Becky Says...

June 2002

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June 10

I gave myself plenty of time this morning, but was still running tight on time when I left. I keep forgetting this is Chapel Hill in the summertime, when on any given day the likelihood of any given street being torn partway up for something to be repaired is great. Yes, there was street work going on. Yes, I was later than I planned getting to the law firm. Lateness aside, I got a lot done at work, and it went well.

I came home to find that the maintenance people had been in to replace the smoke detector that got flooded last month. In doing so, they unleashed some water leftover from that drainage hose rupture, and had to act quickly to catch the drips. Without looking into cabinets, they could plainly see two containers they could put under the drip: a casserole dish (clean, in the dishdrainer) and a dishpan. You don't really need me to tell you they chose the casserole dish, now do you?

And that was Monday in Beckyland.

June 9

A woman who was part of my life for a while prompted comments I made a few months ago about misdirected anger. She is justifiably angry at someone in her life, and this has been the case for a long, long time. Unfortunately, her way of dealing with it is not a good one. Instead of confronting the person at whom she has long been angry, she strikes out at nearly everyone else she knows.

There is no pleasing this woman. If you do what you think is right by her, she gripes that you didn't do it fast enough, or weren't smiling, or pick a reason. She wants more. If you do something slightly differently from the way she does it, she thinks you are being arrogant. If you disagree with her, you are automatically wrong. That last is the short version of why she is no longer part of my life.

Interestingly, these are the exact same complaints she would lodge against the person at whom her anger should be directed and dealt with. That person has spent a lifetime making the woman feel inferior. Which she isn't, by others' standards. She is, to herself, of course.

Why she crops up in my thoughts from time to time is rather simple to answer. Our paths still cross. We have mutual acquaintances. I do avoid the woman when that's possible.

Even though she was no longer part of my life, there was something in me that wanted to figure out a little bit more; to figure out what it was about her reaction to the world around her that bothered me so much. Then I realized something. She's not any better than a common thief. No, she can't be jailed for her acts of thievery. What she steals has no tangible value, yet it's priceless.

She steals joy.

Text copyright 2000-2002 Becky