It may get hairy…

Archive for the ‘Love?’ Category

I am not responsible for your newsfeed

I’ve recently had a ‘Facebook purge.’ This is not something I’m particularly good at, for two reasons. Firstly, I don’t like upsetting people, despite having a temper and occasionally going on an offensive rampage; I really don’t like the idea that what I say or do, could hurt someone. Secondly, I like to keep in touch with people from my past and I love Facebook for that specific reason.

Most would think my purge was due to the Parisian crisis and the ‘anti-refugee’ nonsense that is spreading through most of our newsfeeds. In truth, I was hurt a few days prior by someone, whom I had considered a friend. She posted a rather nasty and hurtful article about parents ‘arrogantly’ posting photos of their children.*

Now, I’m no fool. I don’t expect everyone to enjoy the constant stream of baby photos, to like every one of them or even to give to give them a second glance. What I do expect, however, is for my ‘friends’ to show a modicum of respect and intelligence.

Who the fuck are you to insist that I stop posting photos of my son, on my Facebook profile, because you don’t want children? Well, whoop for you. My posts in no way suggest that you should jump on the breeding bandwagon. In fact, by the sounds of it, you probably shouldn’t. I post stuff about my child, on my newsfeed, for my enjoyment, not yours.

Facebook has these fancy features, called ‘hiding,’ ‘unfollowing,’ ‘blocking’ and ‘unfriending.’ It may be hard for you to understand, but:

I am not responsible for your newsfeed and I do not expect you to be responsible for mine.

I have often been annoyed by people’s incessant posts of their children (21 photos showing a child holding a dead bird) or photos of their pets’ poop and so I have simply unfollowed them. Facebook has made it really simple for me to decide what appears on my newsfeed and so I choose to use these features – why is it so hard for you to do the same?

If you don’t like something that I post then hide it, unfollow me, block me or unfriend me. Frankly, I don’t care either way. It’s been a long time since those actions offended me. I understand that you’re not keen on your newsfeed being filled with photos of children, but understand that, whilst I have other aspects of life that interest me and I don’t define my personality by motherhood, nothing is more important to me than my son. My partner and my child are my everything and I love posting about them.

I post for other reasons – I have family and friends in South Africa that love to see photos of my son’s development and I love to have these memories pop up on my feed a year later – but mostly, I post because I want to.

*For my hypocrite and irony seekers out there (and there are many), I am aware that this too is a nasty and hurtful article.

Trading friendship for coffee

I promise that soon you’ll get a friendly, happy, choppy, cocky post as per usual, but today I feel the need to once again be morose and a tad macabre.

I haven’t posted since my last depressive post, as this has been a rather hectic few weeks. Ol’ Murphy had his way, when I thought life was down and it couldn’t go worse. My darling friends had paid for me to visit them in Joburg and I decided to return the favour by smashing my friend’s car. Whilst trying to do a good deed, I was transporting my very pregnant friend to her surprise baby shower.

Surprise! We never made it… I was driving, it was my fault. There was assistance from the others shouting different directions and telling me to turn when I did, but, I repeat, I was driving and certainly didn’t use the skills I should have used and thus….bang. Apparently we were on a one way. The accident was pretty intense. It was more dramatic and emotional than your normal crash, involving another car, but thank goodness, no one was hurt at all. That’s the  saving grace that I’m clutching too. I’m still wracked with guilt and was an emotional wreck at the ‘crime scene,’ as the guilt took hold. I’m sure few of you can imagine a Sez, looking like a member of KISS, bawling her eyes out on the side of the road. Anyway, I’ve managed to beg, borrow and steal the excess and the car is now being fixed. I won’t eat for a month, but hey ho 😉 Life goes on and one must do what’s right.

Anyway, the reason I’m writing today isn’t even remotely connected to this, but rather something that dawned on me this morning. While I may not be old, I’ve started to realise that as we get old, we learn to fully appreciate the little things in life: a morning coffee, while watching the sea; the smile of a child; what good fortune we have; reading a book on a Sunday afternoon; having a wild and frenzied night with your friends. However, I’ve started to notice that in the process of getting older, I seem to be dropping friends left, right and centre (how horribly inarticulate is that? Oh well, you get the drift).

When I left Uni, I noticed that those friends, who one spends every day with, but never share a single, deep emotion with, seemed to fade away. I wasn’t perturbed, they weren’t all that important to me, I had my close and dear friends, who I valued and cared for deeply; who consistently praised the strength and depth of our friendship and lived up to what it required.

When I went overseas, I noted that without Facebook, I’m sure many would have forgotten about me (please note, not self-pitying, I felt that went for anyone who went overseas). There was a handful of people who stayed in close contact with me. However, when I announced my return, hoards of people bent over backwards to tell me how they had missed me (sans any contact in at least 6 months….despite our dear friend, Facebook). When I landed, there were few. Even the initial handful of people drained away to perhaps three, maybe four people who I truly appreciated. This wasn’t a matter of timing, for 5 months of living in Joburg, I barely saw anyone other than these few.

Then I pop off to the coast and repeat the same sequence of communication I had when overseas.

Now, it’s with a heavy heart, that I start to see those friendships, upon which I judge all others, fade away. Some stay stagnant, but strong (like those I either left behind in the UK, or those I have known for decades, but, too, reside overseas), but a few start to fade, in a rapidly dismissive way.

I believe, as a rule, that I have tried to be as good a friend as I can possibly be. I’m the first to highlight my faults and take the blame (to risk quoting songs, Annie Lennox echoed my sentiments when she sang “If something goes wrong. I’m the first to admit it. The first to admit it. But the last one to know.”). I know that in my moving to the coast, I haven’t been as good a friend as I could have, because I was prepared for the distance that…well…distance causes. I knew I would start to fade into the background for people and couldn’t be bothered to put effort into something I knew was transient. However, to my special few, I kept up communication – halting communication, albeit, but communication. And then I hit rough patches, and I found the people who were there for me, were not the special few on this continent, but the special few overseas, or people I hadn’t ever imagined would write me supportive comments, such as those who comment on my blog. My friends overseas take the time to supportive, kind letters and I, in return, support and help them along. My special few, I have tried, but now find I have been almost wiped clean of their lives.

It makes me wonder, do I re-evaluate who I am and how I treat friends? No. After some serious retrospection, I like who I am and I know I’m a good friend to those who need me and to those who don’t. Perhaps, sometimes I’m a tad self-involved, but it’s rare and I do try my best to put myself out there for people. And hey, with age I’ve started to realise that if you don’t like me, that’s your problem honey, not mine.

So what rhyme or reason can we blame for this dwindling love and support we’ve so come to count on?

As we get older, do we trade our true friendships for the appreciation of something small, like the first sip of coffee, overlooking the sea?

 

 

 

A new religion: F*ck ’em!

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this post. There is so much I want to say, so much I shouldn’t say and so much that could spark a riot. I wrote this long, condemning post yesterday, which amounted to merely puking out all my thoughts and would’ve frightened even the hardiest reader away – hence, it has been deleted. So, hopefully this summary will achieve my goals and not frighten away my Constant Readers (stolen from S. King).

The Low Down:

My mum had brain surgery twelve days ago. Prior to surgery, she had the highest pain the world (on average, there is a 70% suicide rate in Trigeminal Neuralgia sufferers), which after surgery revealed itself to be double what other sufferers feel. Instead of merely a blood vessel touching a nerve in her brain, it was a blood vessel and an artery. The surgery was unbelievably successful. Instead of being a 5 hour operation, as expected, it was 3.5hours. My mum’s recovery has been remarkable. Twelves days later, she’s walking and talking. She gets dizzy, nauseous and gets severe headaches (akin to a migraine) when she does too much and often can’t stay awake more than two hours, but this is all par for the course. Doctors have told her that with brain surgery, Day 10 is the equivalent of only Day 2 after a Tonsillectomy. It takes awhile, but Mum’s doing better than most and with her hair down, you can’t even see the scar.

However, it’s brain surgery, it’s a mother-f*cking big deal.

*Which is why I fail to understand the total lack of common sense that people have adopted after and during the operation.

Side note, before I get all fumey and mad: Some people, mostly totally unexpected, have been amazing. My mum’s biokinetist has lent his support, her best friends, people she’s met briefly at organisation meetings actually came to visit her in hospital. A close friend of my mum’s and her daughter, who I barely knew before this, have been incredibly supportive and understanding. My best friends. My best friend’s fiancé. Family friends who understood enough to lend their care and support, without expecting anything or smothering my mother or my father and I. The support has been incredible and, for the most part, unexpected.

**Which brings me back to my vent: a lot of the support that was expected, failed to show up. In fact, in some cases, severely hindered my mother’s recuperation…and my sanity. We have had some wonderful cases. Starting weeks before my mother went in, with messages from her friends telling me that they didn’t know how they would cope if something went wrong and she didn’t survive. People, who are merely friends, expecting me, the daughter, to provide them with comfort. Here I was, merely completing task, by task. Trying my hardest not to think about what’s coming. Blocking it out almost entirely and SUCCEEDING, until I receive messages like this, which left me crumbling two days before Mum went in. A close friend of mine recently lost her mother and I was astounded when she told me that people who weren’t family, expected her to comfort them. I’ve now seen this first hand, albeit on a much less extreme basis.

Before I bore the hell out of you, I’ll sum it up. We’ve had people who’ve expected us to run errands for them, so they could visit my mother. One particular fool is still lucky to be alive, after hurting my mother and nearly setting her back, with too much physical affection…in the Neurosurgical ward. Seriously? What fucking planet do you live on? You don’t hurt someone fresh out of brain surgery, and…when they tell you it hurts, you STOP! For the most part, people just haven’t thought and weren’t malicious. We’ve had one person start a fight the day my mum went into hospital, but that’s neither here nor there. I’ve been called a nag for fussing, but you watch your mother puke (okay, I didn’t actually see that, but they told me) after taking her first steps, or see her in pain and so nauseous she can’t sleep (regardless how tired and weak she felt) after having a few visitors – you’d be a nag too.

So, after all this, my father and I learnt something in what was probably the most terrifying moment of our lives (waiting for 3.5hours in the Neurosurgical waiting room, whilst my mum had her skull drilled open and her brain fiddled with):

Sometimes, it’s okay for it to be about you. Sometimes, it’s about you and your family and no one else matters.

This was and still is (until the day she is fully recovered) about Mum. Now that she’s recuperating, we can allow ourselves to feel the anger we have towards these people for imposing their silly nonsense on our lives. After all, it was the most difficult moment of our lives. So now, it’s alright for it to be about us just a little and about Mum a lot.

So, with this in mind, we have started a new religion. A new way to dealing with problems and people:

Fuck ’em!

*Apologies for starting with a conjunction – Poetic License.

**As above

Just one stocking

After a moderately stressful day, I popped by my grandfather’s for a glass of box vino and a chat.

My grandfather’s one of those lovely elderly folk who doesn’t dwell on ‘the ol’ days.’ We can have a pretty good chat about current events, family stuff and the likes, never having to enter into the world of the old that the youth so readily condescend without ever having understood.

Yesterday, however, we got onto the topic of how he met my grandmother. A touchy, but touching, subject, as she passed over two years ago and he is still very much in love with her…as are we all. After chatting to him, I got to wondering whether true love, or at least true romance is now antiquated.

We’ve all watched movies like The Notebook and other parodies of history and romance – it makes us weep (or, if you’re a ceiling watcher like I am, bawl shamelessly) and makes us wish for a such a time, whilst realising the fiction and the sensationalism that makes those movies so damned profitable.

*But listening to my grandfather, I realised that, perhaps, movies such as these aren’t sensationalised at all.

He lived that life of trust, honesty, fidelity and romance. He spent years apart from his girlfriend, not yet wife, writing her letters, with which he posted only one stocking a time, to ensure she replied. Stockings weren’t readily available in England at the time and my grandfather had returned to Scotland to dig trenches for electricity lines, whilst my gran completed her nursing studies in Plymouth. So he would only send the second stocking after she replied, thus ensuring their correspondence continued.

They spent months and years apart and somehow retained passion, love and trust. Coincidence had it that they were both transferred to London and one year later they were married. This may seem slightly tame in comparison to the love-birds in The Notebook, but when you look deeper, you find the sensationalism, you find the struggles and the difficulty that they faced just to be together.

My grandfather is a Scot, a damned proud one. My gran was as Irish as can be and came from a…um…rather traditional family. My grandfather was not well off, whereas my gran’s family was wealthy. My grandfather was a Protestant, whilst (and here’s the clincher) my gran was an Irish Catholic.**

When they were wed, no parents attended the wedding.

Whilst apart, they wrote and they knew the other would reply. They had oceans between them and yet they trusted fully. In today’s day and age, we look down on what we term ‘long-distance relationships.’ I’m a loud and proud advocator of not having a long-distance relationship and have accused friends of ‘playing it safe’,  by having a partner so far away that you have a hassle-free relationship without the implied shame of singledom.

After chatting to my grandfather, I now find myself ashamed. I’m a firm believer in true love and have always been, regardless of logic, and yet I felt free and obligated to condescend those that fought for love, regardless of distance.

I am ashamed that I should so readily give up the values of past generations, so am now determined to support those who fight for love, no matter how far apart they may be.

I only hope that someday I shall find someone who will love me enough to send me just one stocking.

 

*please ignore the bad grammar – poetic license.

**allow me some flexibility on the facts, I may have one or two mixed up, but the gist remains the same.


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