Self-Editing (I actually considered not publishing this)

There are lots of times in life when I think, oh my god, I should tell so-and-so this, or that. But then I don’t, because sometimes it won’t help any given situation. So, I bite my tongue.

I’ve done it with my children, my partner, my siblings, my niece, coworkers, friends, my children’s school teachers, even total strangers. I know you might find this shocking, but it’s true. Imagine just how acerbic I could be.

I could cite a thousand examples—some already mentioned herein, well in general terms throughout the blog, anyway. Poor relationship choices, poor professional choices, poor personal choices that could lead someone to be seen in a less than positive light in their professional life.

Recently, there seems to be a spate of such things in my life. Most recently, I got a text message from someone I hadn’t heard from in months wishing me a happy mother’s day. Well ok, except, this young man did everything imaginable to incur my wrath; he’s misogynistic, egocentric; he espouses the political high-road, but doesn’t vote; his boundaries are blurred, on a good day; and he has no concept of what loyalty means. His hubris knows no bounds. You can be his friend, or lover—but he will never return in kind. Ever. He sees himself as well-read, brilliant, with an eighth grade education. He may have read a lot of books, but that isn’t the same as being well-read.

To be well-read requires critical thinking and the ability to see what you have read in an introspective light. For example, when reading Frankenstein—it’s with the monster that your sympathy should lie. This young man, once upon a time, thought that, you know, the Doctor had to destroy the monster to hide what he had done. Well okay. If this analysis of Shelley is astute, then, well… Just read the description above.

So, he sent me a mother’s day text. I stared, somewhat stunned. Really? If you have decided you want to talk to me call me, don’t text. Texting can be passive aggressive. If you were sending said text to everyone in your phone book who happens to be a mother, there really is no sentiment there and I don’t want that either. I replied, after careful deliberation, you should probably just lose this number.

His response? “Kill yourself.”

My son, Chris, once considered this young man his friend. He, as a friend said, stay away from my cousin. The young man didn’t. My niece, despite the fact that everyone she knows objected vociferously, pursued this relationship.

Apparently, this same niece will be coming here this summer, presumably to be with this young man. His work situation, with his eighth-grade education, has always been tenuous. He has been homeless for most of his adult life. His history with women consists of philandering, abuse, and abandonment. He is proud of these attributes—he has told me so! A lesson in self-editing here. He’s the kind of man no one wants to see a relation involved with. I said all this to my niece in no uncertain terms—no self editing. This young man will hurt you.

Hubris makes for interesting birds of a feather.

She will be here without the support of her cousins or aunt (me). And when it doesn’t work out, she will have no net. She doesn’t have a job here, she has no license (you really can’t be here without a license), few prospects. I would like to say to her, if he can’t/won’t adequately support his children, what makes you think he is going to support you?

Undoubtedly, when her world crumbles, her mother, my sister, will call and beg me to step in, to help – this would be the sister who threatened my son’s life. Well, guess what, the inability to self-edit and exhibit self-restraint brunt that bridge sis.

I could probably pull a recent example from each of the above categories (my children, my partner, my siblings, my niece, coworkers, friends, my children’s school teachers, even total strangers). We are, as a species, interdependent and the next time you consider not editing yourself—remember, I am; and I have the memory of an elephant and I take very good notes.

Word Count 704


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