Don’t Mess with Mister In-Between

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about how and why things happen. I know, it is very unlike me to consider something other than just how funny situations are, but I do consider things other than the ridiculous sometimes. I have a tendency to behave in the same manner as people around me. If I am surrounded by negative people…. I’m negative. If I’m surrounded by positive-thinking people…I’m positive. Stupid really, right? I should just be myself. But it’s hard. We live in a world where people strive for acceptance, and being accepted means that you act “normally.” And if the norm is negative then behaving negatively is normal, then if you are positive, people think you are nuts.

Honestly, I don’t like being negative, which in itself is a negative statement. There is so much natural negativity in this world. Natural disasters, War, Plane Crashes, senseless criminal acts etc, I’m tired of it. (I HATE IT, ooooops, that’s negative.) I’ve made a conscious effort, for the past few years, to try to behave in a more positive manner. And let me tell you, it can piss people off.

People who thrive on negative energy do not like the people who try to thwart them. And not that I come in like some kind of robotic ray of sunshine, but I just try to offer an alternative. As I said, it’s hard, I’m not always successful and I am not always Positive Polly, but I try to be more positive than negative and hope that it all works out in the end.

For example, I work with many types of people- there are people that thrive on drama and negativity, and then there are some positive people- but mainly, it’s a pretty cynical bunch. There is one gentleman who really doesn’t fit in. He doesn’t work very hard, he constantly pushes his work off on other people, he takes a nap in his car every day from 12 to 1, he never says “good morning” or “good night” he doesn’t attend company meetings, he just is not a team player and does his own “thing.” And sadly, he’s been allowed to continue this behavior for some unknown reason. (He also makes disgusting snarfing noises and clips his fingernails at his desk.) Oh, I’m not being negative- those are the facts. It was a colleague’s birthday and this colleague sent me an instant message saying that the gentleman mentioned above, was the only person who didn’t wish her a happy birthday. She was absolutely insulted by this turn of events! I asked her why did it matter to her whether or not this person, who she, admittedly, hates, did not wish her a happy birthday? She couldn’t really answer me as to why it mattered. And I told her that she might want to consider concentrating on the people who DID wish her a happy birthday and to ignore the ones who didn’t. But this was not what my colleague was after with her IM- she wanted me to tell her what a jerk he was for not wishing her a happy birthday.

Have you ever been friends with someone who is constantly negative? It is truly exhausting. And most of the people I know who are negative- thrive on that drama and negative energy. Often, they will never actually confront the problem or the thing that is upsetting them. They do not seek resolution. They just prefer to complain about it.

Several years ago, I worked with a woman who did nothing but complain about her mother. What a busy-body she was and how she really hated her and resented her interference. Finally, one day, I could not take it anymore. I turned to the woman and said “Someday, your mother won’t be here anymore and you may regret those words.” And she said “Good, I can’t wait for the day that she’s not here anymore! I can’t wait for the day when she stops bugging me!” I lost my mother when I was 19 and I would give anything to just have one more moment with her. I would give anything to have her yell at me or to have her butting into my business right now. And here was this woman who wished her mother away. It made me very, very sad.

Here’s another good example, many years ago, I was getting lunch with a friend, and it was Good Friday. The cashier at the shop gave my friend her change and said “Happy Easter.” My friend happens to be Jewish- thus would not be celebrating Easter. She didn’t say “Oh thanks, but I’m Jewish.” Or even just “Thanks” without explanation. Instead she turned to me and spat “I really HATE people who wish me Happy Easter!!!” I was a little astonished, and turned to her and said “Really? You really HATE people who wish you a Happy Easter? You HATE them?” And she replied “But I’m Jewish!!!” And I said “Could you not just look at it like they were wishing you a good day or wishing you happiness?” And my friend said “No, I can’t. She shouldn’t ASSUME that I celebrate Easter!” And I said, “Should she assume that no one celebrates Easter and completely stop wishing people well?” It can really be so painful.
Why do I try to be positive? There are a few reasons. Firstly, scowling gives you wrinkles. Secondly, as I said there is so much negativity in the world naturally- why create more? Thirdly, being positive costs nothing- in a strapped economy- there isn’t much you can say that about. Fourthly, the way that you behave and treat people is YOUR karma. With so much swirling crap in the air, why make yourself a bigger target?

Thinking positively about my attempt at positive attitude, has lead me to consider other things. Like why things happen- are circumstances a result of karma or are you simply given what is needed?
For example, my husband lost his job two years ago. It was not performance-based, it was a malicious act of a greedy person who wanted more for himself. A person who wanted to take Tony’s (and his partner Mike’s – not sexual partner or life partner… work partner- get your minds out of the gutter, people.) hard work and ideas and claim it for himself. Did Tony earn this Karma? I don’t believe so. Anyone who knows Tony, knows that he’s pretty easy going, and very likeable and definitely not a negative thinker, so I cannot believe that Tony “earned it?” Maybe we needed it? Maybe we needed to struggle to grow to appreciate all that we have. Could Karma or God or whatever work in such an individual level? Ironically, the man that fired Tony and Mike is now accepting an innovation award for the technology Tony and Mike invented. Maybe Karma will slap his heiney soon!

Another infuriating and painful example, the people who protest in God’s name at the funerals of gay soldiers. Do they really think that spewing hatred is God’s work? Or the people that protest Gay Marriage? Do they think that their angry words and protest will make homosexuality cease to exist? (Newsflash: It won’t.) And for my money, I wouldn’t want homosexuality to cease to exist. I LOVE MY GAYS!!! They are all rays of sunshine in my world.

(My main gay, Andrew- where would I be without him? He entertains me so. Where would I be without his daily ass-tackles at my desk at work? It’s so wholly inappropriate and ridiculous- and I love it. He does splits for me and laments to me that he’s gaining weight in his feet. He’s a delight, he’s my poodle and I wouldn’t want to live him. Or without my friend Bill! He’s so fabulous! Or my friend Sue, who is one of the kindest and smartest people I’ve ever known. Even Briscoe, my own dog, is a practicing homosexual Pit Bull. He’s out and proud and I love him.)

Furthermore- why do they even care? Why can’t people let people live their lives and be happy? What give people the cojones to believe that they can define love or what makes a family? What gives them the right to judge what’s right or perfect or normal? What the hell is “normal” anyway?? Being the same as everyone else? Who would want to be that?

So here I sit on my rickety raft… trying to be positive in a sea of negativity. It’s difficult and it’s easy to be negative about the people who are negative. I just hope that at some point these negative people will understand that it isn’t that difficult to see the good in people or to look on the bright side of most situations. Most of us are lucky enough to be surrounded by family and / or friends. Most of us are in good health and are so fortunate to be so. Not that I shit clouds and rainbows, but I like to appreciate the good things I have and favor them over the bad.

As the old song goes:
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

I’ll step off my soap box now. And I apologize that this wasn’t the light, ridiculous banter that I usually throw out there. But look at it this way, I offered you something from my heart that is a little different than you might have been expecting. Or you could just HATE me for this serious-topic’d blog… your choice.

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3 Responses to “Don’t Mess with Mister In-Between”

  1. Beth Forbush Says:

    Kristin… LOVE IT! As you may remember, I hardly EVER was influenced by those around me ( well, maybe temps who couldn’t work the mouse – THAT WE HAD TO PAY FOR ANYWAY) ahhh but I digress… being different was/is a GIFT! I am in total agreement with you on every level! There is ALWAYS an choice of how to handle anything and how we handle the everyday stuff comes back to us a thousand fold – eventually! I have lived long enough already, to see things I never thought I would. We get what we put out! Make our own good luck, plot our own course. A positive attitude makes the day merrier! Science proves it – happy people live longer healthier lives. It is hard somedays, easier to wallow in self pity, but self pity doesn’t help, only prolongs the agony. I love you Kristin and truly enjoyed your journey, carrying your positive back pack, don’t forget, you never know what you’ll (or share with others)need in that pack. ❤

  2. Meg Casey Says:

    Well said Kristin. Thank goodness for you and your positivity (as well as your silliness and joy). I for one welcome you on this kind of soap box 😉

  3. mamahoot Says:

    “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind” ~Dr. Seuss

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