My Not So Redeeming Personal Quality

A better title would have been “ONE Of My Not So Redeeming Personal Qualities”.

To quote my eldest daughter, who just turned 21, from last night’s Skype session. “You routinely jump to erroneous conclusions based upon incomplete information.” Flattering stuff huh?

Some context. Growing up, my older brothers teased me mercilessly. And then my friends and I took turns ripping one another. That’s my excuse for being sarcastic, it’s the legacy of my childhood.

Sarcasm is a very tricky thing, because the line of how much is appropriate is always shifting. Every person, and therefore every small or large group, has a different level of tolerance and comfort with it. My hypothesis is that the more people grew up being teased, the more relaxed they are about it as adults. And vice versa. Some members of my fam have a low tolerance for teasing. I know that because I’ve crossed over their lines so many times.

Somehow, Eldest Daughter (ED) got accustomed to it, so much so, that she gives as well as she gets. With such a quick and keen wit, it’s almost impossible to ruffle her feathers.

A little more context. She’s living in a house just off her Midwest college campus with four roommates. She’s working full-time this summer. The GalPal and I are paying for all of her expenses including rent, utilities, and food in the hope that she can save what she’s earning.

And a final bit of context. Recently ED reconsidered her longstanding vow to never friend me on Facebook—one of my greatest life accomplishments. Last week on Facebook she posted a few pics from her birthday including one of her sitting on her nice lawn with a few girlfriends and a few six packs of CRAFT BEER.

Finally, now you’re ready to eavesdrop on our Skype exchange from last night.

Me: Regarding the Facebook birthday pics, there’s something I have to explain to you. Most college students, no make that most people in their 20’s drink beer that’s just one small step above horse urine.

ED: What?! What are you talking about? [Her head then dropped so that all I could see was a cascade of blonde hair. Which I interpreted as an admission of guilt. So I pressed the pedal to the metal.]

Me: Yeah, you’re normally SO articulate, and now, mired in guilt, all you can do is stammer and evade.

ED: [Smiling ear to ear.] No, no, you don’t understand.

Me: You don’t understand. You’ll remember we weren’t sure how much to allocate for food. Seeing pictures of your friends and you with CRAFT BEER convinced me we’ve allocated too much money for food and drink. Most college students, no make that most people throughout their twenties, drink beer that’s just one small step above horse urine. [Now she’s laughing hard, which I interpret as an obvious mea culpa.]

Me: [Yes, you’re right, it should be her turn, but the best defense is a good offense.] Most people wait until they’re making $50 large in their thirties before buying CRAFT BEER. We’ve given you too much money if you’ve already leap-frogged the decade-long horse urine stage altogether.

ED: No, you don’t understand. I and E were visiting [I was returning for her senior year at Notre Dame and E accompanied her from home base in Olympia, WA. Both are close high school friends who she never expected to see in her college town. Thus, excitement.] and they insisted on buying me craft beer for my b-day. I didn’t pay for any of it.

Me: Oh.

Me: Is this another example of me jumping to the wrong conclusion based upon incomplete information?

ED: YES, just ONE of MANY examples!

Sadly, you can find numerous posts in this blog’s archive on the pitfalls of prejudging people, and yet, there appears to be a log in my eye (Matthew 7:3). I hereby recommend taking any future “pitfall of prejudging people” posts with large grains of salt.

Now only three questions remain.

1) Is it only a matter of time before she unfriends me in order to keep her personal purchases more personal?

2) Is she bullshitting me?

3) Is my questioning her veracity just one more not so redeeming personal quality to add to the list?

What say you dear reader?

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5 thoughts on “My Not So Redeeming Personal Quality

  1. I’m back from vacation and catching up on things, which includes reading your blog. I must commend the excellent job your eldest is doing in the thankless task of raising parents. I don’t think your transgression warrants un-friending (we’ll see) because you were able to identify the difference between a log and a speck. I suffer from the same condition but with the consistent help of my children, I’m slowly getting better.

    I also loved your comments about choir several days ago. If you want to catch a good foreign film that will inspire you to sing with others, check out “As It Is In Heaven” (available on Netflix). It’s Swedish and not nearly as religious as it sounds.

    • Thanks Steve. We’re officially empty nesters in a week, so my education will no doubt slow. We really enjoyed As It Is. Didn’t think of that at the time, but a great recommendation.

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