Monday, April 30, 2012

Lesson #201 – Don’t ever expect anything from people, and they will be less likely to disappoint you.

Not long after we got engaged, and just as we began wedding planning, my grandfather passed away.  It was just after the holidays, and a very difficult time for my family – keyword MY family.  Up until that point in my life, I had been pretty fortunate.  Loss wasn’t really a familiar feeling for me, and I suppose I looked to my soon-to-be husband, and even sooner-to-be ex-husband, to be supportive and sympathetic.  After all, he had lost his father not too long before, and I had been there for him.  WRONG!
As always, I was wrong for feeling anything at all.  I was fortunate that my grandfather lived as long as he did, and we “weren’t that close” anyway.  And as always, his pain was worse than mine because HE lost his father, so I shouldn’t really complain since I didn’t understand real loss.
Armed with that wonderful knowledge, we continued our holiday weekend with his family.  He didn’t think it was fair to spend the entire holiday weekend mourning with my family, because it would be rude and mean not to spend it with his too.  Heaven forbid we offend his family with my grief!  So laden with guilt, we went to visit his family.  I cried the whole way over in the car, and made the awful mistake of looking sad.  Rather than feel badly, oh so Mr. Wrong was oh so angry that he didn’t leave me at home because now I was going to ruin his family’s holiday.  So, I wiped my tears, but on a fake smile, and got out of the car. 
I would love to say that I was greeted by sympathetic and caring faces, but I wasn’t.  No one cared, and no one mutter even the slightest word of condolence.  His mother looked me right in the face, and kept on partying, obviously upset that we had gotten there so late in the evening.  He wasn’t even gone two days, and they couldn’t have cared less.  I had done so much for them when their loved one passed, but to this day no one ever acknowledged my loss.  
He always said that I expected far too much from people and that I shouldn’t hold others to the impossibly high standards I hold myself.  He used to say that I shouldn’t expect people to treat me as well as I treat them, and being a good person meant doing things for others and not expecting the same in return.  I suppose he was right.  Expecting people to be decent human beings is asking way too much, and I was only put on this planet to please others.  I’m human, not a martyr…sometimes I like to be treated well too, and I don’t think that makes me a bad person. 

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