Saturday, May 25, 2013

That Proverbial Road Less Traveled: Why Does it Make Everybody Nuts?

"You're doing a wonderful job...
You're just doing it all wrong."
Yes. I grow Tiger Lilies in my house. Because... I like 'em! 
If you have an issue with that, perhaps you should just keep quiet.

It takes me a good week to recuperate after European travel. And people are very understanding about that. Oh, yeah, the jet lag, they say. But, jet lag doesn't bother me. It took me one nap in Munich to recover from a 17 hour flight and correct my body clock to an 8 hour time difference. And, one good night's sleep to do the same thing after my return home.

[It's called espresso, people. Don't knock it, 'til you've tried it.]

I also grow Geraniums indoors. People are weird about this one, too. 
That's an outdoor plant, they say. So go plant them out there. 
I like having them indoors. But, that's just me.

It's not the sleep deprivation that leaves me discombobulated for a week. It's the pondering of how people behave toward me and the ongoing confusion over how to deal with it.  

Should we address perceived slights when they are directed our way? Or, should we ignore them, hoping it will just go away? I tend to ignore ~ where I'm from that's called being polite ~ which is probably why it happens so often.

[For years, I attributed the unwanted advice syndrome to my blonde hair. Perhaps, they think I'm stupid? But, I died my hair brown and it kept happening so that theory was shot to hell.] 

This one makes people completely batty. I grow Clematis indoors, as well. 
They're generally so big, they're flowering before they find a permanent home in the garden.

It felt as if every one of my 14 travel days included unwanted commentary on how the choices I've made are all wrong and here's how you could do things a wee bit better.

Geez. Whatever happened to that whole 'marching to the beat of a different drummer' idea? I like that one. It works for me.

Now, I imagine this happens to everybody. And, I take it too personally. So, what do you do? Do you fight back? Or, do you walk away?

The whole 'sit down little lady and let me tell you how it's done' generally starts with the biggie: "Why didn't you ever get remarried? You should, you know." {Well, in case you haven't noticed, half the people in America are single. And... maybe I don't want to?} {Parentheses = things better left unsaid.}

She loves it here. And, I'm glad she does.

"Who do you think you are, owning a horse and riding her all the time? I can't afford that so therefore, you, Kate, should not be able to afford that, either."

{Whoa. Wait a second. Your mountain climbing endeavors equate to a very expensive hobby. Why is your sport acceptable and mine is not?} {Parentheses = things better left unsaid.}

"Why don't you have a roommate? That's popular for single people these days." {Oh good grief... Maybe I'm not lonely and apparently you are?} {Parentheses = things better left unsaid.}

I had barely sat down to dinner, at our international sales meeting, when I was blindsided by this:

My client announces to the two men who joined us: Aw, you young guys are stuck sitting with us old hags. {Old? Hags? Clearly that woman is uncomfortable with growing older. But, I'm not. There were plenty of open tables. I imagine the guys chose to sit with us because we're very smart professionals who can help them climb the corporate ladder.}

Strike 4. I'm single. I love my horse. I don't want a roommate. And, I just discovered I'm an old hag. But, here's the one nobody ever likes to talk about: I'm very happy just being me. In fact, I'm so happy it never occurs to me to try to make you feel miserable.

Some gardeners consider the old, wild roses the bane of their existence. 
Because they grow the way they want to, and flower however they please.

In foreign countries, everything is different.

Not better, mind you. Just different. And, when we're visiting, I personally feel we should go with the flow. You don't throw a temper tantrum because you can't find Texas BBQ in Slovenia. You eat the Knödel and tell everyone it tastes great. (It does.)

Wouldn't it be cool if everybody behaved like that? All of the time? If they just went with the flow and stopped trying to change things?

It would certainly make my life easier...


Janie said...

I guess you just have to find the humor in all this ill-considered "advice", and just continue being you. I'm sure some would say I'm doing all kinds of things wrong. Well, too darn bad. I'm happy with my own choices, thanks. I think I'll keep them.

Rilly said...

"Live and let live", "when in Rome...", "the best advice is no advice"...great words to live by. My personal favorite.....ignorance is bliss. Welcome home!

KC said...

OOPs! Guilty as charged on at least one of the subjects mentioned. My apologies....guess the guilty culprits think what works for them works for everyone. I'm 60 and still learning, mostly to keep my mouth shut!

Your adventure looked wonderful despite the unwelcome advice.

Bonnie K said...

It is amazing how people view being alone and on getting older. I am happily married, but was also happy when I was single. I love getting older. I am ten times smarter than I was in my 20's or 30's. Life is mine to enjoy and I will do so as I please. Great post.

Georgette said...

Kate, the more I get to know you, the better I like you! Predisposed by Dacodah and cemented by gardening. Thank you for the enjoyment you give.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thanks, Janie. Spoken like a true independent horse woman! :D

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thanks, Rilly!

It feels sooooo good to be back in my garden. I am looking forward to showing off some flowers when you buzz through town...

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

No need to apologize, KC. :) You're in good company. Everyone in my life is trying to marry me off...

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

I'm with you, Bonnie. My younger years were fun but my older years are even more enjoyable. Perhaps it takes 50 years to figure life out? :D

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thank you, Georgette. Dacodah has been a huge, positive, inspiration in my life. I feel blessed to have met him.

I hope to meet you in person the next time I'm in New Mexico. ;>)