People pleaser. I’m pretty sure that Wikipedia has my picture next to the term. All my life I’ve wanted people to like me. Always. Everyone. Just don’t think badly of me. I’d rather be lame than shamed. Or something like that.
I don’t know why I’m this way. Midwestern roots? Overachiever? Protestant guilt? (Yes, contrary to popular belief, Jews and Catholics do not hold the market on guilt.) Last child syndrome?
I thought I had made some strides in this area over the last few years. I’ve been trying to shed old notions of good and bad, right and wrong. Opening my perspective, accepting others and myself. Let go and let God. You know the drill.
And then last night I came home to an open garage and a note. Beginning to shake this flu thing, I had gone out of the house for the second time in almost two weeks to go to a friend’s for the evening. Bobo wouldn’t go back in the house when I was trying to leave so I left him in the garage. He’s funny that way sometimes. Anyway, I guess the garage door didn’t close. And so, the note:
My dog(s?) had been outside barking AS USUAL and the neighbor had put him in the house and would appreciate it if I kept them from barking ALL THE TIME when I’m gone and took care of them LIKE RAISING CHILDREN. Smiley face (no joke). They didn’t sign their name.
There I was: worn out, feeling bad about the dog being out in the cold, feeling bad about the neighbors having to put him in the house and wondering why they thought the dogs bark ALL THE TIME when I’m gone since I’m hardly ever gone and they’re always inside and, whatever, they’re dogs. They bark. I think normal people would be mildly annoyed with the note, grateful that the house was in one piece and go to bed.
Not me. I was a mess. My stomach in knots. I don’t want to be that neighbor that everyone complains about for having a junker in the front yard or weeds up to the windows or hideous purple paint (those last couple would apply to one of my neighbors). I just want to live our lives in peace and harmony. Can’t we all just get along?
So, today, I’ve slinked (slunk?) around, careful to avoid eye contact with The Neighbor (although I don’t know who he/she is), keeping my dogs close by, closing the blinds so that the dogs can’t see people walking in the street to bark at them and generally feeling bad. Why do I let some angry person I don’t even know make me feel bad? This is not the me that I want to be on life’s adventure.
I have a friend who is slightly crazy, ok maybe a lot crazy, whom I have witnessed yelling at a random stranger, and I mean dressing him down in a huge way, because he told her slightly obnoxious kids to get off of a public beach. Wow. I was in awe. Slightly horrified, but still awestruck. I just don’t have that in me. I wish sometimes for a little bit of Latin blood somewhere in there. I could storm out of the house in the middle of the night, waiving The Note, screaming up and down the street and demanding to know just which ball-less moron had the audacity to abuse my pet and trespass on my property?!
Well. Maybe next time.