Taken for Granted

It had been so long. I had hoped that I'd taught her some civility, decency -- if only as it regarded me. It seems like six months or more that she'd managed to treat me with a simple reciprocal human respect. But today she relapsed -- and how! Twice in one day - in the span of two hours, even! - and after such a long sobriety. What a shame.

First she told me to go get her mail. "Just go back downstairs and throw your shoes and your coat on, and your gloves and your hat that you just took off twenty minutes ago, since you just got home from work and go fetch my mail. I see your mother standing right there, getting ready to leave soon anyway, and who wouldn't be nearly as put upon to simply grab the mail on her way out as you would to get back into your whole winter outfit just to traipse down to the end of the driveway and grab the mail that I could easily wait to read tomorrow. But you do it! 'Cause... you know, I said so." At least that's how I heard it.

I looked at her like she had completely lost her mind -- as surely she had. Finally my mother offered to grab the mail on her way out. I walked away insulted and disappointed in this sudden regression to previously corrected behaviors.

A few hours later she shouted down the stairwell another order in the guise of a request: To go across the street "to so-and-so's house and pick up the this-and-that she's lending to me." You might think it was a question, a "Would you be willing to," or a "Could you do me a favor and..." but it was neither. It was an, "I've arranged for you to go do this without consulting you. I've already told her you're on your way so she's waiting for you now. And, oh yeah, she's about to go to bed so you better get going. See you when you get back -- which I've decided will be immediately. Bye."

She went so far as to let it slip that so-and-so had offered to bring the whatnot over to her, but that she had refused this sane and reasonable concept of not involving outside parties in an interpersonal exchange that had nothing to do with them. "Oh no!" she said, "Don't trouble yourself bringing it to me. I'll just have my house-boy Roy come fetch it from you like a fucking dog. After all, its late and its cold, and who wants to get all dressed up and run back and forth in this weather? Certainly not you or me! Let's just let my personal gimp handle it. Oh gimp! Oh minion! Where art thou peon? I have a job for you!" At least, that's how I heard it.

It would have been easy to just mumble under my breath hateful little curses at the socially retarded fool bellowing from the top of the staircase and go and do whatever stupid bullshit she'd arranged on my behalf. I could've went and retrieved the whatnot, walked back in and dropped it on the table like a goddamn brick - signaling just what portion of my asshole she could eat - then I could've come downstairs, brooded for a half hour over what a dried-up, sandy, old cunt... what a self-centered, psychopathic, geriatric child she is, and how roundly taken for granted I am by all in general. And then I could've gone back to whatever I'd been doing and slowly forgotten the whole incident. Yes, in truth it probably wouldn't have taken me five minutes, round-trip, and I'd likely already have placed this whole worrisome incident behind me.

But boundaries must be set. I've spent too many days of my life shoveling other people's loads in preference for the emotional convenience; too many days suffering my own desires' unfulfillment in order to keep the tentative peace. Well... It suffices to say that the whatnot rests yet still upon so-and-so's stoop.

Make no mistake, I've suffered for this claim of mine to dignity beneath the weight of an irrational guilt and its counter point of spiteful indignation. Still, I think its worth it. She must be taught. A child cannot be reared without punishments, consequences. Besides, for my pains I have earned something of infinite value, something I may never have understood otherwise. I have learned what a parent feels when they discipline their child. I know now that while the thoughtless child lie in bed scowling, full of hate for their patron, bemoaning the verdict rendered, the parent who punishes suffers all the more. For while the child rests in perfect, one-mindedness; in blissfully ignorant, selfish hatred of the sure injustice that has befallen them, the parent who punishes is meanwhile tormented by doubt and guilt; reproving their sternness, questioning the use of it, and at last even whether or not they were in the right at all. This splintering of mind is invariably more painful and tormentuous than the punishment given. I suddenly understand the commonly held, parental concept of ungrateful children. A parent punishes a child for the child's good and in punishing necessarily suffers this debilitating self-doubt and irrational guilt, and atop it all the child, who should be grateful for the stern guiding hand, who should praise their parent's willingness to withstand this self-imposed suffering on the child's behalf and for their betterment, responds not with appreciation and awe, but with hate, coldness, and the withholding of their love. I also see now why there are so few good parents and so many rotten children. For when a parent chides a child, they must needs be chide themselves ten-fold for it. ...Easier to spare the rod.

But I return now from depth and understanding to the topic at hand. In case you were all wondering, I am not an indentured servant, yours or any others, and have I ever been, I ain't no one's bitch no more. I've stayed longer than I meant, I've worked harder than you paid me for, I've carried mine, yours, and his so you could all have hands free to hold each others' dicks. Now guess who's done?

You want something from me, you can have the fucking decency to ask. And by the way, I'm allowed to answer no, and I will. Getting upset when someone doesn't agree to do something you ask of them, means you didn't really ask them anything. You took them for granted. You gave them an order with a "will you please" stapled decoratively to the front of it. And in my book that kind of makes you a piece of shit.


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