I received many kind comments to my post about the award I received from Missy at Life in Left Field. But one comment was just extra special (and quite possibly exceeded the word limit that is imposed on comments). This one is from Linda, the woman who was my FIRST boss, 20 years ago - in my FIRST fulltime job. Yeah, I know, I was an old 'new' employee. I had lots to learn. Linda was there through it all. And here she is with her comment in its entirety.
Thank you, Linda! (My typing is slow, as I am patting myself on the back right now).
Burn the Damned Tape Already!
First, dear June, congratulations! It’s about time that someone publicly gave you a virtual pat on your virtual back. God knows you don’t practice that move on yourself enough! At our age, we both should have one arm longer than the other from having performed the ‘back patting ceremony’ regularly. I have scoured all your recent photos and I don’t see any evidence of the ‘long arm syndrome.’ ‘Course I’m not one to talk considering I too lack that structure.
But this monologue is about you. As I read your reaction to the award, I can’t help but think that if you were to rewind that tape 7306 days (20 years, but who’s counting), I am partly responsible that the tape exists. Noooooo, I’m not saying that I contributed to the negative script (at least I don’t remember; however, if I did, I beg for forgiveness)…what I’m saying is that I did not give you enough much-deserved positive feedback. (Not true, I recall you as being one of my most enthusiastic cheerleaders).
But then again, it was always really hard to give you praise and all that good positive stuff. Part of what is so fantastic about you is your humor and your wit but those qualities made and still make it difficult to get any compliments through them to you.
With that in mind, let me show you why those two qualities backfire and make it hard for we-who-like-and-respect-you to get through the humor-wit-wall.
For instance, in your post:
Then I was stuck. Heartfelt? I can do that. Profound? Not so much.
Not true. Any of your followers here could come up with at least one profound post or at least some profound paragraphs. I believe that there would be much profundity (that IS a real word, cool, eh?). It would probably be found between the humorous and witty verbiage for which you are known. You figure it’s okay to be profound if it’s hidden in funny, right? Not so much when it applies to you, okay?
Next you say:
I had one major question about the award:WHY me? My brain immediately went to that dark place that tells me that I am not deserving. I hate it when THAT tape starts to play in my head. The tape that tells me that I suck, that I am a miserable wench, and not deserving of anything positive.
First, why not you? This is where we find you hiding behind your humor-wit-wall. I especially like your words “miserable wench.” Unless you’ve been lying to me, you’re not a wench if the dictionary says that a wench is “a country lass or working girl”, assuming that ‘working girl’ means what I think it means. I also have to laugh at you using that word because when I think of ‘wench’, I think of Renaissance Fairs and women running around in dresses with those ‘interesting’ bodices? You and The Mister playing dress up games again? Sorry, for the record, I have no information whether that is true (or false, for that matter).
As for being miserable, that’s not what you’ve been telling us throughout your blog. Besides, I know you to be an honest person so you must be wanting to give us a brain image of a woman at a Rennie Fair sobbing because the bodice on her dress came ’undone’. Is that it?? See, I’m still very visually oriented-Ha!
Just one more:
I have earned nothing...it's either an accident, or I've successfully conned someone to think I'm a decent human being.
I’m not easily conned, at least I don’t think I am. If you think back to our days together, you could probably come up with names of some who did try it, though. So it doesn’t work with me. And here’s where I want to try to make my point. I have personal knowledge of you, June, and I don‘t believe that what I appreciated about you years ago has changed. So let me see if I can spin this properly to make up for not giving you enough positive feedback when I had the chance…
…For one thing, you earned a salary (pathetic as it was) for doing a probably-boring job for a company that let us both down in the end;
…Even when you are attempting to put yourself down, you are masterful with words, whether they be profoundly serious or profoundly witty. Way back when, you made me laugh when there wasn’t much to laugh about. And you even caused laughing spells (you know, the kind with the laughing, crying, snorting, running-crossed-legged-to-the-bathroom) which in my opinion are a step up from laughing out loud;
…You are an amazingly strong person. I know your history before we met and you’ve brought me up to speed on the years since. You have had an amazing
number of life challenges, from raising 3 kids, one of whom needs a lot of special care. What you have done for him I doubt I could do. Heck, I know I couldn’t do;
…You are either bored or caring to take the time to look me up after all these years. I choose caring. You’re too busy to be bored, me thinks.
Now, if I had tried to say that to you in person, June, your face would be red, you’d be interrupting me with witty comebacks, etc.
Too bad, so sad…in this case, I want you to do 3 things:
1. Take your left arm, put it over your opposite shoulder and pat yourself on the back;
2. Find that damned tape & burn it already--there‘s nothing on it that applies to you;
3. When someone gives you a compliment, just say ‘thank you.‘ We’re adding humility to your list of strengths behind strength, humor, wit.
So, let’s practice:
Say “Thank You, Linda” and “Thank You, Missy”. No witty retorts until your next blog post, okay?
Again, congrats!!! Hope there are many more awards down the line. You already deserve them!