Hard To

TBB says that I should be nicer to my family, to let them help me.

They will see me as resisting their help, which will put the blame on me.

I get it.  It’s the “drink their milkshakes” idea from Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone.  When people want to do something nice, well, let them.   It’s the action that counts, not whatever  history or ideology or whatever.

We had snow today.  Around 3:30 I shoveled the end of the driveway.  As I have noted before, the house is located just past a left hand curve on a circle, which means it is where the plow straightens out, leaving a bigger dump of snow.

On the far side of the driveway (the near side is mailboxes & neighbor’s driveway) the snow pile is over six feet now, making it hard to get snow high enough, especially on a day like today when it is snow, then sleet & freezing rain, going back to snow, so the snow is waterlogged.

I did the end, where the water and snow is mixed, and where it stood a chance of freezing up.

But I left most of the rest of the driveway covered.  Since my parka was already wet with rain, I knew the rain wasn’t over, and I would let the snow take the ice, clean it later.  The snow would crust over with ice, but that crust could be removed easily.

Problem is that the next door neighbor wanted to be nice.    He cleared the rest of the driveway — the easy part — with his snow blower.

Nice thought, I suppose.

Problem is that the snow blower left a layer of snow, which immediately got water logged.  Then it got frozen.  Then it got snowed over.

The result is that I now have a driveway covered with a quarter inch of glaze ice covered with snow.

That’s hard shit.

One of the big problems in my life has been dealing not with people who want to hurt me, but rather people who want to be nice to me but who are so inconsiderate and unaware that they end up hurting me.

They make helping me about them.

My mother wants me to get my teeth “fixed” before she gets home, and while she never discussed it with me, she tasked my sister with getting it done.  Yeah, that’s right, the sister who threatened to call the authorities and have me removed from the home as a danger to my parents when I wouldn’t comply with something else my mother tasked her to force me to do.

I’m sure that they all believe that it’s the right thing, that it is for my own good.  But I’m sure that those religious assholes on Dr. Phil really believe beating kids into only showing normative behaviours think that is for the child’s own good, too.

My mother, well, she just doesn’t want mess on her watch. Ever.

So why don’t I just comply and drink the damn KoolAid, err, I mean milkshake?

It’s just after a half a century of other people claiming they are just trying to help, well, I tend to choke on the selfishness of piety.

The Christian version of the golden rule says “Do onto others as you would have them do unto you.”

GB Shaw found that anethmetic.

“Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.”
George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903)

I prefer the Jewish version.  The story is that a heathen asked Rabbi Hillel to teach the entire Torah standing on one foot.  Hillel said “Do not do unto others what would be hateful to you.  That is the whole of the Torah; the rest is commentary.”

Many, though, having never walked in the shoes of the marginalized, have no idea what would be hateful to them.   They just project normative expectations, and people who don’t recieve the normative with open arms are just rejecting what is offered.

“Are you hungry, you Jew, you Moslem?  Here, have some SPAM.  My family loves it.”

I know that the demand that people come into my world makes me hard to love.

But if you can’t respect another person, can you really love them?