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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Gladstone is very to the point

Gladstone wrote an article about how we wish for (and sometimes expect) things we never had a right to in the first place. He brought up rather boring examples like finding empty seats next to you on the bus, getting extra cash or product and guessing which one's the quickest queue every time. Rubbish. It's the thought that counts.

I wondered if wanting a soul mate is that sort of thing. I might have written a whole post about it just now if it weren't for two thing: 

1) I have very little time. This week's assignments turned out to be ridiculously long. I might not even turn in the statistics homework assignment even though I have about 90% of it done already and that's because the bloody biology assignments are too fucking long and I still have the chemistry lab to worry about. True, I should have started working on this at least two days ago, but frankly, I'm willing to justify my having done fuck all yesterday and the day before because I've spent too much time being busy up until now. 

2) Aunt A came by my room to ask what I wanted to have for dinner. She mentioned she'll be busy tomorrow with a number of things, including an appointment to get a facial. I don't know if I mentioned this before, I don't suppose I have. She has one once a month. She had one about a week after I arrived and mentioned she'd get me an appointment, which she never scheduled. I once refused to go on a water bed massage machine because I was a bit disgusted by the thought of the numerous sweaty people who might have been there before, so I said I didn't much like massages. Aunt A said I probably wouldn't like the facial at all and left it at that. That might be it. The thing is, I think aunt A was just waiting for an excuse not to get me an appointment and that was just it.

It's happened other times. Yesterday afternoon we were out shopping. When she asked before if I'd like to come and asked if I'd like anything from Lancôme, I said I'd like to look at a few eyeshadows and she gave me a look like it was crazy that I'd like to wear any make up and it were just so wrong of me, you know? I stuck by it, and all I got was a gel/powder eyeshadow. I looked at the gel eyeliners but the saleslady didn't really invest in showing anything to me and aunt A didn't insist. 

After that, aunt A's friends said they'd go look at clothes. They asked if we'd like to come with. I said nothing until aunt A said she'd like to go too, so I said yes. Aunt a immediately gravitated towards the area where the clothes she likes are. After quite a while walking around where she'd show me shirts and blouses, pointing out they're all quite too small for her, she picked out three blouses without trying them on and set out to buy them. When her friends asked if I'd found anything I said I didn't find much of interest as we were mostly in an area for women older than me. Aunt A acted surprised and said "I thought you were looking at clothes for you too!", followed by "Go look for something!". I pointed out her friends were about to leave and I'd just hold them back, it's not like I  need anything else and I already felt a little guilty about getting a bra that turned out to be more expensive than average. They insisted, so I gave everything a quick look and settled for not picking anything mostly because the clothes weren't that pretty, or they were too expensive, and I would have had to try them on and waste precious time. That was all right. Aunt A said we should look for clothes for me tomorrow. We'll see about that.

When she went out to buy some groceries today and to get a pedicure she didn't ask if I'd like to get a pedicure too. She asked if I'd like to come buy the groceries. I said I'd rather stay home and work and even cooked her lunch for when she got back. She thanked me. While it's the polite thing to do, and I won't deny it, if I go out of my way to do something nice for her like wash the dishes, clean the fridge, clean the stove, do the laundry, bathe the pets, or make her lunch, could she not extend the courtesy? Could she not take five more minutes scheduling her facial's appointment to schedule one for me? Could she not let me look around for make-up when we were right there anyway? Could she not ask what clothes I'd like to go look at rather than gravitate towards clothes she likes, only to pretend she was looking for clothes for me too? The nicest thing she's done all day was tell me I could have a pair of sweat pants she didn't really like when she tried them on (which are a bit too large for me but it's all right), and offer to give me a used lip balm rather than replace the cheap one I lost and asked for as an item in today's grocery shopping.

I could swear she still resents the fact that I kept three out of the four giveaway lipsticks we got from Estée Lauder because she gave me one she didn't like and I refused to give away one I did like. I more politely said "Oh, I use lipsticks some times... you can come and borrow it any time anyway" because she'd tried to coax me into giving it away saying "But, do you even use lipsticks?".  I've made it a point to wear them on weekends now. I know I ask for not so nice things because I don't really feel entitled to ask for others, but when she offers anything at all she should offer more nicely. She should offer new products and chances to let me choose rather than hand-me-downs from things she's already said she doesn't like.

It's all made even worse by the fact that aunt A thinks that things she likes are the only good things. Things she likes must be, to some degree, good and I won't argue that. But she thinks that the only good things are the ones she likes and that anyone who dares like anything different is stubborn for liking something inferior. Thus, when she gives things away, handed down because she doesn't like them, it's not as good-spirited an action as you'd think.

My point is, I know I'm not entitled to any of these things. Not the make-up, the facial or the clothes. But aunt A gets nice things and only just pretends to offer, not very keen on actually sharing and inviting. Like a child who reluctantly offers to let you try his chocolate and only just lets you lick it. As  for me, I know my place well enough to know not to ask, so I'll do without and let it eat away at me.

An experience in particular comes to mind, in a day where I've been overflooded by memories of torturous moments from grade school and high school. I was once at a friend's house and her grandmother came by, offering to buy my friend ice cream. She pointed out that first of all they had to drop me off at my place. Is that not cruel? Mention ice cream and, rather than invite her granddaughter after I was gone or invite me too, she said "we have to drop that little girl off first." It was a very short ride to my house and I found it hard to hold back tears. As soon as I got home I started crying, offended at that woman's referring to me as "that little girl." It wasn't so much that, though. It was the rudeness, the stinginess and the fact that I'd come to expect something I had no right to. 

I'm feeling a little like that right now. Growing up my parents always made sure that if we had friends over and they bought us candy, there had better be enough candy to share or they'd have to give it to us when the visit was gone. When people visit we go out of our way to make them comfortable and treat them to things they like. Even when we can't really afford it. If I'm talking to someone and I get hungry, I feel guilty not offering to share. I'll admit I'm quicker to share with people I like and it's a token of my liking them, but I usually offer every time. It just may take me longer with people I don't like much. Aunt A can afford to be nicer, she just isn't. For all her talk on what constitutes "being nice to others" she sure doesn't apply much of it.

[15th of September edit:]
Aunt A gave away new blouses she bought long ago to send to an aunt. I'm sure these are the same she'll offer aunt MT when she gets here. She didn't buy them thinking of anyone other than herself. The only reason she's giving them away is because she didn't like them. Puts the few shirts she's given me (and a substantial part of all her gifts to female relatives) in a whole new light. 

As for recent displays of her negativity... I was playing on the iPad and talking to AOB when she came into the room wanting to tell me about the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust, like you do. Because: reasons. I don't really know. I couldn't even follow a conversation about it, as my attempts to point out more recent and also relevant episodes were reaching deaf ears. I grew exasperated because I honest to goodness just don't. know. what. to. say. What are you supposed to say when you're minding your own business and are interrupted by a comment about the deaths of 40 million people?

Bless AOB for letting me vent and for being his lovely, too nice, rational self. 

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