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Commentary
Michiana Chronicles writers bring portraits of our life and times to the 88.1 WVPE airwaves every Friday at 7:45 am during Morning Edition and over the noon hour at 12:30 pm during Here and Now. Michiana Chronicles was first broadcast in October 2001. Contact the writers through their individual e-mails and thanks for listening!

Pardon Me

We are all so gross.  You are, I am, that guy at your work is.  You know it is true.  You know how sometimes a person…I’m not saying YOU of course, but a random person might get a thing on their whatever?  Like lint or a booger or leftover food from their last meal….it’s on their thing and they do not know.  Don’t we have a social obligation to tell them?  I mean, wouldn’t you want to know?  Sure it is embarrassing as all get out that my eyeliner has smeared or my lipstick has crusted but I’d rather know since everyone else will. 

My Husband has this funny little game he plays with me.  When I happen to notice (and I always notice) that he has a blemish or shmutz or a stray hair, I tell him.  I want him to fix it remove it pull it wipe it so that I can continue admiring his radiating good looking manliness.  Guess what he does?  NOTHING.  He leaves it there because it drives me insane, and he loves that.  At first I didn’t catch on.  I thought he didn’t hear me.  Oh, he heard me.  If you are laughing, you may well be another person who plays this game and I hate you just a little bit because I cannot hate my hubby.  Sometimes after I’ve tried to…uh…help him, a little bit more attentively, he really goads me.  He’ll grin big with spinach in his teeth and lean towards me for a kiss.  He’ll leave whatever it is, wherever it is, to show me who is in charge.  I get him back by telling my radio friends about it on the public radio airwaves.

Which camp are you in?  Are you a grossness pointer-outer or are you grossness-oblivious?  My guess is if you are, like me, always finding the little imperfections daily humanity offers, you are probably also Type A. You like all the things just how and where you like them. If you aren’t critical like us Type A folks, you may not only enjoy life around you more than we do, but also…you probably leave all of life around you!  I find myself not just fussy in little personal nuances, but in other areas too.  I can find fault with anyone anytime, even if I work hard to fight that immediate reaction.  I am critical, and often see how anything could be better.  My main struggle these days is fighting the urge to express these views unless someone asks for my opinion.  Most people do not really want another person to point out their weakness or shmutz or to offer a better way to do everything.  It is all relative. 

I think this behavior of mine comes from my Dad. You may have heard me say we call him the VOA or Voice of Authority.  He can tell anyone how to do anything…even if he himself has never done the particular thing.  He isn’t doing it in a jerky way, actually, he does it with great love.  I realized long ago he only wants everyone to have the best experience possible.  He wants the best for all of us.  I do too.

The trouble with a critically ‘helpful’ worldview is a person living this way can spend all of their energy on other people and not enough on their own details.  I for example can get critical about an un-emptied out sink drain even though the dishes were washed(and not by me!).  BUT I am easily able to ignore the clean folded laundry basket I need to put away for days…even weeks.  I won’t get my butt to the gym, or prep for a meeting or pluck my eyebrows…but you’ve got stuff in your thing.  You should take care of that immediately.

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