Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2279509-More-Editorials
Printer Friendly Page Tell A Friend
No ratings.
Rated: E · Editorial · Opinion · #2279509
More of my Editorials grouped together
~Listening isn’t enough
~What? I Can't Hear You
~Social media and knowing your friends
~Paying it Forward
~I tried to be nice today
~I got unfriended today
~I Am In Awe
~Facebook Hurtful Posts
~Wildlife in town
~There's a demon inside me
~Visiting a New Store

Listening isn’t enough
Originally published: April 10, 2021 at 6:01am

I know I will probably piss off a lot of people with this entry, but in all honesty, if this offends you, or hurts you, then maybe you are seeing yourself in the things I wrote, and don’t like to see your reflection.

Go ahead and call me a drama queen. Tell the world I’m just seeking attention.

Okay then.

There are all these posts going around about depression and suicide awareness, stating that a person doesn’t know how bad someone else's depression is until it’s too late, asking for you to share the post to spread the word and to show the world that you’re listening.

Just listening isn’t enough!

Depression is a major issue, and it plagues everyone in different ways. For some, it’s just sadness, but for others, it can be as severe as utter hopelessness, and it can get so bad that they will cry and beg to die, and that’s when they start planning.

They will reach out, looking for even the smallest reason to keep going, and while your ear might give them hope, if all you do is listen, it would only be a matter of time before that hope turns into a black pit and they will freely step into it.

Those feelings are incomprehensible for those who have never experienced them. When I hear someone claim to be a person's best friend and that they never saw the signs, it’s bulls**t, because best friends know each other inside and out, and they tell each other everything. But after it’s too late, they only say they never saw the signs because they don’t want to admit they stopped caring because that person had ‘cried wolf’ before and was only seeking attention.

When someone is on the edge, they are always on the edge, and when they ‘cry wolf’ it’s because they are losing their balance and they have come to you for a small tug to get them stabilized again. Sometimes it takes a little, but other times it takes a lot. Some just need a shoulder to cry on, and some need advice, and others need more help, but the worst thing you can do to a person who is suffering is to forget about them as soon as they walk out of your house, and never return a phone call, or make them feel as if what they are feeling isn’t true, all of their fault, or push those ideas on them that you already know they don’t agree with.

It’s hard to understand another’s life experiences, those events in their lives that had put them on that edge. Our brains work differently, influenced by multiples of things, just as some people are allergic to peanut butter or a bee sting.

And then there was how they were raised, things a person went through in their lives that helped create the person they are now, and those two things will twist together inside a person's brain.

Maybe you live by that old saying ‘sticks and stone will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.’ Well, most psychologists will tell you that that saying is bulls**t. Those words, when repeated by multiples of people, become embedded in the brain, snaking their way into every thought, every belief, and it doesn't take long before those words are that person’s life, what they see every time they look in the mirror, every time they set a goal. If they are called ugly, that is what they will see, if they are called stupid, that is where they will set their goals. It won’t matter how many times you tell that person those words aren’t true, because those negative words of their childhood, or the pain caused by someone they trusted or loved, is now all they believe. The thing that matters is you being there for them.

You listening to them isn’t enough!

You have to check in on them, and not just once. They came for you from help, they came for you to give them a reason to push on, and while you might have listened with a caring expression, giving them a shred of hope, if you then turn your back thinking that because they smiled everything is okay, you are wrong.

Listening isn’t enough!

They reached out to you, showed you their darkness, but if you don’t check in on them to show them that you really care, they will believe that everything you said was bulls**t, that you don’t care about them. Never had and never will.

How do I know listening isn’t enough?

I went to friends for help, and I poured my heart out to them, showed them my darkness. And they did listen, but then they turned their backs on me. Never calling to see how I was doing, never coming over to check on me, leaving me to pull myself out of the black hole that I almost didn’t make out of!

So, when you write off that friend as seeking attention, yes, they are, and the attention you give them will push them in one direction or the other

What? I Can't Hear You
Originally published: March, 25, 2021 at 1:11pm

Ok, so I just saw a commercial for a car that has speakers in the headrest. Yes, the place where the driver places their head.

Can we say D.U.M.D. spells smart? Can we say hearing problems? Can we say distracted drivers? Can we say the drivers won't hear sirens or horns honking when they are driving like idiots?

And from looking around the internet, I come to find out this isn't the only car with the option, plus there is one coming with a total of thirty-four speakers. Thirty-four speakers in one car. Going to hear that one coming from ten miles away.

Yes, I will admit that when I was a kid, I would've loved this, would've blown out those speakers as I cruised the loop, but now, nope. As an adult, I understand the dangers of having the music too loud. My eardrums are reminding me of that right now. Plus, there’s respect for other drivers, not everyone likes my type of music and those who are riding in the car with me. When I’m in the car alone, the music is loud, but when someone is in the car with me, it’s usually low, or we agree on the volume.

Even scarier, cars are now designed to block out those noises from outside, so now they are only going to hear their music pounding in their ears and they won't hear that train whistle, that car horn, or those emergency sirens, and we already know that they won't see them either because those cell phones keep their eyes on their laps instead of the road, but even if they aren't on their phone, the bass will be rattling them and their windshield so much they won't be seeing straight.

Social media and knowing your friends
Originally published: December 10, 2020, at 3:36pm

Social media is now really the only place people want to go to interact with their friends and family, (but sadly with COVID it seems as if it's the only place we can), and we share everything we, our family, and our pets have done during the day, week, or the last hour with everyone on our friend's list because they are our friends.

We share our hopes, dreams, heartbreaks, pet peeves, rants, and sometimes secrets to those who will take the time to read them.

But how many of those friends really take the time to read those things you post? Sure, they may hit the like, love, or some other button, but did they really read your post.

Comments are pretty much the only way to know if those friends, those people who you feel a deep connection to and who you think are there for you, have read your posts because to leave a comment means they have taken the time from their busy lives to reply. But even then, sometimes the comments left are a little off, more than just auto correct, and you question if they truly read your post or just skimmed it instead of really sitting down to read it as if they were listening to you tell it to them.

But what about those people who lurk, those people who are on your list that may be the only reason they are there is because you think you know them, you think they are family, or because they are friends with a friend. Not only do those people see your posts but they can also see those comments others have shared.

Only those friends who you've interacted with off social media for years will know what your favorite color is, your favorite drink, your first car, your mom's maiden name, your childhood address, phone number, and all of those other little things we freely share when a friend post one of those little surveys to see who actually reads their posts. I will admit I will comment on those posts because sometimes, (other than COVID reasons) we've grown apart because of distance and we can't have breakfast or lunch anymore and the only way it seems we can really interact is through Facebook so to share our changing opinions that we had once gabbed about over coffee. But I am careful about how much I give out. As I said before, those close 'real and in person' friends already know most of your secrets, but if they no longer do......

While it is a fun game to possibly learn something new about someone you thought you knew or to discover that something in their lives had happened to have them decide that their favorite color is now orange instead of pink, those people who don't know you are also finding out those things when you comment on a friend's post. And while that could be the 'NEW' way to make new friends, discovering someone else's favorite color is orange too, it is also allowing those lurkers to discover possible answers to those security questions that allow you to access your Facebook account, your bank account, credit cards, and all of those other internet places you visit and buy from.

But now I'll backtrack to the beginning of this post and ask how many have really read this?

How will I know if anyone has read this post? Likes are just a quick click that only requires a person to find that word to make it happen. Comments are another, but those can be misleading. An emoji is another quick click, so those only tell you that the person saw that you posted something, and maybe they read a word or two or three.

Think of your post as a phone call. (Yes, I know, *eye roll* sooo last year.) But if you called up your friend and told them about something and they answered with an ok, or cool, or that's nice, would you honestly believe they were listening to you?

I see writing and responding to a post the same way I would a phone call.

If they, or you, had taken the time to respond with more than a few words, something that is coherent and about the subject, that is when you can tell they have taken some time out of their lives to interact with you as your friend.

But what about the emotion or passion that you would've heard if you'd been talking, communicating with words instead of letters.

So much is lost now without personal interaction, either in person or talking over the phone. While the combination of their letters may make you believe they are supporting you, you're missing those very important cues you only notice when you hear their voice or look in their eyes and see their expression. What would you think if the friend you were talking to in person only replied with a smile before walking away? (It is an emoji after all.)

I'm sorry but I'm old school! I would much rather talk to my friends in person. I don't feel as if I can express my emotions, my passion, or see theirs without hearing their voice, and/or seeing their face.

But sadly, I'm in the minority. Talking on the phone is so passe, now you have to text, email, or send a Facebook message or you are left alone.

But I see it as a way to avoid others.

It's hard to ignore someone after you answer your phone to discover it's a person you're supposed to be friends with, but it's so easy to ignore that voice message, a text, able to claim that you never got it, or you missed that Facebook message because you're not on all that often, or pretend you never got that email, or it ended up in the spam folder when those are sent by that same friend.

Caller ID is also a great tool when you don't want to talk to someone, and social media is the way to announce to them and your other friends that you are all still friends without having to interact with them on a personal level unless you really want to.

So how many of you have read this post from beginning to end?

Paying it Forward
Originally published: December 23rd, 2020 at 6:18am

Just about every day I see a post on my local community page about paying it forward, that the person in front of them had paid for their coffee or meal and they, in turn, paid for the car behind them. While I admire those who do this, I can't help but to feel anxious for those who can't afford it.

A lot of people are struggling, especially at this time, and I know there are a lot of people who budget their paychecks just so they can treat themselves to those special cups of coffee.

And I wonder how many of those people are also members of this community page, seeing all of those posts about those people paying it forward, and like me, are glad people doing are doing this for others.

But do they also have a stone in the pit of their stomachs each time they go to get that special coffee they treat to themselves too, fearing that the car in front of them had paid for their coffee? And while they would happily give that five bucks they were going to use for their coffee to the car behind them, what would that person behind them, or the one at the drive-thru window say or do when that is only the amount they can afford to pay forward.

Or what about that older lady sitting in line who can only afford that kid's meal, and while she's in tears to find out that the car in front of her paid for it, she knows that because of all of the bragging on that community page, she now feels as if she has to pay for that car behind her, that car full of children.

I love the idea of paying it forward, of helping out others, and thanking those who did help you out, but what I don't like is the bragging, the preaching about doing the deed and/or doing it in return. I honestly do not think those who really want to help by paying it forward really want the recognition thrown around the internet like it is. While they want to know that what they did helped you out, I don't think they want those they helped out to make it sound as if, if you were helped then you have to help out the next person, no matter the cost.

When I read those posts, that is what it sounds like to me, that if the car in front of you pays for your meal, then you have to pay for the car behind you, no matter the cost. I'm sure that's not what is intended, but that is how it comes across sometimes.

After reading those posts, a part of me is fearful of going out to eat to find out that someone paid for my meal because I don't want to feel like the bad guy, or have the fast-food server single me out because I can't afford to pay for the next person's meal, or have them thinking that I'm taking advantage of the thoughtfulness.

If people brag about doing the deed, I'm sure there are people who will shame those who don't, even if they don't know why the person can't. And I sometimes wonder if for some people it's only about those few minutes of fame.

I'm not saying I'm against paying it forward, because I know that's what people are going to say. Let me be clear, I am for it! If you can afford to help out, then do it!

However, I think we should stop bragging about it, but since I know we can't because it's the internet after all, please remember that there will be those few who are going to feel as if they are being dishonest or unappreciative, stealing in a way, and who also could be singled out as being as such, shamed because they are not able to afford to pay for the car behind them, thus stopping the paying it forward chain, and then they might be too afraid or ashamed to return to that store again.

I tried to be nice today...
Originally published: December 31, 2020 at 3:07pm

We were at the store picking up some eggs this morning, and since they were on sale we decided to grab two dozen. The shelf was getting close to being empty, thus as the kid was checking the cartons, he was finding that most of them had at least one egg that was broken.

As he handed me the first dozen of unbroken eggs, an elderly lady came up behind him and started to stare at him and the eggs. So, I thought I'd be nice, and I gave her the very next dozen my son handed me, telling her that he just checked them.

This lady then looked at me as if I had just handed her a carton of broken eggs that were leaking all over her hands. But she opened the package to look inside, then put them down and proceeded to reach around my kid to grab her own carton, even though he was still trying to find another unbroken dozen.

Once again, my attempt at being nice was shit upon. For a second, I was about to tell her that if she didn't want those eggs I'd handed her, I'd be happy to take them back. But I didn't. I helped my kid get an unbroken dozen, and walked away, leaving her to find her own.

My nice deed was met with such disdain that I would probably not feel like the shit on the bottom of her shoes if I had just ignored her, got my eggs, and walked away.

I got unfriended today
Originally published April 10, 2021 at 6:04am

Well not today, today, but I have in the past. And yes, I have unfriended people.

A couple I unfriended because after accepting their invite, I discovered that they were not family. You see, the reason I got on Facebook was to keep in touch with close friends and family since talking on the phone is so passé, but these people I did not know.

Another person I unfriended was an old friend from school. We crossed paths in a store one day and before I could greet them, they looked me right in the eyes, turned to their companion, whispered something, and started to laugh while looking over their shoulder at me. Needless to say, I was crushed and kept on walking, and they never stopped me. After a couple of days of thought, I made the decision to unfriend them. But I did NOT block them. Blocking a person is only for extreme cases, for those who harass or bully, but people use it just to hurt others.

And yes, I have been blocked. And yes, it hurts.

Other than that, the only other time I've unfriended a person was because they requested it after creating a new profile. Of course, I made sure it was true and not a hacker by contacting them. (There are still a couple of people I need to unfriend because of the same reason.)

But not knowing why someone unfriended you, that also hurts. It leaves the door open for speculation, and as you all know, I have a wild imagination.

My most recent unfriending was for unknown reasons. I thought this person was a dear friend, but I also knew that a lot of our opinions were opposite, and there were times when I explained why I believed the way I did, I thought I saw it in their eyes that it made sense, but because it went against their way of thinking, they let me know why I was wrong. I knew we weren’t going to be able to change each other’s minds, but I thought it didn’t matter because we were friends and had other things in common. Maybe I was wrong about our friendship.

Could they have unfriended me because of this? Maybe.
Could it have been an accident? Maybe, but they don't seem to miss me.
Could it be because I didn't participate in their on-line hobby?
I did check it out just as they checked out mine, but just because my thing wasn't their thing, and their thing wasn't mine, was not a reason for me to unfriend them.

Should I contact them and find out why? That’s a hard one because my heart is already shattered.

I've also been unfriended by family members and even blocked.

Did it hurt, yes, but it also made me realize that that was what they wanted to do. Revenge of sorts for not letting them walk all over me.

For both of these family members, I went out of my way to help, and both of them kept pushing for more until I said no, and then they rained down the hellfire.

One of those people has now unfriended me twice. The first time was because I said no, but they sent me a friend request a few months later pretending nothing happened. They did it again a few years later because I did not agree with a Facebook post and reprimanded them for being rude to a family member who commented. Needless to say, I got a threatening phone call, and my messenger was flooded.

When they unfriended me, while it hurt, it was also a relief. I don't want to be treated like that by them anymore.

It's been over three years now and we've only spoken to each other twice because we had to. But if they send me a friend request, will I accept? I don't know. I would have to think about it, but in the end, I probably would, at least for now. But if one thing changes in our lives, the answer would be no, and the request would be instantly declined.

The other family member who unfriended me, they also blocked me. After my whole household went out of their way to help them, they in return showed no respect for me or the household. First, I asked, then demanded it. Instead of respecting me, they used a child to guilt-trip me, trying to make me feel like a piece of shit. It worked the first time, but each time after it only showed me who they really were. And in the end, they knew they were on thin ice with me, that I was sick of how they were treating me and my household.

After a few months of no contact, I noticed something concerning with their Facebook posts, so I opened the door because I still cared about them. Well, they kicked the door in, and after explaining what the posts were all about, they then thought they could use me to mend a major fence they had broken. I guess they thought that since I cared about them, I forgave them. No, I did not forgive them because they had yet to apologize for how they treated us. But they told me that in their eyes, it wasn't their fault, and we were the ones, especially me, who needed to apologize.

After letting that Facebook slap in the face fade, I spoke with the household, and after a discussion about our feelings, I sent that person a return message explaining how we felt about the entire situation, and how we felt we were treated, (especially that one fence they wanted me to mend for them).

Their response a few days later was that the household wasn't ready to fix things, especially me. Then they went about unfriending and blocking me, and they also did the same to my son. Doing that to my son, a kid, in my opinion, was the lowest of low! Done only to hurt.
It took them just over a year, but they have contacted that fence they wanted me to fix for them, but because the hurt is so deep, I had to encourage that fence to at least acknowledge them. They have also unblocked me and the kid; but if they ever send me a friend request.... I honestly don't know if I'll accept it, they burned me that bad.

But even if I do, that's as close as they will ever get to me again. I will be civil and polite, but they are not welcomed in my home. Not just because of what they did to me and the household, but because they went as far as to unfriend and block my son, a kid, who really had nothing to do with our disagreement.

As I said before, that was the lowest of low!

I Am In Awe
Originally published: October 2, 2020, at 6:47pm

I am in awe, as I run to get my errands done, at the driving skills others demonstrate, and while I can understand the thrill of going fast, I myself will sometimes hover five over the limit, but my question is, are you in that much of a hurry to get work? Why? I thought you hated that job. And please don't get mad at me because I didn't stay up late last night. I knew I had to work so I went to bed at a decent time, (without the help of a drink) and I got up early, refreshed, so I could take my time to get there. So, it isn't my fault you're already having a shitty day. I save my stress for the important things.

You see, the last time I knew, those posted speed limits weren't a suggestion, they were the law, and they were placed there for your safety and everyone else on the road with you. Those four-lane highways, those are made for faster speeds, but those two-lane back roads, those are not. There's nowhere for you to go expect either the ditch or oncoming traffic when there's something in your lane.

Those somethings could be anything. A tractor trying to get to a field. A teenager just learning to drive. A mother with her two little girls in the backseat going to her friend's house, who is battling cancer. Someone's grandfather turning onto a gravel road, or that little boy running across the road to check the mail. But when you're flying down that stretch, you can't stop in time when that deer jumps out at you, let alone see that car with the flat tire around that blind curve, and then there are those bicyclers out practicing for Rag-bi that have already passed that crest of the hill, and you can't see them, and worse they are not riding in single file, on the side of the road, they are taking up the entire lane. And don't forget about that blind driveway at the top of that hill, at the dip in the road, where that group of teenagers had just ridden their horses out from, enjoying their passion, their friendships, and the animals they love.

But maybe it doesn't matter to you. Just as it doesn't matter to that lady two cars in front of you who decided she wanted to avoid traffic, and that stoplight, and cut across that busy parking lot, where kids are getting out of cars, the elderly are using walkers to get across that lot, not to mention the other drivers trying to find that perfect spot, or who are waiting for that blue car to back out so they can take their spot. Only she ends up offended because you honked at her in warning so she wouldn't pull out in front of her, because you were watching her fly across that lot, seemingly uncaring about all those on foot, and you did not have the confidence she'd stop, and she's yelling that, of course, she was going to stop because her kids were in the car.

But now as you drive along you can't help but laugh because her short cut wasn't that short after all because now, she is behind you.

Originally published: January 17, 2021 at 26:46am

Looking at the computer screen, watching it narrow down into a darkened blur of light. It feels as if your brain is spinning inside of your head while your eyes are trying to catch up but going in the opposite direction. It's scary, but the pounding of the heart against your chest is even more so. Worse is trying to stand, swaying as you try to keep your balance, the thudding in your chest, vibrating your eardrums, and while you can only see the dimmest of light, you walk towards it, knowing it's the way out.

But looking down the staircase, as you brace yourself against the wall, knowing that if you try to walk down those steps it will not end well. But down there, that is where help is.

Was it wise for me to chicken out and let the blackness buckle my knees, knowing that except for the distant meows of my cat in my ear, I was laying on the floor alone in the darkness that swam out from the inside of me.


If I would've attempted the stairs, I doubt I'd be here right now to be writing this. I might've got two down, but at three in the morning, everyone else sound asleep, I don't know if they would've heard me fall, or if they did, realized what had happened.

But on the flip side, laying on the floor seeing only blackness while knowing there should be at least the dim light of the nightlight that lights up the stairway, and the glow of the computer screen coming from the room I'd just left, with a cat or two meowing in your ears, it gives you time to reflect as you pray that you'll wake up.

What happens if you don't wake up?

There's a crushing sensation knowing that someone you love will wake up and find you laying there. That's the worst feeling, and it gives your soul a reason to fight because you don't want to do that to them.

When your vision clears, and light once again fills your eyes, you slowly start to move, knowing you have to get downstairs, but with each major shift of your body, you can see that darkness swirl at the edges of your vision, and your brain tries to sync with it.

You hate waking them, and debate if you should just drive yourself, but there's the possibility you wouldn't make it there on your own.

It takes time for your words to penetrate their cloud of sleep, and because you are so weak, still fighting that darkness with every movement, you can't force upon them the severity of your panic.

By the time you're in the car, you wonder if you've waited too long, or if you have overreacted. You're still conscious and kept the darkness at the edges of your vision, but your brain is still rocking inside of your skull, your heart is still pounding inside of your chest, making it hard to breathe.

Only strangers are allowed in your hospital room, and they don't stick around, so you're alone with your thoughts as machines beep, the light glares at you. If something happened, there was no one there to hold your hand, no one you can tell your fears too. You have to bottle everything up inside of you, spreading that fear even deeper into your soul.

But you have been taught to keep things like that to yourself. Once or twice, you went to someone you loved for help because the bottle was cracking. But they couldn't do anything to help you other than make you feel as you deserved to feel that way. Then it seemed as if they walked away, leaving you on your own to wrap that bottle up in tape, hoping to keep it from breaking because they didn't want to deal with your pain. But we all know those bottles will always shatter, shredding your own heart and soul. At least they were smart and ran away before it happened.

But now, even if I had the choice, I already know the answer.

So, I wait, I think, I debate, and I worry alone.

Facebook Hurtful Posts
Originally published: April 10, 2021 at 6:01am

Today there were a few posts about another Facebook hack. I think this one has circulated before, claiming the hacker can post a very nasty sentence from you to your friends, and it looks believable, thus hurting friendships.

And while I do believe these kinds of hacks can happen, I would NEVER do something like that and I DO NOT believe one of my friends would do something like that either, that's what kids and hate-filled people do.

I also try to ignore what a mutual friend/acquaintance tells me someone else said about me, even though those are a stab in the heart. I know repeated things could be misinterpreted, dramatized, taken out of context, or even a complete lie. Heck, even a fear said to one could be repeated in an unfriendly way intentionally or unintentionally to another.

The only thing I believe and take to heart are the things I see for myself, with my own eyes, that is undeniably from my friends. Yes, pictures hurt, but what I really pay attention to is what I see in person.

When I've reached out to a friend, or when I needed a friend's ear and advice, only to feel as if my shattered heart isn't important to them, that they have better things to do then listen to me, or make me a promise that they never fulfill...

That is what I believe.

When we pass in the store and I smile at the sight of them, only to be greeted with the rolling of eyes, their quick, clipped words and excuses why they can't talk, or the way they hurry away thinking I never saw them...

That is what I take to heart.

Those are the things I believe, not a sentence posted on Facebook.

So, if there's ever a hateful message from you, I won't believe it, unless it confirms the things you've already shown me.

But I won't call you out on it, I won't send you a hateful message back or beg for you to be my friend because I've already accepted your feelings based on your actions, not because of a sentence posted on Facebook.

As the saying goes... 'Actions speak louder than words'...

But the non-actions and the non-words, they scream at the top of their lungs.

Wildlife in town
Originally published: April 10, 2021 at 6:03am

I know it’s sad, but…

I keep seeing all of these posts on a local community page I’m on about lost animals, especially cats.

Then there are all of the excited posts about seeing a hawk, an eagle, or a fox running around town. Yes, they are cool to see, but not that cool if you have a pet who gets outside.

Hate to say it but there is a high possibility that your missing cat might have fed one of these predators you’re so excited to see.

Domestic cats are prey to these wild animals because while they still might chase and kill a bird, mouse, or some other small animal, their instincts about themselves being hunted are dull because when they are hunted it’s by their humans, or their cat or doggy buddies they live with, nothing that would eat them. But when a house cat gets outside, even with claws, they are at a disadvantage. Even a scrap with the neighborhood coon or possum could be fatal.

And it’s not just cats, but small dogs, those excited jumping little things who are not scared of anything, will just walk up to that new friend.

Wild animals are going to keep coming into town because that’s where all the easy food is. They are learning this, getting fat and healthy themselves, and them having young who are even more unafraid of humans, and know what to look for.

There are garbage cans and all of that yummy stuff tossed on the road. And those rabbits and squirrels are so fat from treating themselves from the bird feeders. Oh, and those pretty birds are plump too, so satisfying for a falcon or a hawk flying over.

But, as I saw it for myself, even a hawk and an eagle will stop for that easy squirrel on the road. But from above, cats look like a weird rabbit, and if that bird is ready to eat, they will learn that cats, and small dogs, are an easy meal.

Now that’s not the only dangers our pets can encounter outside. There are cars, trains, someone’s dog, falling down the sewer, getting locked in a shed, or that neighbor who is fed up with the blue jays getting munched on, or even scarier, that ‘other’ neighbor.

Of course, the safest thing is to keep your animals inside or be out there with them, but we also need to stop attracting the predators by not leaving our garbage lying around or fattening up the rabbits and squirrels.

I’m not saying to stop feeding them, I also think watching squirrels play around is cute, but we have to cut down on how much we’re giving them.

While a fat rabbit or squirrel looks healthy, it also makes them slower, and easier to catch.

Originally published: April 10rd, 2021 at 6:02am

When I see posts from friends and family about praying for each other, about loving each other, explaining how donating and helping out in the community by giving to those less fortunate, all of those good things they want to do for the world, and encouraging you to do the same. Those likes on posts, especially those hearts, are so touching, so supportive.

But what I really love to see are those posts about bullying, how it’s not acceptable to do at any age.

And then in their next few posts, they are slamming someone, politicians and parties are the targets right now, calling them names, telling those from the other party that they are losers, low-lives, lazy, worthless, and those are just the nicer names.

But sadly, these aren’t everyday people who are doing this, these are people running our communities, our country, our schools, businesses, and our churches.

These people are those who we are supposed to look up to, to trust with our well-being, people we are supposed to respect, people our children look up to and model their lives around.

And while those children are told not to bully, not to call each other names, they see their parents doing it, their teachers, actors, musicians, those people who they look up to, respect, and who they want to be when they grow up.

People cry out, afraid of where our country is going, but instead of doing anything about it, they feed the evil by feeding the hate that is splitting our country in two, opening us up to invasion, and we will be bickering back and forth and never notice until it's too late. And it may already be.

We are now living in a soap opera, a reality show, and “We the People” keep tuning in, calling into the show rallying behind those who spout the most hate, then go back out into the world repeating it.

So, when I see someone in power, friend or family, spouting hate, slamming someone, spreading rumors, feeding that monster that is splitting our country in two, making us the laughingstock of the world, I no longer see them as someone to respect, and any post where they claim to believe in doing good, helping others, in believing in God,

I don’t believe a word they say.

There's a demon inside me
Originally published: August 11, 2022 at 2:22pm

Well, that's what people think. And even though it breaks my heart, I let them.

As a kid, I was shy, had a stutter, and was not pretty, so I was picked on. A lot. So as a defense, I acted angry, mean, and evil. That's what I felt I had to do to protect myself, and it kind of worked. People mostly kept their distance and didn't hurt me much.

Though, if I'm honest, people still did hurt me. My high school friends did. But I thought my friends would've seen through that mask I wore around strangers, but they didn't. And even today, thirtyish years later, a lot of them still seem to believe I'm a heartless, evil, devil-worshiping bi**h.

Yeah, it's partially my fault for not being 'nice' and for liking 'evil' things, for having a morbid sense of humor, and for not going to church. (I have issues with the church, not religion but for some, they are the same thing, so I'm evil.)

But I know life isn't all unicorns and fairy farts. It's dark, and there are people out there with darker souls than mine. You know those people, those who love to hurt others but act saintly, who have no empathy, but pretend they do, and they even go to church to prove how good of a person they are.

I don't know why I like the 'evil' stuff.
Maybe because I know it's not real.
Maybe because it's 'evil' and liking it will make people think I'm evil.
Maybe because liking scary things makes the 'real' scary things, like people hurting me, less scary because if I love a blood drool-dripping werewolf who's ready to bite off my head, then I can hold back the tears when someone who I thought cared for me knowingly says or does something to hurt me.
Or maybe I can see the beauty in those evil things. For example, the grim reaper, he's the most hated person in the world, but he's there for you in your darkest hour. I can relate to that kind of pain, feeling as if nobody cares and thinks I'm worthless and not worth their time, but I would still do anything for them if they asked.

But maybe that evil side of me is a shield because I know if I let my good side out, I get hurt.

About six months ago, I was told about an elderly man living alone in a house I drive by almost every day. His house wasn't nice, it was run down, and the trees overtook the property so much that you couldn't see the house in the summer unless you looked down the driveway just at the right angle. But I loved his setup so much that it was an inspiration for a home in a book I wrote.

I never met him or knew his name.

Well, he died.
With only his cats by his side.
His body wasn't found for over a week.

I was laughed at for the tears in my eyes.

I was crying for the old man because he died alone.
I was also crying for his cats because they had no choice unless they wanted to starve.
I was crying because if I'd been in the old man's shoes, I'd be mad at myself for making my cats have to do that.
And I was crying because maybe the cats slept by his side, trying to wake up him until the hunger drove them crazy.
I was crying because I'm afraid they killed the cats because of what they had to do.

That's how evil of a person I am.

But I was laughed at for crying.

Four months later, more tears burned my eyes. That's how long it took for his home, his property, his life to be sold, the trees and house torn down, burned into ash, and buried.

To me, it was as if that man's life, everything he held dear, and his memory were happily erased.

But that demon in me, because of how fast it happened, it wonders if they who bought that old man's world were just waiting for him to die so they could claim it as their own and had celebrated when they finally got their wish.

So, I'll keep my demons, dragons, gargoyles, drooling werewolves, sarcasm, and my morbid sense of humor as my shield from those who would laugh at my empathy and my tears for a man I didn't know, but fear with my entire heart, I will one day become.

Visiting a New Store
Originally published: April 16, 2022, at 9:40am

Last weekend the kid and I drove a few extra miles for our shopping trip so we could visit a 'specialty' shop so I could inquire about their products. I won't disclose their products because it's a specialty and there are not many around, and some readers may take my inquiries the wrong way and get all drama'ed up.

But anyway. We walked into the small but very bright and clean store and the first thing I noticed was the slim selection. I had no idea it was a one brand only type shop, but at least the price range was as expected.

There was only one person on duty, and she was more than happy to help us, and explain the products around the store, but what started to bother me was that she kept trying to up-sell even though I told her we, me and the kid, wanted to start small and then work our way up. But she was adamant that it didn't work that way, that we had to start high and then go up or down.

I have the feeling that a commission had something to do with her attempts and she wasn't, and didn't want to listen to our concerns.

Her overly pushy actions were very discouraging. And as I told the kid later when we were walking back to the car, is how I don't want him or me to act. (Might be one of the reasons I sucked at telemarketing.)

But what really pushed me out the door, deciding against purchasing their product was the offer of a 10% discount.

You must think I'm crazy for passing on a discount.

The condition for obtaining that discount was to give the store a favorable review right then and there.
Well, that explained all of the 5-star reviews I found when I Googled the store.

Ah, NO. A big NO! Up until that point I would've given the store 4 stars, taking one away for how the lady presented herself, the product, and her failure to listen to how we, the customer, wanted to use the product since we never used it before.

But now, nope. That store would be lucky to get 3 stars.

You can't buy my respect.

I didn't say anything, I wanted to, but I didn't want to be rude, though if her falling smile was any indication, she might have caught my 'are you f***ing serious?' expression before I was able to hide it.
And I wonder if we were the first customers who did not instantly take out our phones at the offer.

Will I ever go back to that store? Maybe, because it's the only one of its type that is close.
But will I go back inside if she is the sales lady? Nope.
And will I ever give that store a 5-star review? Nope. It showed me its 'darker side'.
© Copyright 2022 Billie's Not So Secret Diary (diaryofbillie at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2279509-More-Editorials