Tag Archives: attitude

Blind to Blessings

Some days I can so clearly remember being little, being at my Grandma’s house, the sound of the piano in the rumpus room, the rhythm of her low-heeled pumps walking across the kitchen floor, the feel of the cool green leather recliner I liked to sit in.

A feeling of dark anger wells up in me, that I had no idea how precious it was. That I was a spoiled brat wondering what toy she would buy me later, how soon we would leave for the movies, if she’d remembered to buy my favorite ice cream for dessert later.

And now I am painfully aware of how good my kids have it. Shelves full of books, rooms full of every kind of toy, the Netflix queue full of instantly available commercial-free entertainment. Not to mention video games, neighborhood friends, a field across the street and blackberry-filled woods next door, art supplies and a whole desk in the living room dedicated to creative pursuits. And two parents who engage, converse, interact, explain, listen, cook and clean, hug and kiss.

Etc. Etc.

And a dark anger wells up in me to think of how much they whine and complain and wish and pine and argue.

I try desperately not to hate. But I hate the fact that humans are so blind to blessings. And now, when my eyes are finally opened to how wonderful my life is, it is all tarnished, continually, day after day, despite all my best efforts, by the attitude of the young family members who WILL NOT STOP begging and bitching.

All I can think is that surely I ruined it for my Grandma. I know how hard she tried to make my time at her house a living paradise. And I know damn well how much I begged and bitched.

And the wheel turns.

Flashback to the West Coast

We’d been wanting to check out Asheville, NC (about one and half hours west of here) for a few years. Well, we did go to a Drive-By Truckers concert there a couple of years ago, but I don’t count driving into town in the dark, going into a concert and leaving town in the dark as actually visiting somewhere.

I was looking forward to being around the hippies and freaks, the art and culture, the diversity of opinion. I’m from such a place, after all, having lived in the East Bay, Mendocino, Santa Cruz, Eugene.

How telling it was that along with the “peace and love” artsy-fartsiness we encountered, we also got the West Coast ‘tude. As in, I don’t see you and if I did I wouldn’t give you the time of day anyway.

I instantly missed Hickory. I was immediately desperate for a stranger to look at me, smile and say hello. I went 37 years of living on the West Coast, which is devoid of that kind of hospitality, but after 4 years of being surrounded by civilized humans here in the South, I guess I am seriously addicted.

I just don’t understand how cultivating an open-minded community leads to being closed-hearted. I don’t understand how being surrounded by art and culture results in such coldness and rudeness to fellow humans.