Maybe It’s The Weather….

If you asked me what one thing I could have that would make me just a little bit happier in my life, I’m not so sure I could come up with a good answer.  Sure, the easy answer would be a girlfriend, but would that really change my life?  I’m not so sure.  I see how people act when they are in relationships and I continue to question if ultimately that is how I want my life to go.  Of course, the alternatives are not so bright either, so I wonder if I should just settle on the simple path.  Well, I suppose to settle on that path I would actually have to go out and find a girlfriend, but since that is not likely to happen this afternoon, I may as well ramble on about other things.

It’s another rainy Wednesday and I have some time before I have to leave for work, and once again I am feeling down in the dumps.  I can think of a few reasons why, and I suppose I should deal with them.

Once again, my foul mood has been brought on by a message received from a sibling.  I have no desire to recreate the message here, but I will explain on my own more or less the events that transpired and I will leave the judgement up to you.  In the past week, two people I knew passed away.  Now, when I say I knew them, I knew them in the most basic sense.  One was a neighbor of my mother, who I had not seen since moving into my apartment three years ago.  Even when I lived with my mother, I knew this gentlman no more than as a neighbor, someone I would say hello to as I passed him in the parking lot.  We never had any kind of conversation with one another nor did I know much about him aside from his role as a manager of the condo complex where we lived.  The second man was the father of my mother’s ex-live-in boyfriend.  Once again, I only knew him because of a relationship my mother had with someone I also knew little of.  Now, to be fair, we did live in the same condo for several years, and through that, I had no choice but to get to know him.  That being said, had he never met my mother, he was not the kind of person I would have ever gotten to know.  Now, I want to be clear.  I had nothing against the man nor his father, but he and I simply had nothing to share with one another and had we passed one another on the street, a simple nod would have been more than what our relationship should have been.  For some reason my family has decided I did not like my mother’s boyfriend.  I want to say it again.  I had nothing against him.  We just weren’t ever going to be friends.  Ok, let’s move on, because clearly my family can  not.  I did have dinner on, I think, two occassions at the father’s house.  He was a nice man, but unfortunately he was severly overweight.  Now, I don’t hold this against him, but when you weigh over 300 lbs. you have to expect a short life span.  His son knew this, and could even be cold and heartless when talking about the health of his father.  I knew the man had become ill and was in the hospital.  Despite the fact my mother was no longer living with his son, she had remained close to him and went to see him in the hospital.  I knew he would not live much longer, and I also knew that my mother would expect me to attend at least the wake for both him and the neighbor who passes away.  I went to neither.

Right now, anyone reading this is going to form an opinion.  There are those who will say I was wrong for not going, and those who will say I was not obligated to attend.  Here are my thoughts.  First, as far as the neighbor, I paid  my respects to his step-daughter (who lived with him and was also our neighbor, of course) and her son (a grown man who was not related to the deceased in any way.)  As far as I am concerned, offering my condolences while visiting my mother last week was more than enough.  Aside from his step-daughter, I knew none of his family, and I see no reason I should attend a wake, something I am very uncomfortable doing, when I have already said what needed to be said.  As far as the  other gentleman, the only person I had any obligation to speak to was his son, who I knew well enough to know he was hiding any emotions he may have had and would most definitely say I had no reason to be there.  Now, the crowd of you who will say I should have gone out of respect should understand this about me.  In recent months, my feelings of atheism have grown to the point that I no longer believe in the afterlife.  While it is sad to lose a loved one, that loved one is not looking down on us, nor is he or she judging me for going or not going ot their funeral services.  If you are a religious person, please understand that these are simply my beliefs, and while you are entitled to your beliefs, I too am entitled to mine.  I am very uncomfortable in any kind of religious setting for this reason.  I certainly am not there to denounce others beliefs, but it is very hard for me to stand in a room surrounded by pictures of saints and angels and not say what I think of all of it.  At the same time, it is very hard for me to express any kind of sadness when I was hardened in my youth to be terribly stoic about everything.  this is a fact of who I am.  I am not necessarily proud of the aspect of who I am, but it is not something I can change about myself while standing in a funeral parlor.  I don’t cry, and I am not going to know the right thing to say to those people who I don’t know.  Instead, I’ll awkwardly seek out a chair in the back of the room, clench my fists, and silently count the minutes until I can leave.

I have been called selfish for not doing things in my life that make me uncomfortable.  No one likes funerals, I was told, and sometimes we have to do things that make us uncomfortable.  I don’t necessarily agree.  Were it a member of my family, yes, I would have gone.  Personally, I don’t think those who sent me the message were any more obligated to go than I was, yet they went, and I am certain that’s what I would be told if I said that to them, but my point is, I certainly would not have held it against them if they had not gone.  My response, however, has been silence.  I even had my reservations about writing this, but it was eating me up a little inside, so I decided to go forth with it.  As far as my family, a response will only breed a fight that I don’t care to have.  This is supposed to be a joyous time of the year, yet somehow my family always ends up miserable.  No one wants to deal with death, especially just a few weeks before the holidays, but we can’t avoid it I suppose.  I don’t want my mother to be sad and I certainly don’t want her to be upset with me, but everyone in my family needs to understand that I am a grown up, just like them, and like it or not, I am going to make decisions they may not always agree with.  If it pleases them to lecture me, I can’t stop them, but it isn’t going to change much.

All right, enough of that.  I guess I’ll be off.  Feel free to chastise me if you like.

 

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~ by James on December 7, 2011.

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