other hand to use my other daughter’s birthday to give her antiques is really tacky, as it is my interest but not her’s at all.

Some people have to have the name brand, designer item and if you have that kind of person on your shopping list then I would recommend that you not buy then at Payless or Sam’s Club. Believe me, you cannot take off the tag and apply another and think that they do not know the difference. There is something that they see that the rest of us don’t and they do know the difference. I would not have a problem if that is the case, if you then bought something that she/he would like as they have expressed what they would like, from that store, and it was on sale.

People like to pat themselves on the back and feel superior than thou, by making statements like,”Christmas has gotten so materialistic”, or “People miss the whole point of Christmas by buying gifts.” In my experience these are usually the same people that are not going to buy gifts for anyone anyway. They simply try to take the moral high road to justify their own lack of making the effort to give someone else their special due by actually shopping for them and lifting the spirit of loved ones regardless of the occasion. Those of you that never give as well as those that only give because they feel as though they are being embarrassed into doing so are easilly recognized by those of us that do enjoy a generous nature.

Much in the same way the person that pretends to enjoy giving and deliberately spends time gifting only to ask for it all back in time, labor, or larger gifts are obvious to those of us that have no strings attached, when we give. I won’t give away our secrets entirely when it comes to recognizing this type of person, but suffice it to say, not always, but as a rule, if we really think about it, the gift we receive may be disguised into something that we might enjoy but it has a lot more to do with saying, “See me” this is about me.

There are always clues as to why this type of person is gifting us. I have found that the sooner we nip the gifting in the bud, the sooner their ire raises and the retaliation begins. They will always disguise it to another person as being hurt when in truth they are very angry as they have always used their gifts to control or manipulate others. This type of person is not giving a gift but rather giving a present. A gift is something we give because it gives us joy to give and we have no expectations of anything in return. A present is given, on the other hand, because the person giving it expects something in return for giving it to you.

A person that really enjoys giving will many times give annoymously in that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. This is the person in the group or family that helps out even when it costs them time or money. This is the person that no one even knows what they are doing to gift or help out in the group or family until the receiver starts back stabbing them. They then sometimes will explain themselves, simply to defend the reason they have knowledge of the person doing the talking.

It almost always is the receiver that begins the debate as once they get stronger or are not getting what they want by manipulating the person they move onto the one that they can more likely get what they want. In otherwords, they have worn out their welcome.

I hope this explains then that what a person pays for a gift that comes from the heart and is about the receivers’ interests and wants never needs to have the price divulged. To do so is tacky. However if you are faking it more times than not, people use to giving can see through it. I can’t wait to find my next bargain but it won’t be given as a gift to anyone that does not share my interests in it. Bargains are a true pleasure for those of us that really enjoy getting them for ourselves as well as not using them to control others! Have fun shopping but always remember cash only as well as expenses and savings first!

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When I was raising teenagers I muttered this phrase on many occasions. I would do or not do or buy something that was not according to what my children wanted or needed. Many times as a family, we would take each other for granted and assume our behavior would meet with approval without first discussing the matter with each other, or they would tell me to tell Dad or my husband would tell me to tell the girls and they would get upset and the phrase would come out of my mouth,”Tell your children or tell your Dad as I am not a mind reader.” The other one that comes to my mind as a mother is, “Tell the girls yourself or tell Dad yourself.”

Over the years we have all grown up but I do believe the inability in families to communicate what they want or need still is the major reason for hurt feelings or misunderstandings that can and does blow up into much worse situations. As our girls aged they use to laugh about the petty or minor things my husband and I would argue over and looking back, in hind sight we could also find the arguments to be humorous, as well. Rarely do any of us argue over the things that really bother us. Most of our arguments were as a result of the fact that my feelings were hurt because my husband in my estimation could not read my mind. At the time though, I simply thought he was insensitive, It took years before I realized what role I played in my own upset.

As a child I remember many of our Christmas Eve’s in my parents’ home being a disaster. My Father would ask my mother what she wanted for Christmas and she would always tell him. “If I have to tell you what I want then it won’t be romantic so get me what you think I would want.” It never was what she wanted and there would be hell to pay with her screaming and crying because it wasn’t what she wanted. It reached the point that I don’t think any of us kids even wanted a gift just as long as Dad would buy Mom what she wanted. Anyway I remember, that I felt that way.

So why is it then that we fall into the habit of insisting that members of our own families, who we love dearly, read our minds? It took me years of hurt feelings before it dawned on me that I was only hurting my own feelings by being noble and saying that it was o.k. just as long as you are here I will be happy. For the most part it was true but then they had lives and moved distances and were not always able to make it home but I still remained noble. I would always make sure to do thoughtful things for others and then get my own feelings hurt because they would not return the same favor for me.

I don’t need the “romantic” thing anymore, as all I needed or wanted was to be heard or have my feelings considered. I finally realized that when I was being noble people were taking me at my word and doing nothing. My girls,husband, and grandkids all tell each other what we would like to have for birthdays and Christmas and yes it may take the surprise element or the romantic element out of it but it also ends the disappointment and the expectations or assumptions that others think or feel like we do.

We all know for a fact by doing it this way, that none of us are mind readers. Try it sometime as you will be amazed at how many arguments or hurt feelings it does spare. In cases when it comes to clothing or grandchildren ever changing tech wants then we just give each other cash or the entire family goes to the store while the grand children pick it out. We always reserve a few smaller surprises but as my grandson says, “Thats o.k. Grandma as if it is something we do not want, we just take it back.”

So many people reach the point of regifting to the point they end up giving a gift back to someone that they originally received it from without being aware of it. Others pride themselves on the fact that they are sooooo good at knowing what people want that they do not even have to ask the person they are buying the gift for. Worse yet when someone else asked them what they wanted they were too shy to speak up so left the person giving the gift in the position that they had to guess or the other possibilty are the many people that are bargain shoppers.

You then are the one that I write this for as a gentle reminder. I had a brother-in-law buying me books that were so boring that I’m sure no one else ever read them, so they were most likely always a bargain. Those gifts that get regifted are done so for a reason. If it is what no body wants or needs, then trust me. you or no one else are getting a bargain, even when it is free. We should not be so materialistic that a rotten gift destroys our birthday or Christmas celebration, but let’s face it, my mother wasn’t the only person that reacted poorly when she got what she didn’t want.

I hope this answers the question that some of you might of had, as to why my birthdays go like clock work and I spend the day in the manner that I most enjoy. I simply realized that my loved ones were no more a mind reader than I was and started telling them what I wanted. In the past I would say something like, just your company or a nice card would be fine.

No more! Now my day is as important as everyone elses is and it is amazing at how much more loved, I feel. I finally do feel as though I am being heard and always had been before, but I expected people to ignor me when I said I wanted nothing and surprise me anyway. When they did as I asked them to, then my feelings got hurt and little did I know that I was the one that was destroying the romance and getting hurt because they did hear what I said and reacted accordingly, as they could not read my mind any better than I could read theirs. This is not to be mistaken for the people in our lives who buy gifts and it cost us ten times more when we accept them than if we tell them, “please no gifts” and truly mean it. Not all gifts are welcomed and it is our place to make the difference clear.

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