Friday, July 22, 2011

Proton Girl

Arguing coupleI’ve been reading through some old correspondence and writings in order to consolidate and categorize a few things.

As I read through some of this stuff and discuss it with a handful of friends and family, we are all astounded at the level of negativity that was present in all of it. I’ve encountered negative people in my life before, and you usually have one or two of them in the workplace, but in all my years, I honestly have never seen it carried out to this degree. It’s a constant litany of perceived wrongs or slights, delusional ramblings about how everyone else screwed everything up or screwed people over, and endless missives concerning dereliction of duty on our part (when there was none). In fact, when I can eventually write about this in more detail, you will be surprised to learn just how much duty there was. The writing is just stunning in its rewriting of history, on the level of teabagger rewriting of history.

This rewriting of history came about because of anger and bitterness, and although I’ll cop to having a certain amount of that myself over various issues throughout the years, I’ve never seen it carried through to this extent. I try my best to not let it get the better of me, and to maintain my cheerful and optimistic demeanor, and for the most part, I think I succeed. I have not let myself get to the point where I am so paranoid and so angry about so many things that I let it affect my dealings with most people. But in reading all of this stuff, both Ken and I agreed that we have had to put up with a lot of shit over the years, and that it will be a pleasant day when we can bid it a not-so-fond farewell. In fact, there might actually be a party involved. Not because we will be so happy about being absolved of the “duty,” but because we will be so glad to leave the negativity behind. (Not that we think the negativity will stop visiting our blogs! haha)

I recently went to a birthday party for the husband of one of my former coworkers. I talked to a few of my coworkers most of the night, and although I haven’t worked there for three years, we had a great talk and a great time laughing together. Of course, there have been many coworkers I’ve lost touch with over the years, mostly due to living out of the area, but I don’t doubt that seeing them would be fun and we’d enjoy getting caught up. I honestly can’t imagine living the kind of life where you make enemies constantly, where you can’t work somewhere or live somewhere without managing to piss off your coworkers or neighbors. At some point, after leaving that sort of trail of unhappiness and destruction, wouldn’t you kind of start to wonder about yourself? “Is it something I’m doing? Is it me?” I sure would! In fact, on the occasions when I have managed to alienate someone, I generally try to examine what happened and try to make sense of it, try to take responsibility for whatever my part in it might have been. I’m far from superhuman, and I’m far from a super human being! I don’t always handle things the right way, and I sometimes say the wrong thing. I try to apologize if I get the chance. (Usually, if I speak sharply, I realize it within a matter of minutes, and am able to apologize quickly. On the other hand, if you’ve pushed me too far, you’ll know it. And I won’t apologize.)

Of course, sometimes that chance is taken away from you, and that’s really a shame for all involved. When you are essentially removed from a situation and barred from all contact, there is no chance for discussion or clarification or...well, anything. When another agenda is pushed exclusively, the outcome is a foregone conclusion. To provide a political analogy, if all you watch is Fox News, you’re probably going to hate President Obama!

All your faultBut I’m off-topic and rambling. I guess just reading all that negativity and nastiness got me to thinking about things. I’m grateful that I had such a positive upbringing, and I mean that in every sense. Not only was my childhood generally a positive experience, I was surrounded, for the most part, by very positive people. That’s just how my family is. I think most people respond favorably to that sort of an attitude, and a negative attitude is off-putting, if not downright repulsive to some. Hey, if you’re an electron to my proton, I’m probably not going to hang around you! Even when I experience negative things (and believe me, I have), I try very hard to not let that color my view of life in general, and take experiences for what they are: an opportunity to learn. One of the definitions of ‘experience’ is “direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge.” We are meant to learn from our experiences, whether it is figuring out that putting your hand in a fire is bad or that it’s not always everyone else’s fault.

All I can say is I’m glad I’m not negatively charged.


  1. I am glad you are not negatively charged too, Beth! I do think that one's outlook is reflective of what they were exposed to in their different environments in their lives, particularly the one they were raised in. At some point the attitudes that are developed at home begin to form a pathology and it informs their perspective on the world.

    It has become easier to play the victim rather than to look at oneself and determine what contribution you have made to your own personal situation. It seems like a contradiction... there is an attitude where there is a feeling that something is 'owed' to you but it isn't something that should be available to anyone else. That is what makes the yearning for the 'days of yore' that drives the Tea Baggers passions reek of irony. Their 'perfect history' overlooks the problems that existed in that time. They cherry-pick and flat out make believe that a world where everything worked in their favor at the expense of others, existed. People like that are almost delusional and there is no amount of reasoning that can be done with people like that. The victimization is part of their identity.

    I tend to think that having a negative outlook is the 'default' position of doing nothing and not having the courage to challenging yourself. When you aren't active in making the life you want, you are going to be negative, or at least trend that way. Eventually there thoughts become a daisy chain of regrets and envy because someone else always gets the chance that they did not compete for.

    The discussion about them becomes as circular as their arguments... so enough about them! How do YOU think the Irish are going to do in football this season..?

  2. It is a shame how negative people are. But it's become part of our culture. Only bad news is news> Only catastrophes are important. It isn't interesting if it's positive, or good news, or uplifting, it's smarmy. We're constantly fighting with each other and holding the cards we were dealt so close we don't even know what they are, in fear that someone else will see them and gain advantage. We've become more increasingly self centered and afraid of our neighbor. Watch that package! Who are those people? They don't go to our church! Oh, they're gay. Oh, she's Jewish! We categorize people with meaningless characteristics, rather than meaningful ones. It's much more meaningful for me to know that someone is a jerk or an @$$hole, or a beach, than it is to know what religion they follow or what nation their ancestors came from. It's because that's all that matters to wealthy people, and of course, in our country, wealthy people are all that matters. You can be an @$$hole, but if you're from the right family, you're golden. If you're Jonas Salk and of the wrong faith, then you get back balled!
    Hell now I'm being negative. See what I mean? Epi. demic.
    Just saying...

  3. Isn't it funny how some coworkers, upon leaving, seem to forget there was ever a good thing about their prior workplace? Yes, perhaps it didn't pan out as the "golden opportunity" you were expecting, but I still work here, thankyouverymuch, and it's really not as bad as you remember. Or maybe it was, for your lazy-ass, bad-attitude, sloppy workplace self!
    I love your rambling posts- they are rife for rambling comments!!!

  4. preach it. life is too short to go around blaming other people and being bitter.


  5. this reminds me of someone i used to work with who was so negative and paranoid. if they ever felt wronged by others, they actually told me that they would go home and pray that god would take revenge on that person for them. it's that "i'm the victim" syndrome to the max. i don't know how people who are this way can live with themselves. it's sad, and in my life, i've found that it's best to just stay away from them. i know you are looking forward to the day you can put this crap all behind you and move on with enjoying life.

  6. I'm counting on you to keep my attitude on the plus side during this upcoming election! A sunny temperament coupled with the ability to call it like it is...can't beat it!

  7. The whole situation is so unfortunate on so many levels, it bothers me every day. My ire could not be any deeper or darker.

  8. I see much more good in the world than bad, but the bad tends to effect people more, buy causing suffering, which is hard for me to handle. For every "bad" thing that happens thousands of "good" things happen. We tend to focus on the former rather than the later. The real key is how you react to those situations. Stan is much better at reacting to things in a positive light and letting them go if they are destructive. I'm more prone to holding on to them good or bad. I'm getting better at letting go, but with my southern upbringing grudges are a staple.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?