Sunday, January 4, 2009

FED UP with Every Man for Himself Syndrome

Seriously. Mandy is so right, there has been a lot going on lately, so much so that both my journal entries and this blog are getting the short end of the stick.

Not so today, nothing like a little Every Man for Himself Syndrome to get me all fired up and ready to say something about it. I've had two not so rewarding conversations today, one with a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do parent who believes very strongly in accountability as it applies to other people's children, but, eh, not so much as it applies to his own offspring. The other conversation (as fate would always have it) with our most popular Mr. A, who is always a delightful conversationalist as long as pretty much everything is going his way.

After my disappointment had worn off over the complete and utter waste of the 30 minutes of futility that I wasted on Mr. Crappy-but-oh-so-well-meaning parent, I get a small breather and (like a lamb to the slaughter)forge right into another dissatisfying verbal exercise but with a sprinkling of paranoid delusion as a chaser.

The first guy, father of one of my daughter's friends, believes that somehow his daughter's current possession of Dominique's $300 coat adequately makes up for the fact that his daughter has failed to retrieve her own $80 coat from friends of the two girls, who still probably wear her coat to this day. The fact that Dominique does not have his daughter's coat, nor has she had it at any time in the past 9 months, and that his princess has seen it on another girl's body multiple times and failed to retrieve it means nothing to him. All he knows (or is capable of processing at this time) is that Dom had it at one time and that his daughter doesn't currently have it. All attempts at reasoning with him, or even bringing him up to a common level of communication, were exercises in complete and utter futility. I could have shucked my eyeballs with an oyster spoon and felt more successful. I did offer to pay for half of the replacement value of his daughter's coat and he so graciously offered to 'divide the baby' (biblically speaking of course) and give me back half of Dom's coat. (thank goodness he offered while I had only HALFWAY shucked my eyeballs)

Anyway, *sigh*, on to number two. My attempt at making sure that my line of communication regarding visitation was still reasonably open. I call Mr. A; say hey Mr. A, I just want to make sure that we are on the same page here, I've gone over December's calendar and it looks like we are on track for you for this coming weekend, does this sound right? ...*grumble grumble grumble*... I am in bed, *grumble, grumble*.... (did I mention it is 5 pm?) I say, well can you go look at a calendar? NO... *grumble, grumble*... at this point some rude and unnecessary things are said to me about my fears of messing up my weekends with my boyfriend, now his weekends are all messed up, blah, blah, blah, I say, no - I just want to make sure we are on the same page.... Anyway, long story short he calls back in 20 seconds (after checking his calendar) and very sweetly says, yes, you are right, this coming weekend is mine. I say, wow, were all of those rude things that you said really necessary? (why do I have to open my mouth? I should have just accepted the gift of acquiescence at face value and left it alone) He goes off on a 'what-are-you-talking-about-rude-are-you-recording-this' tirade and then *click*. End of conversation.

And so I am left asking myself, as I do more and more lately, what ever happened to the 'do the right thing' principle? Seriously, it seems that the world is increasingly filled with people who've just thrown integrity out the window and adopted the motto of do the right thing, but only if there is something to be gained from it. I've tried to hold myself to the golden rule standard as much as possible throughout my adult life, and I suffer from a very healthy sense of guilt when I do not. (I know Mandy can relate to this because she can't even sleep if she has an unpaid fine at the library) I admit that I am not always successful, but I refuse to adopt the screw or be screwed attitude that is growing all around us at an alarming rate.

I am a strong believer in both Karma and a higher power and I am resolved to continue to try to teach my children that the best course of action is to choose according to your conscience, even when you have nothing to gain or even something to lose. Especially when some of their closest role models chose otherwise. At times, especially now, I feel like I am fighting an uphill battle in a blizzard with an picnic knife instead of a sword, but that is what we are required to do when we sign on as parents, right? As hard as it is to deal with the drivel of those who are small-minded, paranoid, and probably have to delude themselves at the ultimate cost of eventually losing who they are to their unnatural crusades for personal gain, I will not compromise my integrity for my own personal gain. I won't. I won't. I won't.
(I know, that was a rant)

Life is so damn good and so damn rewarding and so damn fulfilling when you just DO THE RIGHT THING.

OK, time for some tea.