Zingers & other tricks of the insecure

Ursula, my husband’s ex-wife and mother of “The Girl” prides herself on her “zingers”- those backhanded compliments that are offered up so sweetly one may actually thank her for the compliment, when in fact she is insulting something about you or your character. My husband, bless his heart, he claims that people do not know she does this, that she so skilled in this southern art form that no one is the wiser. I call bullshit. I picked up on it immediately and not in the “it takes one to know one” way.  She flung a zinger my way this morning, “complimenting” me on how good I am at my job, a “job” she feels is beneath her position, when the reality is, I have been with my company over eight years, in that same time she has had approximately six different jobs and I make roughly double what she does, but yet she looks down on me (for many reasons, I’m sure). As always, I caught it immediately and flung it back with the same sugar sweetness, two can play this game.

The thing about zingers is they are a tool of the insecure, for the most part. If you aren’t confident in your point of view or fearful that the other person has something worse they can hurl back at you, you use fake niceness to be a bitch. I am more of a straight forward bitch. It’s not to say I’m hateful and hurtful for the sake of hurting other’s feelings for pleasure (ok, sometimes I do), I tend to be of the school of “say something nice or say nothing at all”, but when I do feel the need to say something, I’m honest and upfront. People like Ursula, those who are fake and have a life built on half-truths and out right lies, they know better than to chance being found out. I can only imagine the stress is puts on you to keep track of all the lies someone like Ursula tells, which brings me to the next trick of the insecure: believing your own lies.

I think the only way to live life the way Ursula and others like her do, you have to believe the web of lies you have spun for yourself. There have been times, with a straight face, Ursula has insisted that a lie is the truth. More than once, my husband was either there or has proof otherwise, yet with indignant confidence, she will stand her ground. She holds firm because most of her lies have a grain, no matter how small, of truth. This is so, if she is called out on these lies and fabrications, she can play dumb and claim a misunderstanding of some kind. I have told my husband, who gets so frustrated with the fact that Ursula seems to have so many people fooled by her bullshit, is that no one really cares enough to call her on it. These aren’t huge lies, they are small things to make her life seem better than it is, to make her appear to be more successful or accomplished. People know, they see her fakeness a mile away and she simply is not important enough to them to call her out. So, they slap on a fake smile and pass out their own zingers. A vicious circle of bullshittary. It is actually sad when you think about it. I would hope that my friends would tell me when I’m making an ass of myself. When I have said or done something to embarrass myself or others. To have people not care enough, to stand by and watch you stack those cards in hopes of being there to witness your house falling, those are not real friends.

Along with the self inflated sense of self, the use of social media is a handy tool for the insecure. They can post only the good about their lives and exaggerate those as well. They can “friend” dozens upon dozens of people they barely or do not know at all, just to say they have more friends and likes to their self-serving posts. Big fake smiles in photos only taken at the best angles in ideal lighting. When you pick up on someone who is like this, you can see a distinct pattern to their posts, that is usually when I hit the unfriend button and move on. We all need that mirror, those people in our lives who will clue us in to that which we can’t see.

 

 

Cancer sucks…PERIOD

There are few people I know whose lives have not been touched by cancer in some way. Either they themselves have had it in one form or another or a scare or someone they loves has battled and triumphed or lost a hard-fought battle. Even our beloved pets are not spared this hideous disease whose treatment is often as bad as the disease itself.

Today a friend lost a close and dear friend to cancer. She is taking it hard, as most friends would, and I feel helpless, as there is nothing you can do or say to ease the heart-broken by the death of a friend. It was quick, which some see as a blessing, his suffering was not drug out and with luck he was able to live his life on his terms to the very end. This is true, but for those left behind, the ones who didn’t get to say goodbye, who thought they had more time to tell their friend how much they loved them and how important they are to them, a sudden death is like a double blow to the heart.

This is the second friend who has lost someone to cancer in less than a week. Another friend is having a mass for her step mother right now. While they were not close, seeing her father mourn the loss of his wife of more than 30 years is difficult. No matter how old you are, seeing your father in such a vulnerable state is hard.

Trying to find the words to comfort my friends I thought back on all the ways cancer has touched my life. While I suffer with a chronic illness, I have thus far been spared a personal experience with cancer myself (knocking on wood as I type). I have lost family to cancer, but at very advanced ages, so they had long, wonderful lives. The hardest loss was of a friend at just 30 years of age. Amy was pregnant with her second child when she first became ill. She fought hard, but lost her battle before her son turned a year old. She was a wonderful person and my greatest fear was her small children would grow up not knowing their mother.

I have a friend battling colon cancer. He is doing an experimental treatment now, as the traditional treatments failed him no matter how closely he followed the doctors’ treatment plan. That is one of the worst things about cancer, the treatments don’t work the same for everyone. There are no guarantees. You put your trust and faith into a doctor and treatment and hope for the best. Right now, things seem to be good, or as good as possible. He is such a good person, I mean one of those people everyone likes and who makes everyone feel loved. He is a big teddy bear that you just want to hug when you see him. He is an amazing husband and father, who has devoted his life to caring for and making sure his family knows they are his priority. He will fight with everything he has, not for him, but for them, because that is the kind of man he is.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, last year a former friend also found out they had colon cancer. While I will never say anyone deserves to struck with a potentially deadly disease, this person lives in a state of constant negativity. She had the same surgery, the same treatment plan and is doing great:  no further treatment, no additional surgery. I look at both of them and question why. Why is this man who brings so much good into the world given the crap hand and endless suffering and the woman who spews negativity gets a royal flush? I know life isn’t far, but damn, cancer is truly the cruelest of all.

Cancer sucks. It robs us of our lives and our loved ones. It takes the joy of out day-to-day, as the fear of cancer from what we eat, what we drink, where was live and work. No matter the type or when it strikes, it’s horrible. I don’t wish cancer on my worst enemy and one of my constant wishes is that no one I love falls prey.