One other such adage is about holding grudges that says, holding a grudge is like drinking the poison and expecting the other person to die. I got that message loud and clear eons ago, and since I can be passive-aggressive in ways that don’t please me, I try to do things better when I feel crossed. Maybe not as directly as I should (baby steps, yo) but I often take a step back and assess the situation, and try to see it for what it is. This person isn’t trying to fuck with me – this person is just having a bad time these days, and taking it out in unsavoury ways, and I happen to be in the crossfire. That’s often the case.
And ever since I really got that message, I find I don’t hold grudges against people – it feels so much saner not to. But what’s nuts it I do hold grudges against things. I realize that sounds ridiculous, but it feels better inside my head to hate something inanimate instead. For instance, this coat I bought myself in December... (More, here.)
I do this all the time. The "cursing of the dress that does not fit" because SURELY, IT'S THE DRESS' FAULT I ATE TOO MUCH BANANA PUDDING. I am passive aggressive. I quietly steam and stew and shit talk and smile.
What I love about this post is the HUMANITY of it all. The balance of those who "swindle us" and those who "do us favors" and the idea that we are just the same. We are all swindling and doing favors and it's like how there are thousands of earthquakes in California a year and we only ever feel two or three.
If someone talks shit on someone else and nobody's there to hear it, does it make a sound?
If someone screws someone over but they do not notice, have they been screwed over?
If someone does a good deed that goes unnoticed was it not good?
This is the age of recognition. We must show what we have and who we are and tell the world what good deeds we are doing in order to feel like we are doing them...
...And the very minute my nails were dry, I took my coat out of the closet, marched out the door, and took it to be mended at Cordonnerie Westmount. When I arrived, my shoe-repair guy stopped what he was doing, and fixed it for me on the spot. He didn’t even charge me a cent for his trouble.
I am a firm believer in the balance that exists without our knowledge. That for every shit day, a wonderful one is on its way. That for every generous act, there is perhaps an unsavory one... It isn't karma so much as the reality of existing here and now.
We are all capable of selling each other broken coats.
We are all capable of mending each other's seams.
As soon as I recognized this about myself and my friends and my husband and my children and ALL people, I became much happier in this life.
I stopped holding grudges.
I put on a different dress instead.
After I bid my lady-friend goodbye, and made plans to see her in a few short weeks at her own showing at another gallery, I walked over to the nearly-sagging coat rack to collect my parka. I handed my hanger to a youngish bearded guy standing next to me, as he was clearly waiting for a free one. He took it from me, and smiled as he tucked it under his arm to hold it, and he took my coat by the collar to help me into it. Lovely manners never go out of style. I smiled back at him, and he said, “Nice coat.”
I looked down at the ground and exhaled. I shook my head, and then looked back at him. “Thank you,” I said, smiling. And I meant it.
Tracey for President.
Also, please read this about race/wild animals on buses.
And this on empathy and not having to choose a side (which I've linked to before but it's perfect so please revisit it if you haven't already.)
And this on marriage, specifically this:
When we pass each other in the hallway of our house, I grab his hand, and he threads his fingers in mine, and we squeeze… when I glance back over my shoulder, he’s looking back, too. Also smiling
And, well, everything Tracey has ever written...
Moments, you know? This is what we live for. The glance back... the fingers. The smiling. Thank you, Tracey for so honestly and eloquently sharing, with humor and wisdom and grace.