Sunday, September 04, 2005

Heavy Hearts

I have a dear friend with a heavy heart this day. It breaks my heart to know that I have contributed to that heaviness. I have not "trespassed against" her. But my troubles have come, and will come, to be her troubles. For that I am deeply sorry.

What I am not sorry for is being who I am. Simply put, if you don't want to know the answer, do not ask me the question. I am not one to blow sunshine up your ass. If you want the sun to shine there.... you need to find someone else to talk to.

I'm not Southern either. I have found they speak a different language in the south. They have a code... a way of insulting without you knowing. A way of criticizing without you seeing the knife heading your way. It works well for them. They understand the code. It doesn't work well when they speak to those of us not from the south.

For quite some time I have butted heads with someone from the south. I would make a statement... not only was I not speaking to or about her, but I wasn't even thinking about her when I spoke. Then BAM! I'm down on the mat. She is irate. How dare I? What do I know of her life? How can I possibly criticize her?? WTF???? I would go over my words.... what DID I say? I would ask others.... Damned if they knew either.

Last night another southern woman took umbruge at a simple word, spoken in sincerity. It wasn't spoken by me...but by a true Northerner. With Scicilian blood running through her veins to boot! One of my southern friends said he could see how it was taken other than intended. It was eye opening to me. I never would have taken it that way. I usually have just enough Southern in me to keep me out of truly hot water.... but I didn't see this one.

My Northern friend and I are a lot alike. We are so different in many ways, unlikely friends really. But what you see is what you get. "What is wrong?" will be answered. And no, you may not like the answer. But an answer is what you'll get.

Yes. I know I need to 'work on that'. But I'm not sure why. Why let it seethe? Why let a wound fester? I HAVE kept my tongue. I HAVE just 'let it go'. But I now see that in doing so gave approval. It let others believe that all was fine and dandy. That decision made were done so WITH my approval. Keeping silent was seen as agreement, not dissent.

There are those who do not like dissent or confrontation. They are very very uncomfortable. There are those who simply cannot understand why someone sees things differently. For most of my life, I was one of those people. Slowly I have come to accept that others see things differently. That reasonable people can disagree. I have also come to a place where I can disagree, state it and still be friends. My Scilian friend and I ARE friends. We call each other a butthead when we are being buttheads. Her definition of a "decent Democrat" to vote for is vastly different than mine. But I'd knock back a lemon drop with her any time, any day.

My best friends will tell me when I'm being an idiot, overreacting, being mean, being a butthead and that those pants make my ass look huge. Of course it stings to be told these things. But when I hear them...from them...

I know I must listen.

5 comments:

Sue said...

Hey, Nancy...them are some rich comments.

Rich with truth.

Ciao, amica.

LivingWilde said...

So I don't think I know any of the ppl you're talking about... Can't imagine it's E... But as a Southerner, let me just say, we're not all bitches. (Not that you implied that we are.) We are in fact GOOD at the underhanded slight... but that said, if you're friends with someone particularly adept at that game, maybe she's not worth being friends with? Sorry it's got you down. :-(

Nancy D. said...

E is my interpreter! LOL! When I realized it might be interpretation issue, she thought I just might be onto something.

And J told me that one of them isn't REALLY from the south. It's so hard to keep track from out here in California.... ;)

LivingWilde said...

LOL... We southerners are funny about what does and doesn't count as "the south"... For example... Florida. You'd think it was the south. But no. The comment on Florida is, "the further north you go, the further south you are." 'Tis true!

Sarah Lena said...

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/06/katrina.safehaven/index.html

There's a lot we do wrong here in the south, but we understand some things. :)

I know you'd be there, Nancy D, if you could.