Lies Walk the Streets and Honesty Is Not Always Brutal

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Handle With Care.”

This is a direct quote from my mother who doesn’t take her own advice.

Explanation of this quote  When you tell a lie the truth will catch up with you, some way, some how, sooner or later.

Explanation of Mom’s approach:  She thinks it’s OK to tell a “little white lie” if necessary to avoid hurting the recipient’s feelings but more importantly to prevent the recipient from having a bad opinion of her or her family.

Example of Mom’s approach:  Lie to her friend who has invited me to a (surprise) birthday party/open house for her friend’s Chabadnik second son-in-law who I have never met in my life.  Now I love my mom’s friend and appreciate her invitation in this instance and all the prior ones and all the recognition my family and I have received from her over the years.  So Mom lied in advance and told her I had other plans that day, which turned out to be true after the fact.

My preferred approach would have been to tell the truth in the first place, trusting that Mom’s friend knew me well enough to appreciate that I would rather spend the time with people I know and love than with somebody I’ve never met, have little in common with, and would probably never see again as we were both visiting in the area at the time.

I hardly handle anything with kid gloves.  I prefer an honest direct approach.

A Job She Love that Loves Her Back – A Rare Situation for Many of Us Old Farts!

Watch Me.

I used to have one of those, but it was a very long time ago (nearly 8 years but it started 10 years before that) in a galaxy far far away (in So Cal for a subcontractor to one of the few commercial airplane manufacturers still in existence).  You can follow the link above to my happily employed fellow blogger’s post that describes some of the reasons she still loves her job.  IDK, maybe us old farts should all work in frigid Minnesota.  Maybe that environment better preserves nice people?

My comment is based on my more recent experience where most of my older co-workers hated their jobs probably because, like me, they knew they could have done their jobs better and had much more fun if only more of the managers respected their experience and supported the ideas they generated from it.  Instead, unfortunately,  they seemed to often fear ideas that came from old farts like me. If any of our ideas were even actually considered, we seldom heard about it.

FYI my lovely old job was with a Japanese company that also still built a seaplane using a design developed in WWII.  I contend that the main reason they kept me on so long was due to my skill in translating their ESL to semi-technical business English in letters to their domestic suppliers and customers.  These wonderful people always bought whatever my kids were selling for school, soccer, Girl Scout, etc. fundraisers.  They let me use their office supplies when I wanted to be participate as a parent in my daughters’ schools, interests and extracurricular activities.  I received no flak or  hassle when, after 5 years there, I requested a part-time flexible schedule that allowed me to work around school schedules after my nanny started working part-time for a crazy neighbor who didn’t appreciate that I was already paying the nanny to work for me full-time.

I didn’t receive a watch when I left ShinMaywa after 10 years. They just let me pick the venue for my farewell lunch. and I still have the pictures my old boss took of all my Japanese friends enjoying the strange delicacies served at the best Jewish deli in Orange County.

To bring this story back to the watch pictured in the linked post, I have started wearing one again.  I’d had to remove it  on arrival at my last job since it stood between my wrist and the desktop when typing on the computers I used there and, more often than not, I’d forget to take it with me when I left the office each day.  As an Old Fart, I don’t like using a cell phone, which I don’t always have on me anyway, to find the time.  I just have to remember to put my watch on before I leave the house!

 

Old Fart Friday – Oops! I’m so old I published this on Thursday!! Mea culpa

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This comes from Beliefnet, one of my favorite websites and especially good fodder for this weekly feature.
 One of these days I’ll take the time and effort to figure out how to copy and revise so my plagiarism won’t be so apparent.

At  least I have given credit where credit is due.  Full disclosure – I have not yet read the Martin Luther (King) comparison but expect it will be thought provoking for my fearless readers.  The latter term was lifted from or at least suggested by Trader Joe’s flyers.

Who Said It: Martin Luther or Martin Luther King?
Martin Luther and Martin Luther King, Jr. were both celebrated leaders of major movements that forever changed our world. Both gave voice to the voiceless, unafraid to speak up about crucial issues of…Click To View!
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“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”

Old Fart Friday – Who knew Shannon Dougherty could be such a philosopher?

“If God wanted us to be naked, why did he invent sexy lingerie?”

– Shannon Doherty

Although she doesn’t speak for me personally as I have outgrown the sexy lingerie I bought for my courtship and honeymoon nearly 25 years ago to the day. Our silver wedding anniversary is January 9. We were married in Hawaii so a swimsuit was more appropriate anyway!

Reasons vs Excuses

I agree with my friend Paula and would only add the following personal “wisdom”. The only actions/reactions one can control are one’s own. Therefore, after I make up an excuse for doing something that I shouldn’t have and/or that had adverse consequences AND that I blame on something or someone else, I now also state that, while I could not control those actions, I CAN control my reactions to them.

You can’t choose your family

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Delayed Contact.”

Another of my favorite sayings, which may also be a cliché, is:

“You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.”

I have spoken this line to my spouse many times over the nearly 25 year span of our marriage, along with the corollary I learned from my first high school friend who married at a very young age and has never gotten along very well with most of her in-laws.

“Be careful who you marry. Make sure you get along with them because you’ll be stuck with them, too.”

While I didn’t always get along with his parents and the two brothers who were living when I met him, I have always, or at least as far back as I can remember, gotten along with his sisters-in- law. His parents have passed, along with one of the two brothers, and now I think the three of us girls get along better than ever. I’m sure there’s a deep psychological and/or emotional reason for this otherwise unexplainable fact. If anyone has any possible explanations, I’d love to hear them!

Trying To Be Brief While Serially Lost Part 1

And being brave – combining two prompts on one post!!

Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more. Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.

What a perfect prompt to describe my relationship with my doppelganger! She was my BFF in college and for quite a few years after. It happened when I told her I was pregnant with my second child. She was the first person that I told after taking the pregnancy test when I got knocked up with my first child seventeen months before. I was 35 at the time. That’s how close we were and how long we had been that close.

My two children had come way too easily when I was way too old to get knocked up while she was having way too many problems reaching the same state. She had been married for a few years and had already had a couple of miscarriages. She and her husband decided to use a surrogate but they were going to pass off this pregnancy to his coworkers like it was hers! Clearly, she was jealous of the ease with which I was popping out kids while she was going to these great lengths to do the same. She was hurt that I couldn’t understand her pain and suffering. That’s how and why we didn’t keep in touch for the best part of 20 years.

I got an email from her on my birthday this year. It was sort of a catch up personally and professionally and suggested we might try to meet in person again sometime. It took me four months to figure out how to respond. When I did, it was with a 596 word email plus a 1,020 word attached letter.

We have been promised that Daily Post will let us know when it’s time to write parts two and three. She and I have been trying to have a phone meet-up for the last 2 months. Parts two and three may be written as a result if the meet-up ever happens so stay tuned for additional brief updates!?

This post is ONLY 400 words. Success!

Commit to a Writing Practice Part B – 3 important songs!

1. Roll With It – Steve Winwood

“Just roll with it, baby!”

This is my philosophy of life. It was initially a self-defense and sanity maintenance mechanism.

The title became my theme probably about halfway through my ten year tenure at Shinmaywa (California), Ltd.. I started my full time job there as a Senior Buyer following a one year period of unemployment. SCL provides supply chain management and quality assurance services to support ShinMaywa Industries aircraft production and other special programs in Japan. I had worked on the Space Station program under contract to McDonnell Douglas for three years before that. ShinMaywa (Japan), SCL’s parent company, had a contract from McD to build some major commercial aircraft subassemblies. At that time, I think SCL was hiring just about anybody who had any tenure in any capacity at McDonnell Douglas on their resume, whether that experience was directly transferable to their requirements or not.

During my time at SCL, I bought (or tried to buy) a mind-boggling range of products. I also learned a lot about the Japanese way of doing things, and it was nothing like what I’d expected! They were inefficient and disorganized. They were also some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. Before I adopted “Roll With It” as my theme and philosophy, I had taken to calling my work at SCL “The ShinMaywa California Adventure, an E ticket ride every day!” This was an homage to Disneyland, and anyone who grew up in Southern California before 2000 or thereabouts would know the basis for these references. What I specifically meant was that I never knew what I would be working on or fixing or trying to locate on any given day when I walked into that place. It was fun and exhilarating, much like an E ticket ride at Disneyland, for quite a while. At some point, though, I just couldn’t handle that much fun and exhilaration AND STRESS on a daily basis anymore. That was the point at which I decided it would be better for me to “just roll with it, baby!”

At about the same time, my life outside of work was getting more unpredictable and stressful, too. So, amazingly, I decided that my entire philosophy and way of handling life in general, from that point forward, would be to “just roll with it, baby!” This approach has served me well ever since and I can highly recommend it.
2. Just You and I – Crystal Gayle and Eddie Rabbitt
http://youtu.be/WZ8NWiG3h4Y

This one is a rather traditional choice as it was the song to which my husband and I shared the first dance at our wedding reception. If you click the link for the video, you’ll see the lyrics. My favorite line is in the chorus.

“We’ll be all right, just you and I” is how I felt then, when I was 34 and knocked up (fortunately by my husband), how I have felt through all the trials and tribulations we have gone through (I won’t say shared because we haven’t always) for the last 25 years, and how I feel now that we are finally enjoying our retirement together.

3. Just the Way You Are – Billy Joel

A simple line that’s repeated in this song is the most important affirmation that two people in a loving relationship can give to each other.

“I love you just the way you are.”

It’s what I say to myself about my husband when he’s grumpy and doesn’t want to go out and do something fun with me that I want to do and he doesn’t. It’s what I said to myself when he was drinking too much before he checked into rehab. I imagine he may say the same thing to himself when I’m talking his ear off and probably what he said to himself when I cried all the time for a year or so before I started taking the right meds.

It applies even when one or both or you are not the same as they were when you loved them the way they were before, earlier in your relationship. We have changed, but we love each other just the way we were, just the way we are and, hopefully and maybe most importantly, just the way we will be.

I would tell my children that it’s the promise they will make when they speak the traditional marriage vows, and that it helps to remember that promise and those vows before they think about giving it up or leaving. I know it’s helped me.