The original title of this post was “fuck you, you fucking fuck.” I understand that that phrase shows a stunning lack of original vocabulary even as it perfectly captures how I felt when I realized that there was a writing event that I was excluded from. It wasn’t on purpose, and it’s an interesting situation if you look at the bigger picture, but let’s just say the title of said event was something like “Creative Writing Reading by Independent Clauses who live in Independentclauseville,” and no one invited me to even show up in the audience, much less read.
I realize I sound 16 when I write this, but the older I am, the more I realize that a lot of social and professional interactions are governed by the same rules that held true in high school. Don’t associate with the less cool one, it will make you less cool in turn. But let’s also talk about not being 16.
I had a long talk with my sister (not Cougar), who has a 16-year-old daughter. (Cougar once had a 16-yr-old, but Cubby Clause is now a grown woman, almost as old as her aged auntie. Actually the 16-year-old is irrelevant to this conversation too, as she is pretty astute. That’s a pretty crappy transition, all told. Sorry about that.) What is relevant is that Third Sister is taking a class on “resiliency training.” When I asked her what that was, she said it was about understanding other people’s motivations, not getting caught up in “iceberg issues,” and being more measured in our responses.
As a project manager, back in the day, and in customer service before that, I learned to react, mask, and then talk. This is why I have this blog. This blog is my reasonably unfiltered reaction. My professional face is more measured. So it’s okay to use ten curse words to a trusted friend to describe the person who wronged you, but calm down before you address the person who wronged you. React, redact, respond.
Blog post in anger, yes. Email in anger, never. Third Sister is glad to be reminded of iceberg issues, especially because she has a 16-yr-old at home. We talked about finding perspective. And, when I was finally invited by a second party to come and listen to a “Creative Writing Reading of Independent Clauses in Independentclauseville” I accepted without comment. Well, without comment to the people involved.
Can you hold your tongue?
Update: Facebook is good for something. I accepted the invitation to the event from the second party, and the organizer just emailed me and asked me if I wanted to read. Dangerous levels of ire receding.