The difference between having an opinion and being an asshole

It’s that time again kids.  Enter Rant mode:

I think Facebook can be a great tool.  I also think it’s become a great way for people to stalk others, and feed their own egos.

I’m all for having an opinion, don’t get me wrong.  I have a hard time keeping mine to myself, most of the time.  However, forcing your opinion on someone is an entirely different matter.  Let’s look a some case studies.

My friend Cathy posts on her Facebook… Dur… it’s sort of the point.  Cathy happens to be one of the lucky ones to have water frontage, including a dock, on her property.  Imagine the views.  Pure bliss.   Lately, there have been some fisher-people enjoying their ‘sport’ directly off the end of Cathy’s dock.  Now, legally, they have every right to be there.  Having said that, I grew up on the water, and there are unspoken boating ‘rules’.  You wave when you pass another boat, you slow down going by cottages even if there isn’t a ‘no wake zone’ sign up, and you don’t fish (or anchor) off the end of someones property.  I mean, to be fair, legally I can photograph you in your home, with or without clothes, as long as I can see you while I am standing on public property.  But I don’t.  Because that makes me a creep.  See the point?

The point is not even these people and their rude fishing habits that has gotten my goat.   Honestly.

Cathy has posted some photos of them (they are far enough away that you would never know how they are, before anyone gets into a huff about it), tagged them as #bassholes (dear lord, gets me every time) and made some commentary about them being so close to her dock/ property.  Then come the comments.  Todays set me off the edge.  One ‘friend’ of Cathy’s posted: “i’m sure you do not own the water and you made the choice to live on the water. so just sit and have a drink”.

Okay people:  It’s one thing to make a comment about someone else’s post.  It’s another to be a completely condescending C- word about it.  Oh, You bet I said it.  C-WORD.

Cathy recently made a comment about a screaming child in one of our largest “big box” stores.  One of those stores that sells everything in jumbo size and has way too many people and way to much crap that you didn’t know you needed until you saw it on the shelves at the low cost of:  whatever.   You know it.  She may or may not have said something about slapping the child.  Anyone who knows Cathy knows a few things;  She doesn’t really like children, she would never hit anyone (EVER) and she doesn’t like Christmas (this comes into play later, and no, she is not the anti-Christ).

This distaste for screaming children caused a comment thread, not unlike many I have seen on Cathy’s page, but unlike anything that happens on anyone else’s page.   People stuck up for the child and blames the mother, making me think that they are in fact, defending the poor behaviour of their children in public, and in fact just blaming themselves?  Regardless.  This is when Cathy did it.  She made the comment ‘apologizing’ for her comment.

Enter my two cents:  My Facebook is just that, MINE.  You have either asked me to be privy to what happens on it, or you have accepted my request, and knowingly opened yourself to whatever thoughts I want to share.  Sure, have an opinion, on your own damn page.  Sure, if you have something to say about a comment I make, say it.  Just don’t make me out to be the villain on my own page because I am expressing my feelings.  Make me a villain on your page, where I can promptly delete you.

Here’s how my system works.  Cathy makes super sour posts around Christmas time (making the anniversary of when she lost her Mom), so I block her (sorry Cat).  I love Cathy, I know why she dislikes the season, I completely understand that.  She can express her opinion until she is blue in the face, I just don’t want to see her grinchiness all the time, so I block it.  I check in with her page and see what’s up sometimes, and once the holidays are over… Cathy’s back in the news feed!  Easy peasy.  Don’t look at me like that, my own cousin blocked me because he doesn’t like how much I post about Tallulah.  That’s his call.

In conclusion,  don’t ever apologize for expressing your own opinion.  Absolutely comment on your friends posts, but don’t chastise them in their own space for the opinions they express.  There is a time and place for your self expression.  Freedom of speech is one thing, being a snarky biatch is another.

 

Words Left Unsaid

Dear Matty;

I don’t think you realize what an amazing person you are, and just what a role you have played in my life.  I feel like these are things that every person needs to know.  Someone should tell you what you mean to them, even if you hear it all the time, it’s good for your soul.

You were all out my first love.  You showed me how someone should treat me, and how I should treat others.  Although it didn’t work out, you found your absolute other half, and thats when you taught me that sometimes you need to step back and look at WHO you are and sometimes those two people mesh as amazing friends, but not as forever.  And that’s ok.  In this case, an old boyfriend made the greatest friend I could have.

You have always been my biggest cheerleader and voice of reason.  You always tell me how great I am, how beautiful I am, how some guy is going to be so lucky to have me.  You are so convinced that I can conquer the world.  That I will be some great, whatever it is that I want to be.  That I will be world renowned, I can take on anything and come out the other side shining.  Maybe I know these things, maybe I don’t.  Sometimes I’m not sure and you have this magical way to tell me and I just believe it.  I never sounds like you are trying to “make me feel better”, you just believe it, and you make me do the same.

YOU are wonderful.  You have this infectious laugh, and when you laugh I can’t help but laugh too.  I love that you laugh at your own jokes, because even if they aren’t funny, it makes me laugh too.  You are my kindred dorky soul.  I know that I can tell you anything that I think is amazingly cool, and no matter how ridiculous it is, you will be excited too.  I’m not even sure if you think it’s cool, if you are acting, you’re convincing.  And your smile.  Dear God that smile.  I don’t know anyone else who smiles and means it like you do.  It’s like you are just so happy about something it has to pour out in your face and everyone around you can’t help but feel your kind of happy, right there with you.

You are truly magnetic.  People are drawn to you.  Your larger than life personality, your laugh, your energy.  You walk into a room and draw them in, every time.  Of course you rose to the top of your class at RMC, you are a natural leader.  It’s easy to look up to you, and you make it look easy to be on the top.

I will never forget that day.  I had to work, my alarm hadn’t gone off yet, but Mandy had called me twice; what the hell was so important so early?

The click of my alarm always woke me up before the radio actually came on.

Click.  “The names of the victims are: Captain Matthew J Dawe of Kingston….”

My mind went numb.  My world spun.  Thats why Mandy called.  No.  It’s someone else.  It’s not you.  It can’t be.  So I call my Dad.  Dad: “hello?”  me:  “Hi”  Dad: “I just got the paper, are you okay?” me: “I have to go”….. Oh my god.  It’s true.  It was you.

But we are only 27, Lucas is only two… isn’t today his birthday?  But you just emailed me and told me that this was your last tour, you were days away from coming home and never going back..  You were moving home and hoping to teach at RMC.  You were days away from coming home and never going away again.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I didn’t go to your funeral.  I haven’t been to your grave.  I avoided the whole thing.  There were too many people and it became such a media circus, your family didn’t need that.  They didn’t need to have their grief forced out there for everyone to see.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I didn’t call you like I said I would.  I just kept emailing.  I figured I’d call more when you were home, when I could just meet up with you guys somewhere and have a coffee or BBQ or a drink on a patio.  I was a bad friend.  I contacted you when I needed you, and not just to “shoot the shit”.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I miss you so much it hurts.  Seven years and eight days.  My heart still breaks.  I can’t hear your voice so easily anymore.  I don’t remember what you used to tell me all the time.  I can’t watch The Princess Bride anymore, it’s not the same without you reciting it, it’s not funny anymore, it just makes me miss you more.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I didn’t tell you all of this when I had the chance.  I was so sure we had time.  I was so sure that we had the rest of our lives, and I would tell you sometime when I saw you and we were feeling nostalgic.  I didn’t think the rest of your life would stop so soon.  I should have just told you.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry that Tara became a widow so young.  I’m sorry Lucas will grow up without you.  You were an amazing father.  I hope he has some of your joy.  I’m sorry your parents out lived you, and that your brothers have lost you so early.  It isn’t fair.  (I know, “Life is pain highness,  anyone who says differently is selling something.”)  But still, good people don’t deserve this kind of pain.  No one does.

You know, I look for you everyday.  Sometimes I catch a glimpse of someone who looks like you driving in a car beside me on the way to work.  Sometimes, when I need to talk to you, The Princess Bride comes on TV.  Sometimes I see a passage from the book of Matthew on Pinterest or a Matt and Nat bag out shopping.

My niece was born on your Birthday.  She’s an April Fools baby too.  She has your dance moves and terrible jokes.  But, she too laughs at them, and you can’t help but laugh with her.

The truth is I miss you.  I need you.  Some of my biggest regrets are that I didn’t tell you how much you mean to me when I had the chance.  I hope you are at peace.  I hope I find a way to remember your voice.  I hope that some day we can have that BBQ.

Always,

Ratalie.