Friday, May 12, 2006

A Very Important Message To Help A Friend in Need – read on

*plus kitty pictures and the Friday usual*

“I can’t believe you did that,” she screamed.

“It’s not what you…” he protested.

“Don’t lie to me. You betrayed me. I’ll never forgive you.”

And with that she stomps off in a huff, wiping the tears away as our hero is left looking lost, forlorn and misunderstood before we fade to black and are reminded that this predictable moment has been brought to you by Quaker Harvest Oats.

Of course, we know that before the next 52 minutes have elapsed, she will have seen the error of her ways. Whatever he did, he will have done with her best interests at heart and if only - if only - she had let him explain it would have saved them from some heartache and grief and probably some life-threatening moment.

Why do things like this come up again and again?

Well, because they work, for one thing, to create artificial conflict. Except it isn’t so artificial, because the truth is, people rush to snap judgments all the time.

It’s conventional. It’s been done. Again and again. But the truth of the matter is, people are always at risk of taking a tenth or a fifth or a quarter of the facts and jumping to a conclusion.

I recently went through this on the jumper side of the equation. I read something in an article and I didn’t understand what the significance of it was. Problem was, I knew the writer and I knew the person being referenced. I was automatically perplexed, and ended up asking the person interviewed what the point of the statement was.

Of course, when they explained it, it made perfect sense. But I’d missed that in my initial read of the article in question and was at risk of jumping to conclusions about the writer. It was a good thing I just went straight to the subject with my confusion and got that cleared up so I wasn’t left with the wrong impression.

Every time we say something – be it in person, online, in an email, whatever – we run the risk of being misunderstood. And sadly, because we’re writers, we really shouldn’t be misunderstood. We should make ourselves abundantly clear.

Yet I fail to do this again and again. I presume people know me, but they can’t hear the tone of my voice, see the twinkle in my eye, or how I’m trying not to laugh.

Now, recently, it’s been brought to my attention that almost all of us have been guilty of presumption. We think because he’s famous that he’s completely self-assured. We think because he has fans in Timbuktu and the Antarctic and living on the shores of Baffin Island (so what if they’re polar bears? A sale’s a sale!) that he knows how loved he is. Why, doesn’t he realize it when his hand almost falls off after all those mass signings?

Alas, no. We have revered him as a god walking amongst mortals, when, he has feelings! What a shock! I thought seasoned writers dispensed with those inconveniences after the first 12 reviews came out, and to top it off, it’s a guy. A sensitive, male write-ist. Talk about an endangered species!

I need everyone to
Click Here (Obviously I'm technologically challenged and can't figure out how to link a graphic.)

Please. He was whining just yesterday in the comments about how more people talk to me than him.

And despite my many reassurances that it’s because we’re all tongue-tied, in awe of his greatness, I think it would still be good if we let him know he isn’t merely loved, he’s adored!

So, if you don’t mind, drop by and tell him I told you to confess your secret admiration for his beard. It will make him really, really happy.*

Friday Things to Be Thankful For
This will warm your heart, especially if you have lost faith in
human kindness.
This letter was sent to the principal's office after an elementary
school had sponsored a luncheon for the elderly. An old lady had
received a new radio at the lunch as a door prize and was writing
to say thank you.
This story is a credit to all human kind. Forward to anyone you
know who might need a lift today.
Dear Faculty and Students,
God bless you for the beautiful radio I won at your recent senior
citizens' luncheon. I am 84 years old and live at an Assisted Living
Home for the Aged. All of my family has passed away. I am all alone
now and its nice to know someone is thinking of me. God bless you
for your kindness to an old forgotten lady. My roommate is 95 and
always had her own radio. Before I received this one, she would never let me listen to her's, even when she was napping.
The other day, her radio fell off the night stand and broke into a lot
of little pieces. It was awful and she was in tears.
She asked if she could listen to mine, and I said fuck you.
Thank you for that opportunity,

Kitten Pictures!


Punk Russel, with the orange tuft of fur on his head


Photo disclaimer: I was assured this was Stuart’s reaction just yesterday when he saw all the people commenting on my blog.
Or it was the product of extreme constipation.

*And truthfully, he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet and if you haven’t been reading his blog, you’ve been missing out. He’s hysterical.


Brett Battles said...

Oh, my...that letter to the school is priceless.

And Stuart, have no worries. I'm sure there are a lot more of us reading your blog than you realize. I know I do.

Kittens...cute, cute, cute.

I'm off to move.

Amra Pajalic said...

I loved the letter I think some people are intimidated by certain blogs. I love reading MJ Rose's Buzz Balls and Hype but not many people write comments because they're paranoid. Instead they seem to send her private emails with their opinion. Weird.

Amra Pajalic said...

I keep forgetting to tell you how much I love the kitten photos. As a cat lover and mummy to two boys I'm loving them.

Trace said...

Oh, Stuart is just fishing for compliments. He knows he's adored.

Bill said...

Love those kitties!

anne frasier said...

i often pop over and read stuart's blog, but when i'm reading the blog of someone i don't feel i "know", i'm hesitant to post for fear of being a party crasher. instead i guess i'm just a party pooper.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Brett! You were supposed to leave the comments at Stuart's, not here! That's okay, moving stresses.

Amra, there are days people email me too. I don't mind either way. Trace is right, Stuart is just looking for praise, but he's a kick-ass crime writer, so that's okay. He deserves it.

Bill (&Amra&Brettetc) thanks re: the kitten photos. They're really growing!

Well Anne, I guess I should be pleased you feel you "know" me well enough to comment! But don't take this too seriously. I usually try to bug Stuart once a week. I haven't really been reaching my full pest potential lately, so I thought I'd really go for it today!

JT Ellison said...

Oh Sandra, that letter cracked me up. A slap in the face just as I was getting all teary eyed.
The kittens are priceless. I love watching them grow. Off to comment at Stuart's blog.

Stuart MacBride said...

You're a rotten sod Sandra - you'll get yours at Harrogate, oh yes! Yes indeed!

And other such things.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I was nice until last July when this Scottish guy accosted me in the bar.

I've never been the same since. My therapist says I need to work out that aggression...

JamesO said...

I'm going to have to buy Mr Stuart a bigger hat.

And it's true a lot of people hang around your place, Sandra. Maybe because it makes them feel better about their own inadequacies;}#

Sandra Ruttan said...

Explains why you're here, then!

M. G. Tarquini said...

Well it's not like I have half the free world posting at my blog, either Sandra. How come all your pathos is reserved for him? And don't give me any malarkey about how I don't post everyday. Admit it, you think he's cuter than I am.

I'll need to look for an even better photo.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Now now! Truthfully, this blog wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Stuart. And he's been there, encouraging me on since the very beginning. Back when I was a wee pup, still wet behind the ears, blah blah.

Which is why the firstborn's named after him.

Well, and he was the one who whined about it. Not my fault!

M. G. Tarquini said...

Well, I've been there, encouraging you since like... January or something. Maybe even late December. Or Early February.

That's not important. What's important is that I am THERE. Or rather here. You know, in Phoenix. Where it's 102 degrees today.

That's fahrenheit.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Yeah, I know, you're awesome!

But I only did this because Stuart whined. Squeaky wheels and grease and all that.

You guys need to complain more.

M. G. Tarquini said...

I think I'm doing some pretty good whining right now. Or do you think he's a better whiner than me, too?

M. G. Tarquini said...

This photo is going to have to change. Every time it pops up, I feel like a real estate agent.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Yeah, and you just wait until you see what I can do with your photo in fireworks, since you're clearly begging for it!

I'll deal with you in a post soon...

M. G. Tarquini said...

I'm doing a post about this photo tomorrow. It's just freaking me out completely. I preferred the skank photo.

And the husband's going to be away, he won't have anything better scanned in by Tuesday.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I'm with you M.G....your picture makes me think your going to show my house...LOL!

Sandra, the kitten pictures are way too cute, but I can't get anouther kitty until my old dog passes...She's not to goos with cats....thinks they're lunch! My old cat can handle herself, but I wouldn't want to put an innocent in harm's way!

Love the radio letter, it reminds me of the joke I had last week when the old lady didn't have any enemies...she outlived all the *itches!

Dana Y. T. Lin said...

I hate that I'm allergic to cats because kittens are my most favorite things growing up.

September said...

I love kittens - so adorable!