I uploaded today’s pictures from the camera onto the computer so I could pick a Picture of the Day. After looking them over, I realized there wasn’t much material to work with. Certainly not enough for an entire blog; a sentence or two at most.
“Darling Husband, what should I write about tonight?”
“Let me see your pictures.”
I showed him pictures of a cupcake, a cobweb strand, and friends at dinner. He said, “Why don’t you write, ‘Started the day with good food and good friends and ended the day with good food and good friends,’” and I just about gaked up all that good food.
What an insipid blog post that would be. Srsly! Show of hands: who wants to read a sentimental blog about good food and good friends? Wouldn’t you rather read a blog about rotten food and rotten friends? Yes, I thought so. Too bad I don’t have rotten friends. Maybe if I think really hard I can come up with something rotten that a friend did to me…
Ok—this is the most rotten thing I can come up with:
Three Septembers ago, I’d just started homeschooling Boy9 for first grade. It was Boy9’s birthday party (he was Boy6 back then) and one of the other parents at the party is a teacher. We were standing alone by the creek at the local park (the same creek the woman pulled a snake out of the other day), enjoying the weather and making small talk. The topic of ‘kids starting school’ came up and I told this parent “I’ll be homeschooling Boy9 this year.” He responded with a snort and said, “Yeah. Good luck with that.”
Now, in my natural state I’m a big fat Pollyanna. I always assume that everyone is being nice. I do not understand people purposely being mean to each other. By accident, yes, but on purpose? No.
For example, I’m an only child and when I hear stories about siblings getting each other in trouble on purpose, I don’t get that. Why would you ever want to get someone in trouble? That’s just mean.
And a couple of days ago, I saw an article that read something like, “Susie Q is rich, talented, and beautiful, but she’s so nice that it’s hard to hate her.” Why would I want to hate her? At most, I might sigh wistfully and wish I was like her, but hate her? No. Eww. I don’t get that, either.
So, when someone insults me, I never even realize that I’ve been insulted. I end up feeling sorry for the person because they must be socially awkward and their joke came out wrong. Because they were joking, right? They wouldn’t be saying something mean, would they? No! I’ll give them a tender, pitying smile so that they’re not too embarrassed that no one got their awkward joke.
So when the parent snorted and said, “Yeah. Good luck with that,” I figured it was his socially awkward way of saying, “Teaching is hard and we need all the luck we can get! Hang in there, fellow pseudo-teacher!”
And so I responded with a tender smile and a chipper, “Thanks! You, too!”
It wasn’t until 3 days later when he called the house and said, “I’m sorry I insulted you at the party. I’m sure you’ll be a fine homeschooler,” that I realized he was being sarcastic when he wished me good luck. I’d been insulted! I was thrilled with the novelty of it and beamed for the rest of the day. When all the other homeschoolers are telling their persecuted-homeschooler stories, I’ll finally have a story, too!
First homeschooling parent: “My in-laws are unsupportive of our homeschooling and hired a lawyer and sued us for custody of our children.”
Second homeschooling parent: “It was back in 1985 and the state laws were unclear about homeschooling, so I ended up being arrested because I wouldn’t put my kid in school. I spent 2 months in the Big House. See my scar from the shank?”
Me: “A teacher once snorted at me and wished me good luck in a sarcastic manner!”
Their jaws will drop and they’ll stare at me with big eyes, “What?! How did you ever find the fortitude to continue?” I’ll have the admiration of homeschoolers everywhere. They’ll ask me to speak at homeschooling conventions. I’ll write a book!
I forgave him for his comments and our families still get together at least once a month for dinner. I even let him be a guest writer on my blog once. And the other day, out of the blue, without any prompting, he said, “Your kids are doing really great with the homeschooling.” It’s been more than three days, and he hasn’t called to apologize, so he must have meant it this time. Aw, shucks. Thanks, Vince!
So, I guess it’s not all that rotten of a story after all.
Picture of the day: Good friends, good food.