I started another fight this evening related to the whole festive topic from my last post. We went and got a tree and decorations the other day. I wanted to listen to Christmas music while decorating and Mercy was opposed. After a breakdown where I explained my need for Christmas music and singing in general, Mercy agreed to a limited amount of Christmas music.
So I started putting the tree together and hanging the lights on it. I plugged in the lights and almost went blind. We got cool white instead of warm white….huge mistake. Cool white lights are way too bright for an indoor tree, unless your house always has tons of lights on that would drown out the tree lights. We tend to have less lights on during the Christmas season due to the tree.
Any how, we went back to the store today to trade the lights and Mercy had also wanted a few other tree decorations. So we picked them up and came home. I put some Christmas music on and started decorating the tree. I was taking my time, but Mercy never came over to help. She finally was ready to help after all the lights and bulbs were hung and all that was left were some icicle ornaments. This really pissed me off. She kept acting like she wanted to be festive, but when it came down to it didn’t want to do anything. I said something like, “You finally helped for one little thing in between smoke breaks.”
So it was a dig about her smoking, because I want her to quit. It is stupid to make comments about smoking, since Mercy is rebellious to a fault. She’d rather kill herself than obey anyone. Not saying that she needs to obey me, just saying she hears these comments as orders to quit and if she quit it would mean that she obeyed. So anyway, she stormed off and went to bed.
I instantly feel bad, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna apologize. She’s not the only stubborn one. I’m just like my family; I can’t be wrong or say I’m sorry.
My family is one of those families who people always say, “Just like a ________ (fill in last name), always having to be right.” I knew what they meant for the rest of my family, but surely not me? Isn’t it ok to state something, if it IS right? I mean this isn’t like my dad, who will argue a wrong point til he’s blue in the face. I mean Dad doesn’t want to hear the other side and doesn’t care if he’s wrong….because “He’s always right.”
My brother and sister will argue the opposite viewpoints until finely one of them says that they’ll have to agree to disagree just so neither one loses. And then still someone will get in the last word. I recognize that there are two sides to most stories and listen to the other viewpoint. I’ll even opt out of arguing my point if it’s something I am not overly passionate about.
But when I know for sure that the other person is completely wrong about something, I have to let them know.
- “No, actually, the capital of California is not Los Angeles, it IS Sacramento!”
- “Three squared is nine, not six.”
- “James Earl Jones was just the voice of Darth Vader, he wasn’t in the costume.”
- “Forest Gump is not based on a true story.”
I know that no one is going to be hurt/die just because Frank doesn’t know the capital of California, but I can’t let Frank go without correcting him. Does this make me a know-it-all? Yes, I guess it does. Except, I don’t know it all and never said that I did.
As I’m writing this, other scenarios pop into my head that make me think, “Really? Did you have to go off about THAT? Was it so important?” Like:
- there, their, and they’re rants —– I don’t get these wrong (unless I am writing really fast in a lecture and then I laugh at myself with the class about how bad the sentence sounds.). Still no one dies if I get them wrong.
- proper uses of commas (including the Oxford comma, which in my opinion is better to over use rather than under use— I went to the mall and saw cheerleaders, Johnny Depp and Nicolas Cage.)
- affect versus effect (I’ll never get these right no matter how many times you try to explain them to me.)
I really need to appraise my own right rants. I need to ask myself, “Is it really important to correct that inaccuracy?”
If it is work related, then the answer is yes.
If I am with my spouse, the answer should be no most of the time…or at least I need to figure out a way to clear up misconceptions without being right. I add this option due to Mercy’s upbringing. Her family taught her so many wrong things. Or didn’t teach her many right things. Like, not pumping anti-lock brakes…her family thinks that this is something stupid city people made up.
I have watched my family over the years and have tried to stop the Jones syndrome, but inevitably I am a culprit too. I know how frustrating it can be to have someone arguing with you who sounds like an idiot, but pointing it out generally just makes you look like a jackass. So I’m gonna try to kick the jackass habit. It will take some time, since I’ve had forty years of training.
Not saying I’m sorry, is born from the need to be right. In order to apologize, it needs to be sincere. (Bye-Bye, Birdie just popped into my head.) How can I be sincere, if I think that I am right and not wrong? I know that when I apologize, Mercy will bring up all the reasons why I should apologize and why I was wrong, rude, and mean. Then not only will I have to sincerely apologize, but I’ll also have to eat crow. How can I be sincere and humble, when I think that I wasn’t wrong? This will be much harder than just shutting up when I really want to correct someone, but I’ve got to try.
I promised myself when Mercy almost died, that I wouldn’t continue this cycle…shit!