New Math, New Life

Oddly enough, there is a world where this equation is right. It’s not the world most of us live in, but it is a world where people are happy, I mean really happy… blissful.

Years ago my boyfriend and I were walking across a parking lot to a restaurant. A car drove in front of us, stopped, and the man driving asked for directions, (I know, right? It does happen.)

I gave him directions and he began to argue with me, so I told him again, trying to be very clear in my instructions but he kept arguing, so I shrugged my shoulders and headed towards the restaurant. My boyfriend wasn’t so easily dissuaded. He made it his mission to prove to this man that I was right and he was wrong, and before I knew it the two of them were arguing.

Oh geesh.

It took me several attempts to convince my boyfriend the man was not interested in the truth and just wanted to argue. I had to drag him away. It was clear the driver felt compelled to justify his inability to get where he was going to himself, and probably to the hot blond in the passenger seat. He needed to prove he was right. In his mind his pride and dignity were on the line.

I needed food.

My boyfriend kept grumbling about how wrong the guy was until we were seated.

Some people don’t want to hear the truth. Some people only know how to argue because it’s the only way they feel heard. Some people don’t know how to communicate. Some people think you can’t have a discussion without screaming and name calling. Some people don’t know how to have a calm, respectful discussion. They want to be right at all costs and will defend their wrongness until you give in and agree with them. It has to be a win -lose situation.

My mother is one of those people. She won’t discuss. She refuses to accept there are other opinions and ideas. One day she texted me… “Why don’t we just have an old fashioned, knock down, drag out fight about it?” My response was… “why can’t we just discuss it?”

Apparently that was not an option. She was only interested in the nuclear option. Things had to be blown up. There was no meeting on common ground with quiet, respectful discussion. There was only name calling and vitriol.

We haven’t spoken in 6 months.

Acceptance is by far the most difficult lesson I have had to learn. I spent decades trying to get my mother to see things from my perspective, to accept my thoughts and my beliefs. It was something I’ve never been able to accomplish until I realized that 1 + 1 = 3.

You see, I simply decided I’m not going to argue with her anymore about anything, because she is not willing to see any other side. If she calls me names, if she screams at me and blames me for everything, if she tells me all the things that are wrong with me, I’m going to say, “Yes, mom, you’re right. One plus one does equal three.” It’s a win — win situation. And I’m going to be happy for the rest of my life.



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