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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

One of these days Iím going to figure out what makes people tick. Or maybe not. I probably would have it all sorted out by now, if I were ever going to. I see a world where people deliberately distance themselves from each other for the most absurd reasons. I canít stand it. It hurts my heart.

Maybe itís me. It must be me. Iím the one with the functional inability to deliberately make someone feel bad. I can dislike certain kinds of people, and I can be jealous or resentful or disappointed or offended. I can even tell someone how I feel, but I canít turn my back on anyone for one mistake, and I wonít judge them based on a single action or personality trait. Not if thereís a good reason to overlook or forgive or give that person a little leeway (not to mention the right to be true to oneself).

Back in the days when I spent more time out in the world, I worked in harmony with all kinds of people, including a particular someone no one else could get along with. (Oh, yes. Iím thinking of a name.) Some people simply donít know how not to be difficult, or donít care. I can tell you I didnít like that about this person, and she knew it. But I never wanted to cut her out of my life, because she had so much to offer.

She never changed her personality, but as time went on and she got a little wiser in the ways of the world, I saw her make an effort to be more tolerant of what she always thought were the shortcomings of others (because they didnít fit into the narrow categories and definitions that suited her). For her, most of the time it was easier to distance herself from anyone who didnít act the way she thought they should.

For me, Iím glad I didnít turn that same spotlight on her, or I might never have known that she could be a better person (by, admittedly, my own somewhat broader definition).

15 February 2006

Low clouds at sunset.

And if I didnít make summary judgments about a person I merely worked with, I obviously wouldnít do anything to strain a family relationship. Weíve had problems within the family, as every family does, and itís become necessary to cut out certain elements to save the rest of us.

But it takes an awful lot of very bad behavior to make a family member so repugnant that they have to be written off to save the rest from pain. It takes more than a mistake or a misjudgment or a bad choice, thatís for sure. The person has to be evil and malicious, and Iím glad to say thereís no one in my life now that fits into that category.

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Things turned completely around for the U.S. curling teams today. The women finally found their stroke and weight and ice judgment, and they beat a determined Danish team, 8-3, making shots they hadnít been able to accomplish in the three losses that opened the tournament for them. The U.S. men, on the other hand, found a new way to lose, when their steadiest curler, Shawn Rojeski, missed a shot badly after his rock hit a bad patch on the ice. That left the door open for the Italian team to run the table, and the host country had its second win in a row, 6-5. The U.S. team is now 2-2 and struggling to find a way to take some momentum into the next round, if they even make it.

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One year ago: Overcome
"I didnít build any bridges or feed the starving millions today, but I did engineer two confrontations with the Boss and came out on top both times."

Two years ago: Extrasensory
"I can do better if I know what's going on. I can do better still if I can sleep until ten."

Three years ago: Mislaid Plans
"I'm the least important side of this lopsided triangle, so my options are limited. Somebody's going to be unhappy, and it's just easier if it's me."

Four years ago: Time to Move On
"NBC has three networks covering the Olympics. You'd think one of them could have covered the curling instead of the IOC press conference this morning."

Five years ago: Upward Mobility
"When a worthy goal is found to be impossible to achieve, it loses none of its nobility."

Six years ago: Pop-Ups
"I'm always nice, 'cuz that's how us old folks is."

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