Dear Nemesis…

I’m writing you a letter today. Granted, it’s an open letter. But hey, any letter is better than none. And I really just need to clear the air here. I’ve let you bug me far too much and it’s time to let it go.
Of course, you’re never going to read this. That’s OK. Even if you happened to read it, you probably wouldn’t catch on that it’s you I’m writing about. That’s OK too. I’m not writing this letter for you. I’m writing it for me.
See, I’ve really resented you. A lot. And I’ve held grudges, held them in, and let them simmer. Until I finally exploded. And you know what? I’ve realized something. By sitting on that negativity and letting it simmer I was giving you power over me. That’s done. I’m a wife, a professional, a woman, a working mom. I don’t have time to spare on you.
Why did I even let you bother me? I guess because you embody so many of my pet peeves. It’s amazing, really, that almost ALL of my pet peeves can exist together in one body. You should pat yourself on the back for that one. It’s quite an achievement.
So, what are they? The pet peeves I mean. Aren’t you curious? If you’re not I don’t really care. You’re going to hear them anyway. Here we go.
• Your self-importance. In casual conversation, you refer to yourself as ‘generally average.’ But that’s not what you really think. I’ve heard you praise your vast intelligence, superiority over other women, and even taste in reading material many times. You’ve even gone so far as to say that people can become ‘an annoyance.’ Just the superior tone of that one comment makes me bristle. Who do you think you are? Obviously Someone.
• Your (again) self-professed Grammar Nazism. That actually could be a good thing. I can be a bit of a Grammar Nazi too. But what gets me is that you feel the need to brag about your habit of correcting others’ grammar (yes, adults’) when your own writing tends to be full of grammatical errors and typos. Walk the Talk, Chiquita!
• Your intentional over-use of British-isms. Come on, honey. You grew up in Texas and the Midwest. Not the UK. Yes, I love Downton Abbey and Dr. Who as much as the next Anglophile, but I don’t make an effort to substitute good ol’ American words. On this side of the pond, it’s ‘math.’ Not maths. We drive people ‘crazy.’ Not mad. Etc. Etc. Etc.
• The way you tend to flaunt your lifestyle, as if you are somehow more privileged than, as you put it, ‘people who work.’ Your Spouse works countless hours to enable you to sit home eating bonbons and handcrafting various items while your offspring educate take care of themselves. Remember, these are the kids who told me that they love being homeschooled because, “Mom forgets a lot and we don’t have to do school every day.” That’s the choice you made – great. But the rest of us don’t need our noses rubbed in your superiority.
• The fact that you’ve got your family snowed. Convinced that your college degree is ‘unmarketable’ in the job world. Um, it’s a college degree. That means that, with any small degree of effort and a measure of work ethic, you could find a job. Even a part time one.
Do I sound jealous here? I admit it – I used to be. But the more I thought about it, the more I started feeling sad for you. Why? Because I’ve spent enough time working on me over the last year to recognize some patterns here.
It’s obvious that you are incredibly insecure. Why else (unless you truly are a More Evolved Specimen of Humanity) would you constantly feel the need to talk yourself up? Affect fake ways of speaking? Remind the rest of us of your innate abilities? Correct others? Rationalize your choice to be a SAHM? Heck, you wanted to be a professor and aren’t. Maybe this is your way of making yourself feel better about not achieving that particular goal. I don’t know. And it’s not my job to try and find out. But I feel sorry for you. And I’m REALLY working on not getting irked at all of the little things.
So what’s next? Well, since I’m working on cleaning my side of the street, I need to let all of my pet peeves go. And pray for you. Yep, that’s right. I’m going to start praying for you. And no, I’m not going to start praying that someone really tells you off or that you suddenly realize how annoying your habits are. That would be totally missing the point.
No, I’m going to pray for peace, enlightenment, and open-mindedness for you. Among other things. But that’s a start.
And you know what? I feel better already.

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Filed under honesty, Personal growth, Relationships

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