SMH

I have developed an unsavory habit and I’m here to own up to it, to acknowledge it and find a twelve-step program to end it.

I shake my head. SMH. A lot.

I shake my head at dumb drivers. I shake my head at slow walkers. I shake my head at loud talkers. I shake my head at bicyclists on the sidewalk. I shake my head at narrow-minded tirades. I shake my head at people who eat junk. I shake my head when people say things I don’t totally agree with and I think they aren’t looking. Sometimes I get caught, and when I do, I shake my head. At myself. For getting caught.

SMH at other drivers
SMH at other drivers

I shake my head so much I’m afraid I’m going to have overdeveloped neck muscles!

Facebook is intolerable anymore. I gave up television decades ago.

Don't get me started on talk radio!
Don’t get me started on talk radio!

I live by the adage “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all”. Some people assume I’m shy. Some people. SMH.

There I go again.

Isn’t shaking my head an expression? Non-verbal disapproval or judgment for something said, not said, done or not done? I’d say so. Who am I to judge? We are all entitled to opinions, our unique way of doing things, and if I am polite enough to not criticize out loud, what is all the head shaking about? I am actually sitting here, shaking my head, at myself, as I write about this unsavory behavior of mine. Make it stop!

Maybe that guy is riding his bike on the sidewalk because a garbage truck hit him last time he rode his bike in the street and this is the first time back on his bicycle after months of recovery from his life-threatening injuries and the embarrassment of being hit by a garbage truck! And I shake my head. Probably not, but it’s possible, right? Maybe the loud talker and the dumb driver have a reason, a story, and I have no way of knowing why they are behaving in a manner I consider unsavory.

As for beliefs and opinions; I have my ways, my beliefs, my opinions, and I think they’re good. Other folks do things differently, have different beliefs, opinions, and behaviors, I respect that. I do. And since I respect those differences, why am I shaking my head all the time? It is not up to me to judge, to decide who is right and who is wrong. Maybe we are all right, maybe we are all wrong. Who’s really an expert in anything? Who’s really a judge or an authority to be trusted, wholly? I think we’re all naïve and foolish, we all have much to learn, we’re all just nymphs, neophytes, in the grand scheme. I like how we think we’re THE superior species on the planet. I have my doubts. SMH. That’s my opinion. BTW.

We all have our differences! That’s what makes people so incredibly interesting! We’re all different! If we were all the same, thought, acted, believed and behaved the same, well, I’m shaking my head at how incredibly horrible that would be!

I preach acceptance. I preach tolerance. I shake my head at intolerance, in fact. I, myself, crave acceptance, tolerance and even understanding. I don’t care if folks agree with me, I just want them to understand why I believe, act, do, as I do, accept it and tolerate it. So I don’t understand why I shake my head. I don’t accept it and I will no longer tolerate it. So there.

Since shaking my head has become an involuntary behavior, I am struggling with the means to a cure. If I dwell on it, I’m afraid I will appear stiff and robotic, daring not tilt my head, or turn to gain a better view. I’ll be walking around like a soldier, right face, left face, about turn, head straight, gaze forward at all times. I’ve thought of maybe wearing a hat with dingle balls hanging from the brim, like one of those Spanish dudes, and every time I shake my head, the dingle balls will swing in my view and I’ll know to stop! Or maybe a hat with a bell on it! You’re shaking your head, I know it!

An Effort to Evolve

Well, whatever the cure, I am from this moment on, making the effort to stop SMH, to practice acceptance and tolerance, and to strive for understanding, where possible, and to keep silent in word, and in deed, if I don’t!

 

Scarlett’s Letter August 19, 2013

Monday, again, already. How?

I actually didn’t drive to Sacramento today. And I had eggs for breakfast. Again. There are patterns in life. Some of them get old.

It was a completely ordinary, sort of mundane day. I worked. I ran errands. I talked on the phone with my Sweetie. I wrote. That’s about it. Except for the last two things, the pattern is getting old.

I noticed something yesterday and the “trend” continued today. Is it National No Blinker Week? Or what? Driving is sort of like being a Quarter Horse, cutting cattle, you have to have the innate ability to predict which direction the driver is going to go, you have to be able to read their subtle moves to have any hope of knowing whether they are going left, going right, changing lanes, or what. Do people realize that not using blinkers is potentially dangerous? And at the very least, rude? How much energy does it take to push down or pull up on a lever with your pinky finger? And then there’s the one driver making up for everyone else’s laziness; blinker on for thirty-seven miles. Sigh.

I do know it is National Potato Day. Did you know this? Who decides this stuff? Was there a potato parade somewhere that I missed? Or a potato festival? I didn’t celebrate National Potato Day, I ate no potatoes. None at all. It is also National Aviation Day and National Soft Serve Ice Cream Day! Woo Hoo! So, would I have spent my day better eating French Fries and soft serve at the airport? I’m marking my calendar, perhaps next year that’s what I’ll do. Life is just too short to let an excuse to celebrate pass us by! Embrace whatever celebration is at hand and party on! I wonder what tomorrow is?

Mom and I seem to have sort of an unspoken competition going; who can find the answer quicker. The answer to what? Anything. Dates. Places. Actors. Movies. Directions. Events, past, present and future. Another reason why breakfast goes way longer than it should. Mom uses her crossword dictionary, the Yellow Pages, bits of newspapers snipped out and paper clipped to her current calendar or stuck to the fridge with a magnet, those free maps you could (can?) get at the AAA office, and, of course, her calendars from all of time with tiny little notes in each square written in tiny cursive script. I use Google, IMBD, WikiPedia and WikiHow the most. I have a Garmin Nuvi for navigation, but will often MapQuest something to get basic distances and travel times. I’m claiming victory about 99.9999993% of the time, but I honestly think Mom would tell you she has the same success rate. We are both very stubborn in our ways, in case that hasn’t already been made evident. I am a lover of technology. Mom is not. Lord knows she’s tried, we’ve tried, we’ve all tried. My dad was adept enough and at the age of ninety-one, had a new Dell laptop, because his desktop computer actually wore out. Now I am in possession of his laptop, I think Mom wanted to bury it with him, and the warranty hadn’t even expired. Dad had a Facebook and managed their NetFlix account and all their online healthcare needs with Kaiser; prescriptions, appointments, and test results. My son tried to teach Mom how to use the computer. Once. It was a valiant attempt, to his credit. Let’s just say she drives her Accord a bit better than she drives the mouse. She, somehow, on her first attempt, selected every icon on the desktop and deposited them into the Recycle Bin. The Accord is, at least, insured.

Mom's Google.
Mom’s Google.
Even more of Mom's Google.
More of Mom’s Google.

This disdain of the modern goes well beyond seeking information. Mom waters the yard every day even though there are automatic sprinklers and irrigation in place. True, it may not be working quite as well as it should l, but she won’t pay the landscape maintenance guy to do a tune up on it. She never trusted it anyway. Instead, every day at some point, with her walking stick and outlandish, ginormous straw hat, her enormous black sunglasses, and, I think, my Dad’s jeans and red plaid shirt, she goes out, grabs the hose, and sprinkles everything.  I think it’s an unspoken competition they have; Mom and the automatic sprinklers. Mom thinks she’s winning.

To her credit, she has totally figured out the TV remotes. But, where there is passion, there is perseverance and, eventually, mastery. Of all the things for her to master, the one thing I cannot tolerate. TV. It isn’t TV that I hate, the device itself is quite useful for displaying real entertainment, it’s the mainstream programming I detest. The news in particular. And for as long as I can remember, she has been an absolute news junky. Every day she reads the news, listens to the news, watches the news multiple times a day, the local news, the national news, the world news, the inter-galactic news. I hate the news as much as she hates my “Facebook” (meaning my iPhone/iPad/MacBook/PC/Kindle). Everything electronic is a “Facebook”. I’ve tried to explain. It hurts. I’ve stopped.

Some of my "Facebooks".
Some of my “Facebooks”.

Ah, but she is out and about, in her insured Accord right now, running errands. The TV is off, the house is quiet, and I am so at peace, I can actually hear myself think. I am seriously considering running downstairs and putting dead batteries in the remote before she gets home. That should thwart her for a good hour or two!

Then I think I’ll have to have eggs for dinner. Again.