The other morning, Best Friend returned to the house to pour a cup of coffee. While doing so, he quipped, “You can’t pour a cup of black coffee into a black cup wearing dark sunglasses.”
You see, he was doing just that, and it was nearly a disaster on the countertop. The black coffee streaming into the black cup whilst he was still wearing his dark sunglasses made it impossible for him to gauge the progress of his task. Thus, it almost developed into a disaster, yet he averted it only when he abruptly realized he could not see how much coffee he was pouring into the cup. He snappily removed his sunglasses, and he finished his task at hand, unencumbered. Disaster averted.
Life itself is much like that. When we allow the shadows of denial, lip service, gaslighting, obliviousness, or what have you, to throw a penumbra over the clear reality of our lives, we remain in the dark and suffer for it, whether we consciously realize it or not. Many of us will go through our lives not realizing what is stopping us from doing something we need/should/must do. Some of us will walk along life’s path, going only so far as to see some perceived victimization and stop right there on that corner, to wail and moan about it. Then there are those of us who see what our roadblocks are and do something about them and then move on with our lives.
Admittedly, I sometimes don’t see the shadows that are negatively affecting my life. In fact, I might just go merrily along, believing and accepting that the excuses given to me ad infinitum are legitimate. Now, I am a realist here. Some of the excuses – or shall I say, some of the reasons – are legitimate, and everything falls into place eventually. But when I hear excuses or gaslighting thrown in my direction with never a real effort made to make good on the promised matter, I chalk it up to that person not having the backbone to be forthright about not delivering on said promised matter. It might be a cry for attention on their part, or lack of backbone. I’m not here to psychoanalyze them. No one can do that, in fact. (That’s an essay for another time.)
To make my point clearer, let’s take a jaunt down Memory Lane. When I was in my early 20s, I had a date with a guy. He and I went to a co-worker’s home for a Christmas dinner and an evening of playing bridge, as did everyone else in our small divisional office within our governmental organization. (For reference and a fun fact, he worked in the Logistics Division, and I worked in the Management Systems Division.) There were eight couples at the co-worker’s home. We had a nice time mingling, and we both had pleasant conversations in his car both to and from the party. He promised to call me for another date. And promised. Yet, he never did. While I had hoped he would call, by his fourth promise, I didn’t care anymore. I eventually figured that he didn’t have the backbone to say nothing about the matter, let alone call me. It would have been better to come out and say he wouldn’t call, than to string me along. As nice of a guy he was, in the long run he would not be a good partner, let alone a platonic friend, because of his lack of straightforward communication. Good heavens!
There are the people who promise to call, but never do, even after you call them every so often. It reminds me of the television commercial I saw a long while back: “Nobody’s calling you!”
Well, isn’t that the truth!
It is much like a neighbor we had who consistently promised to get together, but his promises were never fulfilled. I chalked that up to him liking to hear himself talk – the “It’s the Thought that Counts” blueprint of virtual-signaling.
Over the years, events such as those eventually taught me to look at life behind the shadows of deceit. Call me cynical, call me skeptical, call me jaded. Life events taught me to believe when I see action – at least with repeat offenders.
Sometimes it is difficult for me to understand why people gaslight or completely throw a shadow on a situation. Unfortunately, I have seen more and more of it recently – at least more so over these past three years. It almost appears that too many people have become lazy, or dare I say it? Uncaring, indifferent, and cold. Throw darkness on it; I meant well; no one will notice seems to be the mantra.
Perhaps I live in a different world – a world where manners, graciousness, and straightforwardness exist and actually matter. That is my world. So now, I don’t bother with people whom I don’t hear from anymore. I see things for what they are. I see people for who they are.
It would be a better world and people would get along beat when the cloak of darkness is lifted. Why not be forthright and honest and transparent?
Don’t pour black coffee into a black cup whilst wearing dark sunglasses.
I’m not drinking from it.
Lady Susan Marie Molloy
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