I realized today that I live in a skewed world where everyone is young. There are no babies who need to be managed, no children who need to be straitjacketed, no middle aged people to be consulted, and no elderly people to be respected. Of course my parents are around, but Dad calls Mom “Murder” and she answers “Yo man!” so I categorize them as pals, not parents.
One of my teachers from school (she is Mom’s friend) came over for lunch today. I got into an argument with her. It ended quite bitterly, with her being very disturbed about the way I talked. I refuse to believe that my point was not valid, but perhaps the way I talked to her was not appropriate. She told me in no uncertain terms that she lost all respect for me today.
I realized with a shock that I have been shooting my mouth off indiscriminately for years now, because I am surrounded by people with whom I can get away with anything. Somewhere down the line, someone must have tried to teach me manners and etiquette, but they failed miserably. Most young people dismiss my blasé behavior as an attitude issue, and those who don’t tolerate it slip out of my circle of acquaintances. So I’ve got this complacent feeling that all I’m saying is right.
This was a wake-up call. I do not wish to earn the respect of this lady back. But I need to rein in that vicious tongue of mine, before I cause serious damage.
I’ve always maintained that people who say “it’s not what you said, it’s the way you said it” are just making their last feeble jab after losing an argument. Apparently it is not so.
Mend thy ways Inky, mend thy ways now.