It Started with a Vacuum 

The downfall really started with a vacuum.  It was at least 10 years old, and I really hated it. I had nightmares about that brand of vacuum in high school, as a friend’s mom had one and I swear it tried to eat my ankle once. So, after we moved again, I decided to sell it. I mean, how many people need three vacuum cleaners for a one story house anyway? So I put it on eBay. It sold within a few days, and I was super excited. So, I did what any normal American girl would do – I posted my accomplishment on Facebook. 

Little did I know the wrath this one accomplishment post would cause to befall my poor mind and body. 

Apparently, I was, instead, supposed to ask every person I knew if they needed a vacuum before I sold mine. Mind you, I had personally paid for said vacuum with my own money. I had also had it serviced, changed the belt and bags, and dug the rubber bands, Legos, hair, and other nefarious items out of its roller over the years. I figured that it was mine, to do with what I wished. Apparently I was mistaken. I was, instead, supposed to ask other people about it before I sold it for $75 online. This was a $1000 vacuum originally. So $75 was a really good price. It also helped me repair the other, more loved vacuum that I owned. But, I digress. Apparently, I was supposed to give my $75 away to someone else. Well, I didn’t, and I still don’t feel an ounce of guilt about it. Why? Because it was MINE. I PAID for it. I’m an adult. That’s what we get to do with our stuff – whatever the heck we want to do with it. That’s also what we get to do with our hard earned money. Just as we wish, of course so long as it s not illegal. 

Since then, it’s been other little guilt-suggesting conversations. Perhaps we weren’t supposed to buy our dream house in the woods. I guess, instead, we were supposed to keep throwing money away on an investment with zero ROI and continue to live in q neighborhood in decline, so that our real estate investment would continue to tank over the years.  Perhaps  we weren’t supposed to travel and see Paris, London, and Tahiti. We were, instead, supposed to support a person who chose not to do the right thing and support himself. 

Perhaps I wasn’t supposed to go to law school, because after all going to law school was “stupid” and “I would make a terrible attorney” and more recently, “My friend hates being a lawyer. I can’t imagine why you would ever want to be an attorney.”  Um. Three words. IT’S MY DREAM. So thanks for continuing to stomp on that, too. Plus I love being an attorney. It was what I was meant to do. I’m sure there are other people who have grown tired of law. I haven’t. I don’t think I ever will. It’s my calling. I’m just glad to have one, finally. I’m sorry you don’t have a calling, truly. It would probably make you a much better person. 

Perhaps we were supposed to always be the one to do everything, instead of someone, anyone else stepping up to the plate and helping.  We did. We have done for years. Then we moved. Not out of state, like others, but 45 minutes away. No, it’s not always our duty to do everything. There is sharing. It’s a cool concept. Perhaps others should try it sometimes. 

Perhaps we weren’t supposed to love our fur child. The one child who always does what she is supposed to do. No back talk. No friends over. No pitching a fit about dinner, or presents, or boyfriends. No other parent to deal with. She’s ours. 

Perhaps we weren’t supposed to enjoy finally being with the person we were supposed to be with all along. I guess we were supposed to feel guilty about that, too. 

Perhaps we weren’t supposed to support our daughter’s dream of being in the Navy. I know, that’s a stupid idea as well, isn’t it? Why? Maybe it’s because she will be more successful than you and your beloved?  Perhaps we weren’t supposed to like her boyfriend, because he didn’t work for part of the year after his dad did suddenly. An only child, I think he did the right thing. I’ve been there. It’s a very difficult time for a woman, losing her husband. She needs all the support she can get. We did it with my situation. He did it with his. I applaud him for it, but instead I suppose that’s not a good thing either. 

The funny thing is, I will have NO GUILT about any of these things. Why? Because you have no idea what it’s like to be in my shoes. You weren’t there when the 15-year old version of your favorite screamed, yelled, threw things, and was completely unappreciative, inconsiderate, and rude to us. You got the good side only, and none of the bad. Coming in at the 12th hour and rescuing isn’t so hard when you don’t have to go through the the rest of the pain.  It’s easy to hand over money like its water when you haven’t already handed over most of your savings and given up your dreams time and time again for nothing. 

But again, I digress. What happened in the end is that a once-fruitful relationship has now become toxic. Unfortunately , I don’t really like bullies, and the last person who bullied me ended up nearly getting fired.  The one before that was kicked out if my home 9 days before Christmas. This time, there will be no firing and no kicking out. There will be something even better: my very best quality when I don’t like someone is my perfect ability to completely ignore the person. No guilt. No remorse. No looking back. A bully is what a bully does. No more bullies. 

So, the next time that someone makes you feel guilty, or tried to, say no like me. You don’t have to. You’re a better person than that. And in the immortal words of Stuart Smalley, “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.”  #bulliessuck 

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