Yannow, lots of us carp about bad manners, entitlement mentalities and such quite a bit. So, if you're not into hearing about me bitching about those subjects, this post ain't gonna be for you.
I help moderate a private page on Facebook. The subject of the page really doesn't matter to this discussion, so I'm not gonna say anything about that. Just as an aside, going off topic here - Facebook should make these little group pages more like a forum. The organization is far better, and finding information is much, much easier. Plus, it's easier to post rules as well. Turns out we needed some in place.
Part of the fun of this page is going back in time to our childhoods. Now, that can be bittersweet - not all memories are positive for a lot of people. It sure isn't for me, so I can relate. There has been a lot of pain exposed on this page, and for some people, it's been therapeutic. It wasn't all lollipops and unicorns for many of us, and venting helps.
But for others it has been an excuse to malign others in the group. Their agenda is to get even for being picked on as children, and the justification is that they were, in fact, picked on. There should be no other justification necessary - being bullied gives them a special status that shields them from any responsibilities or adhering to some sort of societal norm. Cross the line? So what? Move on? Never! They now have the right to vent about their pain any time any place and name names. Plus, they can deliberately be mean and catty to others who had no involvement with their childhood just because of the pain they suffered as a child from bullying.
Now let's look at another facet of life - dating. I'm certainly a poster child for failure there - I finally got tired of the mind games and just quit. With my health the way it is, I have little to offer physically anymore, plus I'm so set in my ways and irascible, you best not cross me. Just. Don't. Take. It. Anymore.
Specifically, I got tired of being lied to. When I was on a date and everything seemed to go well, and the evening ended on a good note, and my companion suggested that I call her to do this again? Well, I took that seriously. If they really wanted to go out with me again - cool! Let's do it! Conversely, I'm a big boy and can take rejection. If they thought being with me was like pulling teeth, then by all means, just say no. Be honest. I was, and will be, and I expect the same in return.
Boy, have I ever been disappointed there. Got the phone number from the parties in question. I was told to call later in the week. I did. I left a message. I'd never hear back.
Okay, I can take a hint, but it's just freaking rude. If someone has changed their mind, fine. If they had no use for me, fine. I've dealt with that before. Never went batshit crazy or even close.
So I developed a "three strikes" rule mostly for myself. I'd call the second time, and remind the person that I'd been invited to call, and this was the second time I'd called with no response. I'd say I did have a good time on the date and thought it might be fun to try to repeat. Even if I'd figured I was tossed under the bus, I'd give them the benefit of the doubt. The third phone call? That's when I'd burn the bridges - I mentioned this was the third time, I wasn't going to call anymore, and I wanted nothing from them nor cared what they thought any more. If they didn't have the good manners to be honest with me, or misled me from the start, or changed their minds - no matter. I had no use for that kind of behavior. How the hell can you have any sort of relationship with someone who lies? Not for this fat boy.
Often, I'd run into one of their friends later. "Oh, you just have to remember, she just came off a bad relationship with so and so, the asshole, so she's afraid." Oh, she's still touchy about the messy divorce from her abusive alcoholic ex hubby and that's why she did that to you." You see, the bad behavior of someone in their past justified the ill treatment I received.
So, let's get this straight. If someone dumps all over you in the past, that means you now have the right to dump all over someone else in the present, manners, good taste and honesty be damned. You, the aggrieved party, now have an escape clause to treat people like shit.
Like the Get Out of Jail Free Card from Monopoly. Mkay, but I have some questions. How does one apply for this card? Is it rewarded by a divorce judge?
"I hereby decree the petitioner is allowed a "Hurt in the Past Card" that relieves the petitioner of any moral responsibilities in future dealings with the opposite sex."So, is this thing like a frequent shopper card? X number of punches and it's no good anymore? Or is there some sort of tribunal where one applies for a renewal? Or is this card good for life no matter what? Is this card only good for relationships? Perhaps there is another card available for those who were bullied as children? How long is that one good for? What are the restrictions, if any? How about transfers? Can you use it in handicapped parking? Why not - this person was unfairly hurt in their past, surely some good parking at Wal Mart is the least we can do to make their lives better now. For that matter, why shouldn't the card get you a pass in the "15 Items or Less Line" as well? I mean, c'mon! This person was hurt in the past.
I can see all kinds of situations where this card would be handy. Long line at the DMV? Not for a "Hurt in the Past" card holder. Ten percent discounts at participating merchants? Good enough for the AARP, good enough for our card holders. Denny's could offer a free meal on the anniversary of the card's award date, or the day the divorce was final, or whatever. Nothing would be too good for the members.
Why not being excused for perjury? Why the hell not? It's supposedly socially acceptable to be untruthful in certain social situations or to be a complete dick in public if your past contains pain, why shouldn't these pore people be excused from being honest in court? That's right, yell "Fire" in the theater all you want, baybee. We understand.
This story has been making the rounds lately - LeaAnn and Ace linked to it. Basically - it was a guy who met a gal for a concert - the original gal backed out for some reason, and this one took her place as a sort of blind date, and he basically stalked her. As I understand it, he spent some serious effort to find her email address and her phone number, and then gave her a critique on "twirling her hair" among other things. The kicker was the 1600 word email he sent her.
That is the flip side of bad behavior - the guy was reading more into their "date" than was really there, and then went on a stalking spree. Not for this fat boy, either. Like I said, three strikes and they're outta here. I'm not wasting any more time on 'em, and looking back, I shoulda probably went with two strikes. The second call was to be polite, and like I said - the third was for me to burn bridges.
Apparently, I've expected too much from people. I should be satisfied with getting tossed under the bus for convenience sake, and I should realize that pain justifies treating people like shit. Silly me.