I believe a bit of reflection is helpful at the beginning of a new year.
Looking back at 2013, I wish I'd said and done some things differently. At 45, I still seem too concerned about people liking me. As a result, I don't say what's actually
on my mind. Instead, I blather some polite words and move on. Later, I kick myself for not saying what I really wanted to.
In 2014, I've resolved to be more direct and authentic in my relationships. In my head I've replayed some conversations that bugged me from last year. As a practice exercise for 2014, I've reimagined what I might say with my new bold approach if given a second chance. Take a look, see what you think:
Grade 3 Room Mother: "Liesl, would you be willing to chair the annual wrapping paper sale? I know it's close to Christmas and all, but it's really not totally time-
What I actually said: "Wow, that's so kind of you to ask. I'm flattered that you think I'm so organized. Hmmm...taking on an extra volunteer job around the holidays... Geez, let me think about it... Well, o.k...since you asked so nicely...I guess I'll do it."
What I'd say in '14: "Are you fucking kidding me? No."
Middle son: "Mom, please, please, please play that song by Fall Out Boy one more time, 'My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark.'"
What I actually said: "No. You know what? I'm sick to death of that stupid song. It doesn't even make sense. If I hear it one more time, I'm gonna lose it."
What I'd say in '14: "You bet. In fact, I'm gonna pull over in your school parking lot, turn up the volume, get out of the car, and do the routine I choreographed for that amazing song. What? Bad idea? Now you don't want to hear it? Whatever. Your call."
Editor: "I love, love, love your writing. Unfortunately we can't pay you for your original story, but we will give you great exposure."
What I actually said: "Wow, exposure...well...o.k., I guess more exposure can never hurt."
What I'd say in '14: "Not willing to pay me, but still want my work? Not cool. You know what? I just came from an appointment where a complete stranger ripped all the pubic hair out of my lady garden. So I've got plenty of exposure right now. No thanks."
What I actually said: "That's funny. I think I was here recently -- like one or five years ago, er, or something. Well, I floss every now and then, but it's totally not as often as I'd like. You know how it is. I can only find one sock. making lunches. Bought the waxed kind of floss, but realized that was a huge mistake... *nervous giggle* (insert more bullshit here)... I might've missed a few weeks because of that polar vertix thing. Cool tie, by the way."
What I'd say in '14: "I got nothin'."
Annoying married couple: "Aw, Liesl, it's good to see you out and about! Isn't it hard attending social events like this alone?"
What I actually said: "Oh, well, I do my best. You never know who you might meet at these things."
What I'd say in '14: "Oh well, I do my best, but it is hard because assholes ask me stupid questions like this at social events."
Ex-husband: "This is the last and final time I'm going to tell you to stop communicating with my parents."
What I actually said: "Yes, you keep telling me that. In fact I think you've told me 'this is the last and final time' about 5 times."
What I'd say in '14: "Promise?"
Potential Match.com date through email: "On weekends during the summer, I role play as the King's Court Jester at the Renaissance Faire. My Elizabethan accent is spot on, wench. See what I did there? If you go out with me, you'll see I'm chock full of 16th century English humor."
What I actually said: "Wow, I've never known anyone quite like you. Um, go out with you? Maybe...I'm not sure."
What I'd say in '14: *Clicks tab: Block User Now.*
Store clerk: "Ma'am, I think you're lost. Did you know you're actually in the petite department? The clothes here are tiny. I don't think you'll find anything to fit you."
What I actually said: *Polite chuckle* "Oh, thank you, but I'm actually shopping for my mother."
What I'd say in '14: *Polite chuckle* "Oh, thank you, but I'm actually shopping for my mother, bitch."
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