Sometimes its better to explode then to hold it in. Had this relative said " I get on your nerves bear with me"I would have been okay. Instead he attacked me in the most crude manner and I was angry not because of the words but because he just didn't put his hand out. It was the sense of entitlement, that your feelings don't matter. The words meant nothing, it was the failure to put out the hand and acknowledge my humanity.
Rather then get defensive and fight, he should have said I know bear with me. It was not the toxic words that angered me. It was the inability to hold out his hand and say bear with me a tad more.
It takes no skill to fight. It takes more skill to be humble and give the man a finger. By bottling up this anger I did not help the situation at all. This relative needed to grasp other people matter. It is easy to fight, but it was not needed.
I work a brutal job. Yet among the misery and pathos, I rise up and am the gentle smile that welcomes people to our door. Workers in my agency don't dress up like Spock or line dance. We don't go to conferences every minute. My agency is always last in employee satisfaction and my office and section until recently were the worst out there.
It is the toughest beat in the worst area in the worst location. I am the gentle hand that says welcome or try again. Up until this boss, I never got a kind word or thank you. I mentored dozens and pulled my weight and that is no fat joke. Serving the public is enough and seeing a heartfelt thank you is enough. Saying welcome to a person who has overcome adversity is enough. My hero is a modest woman from Jamaica working two brutal jobs to support her adult developmentally disabled daughters. If you felt sorry for her she would slap you and thank God for her lot.
My job is a hell hole. I work in a place that is rife with cronyism and treats Jews, Gays and anyone over 40 like excrement. Like the Jamaican woman, I must learn grace and dignity. Yes, management sucks for it is stupid, rife with nepotism and incompetence. In many ways my relationship with my job is like a battered spouse. I love the public and the work I do. Sadly, it comes with a set of clods who lack humanity.
I am thankful that I was allowed to see the ray of sunshine and humanity of the top boss. She can get more with a smile and the words Beaky then all the fear and bullying.. I would march through hell and back for her a million times only because she has confidence in me and treats me like a human.
We live in a world where there isn't always right or wrong. I had an oh my God case and she said "Beaky you and I know the past stinks. That was twenty years ago and the couple is together. Treat the family with respect or at least get them out of the way fast". She said it with a smile and I knew she was right and had faith in me to get it right. Having a boss that believes in you is a blessing.
Why I would march through hell and back is she understands people are not numbers. If we have to throw the book, at least pick the right people to throw the book at. Grace and glory will come to you here without making mountains out of molehills.
Oddly, I feel whole and I am no longer angry. Bottling it up was worse then fighting. It is easy to hate frummies. They are self centered, they don't understand other perspectives, they are cultural zombies, they really just don't understand hard work and they have Gods authority. If I can find forgiveness in others, I should forgive the frummies for what they are not. The sense of superiority and entitlement got to me. Of course had this relative said " I know it sucks, but we'll get through it I would be fine." It was the failure to acknowledge me as a human that did it.
I still abhor frumkiet. It sickens me and is a mockery of actual faith. Work hard, take care of yourself respect others and the big guy gets it in the final chapter. My love is that which I swore an oath to. My love is that which surrounds me. I am American in content and substance. I am a Jew, but it is but a detail in a larger picture. I celebrate and enjoy those things around me. I do not seek to separate myself with quirky dress. Nor do I look upon the ghettos of Europe with a tear in my eye. Life was hard and aping the customs is as absurd as starting a cult around Sanford and Son, Gilligan's Island or Alf.
For all the boorish piety and absurd clothing frummies miss the part about hard work and dignity. Studying the talmud was done for 90% after work. Even Maimonides had a day job and never asked for a crumb.
Nor is following cult like ethically challenged cult Rabbis part of our traditions. These Cult leaders make themselves out to be king and need to be prosecuted under the RICO act in many cases.
Part of this is my fault for not exploding sooner. Merely, telling this relative show some humility should have been said long ago. Those words were really hateful and vile, yet in the big picture they meant nothing. You get further in life with we are all in this together then haughtyniss.
Oddly this relative has an incompetent relative that cost me $900.00 dollars and my car. I told her change the plates but as a useless incompetent and after feigning expertise duhh I got to change the plates,. If my car did not move for six months it is not your business. The fact it was given to me as a gift is not your business. I owned and maintained it well. Your car breaks and you ask for mine like I owe you something with no regard and you feign it doesn't really belong to me. What part of it was a gift given to me nine years ago eludes you. What part of show humility did you forget. Why when I told you to change the plates did feign expertise pretend it is not my car. How much incompetence and boorishness must I endure.
Why am I the only one in this place that ever gets shit right the first time. If I married that idiot I would kill myself to get away from her. How much incompetence, stupidity and boorishness must I endure. It is the incompetence that gets to me.
I can't hate this relative, but his wife and bratty kids are another story. He needed to learn humility, to respect me as a human. These relatives are very easy to hate especially his wife who can't get a thing right and knows everything. The kids are obnoxious uncouth. In my days Yeshiva kids in my day understood that hard work and respecting others meant more then ceremonies. The sense of "we are the center of the world " arrogance really gets me. I was a college graduate and on the first day the boss tossed me a broom. I did my job with pride and didn't have the attitude it is beneath me.
My only wish is when my hour comes to return my soul to the jungles of Guyana. I want my spirit to rest among the trees and animals. I do not wish to be reclaimed into a faith that has treated me poorly and I chaffed against. Being Jewish has never been a source of happiness for me. It has always created conflict and pain. My pain was in my battle to define myself on my own terms. Much like a gay man being in the closet I lived a lie. I never felt religious and chafed at having to fake it. It was not as if I stepped out of the secular closet as I shouted this is who I am. Nobody accepted my secular lifestyle and there was always the belief I would return to the path. Sunbeam was a psycho, but she was right about one thing I can't fake my disdain for long. Something primal inside me rejects having to feign faith I never had.
Be yourself, be proud of what you are and live.