I ate dinner with two of my friends the other night and, as always, a good dose of laughter helped to restore a feeling of equilibrium to a work-induced stressful week.
I was talking to my mom later about one of the conversations that my girlfriends and I had at dinner that night:
me: Wendy’s parents were in town a couple of weeks ago. She was telling us that her parents were pretty critical of everyone around. You know, like saying, “Look at that tattooed freak!” and “He looks like a bum.” And “So-and-so is acting stupid.” Wendy said that she said to them, “You two are so critical. You are always judging. You remember those children books about The Stupids?”
Mom: What? The stupids? There were books about stupids?
me: Yes, a family called The Stupids. I don’t remember them. I never read those books. I told Wendy that you wouldn’t have let us read anything like that because we weren’t allowed to use the word “stupid”, but she said, “They were in the library!”
Mom: Well, you still shouldn’t be reading everything in the library.
me: Ok, not the story. Anyway, she was telling her parents, “Remember the books about the Stupids? If we had books named after our family, it would be The Assholes! Cause we’re Assholes! Cause you judge everyone!”
Mom: And we’d be the “Love Everyone and Get Along With Everyone” Family
me: No, we would be the “Repress All Your Feelings” Family. The Repressors. We would be the “Swallow All Your Emotions” Family. The Swallowers.
me: Yeah, the Swallowers doesn’t sound so good, so let’s go back to Repressors.
Regardless of what you call our family, I have noticed a trend in the general population to be very judge-y and unkind. I have a Pinterest account and when I browse, I always see at least a couple of pins that are very “anti-my-fellow-man-I-am-better-than-you” themed pins, like these:
I am as guilty as the next person (whom on Wednesday night was my friend Wendy, and we all know that she is an Asshole) to be judgmental, but it really bothers me how casually we fling out insults and criticisms about other people, often (mostly) when we don’t have the slightest idea about what they are really going through. Our immature attempt to make ourselves feel better is by telling ourselves that we are better, but at the expense of someone else.
The ironic and twisted thing about this method of self-soothing is this: Who is using me as their yardstick to make themselves feel better? Who is out there saying, “Well, I know that I blow, but at least I am not as bad as Cristy.” OUCH.
Because I’m sure that happens. (Double ouch, you asshole.)
I am going to make a concerted effort to leaving my yardstick in storage. Can you? If not, I’ll try not to judge.