Sunday, September 14, 2008

I hope they're following their bliss (or, red shoes make me happy, too)

I'll never understand why it seems so hard for people to be happy for you when good things happen in your life. I used to live next door to a woman who would drop everything in her own life if you were having a rough time. She'd cook you dinners and listen endlessly while you cried on her shoulder. But the second something good happened that you wanted to share, she backed off being your friend in search of a new needy person to aid. It was like she grew taller and brighter when your life was in ruins and I think it was because she was secretly happy that whatever was happening to you wasn't happening to her. It almost felt as if she wanted to be a witness to your pain rather than help alleviate it. Like, she did all that cooking and listening because there was the payoff of having a front row seat to watch the devastation up close and personal. I like to call people like this misery magnets. I don't like people like this because there's a real lack of sincerity going on under the guise of compassion. I mean, if you can't be happy for me when I'm happy, I would basically rather not know you.

I wonder what holds a lot of us back from being happy for one another when good things happen. Why can't a simple joy be shared without vultures waiting on the sidelines to rip us to shreds for the crime of finding a little happiness? I read these posts today and I was struck again how mean-spirited and petty people can be. The blogger posted a couple of pictures of items she had purchased and along came a killjoy to question if she really ought to be purchasing red shoes when she was just recently lamenting over financial difficulties in her life. I don't get it. How do the red shoes take away from any of us out here reading about them? If red shoes gave the blogger a reason to smile then who are we to steal that away from her?

We've all got sad tales to tell. I know I've got at least a million of them. We seem to cling to them like they're life rafts instead of recognizing them as anchors that are pulling us under. We like following trainwrecks, and scoff at people who present their lives in a positive light. I'm guilty of this sometimes. I don't mind people who have wonderful lives who write about them, but I will say that I have read blogs where the blogger will present a life of peaches and cream then one day snap and confess that it's all been a cover for all sorts of dysfunction going on. WTF? I don't like that crap. At least be real. Have a good day then a bad day like the rest of us, and don't concoct fairytales to tell just because it might sound better than my bitching about spit on the mirrors from people sloppily brushing their teeth.

I don't mind admitting that I'm all over the place most of the time. But I am able to be happy for other people when I see that they are happy. It shouldn't be that difficult to share in the little joys that help give us hope that things will get better--the joys that lighten our hearts momentarily. I just wish we could all be happy for one another when good things happen instead of thinking someone else's joy means there might be less for us somehow, or that someone isn't deserving of happiness just because we say so.

1 comment:

ms. changes pants while driving said...

i find that being truly happy for someone is rewarding in itself. i am truly happy for things that happen to my friends, relatives, and fellow bloggers. and that happiness for them is joy for me. i didn't read the breed 'em and weep posts yet. "breathe through it" is right above "breed 'em and weep" in my google reader.

but yes, i totally get what you're saying.