Where Tolerance Stops

Where Tolerance Stops
Image provided by Michael Korchia
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mkorchia/

This last Tuesday I wrote a short piece entitled, She Endured. (This one is shorter, isn’t it?) Aside from it being an exercise in writing for me, the point of the scene was to give you a glimpse of what many couples experience on a daily basis. The woman showed fortitude and patience.

What if she hadn’t been so tolerant of her husband’s shortcomings? I would think there’d be arguments, an emotional freeze in the air, and maybe a breakup.

Would the latter be tragic, heartbreaking, or the ‘wrong’ thing to do?

How much of the negative should a person tolerate?

The  resilience varies from person to person, of course. I think of the work place when I think of what so many put up with, both the employee and the employer. An employee will resist quitting despite the verbal abuse s/he is receiving from the boss. S/he needs the job after all. An employer will withstand the constant tardiness of an employee to keep good relations with all of the employees and so s/he doesn’t have to train someone new.

The tolerance with friends and family can get sticky and tangled. Should a spouse be lenient when the other one has excuses for not being there, not making good on promises, not participating in the functioning of the family? Should a person permit the friend to use him/her and ignore him/her the rest of the time? Some people have oodles of perseverance. They’ll take almost anything that’s given to them and will endure it. Are these people saints or patsies?

Is there a place to draw the line on tolerance? I, for one, think there is that place. When a person’s life become a series of forgiveness, leniency, and permissiveness, it’s time to paint that line. A person shouldn’t be a mat to be trampled all over. A person shouldn’t have to always give in to someone else’s wants while the person’s needs are not being met.

Yes, that’s my opinion, but not all of it. The fault cannot just lie with the recipient of all that  benevolent stuff. After all, the one pouring it out isn’t holding back. The giver has to — must stand up for himself/herself. If s/he doesn’t do that, the revolving situation is going to continue. Sure, it’s damn hard to stand up for yourself. All those feelings of doubt, guilt, shame, and disgrace are probably going to, at least, touch the person, even though they’re probably unfounded in the equation of things.

It’s sometime next to impossible for a person to stand up for himself/herself. Yet, to break the damaging cycle going on in that person’s life, this is the only way. Does the person think waiting until the other leaves that person’s life is going to do it? Don’t bet on it. All that past garbage and negative feelings are still roaming around inside the person’s head. Standing up for oneself is the only way to make those awful feelings the frivolous little pieces of the past.

§

As I’ve stated before, this is just my opinion. Whether you agree or disagree, I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

No man will succeed unless he is ready to face and overcome difficulties, and is prepared to assume responsibilities.William J. H. Boetcker

 

Ruth’s Secret – part 4

Did you miss the previous parts of this story?

part 1 | part 2 | part 3

Ruth's Secret - part 4
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https://www.pinterest.com/

Ruth was quiet on the other end on the phone. Clearly she was hesitant to tell Shelly the rest of what was going on. Ruth and Shelly had been a little more that boss and subordinate since Shelly’s promotion as lead worker within the division had gone through. They had become friends. They were careful not to let it interfere with work though. Friendships outside of one’s level, no matter how platonic they were, were frowned upon. The reasoning behind it was to avoid jealousy, which would interrupt the flow of productivity. Yet, who else was Ruth going to talk to? Her life was too busy for friendships outside the office and most of the other supervisors she knew were married and/or had children. There just wasn’t anything in common with them.

Finally, Ruth said, “Mr. Cooley — you know who he is, don’t you?”

“Yeah, the vice president of this idiot company.”

“Well, yesterday afternoon, after you had left, the photographer showed up here. I pushed him into my office and closed the door. Yeah, I was a little ticked off. He had my pay with him though. What was I suppose to do? Tell him I wanted it later at home? I doubt very seriously that he’d be happy with that seeing that he came all the way over just to bring it to me. I should have put it in my purse, but I must have had a brain fart or something because I just held the envelope in my hand. I showed him the way out and started to go by to my office. It was then that Mr. Cooley saw me walk across the aisle where your cubicle is, and motioned for me. Shelly, I got flustered. I put the envelope in your bottom drawer and went on to see what Mr. Cooley wanted.” A sigh of relief was heard.

Shelly swiveled in the stool and looked out the living room window as if the right thing to say was just outside. “Okay, that pretty much explains it. How long are you going to keep this up?”

“Until I’m out of financial danger, I guess. The job isn’t bad, Shelly. The photographer has no interest in me so I don’t have to worry about unwanted advances or anything.”

“Are you thinking of keeping this up?” Shelly asked with skepticism.

“I might — maybe until my looks start to fade.”

“Ruth, want to have lunch on Saturday? Or are you working?” Shelly said actually trying to make a jab at her friend.

“I’m free. How does noon sound?”

The End

Did you notice? I finally chanced the title of my blog. Any thoughts about it out there? 😀

The Chill of the Morning – part 2

If you haven’t read part one yet, you may want to click here.

The Chill of the Morning
Image provided by
sean_hickin @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/sean_hickin/

Bill Turner (the cop with the Smartphone) wasn’t any taller than five feet, nine inches. Because there’s a couple of policemen in my family, I know that the minimum height is exactly what Turner was. As far as cops go, he was a shorty. His dark brown hair was styled with the sides cut super close, but not shaved. Actually, it suited his square jaw line and his light olive skin. He was a nice looking man.

He asked me the normal questions, of course: name, address, phone number, how long I’ve lived at my current residence, and how long I’ve known the Thomas’. Finally, he got to the juicy stuff. “Ms. Croft, what exactly did you see?”

I told him what he wanted to know. I tried my best not to sigh because I knew, or at least thought I knew how long this was going to take. I wanted to just tell him in my own words about the incident, but I had the feeling that it would just make the interview longer.

“Okay, now what were they wearing?”

The entire interview was this way. After the fifth question about the suspects, I asked if we could sit down on the steps. He looked relieved. I wondered if his shoes weren’t fitting him right.

I told Turner about their matching dark gray hoodies and that one was tall and the other short. And no, I didn’t see their faces. He asked me how I knew the short one was female. That was easy; she jiggled when she ran. I heard his chuckle after I said that, which almost got me doing the same thing.

Winding up the interview, he said, “Thanks for coming forward. Now, you did say the Jeep was medium blue with rust stains?”

“Yes. It didn’t have the rounded corners of the newer models either.”

“Okay, thank you. I wish you had seen their faces. If you think of something you didn’t mention or you see the Jeep, please call me,” and he handed me his card.

It wasn’t until late the next afternoon that I was able to venture up to the front door of Vickie Thomas’ house and ring the doorbell. When she opened the door, I hardly recognized her. Her hair was strawberry blonde instead of the soft brown it had been in the past.

“Hi Vickie. I just came over to see how you and Hugh are doing after the robbery.”

She let me in making niceties as we walked to her kitchen. After getting settled at the kitchen table with tea, she said, “I feel so violated still. It’s all I can do to take a shower when no one is here. What gets me is that we have nothing worth stealing.”

“I can’t even imagine how horrid this is for you. How’s Hugh taking it?”

“It’s weird. He talked a little about it last night after the cops left, but that’s it. This morning he acted like nothing ever happened. I started to talk about it and he told me that he didn’t have time and that he’d talk to me tonight after work.”

“Vickie, some people handle bad things that way. Don’t read more into it than what’s there. Now then, what’s with the change in hair color?”

It turned out that she was having her hair dyed while the house was being robbed. She said she was trying to put a spark back into her marriage. Was that what the lack of emotion was all about that morning? Keep your mouth shut, Rebecca. I didn’t stay very long after that. I wanted to avoid seeing Hugh now that I knew things could be better between the two of them.

I was in my bedroom later that night putting my robe on over my pajamas when I heard a vehicle drive by. Usually I would barely notice something like that, but it sounded as if it might have needed a new muffler. Peeking out from behind the curtains, I saw a Jeep in the Thomas’ driveway. It looked like the same one, but I couldn’t be sure of the color was the same.

part three

I’m hoping to wrap up this story next Friday.

 

Knowing Stranger – part 3

If you missed part one of this series, click here to read. If you missed part two, click here to read.

Knowing Stranger
Image provided by
Charlie Boy Criscola @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/charlieboy808/

Neil arrived at Janice’s a little early. He didn’t hesitate to knock on the door. He heard muffled noises coming from inside as if someone was talking. He couldn’t make out if it was a male or female voice. A couple of minutes went by before the door opened.

“You’re early.”

“Is someone else here? Did I interrupt something?”

“No. You’re early.” Janice said as she moved to allow Neil inside.

“I’m not that early, am I?”

“Go sit down. I’ll be out in a few minutes,” she said as she turned to head to the bathroom.

He didn’t sit down. He paced back and forth in front of the living room window. He glanced at his watch with each turn he made.

She didn’t take very long to finish putting on her makeup and set the style in her hair. When she got to the entrance of the living room, she became puzzled by the impatientness Neil was showing.

After taking a couple of steps into the room, she asked, “What’s wrong?”

Baffled by the sudden change in Janice, he replied, “Nothing Janice. I’m nervous, I guess. Let’s get going.”

Once sitting at a booth at the Denny’s, Janice started the conversation. “Do you leave tomorrow?”

“Yes. I’ll be expected at work by mid-afternoon.”

“Neil, I feel that I must tell you what I’ve been thinking the last few days.”

He placed his mug of coffee on the table and looked straight at her.

“I think Willa was trying to match us up. And I do have to admit that our conversation at the party was exhilarating and comfortable for me.” He nodded in agreement. “When you asked me out for this evening, I was looking forward to it. But then I started wondering if there was something more between us. I’m sorry but it’s been bothering me. And I’m sorry about earlier.” She took a gulp of air into her lungs, picked up the mug of coffee set before her, and waited for Neil’s reaction.

Neil looked down and then started to smile. He looked back up to meet Janice’s glance. “That’s what I was nervous about. Janice, we still have it. We still read each other so well. Romance didn’t work for us back then and it doesn’t work now. Let’s end this conversation and talk about something else.”

On the drive home, Janice felt so free. I wonder if we can keep this going long distance.

Walking up the cement walkway to her front door, Neil said, “I’ll be back in town in approximately four months from now. Could I see you then?”

Janice looked at him sideways with skepticism. “What do you mean, Neil?”

“Don’t get the wrong idea. I thought we could have dinner again.”

She put her key into the lock, stopped, and looked at Neil. “Okay, you have a deal, same time of day and same place.”

Neil leaned down and gave her a peck on the mouth. “I bid you ado.” He turned and strolled back down the walkway as Janice slipped inside her home.

How did I do on this one?

 

The Chill of the Morning

It was about a week ago when I had stopped by the Twitter website that I was just going to hang out for about twenty minutes. As more often than not, good intentions fell and I stayed there for approximately forty-five minutes. Usually, I can keep my time there to a minimum, which is one of the big reasons it’s my favorite social media site. In this particular case though, I’m glad I was delayed. I found an account there that I’m sure every writer who has a personal blog is going to want to follow. The name of the account is ‘writingprompt’. The maximum of 140 characters per tweet is enough to get most if not all of us thinking about something creative to write. In that extra twenty-five minutes, I found five tweets that suited me perfectly.

The Chill of the Morning
Image provided by
Christian Guthier @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/wheatfields/

The chill of the morning put a thin layer of ice on the puddles that dotted the gravel driveway. Making a quick dash for the newspaper sitting in the middle of the front lawn, I was caught off guard. Brrr! Even with my brushed cotton scuffies on, my toes felt like the ice clinging to the bare fruit trees lined up on the left side of the property.

There it was on the first page. These reporters don’t care about anything that is told to them unless it makes a story. I was there when it happened. The cops didn’t want anything in the paper, yet here is was, plain as day.

Yesterday afternoon, as I drove down the street to my humble abode, I saw a man and woman run out of a neighbor’s house, jump into an old model Cherokee Jeep and sped past me, almost clipping my front right fender. I don’t think anyone on my street block owns a Jeep, but I could have been wrong. At least, that’s what I thought while walking up to the door of my house after the incident was initially over.

Approximately ten minutes late, I heard the sirens of the cop cars. I put my windbreaker on and moseyed down the street to where they had parked. After all, I was a witness, even if it was actually after the event. They, as I knew they would, tried to prevent me from getting close to ‘the house in question’.

“I’m a friend and neighbor of the Thomas’. Besides, I was driving down this street when whoever was here at this house was driving up it.” Yes, I was slightly hot under the collar. It did change their tune though. One of the cops escorted me to the front porch of the house where a plain-clothed cop was typing notes onto his Smartphone.

“Bill, she thinks she saw the perpetrators.”

“Okay. Ma’am, just let me get this stuff down.” He didn’t look up. It didn’t bother me in the least. I can’t type without looking either.

While waiting, I saw the newspaper and TV people arrive. The cops, who had detained me from getting close, were doing the same to those guys. They tried to ask the cops questions to no avail. The officers just kept them at bay telling them that they’d get their story after the investigation, which gave a few of the media people red faces of anger. I just stood there on the porch trying not to laugh.

part two | part three

Yes, this is another unfinished one. After I finish Picasso Bottoms Up and Knowing Stranger, I’ll continue this one. Please bear with me, okay?