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Birthday Prequel - Part 1

Roger Paul

I just wrote this.  It's January 4, 2015.  I'm publishing it here on a somewhat hidden page on my website. I'm also scheduling a link to this to post on The Easy Cajun Facebook page as far in the future as their software will allow me to . . . so that it will be there should something happen to me.


Welcome to another new year. Welcome to a supposedly fresh start.

This is the year things might change? This is the birth of that 180 degree turn? No more playing last fiddle to anyone? No more being at the bottom of anyone's priority list? Maybe we should just get off their list completely?

90-10 splits don't work well for any kind of deal. Eventually, the one getting just 10% realizes that minuscule portion is beginning to be chipped away at as well.  If we wait around, there will be zero to show for our 90% investment. In business, you don't keep pouring money into a bad deal. It needs to be the same way in life.

You know the type. They are only in it for themselves. They are very involved . . . when it benefits or pleases them. They can't wait to participate in something they enjoy. Otherwise, they're absent. If they need a favor, we have always acted in such a manner so as to think we could later ask for a favor in return. But, do you hear the crickets? That's the sound of being alone when we really needed that favor.

You know the type. They are busy on our big days, if they even acknowledge or remember them at all. Their jobs, their family, their sports, their groups, their chores . . . just too busy. It doesn't matter that we've always dropped everything to be there for them. That's part of our ongoing and expected 90%. Do you hear the crickets?

You know the type. When we do find time to be alone with them, they are pleasant and can even be fun to be around. They even make you feel worthy at times. But when you're together with others . . . they can be distant and dismissive. Or worse, you find yourself being the constant butt of their jokes. They humiliate you endlessly and wave it off as just poking a little fun. We've been there and had to hear this too many times. Crickets sound much better.

You know the type. They often need you at a particular event as a prop, someone to walk in with, someone to drive, etc. Then once you get there, you don’t see them. They are nowhere to be found. They avoid you like the plague unless they need something. Then, they are quick to find you, but they quickly disappear once they have finished getting what they need. We’re left with the sounds of crickets again . . . or the chatter of people you don’t even know.

You know the type. We've listened and been interested in all aspects of their existence. From listening to them recount and self-analyze their dreams to hearing how they spent their day, we've given them our ears unselfishly. We listen and hear about what they ate and who they spent time with. We hear about their friends and their families and that second cousin twice removed and all that is happening in those lives. We learn all we can about their work and their colleagues as they satisfy their need to share all of this information that is important in their lives. We pay attention as they recount their plans and what they hope and need to achieve. We support and cheer their efforts and accomplishments. We treasure their happiness and sense of success. We make an effort to look for and find something to relate to in their interests with respect to culture, sports, music, politics, art, food, etc.

But you know the type. As soon as we begin to talk about anything remotely interesting to ourselves, they have to make a phone call. Or maybe they suddenly remembered they had to start getting ready to go elsewhere. No? They just rolled their eyes and picked up their smart phone? They text while we talk. They play word games?  They don't hear what we say. They are not interested at all. They don't remember what we just said. And it gets worse when they make you feel your interests are unimportant and mostly irrelevant and far inferior to what they are dealing with at any given time. We've experienced it too many times. How often and how small have we been made to feel by people we thought cared for us?

You know the type. We've gone all out for their families, friends, and colleagues. We've neglected our own many times so as to participate in whatever omnipresent event they have deemed more important than anything else at the time. And the same scenario happens several times a year. But, when the tables are turned, we can't even get them to cross the river. Their job, their training, their calendar just won't allow them to make the sacrifice. It's just always a bad time. It's their life getting in the way again. They're not sorry because in their minds there is nothing they can do about the situation. In their existence, that's just the way it has played out. They will tell you that “it is what it is.” We are left with nothing but the sound of crickets on the way to our events, the happy ones . . . and the funerals.

You know the type.  We’ve shown up for all those events they’ve asked us to be there for them.  We’ve mingled with their family, their friends, and their colleagues.  We’ve bragged on them and repeated endlessly how lucky we are to have them.  We’ve built them up and put them on the proverbial pedestal and kept them there with our unwavering encouragement and support.  We’ve survived their emotional tsunamis and did much to provide comfort and caring.  Our loyalty and dedication has been persistent and forever offered un-reluctantly. 

But then when those very rare opportunities arise that they are finally in the presence of our family, our friends, or our colleagues . . . we are again mostly dismissed and/or worse, the butt of their jokes.  There are no complements, only criticism. There is no loyalty, only a show of superiority.  Every facet of our human failings and shortcomings are amplified and recounted for their personal entertainment. They may have no sense at all of the humiliation they cause or worse yet, it is perhaps their sport. Maybe it is their need to satisfy their own desire to cover up the guilt they have for knowingly hoarding 90% of everything in a relationship.

And do you notice how full of life and energy they are when we are around their people?  They party and stay up and comingle and have a great time into the wee hours.  But, do you notice how tired they are when around our people.  Do you notice how often they either don’t feel well or have to go to bed early? We are left with crickets.

You know the type.  Take a minute to think about how much we do for them, purely for them. Not the things that benefit both of us, those things that we do purely to make their day or week better. It will perhaps take more than a minute, but take your time. Afterward, think about what they do for us, purely for us. Again, not the things that are mutually beneficial, but the thing or things that are meant to especially make us cheerful and feel appreciated. 


Heck, I’d rather hear crickets.  Maybe I should just disappear while I still have a smidgen of the remaining 10% of my dignity . . .

The Easy Cajun