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Where is the shame?

I can’t seem to find it. I’ve often said that we all could use a little more kindness in the world. I’m thinking these days we need a lot more shame. Like you, I’ve listened endlessly to the Penn State/Sandusky fiasco. I watched Sandusky being interviewed, I saw him smile, shrug, laugh and not look […]

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Heather - I love this post because it’s fun to get to know you and subscribe to your blog and I wholeheartedly agree with you. My 4 year old son, sitting with me, loves your blog because of the “feed my fish” gadget on the side. He’s giggling hysterically as I’m feeding your fish. Thought you’d like to know. 🙂 —your new diva cafe, twitter, and facebook friend! 🙂

Suerae Stein - I agree with you 100 percent on this, Tammy. It is appalling, but I am hoping that it is not as bad as it seems, it’s just that we only hear the bad side of people. I am trying to believe that there are more good people who would feel shame in any of those instances than not. Thanks for your post! I always enjoy your writing. ~ Suerae

Tammy - Heather, so happy you are here and ever so lovely to have your son feeding the fish. I’ve neglected them for some time. Am thinking of adding a hamster to my collection. Look forward to sharing thoughts with you in the future months. Thanks for posting!

Tammy - Suerae, Let us keep a hopeful heart that there are more good people than bad. Even better, that people acquire a sense of responsibility and guilt. Hey, sometimes guilt can be a great characteristic…at least in this instance it would be. I always enjoy being read … by you. Thanks for stopping by.

Joan Cooper - You put it so well, but no matter what – human nature doesn’t change. Not for centuries.

We hope for hope. Education, religion, social mores – but there are always some who violate the civilized concept. Perhaps after all it will always be a jungle. I greatly admire those who work for justice for the flesh and blood who cannot defend themselves – children and animals. Yes, animals are flesh and blood. I hate it when someone is referred to as an “animal”. Animals in my experience are really nicer. Better you refer to nasy people as savages. That is really what they are.

RC Scott - There’s instant gratification in “wrongdoing,” thus the draw. Strength is needed to withstand the temptation, and there will always be weak individuals falling into the darkness.

All this stuff was here before we came, and will be here after were gone. The make up of our Human Nature will always leave us susceptible to it. Any one of us can stumble at any time.

The important thing to realize is that we can only impact what’s in our own sphere, & the way to deal with the Shadow World is simply to turn on a light.

Fighting with shadows brings only exhaustion, despair, and defeat. Much easier just to turn on a light. Emphasize the positive and the negative falls to the side.

William G. Jones - There’s no shame anymore because people feel no consequences for their actions.

First of all, society as a whole has completely abandoned the idea of God and eternal consequences, preferring the notion that humans are third cousins to apes. Once a person accepts that there is no divine creator, then it’s easy to accept that there’s no eternal justice, and worldly justice becomes a matter of playing the system.

Once people buy into the idea that they’re nothing more than animals, why are we surprised when they act like animals?

And while you’re right that the forefathers would be appalled by our leaders, I think the forefathers would be even more appalled by how functionally illiterate American society has become. We the people have a responsibility to hold our leadership accountable, but somewhere, that’s been forgotten, because we’ve allowed our leadership to convince us that they’re beyond questioning, beyond reproach.

We are a society that has forgotten what it means to be free and responsible human beings. We’ve bought into this lie that life is about what we can get away with, that if it feels good, do it. We’ve created a generation that is more concerned with entitlement than entrepreneurship, and while we all want to blame the train wreck of this current economy on goods made in China, we don’t want to admit that we buy everything from China because we won’t pay the premium for goods made in the U.S.A. by U.S. workers. It’s somebody else’s problem, it’s always somebody else’s problem, and when you hear people complaining about it, they’ll never admit THEIR role in it. We’ve become a society of individuals, looking out only for individual needs and not those of the community. Worse still, we’ve become a society bent on the notion that anything goes, no matter what we can’t offend anyone.

Until we get back the sense that there are universal rights and wrongs, there will never be shame. Shame is something that’s instilled into the moral fiber of a person, not something they’re born with. And because shame doesn’t feel good, this hedonistic society has decided there’s no place for it at all. After all, the monkeys don’t feel shame, do they?

Tammy - RC, I LOVE your phrase “the way to deal with the Shadow world is simply to turn on a light”. Kind of brilliant. You are right; of course all this stuff has been here for ages and will be here long after we all leave. I stumble all the time. I screw up and make mistakes. I hate it when it happens, but it happens. I’m generally left mortified and riddled with guilt that I hurt someone. I’ve learned in my years that apologies, while sometimes hard to express, absolutely set you free. It may not fix the problem but it seems to fix the heart of the problem. It all still baffles me how there seems to be so pity little conscience in the world as of late. Troubling. So jazzed that you stopped by and shared, it was awesome! Thanks for being here.

Tammy - Joan, oh, you’ve hit a sore spot for me here, perhaps a blog for the future. Yes, I also hate it when people refer to other people as animals. In my minds eyes; that is a compliment. In watching the news as of late, I have seen many more ‘savages’ and it’s beyond disturbing. I understand as much as one can, people’s greed and corrupt hearts. What I cannot wrap my head around is the lack of remorse when their actions inflict pain and shame on others. I just don’t get it. Always enjoy reading your two cents. Thrilled to have you on the other end of my blog! Thanks for posting.

Tammy - William, it’s been a while since a post has made me think so much. You and I agree on pretty much everything except (you knew there would be an ‘except’) that society has no shame because God is absent in their lives. It calls to mind the many preachers and priests that do truly believe in God but continue their shameful perversions on the innocents with pity little shame.
I couldn’t agree more that we as Americans have become so complacent that we almost deserve what we have. Shame on us and shame on them. When the populous lives up to their obligations the leadership might be more inclined to do the same.
We all play a role in our current economic situation and it certainly does appear that we are all out for ourselves. Beyond disturbing. Not all of us feel that way (thank God) but those that do are many. What we are learning is that the world is indeed a small place and Japan, the Middle East, Europe all share in the same bucket of problems that we do. I was just having this convo with a friend of mine as I have been searching everywhere to buy some American made products. Can’t find them. Would I pay more for them? You bet. Would I pay a LOT more for them? I can’t.
I love your idea of ‘universal rights and wrongs’. What a great concept for the world to adopt. If only it were that easy. I’ll tell you one thing, Mr. Jones … I’d vote for you for President. Let me know if and when you plan to run. Awesome having you here. Thanks for posting, hope we see you again.

Mel Glenn - I liked your column a lot. There is no shame and no loyalty. Look at Reyes and Pujols in baseball. Old values have died a quick death.

Tammy - Mel, what a pleasure! One has to wonder if there has always been a shortage of shame and loyalty and we simply were not as informed as we are today (Internet, TV, tweets, etc.). Or have we really just gone to hell in a hand basket (yes, I really said that). Old values have died a quick death…and a painful one at that. Great having you here, Mel, thanks for posting.

kellie kennedy - Shame is a rare things these days Tammy.
Most politicians feel they are above remorse!

Junior - To me, shame can be found almost anywhere you venture out to these days. It’s not hard to find. It is not news that to anyone that with today’s wacky world of communication that, more times than not, the negative is portrayed more than the good.
It is one thing to take part in shameful acts and then use technology to subject those things to the rest of the world, but when the media uses them to boost their ratings or, as usual, in a ‘sensationalistic’ format, the shame can then be shifted to a new level.
I feel that it is for the most part a uncontrolled world out there, and beginning to be more uncontrolled over our use of technology.

cheryl - Another thought-provoking subject——-I, unfortunately, believe that in our world today, many have never even heard the word “shame” let alone internalize the meaning of the word and how it might relate to oneself. Shame is for others besides the immoral politician or criminal. Why is it that there is no shame in walking away from relationships and commitments such as financial resposibilities.
This has become a world of “do what YOU want that feels good because YOU have that right”. Our society and educational system have been very successful at making us all think we are so special and that we should not be allowed to fail. It would crush our little narcissistic egos. This is new thinking in the last fifty years. This can be seen from many perspectives——-the CEO who feels so important so as to take much from the corporation even when it is in bankruptcy, and the person who feels no compunction to make any effort to take responsibility to do whatever necessary to take care of himself, like take an imperfect job that may not be in the perfect place at the perfect pay rather than sit around and whine that the world does not do enough for “me”.
My upbringing made it very clear to me that I am not the center of the universe and I am okay with that. I have tried to encourage my boys to strive for success in their pursuits, always acting fairly and honestly. Individual integrity is all we have.
I am a firm believer that if everyone adopted the rule “do for and to others what you would like others to do to and for you” there would be no problems in families, with friends, in communities, principalities, states, nations, the world or the universe; there would be no shame. Sounds pretty simple, and I am also not naive enough to believe this could ever happen. It is how I try to live my life, and my life is the only one I can control. It is also not real easy especially when someone treats me unfairly or is mean to me. I have to control my “get back at you” desire.

Tammy - Junior, you’re right, it is definitely an uncontrolled world out there. No doubt. I’m thinking it always has been. But I do remember a time when remorse was standard fare when someone did something wrong or hurtful. It feels like those days are over. Too bad. A remorseful heart can often heal the wound it inflicted in the first place. Yes, we certainly do get an ear load everyday via the media of all the negative stuff going on in our world. One has to wonder if it was always there or if we are just hearing so much more about it because of the technology you mentioned. Something to think about. So happy you stopped in and thanks for posting!

Tammy - Cheryl, I’m not sure who should have written this blog; you or me. You are right in saying that individual integrity is all we have. I don’t think that many people believe it or live it, for that matter. Or, perhaps the ‘integrity bar’ has been set so low that it really doesn’t matter anymore. Being sorry, having shame for doing wrong was something I was raised with. I raised my daughter the same way. I liken it to being my conscience. Maybe you’re right in that people feel so special they feel entitled and immune from feelings of remorse or shame. It’s really too bad; the world is worse for the lack of it. For my part, I am sorry for those times I hurt people or do things I’m not proud of. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I own it; I regret it and I share my remorse which, ironically, allows me to shed my shame. So love having you here! Thanks for posting.

Words can kill

I’ve been told that I’m intimidating. This absolutely flabbergasts me since I regard myself as being one of the nicest people I know. No, I really do. I think this opinion has been formed about me because of my words. I consider them to be one of my greatest assets and I use them freely. […]

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mickey - Tammy- you have become an extraordinary writer and philosopher. So glad we have a long history – of memories and hours of “words”

Jeffrey Davidson - “Write On!!”

Communication makes the world go around. The old adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword!” applies to both written and spoken.
I have a favorite anonymous quote that I think is appropriate when discussing communication whether spoken or written.
“The greatest fallacy of communication is the illusion that it has been achieved.”
Continue communicating with us and everyone you encounter.
Jeff Davidson

Joan Cooper - Well, it isn’t so much WHAT you say as HOW you say it.

Goes back to an inaadequate education system. People everywhere are not taught in a way that would make life truly civilized. We are stuck in an old pattern of power. I could go on for ages here, but I will end now by saying….. I have never heard you snarl, Tammy. I think you are cute and very very nice. Not intimidating at all.

Sharon Westmoreland - It’s always so interesting when I read something like this and it matches exactly what is going on in my own life. I don’t believe in coincidences so I always delve into the lessons to be learned. Thanks for this one Tammy. I often refer to myself as a catalyst, I know others often think that means I’m intimidating. I think that when a person is fully focused in the present and has spent a lifetime building awareness, many people are not prepared for the energy that emanates from them. Anything out of the ordinary like that causes people to feel intimidated. What do you all think about that theory?

Kris Henderson - Words DO have a profound effect on us – both for the good and bad. Being in the second half of my life too (haha), I’m getting much better with my words!

Maureen - Well, I’ve never found you to be intimidating – but I’ll certainly be careful not to get on the wrong supermarket line or park poorly! Keep standing up for yourself and the rest of us, because you do it so well!!!

Tammy - Mickey, it’s been years since we’ve seen each other. I am the worse for it. I cherish the thought that you are on the other side of my weekly rants, somehow it helps make me feel closer. Now all we need is a good cup of coffee. Thanks for the kind review, appreciate it. I too am grateful for all those years of memories and hours upon hours of words.

Tammy - Jeffrey, “write on”, love it! You are clever. I love the quot “The pen is mightier than the sword”. I believe it to be true. Words have changed history, and induced love and hate alike. They hold such power yet so few people ever notice. I will write on with the hope that you will be reading. Always great having you here!

Tammy - Joan, I agree with you about the dire need for a better educational system. No doubt. And I’m thankful that you’ve never heard me ‘snarl’ but I’ve had my snarky moments and can only hope that they were justified. I do pride myself on my civility. Not so much my patience. Still working on that. Thanks, Joan, for being here and participating. It’s awesome.

Tammy - Sharon, I think the world needs more catalysts. Where would we be without them? I also think that people are afraid or ‘turned off’ by strength in others. It calls to their mind the things they cannot do and wish they could. Intimidation by blustering and bullying is just aggression. Intimidation by confidence, knowledge and caring is a blessing in it’s own disguise. I can’t speak for other people but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t speak for myself. My two cents. And…you’re right, there are no coincidences. So very happy to have you here, thanks for posting.

Tammy - Kris, isn’t it just amazing how age has such a positive impact on our use of words? Well, for many of us anyway. I use them so much better than I did years ago, which might account for the fact that I’m much happier now than then. Who knew that I held the power in my own mind and mouth?! Middle age does have it’s advantages! Thanks for posting, great knowing you are here.

Tammy - Maureen, Haaa! you’re right there, you don’t want to be on the wrong side of right if I’m anywhere in the area. Good grief. Last week I stopped a woman parking in handicapped parking by politely asking if she had authorization for it. I tried to explain that people who need those parking spots were unable to get around and pointed out that it was illegal. She told me to go f*** myself. That’s okay, I used my words to call the police. She was towed. Don’t you love happy endings? Thanks for sharing and listening!

Kellie - Tammy
I have found that many of my women friends feel free to speak their minds (much more)since turning 40 years of age and feeling they have found their voice and comfortable in their own skin now. It seems to have been a magic age for so many of my friends. However with speaking up comes “shock’, “surprise” and sometimes “horror”. I have been on the receiving end of all myself. I think not ALL people are not quit there …yet! Which is OK! Everyone has their comfort levels, but open lines of communication is key, I guess our personalities just tend to be a tad MORE shocking. 🙂

Tammy - Kellie, I still shock myself sometimes, but usually in a good way. Sometimes I surprise myself at how capable I am or how fearless I was. I’m not either all the time. You’re right, age allows us more freedoms, earned by the living of the years and knowing better this time around. It’s a great perk to getting older. Love your post and so happy you shared it.

Karl - I can’t help but think our entire set of communications to the world is being boiled down to not words, but characters…140 or less to be precise. Some of the ‘top ten tweets’ of the year, as shown on the evening news, have enlightened the world in ways that modern media cannot possibly describe. Just think back ten years ago or less with no Facebook, no MySpace, no Twitter, no textingm no blogs … today we have them all and they have changed the meaning of words (aka “communications”) interminably. hhmmmm……..they’re still just words.

Lee Lefton - Words have kept my marriage together for almost thirty years. The lack of them often drives a wedge which can’t come back together until words are shared.

The same can and should be applied to friendships.

Silence is not golden when feelings need to be expressed.

Words have enabled me to make a very respectable living for many years. Hopefully by using them wisely, creatively and well, there’s no reason why that would change.

Words when said quietly often do have much greater power than those shouted. An example of this I will never forget occurred when I was about ten years old. As I ran around the house, my father who was sitting in his Lazy Boy, yelled at me each time I passed, “Stop running around the house!” On my third trip, he met me in the hallway, knelt down to my level, and whispered directly into my face, “What did I say?” to which I replied (quaking in my tennies), “Stop running around the house.” Then he turned and went back to his chair.

Point taken.

Tammy, keep up the good words…and work.

cheryl - Tammy, I hate to tell you but claiming to “one of the nicest people you know” is a disservice to you. I know a lot of people who are very “nice” and boring and superficial. You are not that person and that is why I adore you. All of my best friends are people with opinions which they freely express. I appreciate that.
I did gain some insight from your blog and responses about communication and/or the lack of it. My sisters and I obviously failed to communicate effectively over the last year. I find it interesting that many see direct communication as being confrontational.

aitor - yeah…nice n informative articles
best regards

Tammy - Lee, the story about your father was so poignant. I related to it strongly. So well said. Anyone who has been married for 30 years knows how to communicate and obviously you are blessed with a wise and wonderful woman. As life carries on; problems, disagreements, differences of opinion are bound to surface. If you can’t talk it out, you will grow old alone. My ex husband is a smart man but never learned how to share his ideas, feelings or hopes in a civil way. Being smart doesn’t get you very far without the ability to articulate your mind and your heart. You’re right … silence is NOT golden. Your career has been based on your ability to write the words that sell and engage. Clearly, my friend, you’re on top of your game. Lee, (I’m whispering) thank you for being here, I so appreciate your insights.

Tammy - Cheryl, I adore you too! I remember when I was a little girl everyone always asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t know (and am still wondering). But I always answered: “I don’t want to be boring”. Good to know I’m not the only one who thinks I achieved that. Thanks for that. I agree with you that many of the comments left on this blog are wonderfully insightful (often times better than the blog itself, but that’s something we will keep to ourselves). I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t force communication on someone. You can talk until you are blue in the face and try your best to share and come to terms; but if the person opposite you won’t meet you half way, well, you’re rowing that boat alone and will only go in circles. It sounds as though you know this first hand. Painful … and aggravating, but worst of all, so unnecessary. Closed minds don’t find it necessary to communicate. Too bad. Lives would be improved; love and memories shared if everyone could just muster up the words to work it out. You’re right; I also find it interesting that many peeps see direct communication as confrontational. A sure sign of huge insecurities, don’t you think? And that’s a whole other ball of wax! I appreciate your sharing and your amazing insight. So happy you are here.

Tammy - Thanks! Great having you here.

Scott Morgan - I’m starting to think you and I were separated at birth. I don’t think I’ve read another blog that has made me say Amen so many times …

Tammy - Scott, thank you my brother from another mother. I happily accept your compliment and raise you one. I look forward to sharing reads with you – oh, such fun! And let us all say … Amen! Thanks for posting!

Thanksgiving is for the birds!

I think the cooked turkey has a better time at Thanksgiving than I generally do. I have never been particularly fond of Thanksgiving. I’ve disliked it since I was a child; a holiday sentiment that was unwittingly passed on to my sweet unassuming daughter. Hey, we have to have some kind of tradition! When you […]

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Joan Cooper - Clevvvvveeer.

How can you like Halloween (so scary) and dislike Thanksgiving. Cranberry sauce slopped on everything is my favorite thing.

Remember these traditions were before TV, ipods, movies etc etc etc. They served a purpose. Notice no new traiditions have come forward in our more progressive society. Why is that?

Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - Tammy:
Thanks for that LOL experience! So many great lines, especially the first one!


Suerae Stein - Hmmm… a chocolate Thanksgiving doesn’t sound so bad? We have changed our traditions over the years between moving and family changes. I hosted for a number of years after my mom got tired of it. Then my husband’s family wanted to have us and we had to let my parents know that this would be our new tradition, as it really is the only time my husband’s family gets together and we see my parents often and at Christmas. Thanksgiving and Christmas, for me always seem to be the tug and pull holidays, where you worry about where your loyalties should lie when there are two families involved. Sometimes we’ve even merged the families when distance allowed. Great post, Tammy – I hope you have a wonderful time this year!
~ Suerae

Tammy - Joan, I do love Halloween, I can’t lie. It’s so fun and colorful and so filled with … candy! No, as you can see, I’m not a big fan of Thanksgiving. I would imagine that in the days before TV, video games and what-not that the family gatherings were more of a “connect” and less of a drive-by. And I’m sure there are new traditions popping up all around us. Not having a tradition is a new one all by itself. As always…LOVE having you here. Have a good holiday; however you choose to celebrate it.

Tammy - Laura Lee, The very same to you….and the best of it. Thanks for being here!

Tammy - Suerae, you touched on something I did not and wish I would have; the perpetual tug/pull of the holiday. Loyalty is a tough thing to spread around, when it is cut in two it is perceived as being less loyal. A lose-lose proposition. Stressful. In the days of old everyone lived near (if not with) each other. In the age of bi-coastal jobs, romances, marriages, etc, families are not as accessible. I still lament the loss of the days with my little girl when we would laugh, share, play games and hug a lot. We still do all those things, of course, but on a much more limited scale. Traditions do wane by the side of the road as time goes by. Best we be flexible or we will too. New traditions are always around the corner, you are living proof. However and wherever you spend this Thanksgiving holiday, I truly hope it is all you want and need. Best to your family and thanks for posting. Always so happy to hear from you.

kellie kennedy - Yes I think the key is not allowing someone or one family to control everyone. It should be a choice of where everyone wants to go on holidays especially as u have different lives. One lone person should not call the shots over the holiday season. I am so glad in my family so days are o.v.e.r.!

Maryjo Faith Morgan - I agree totally – time is too short not to make being with those we love a priority. No matter what we share together in the food department (my Italian roots crave homemade ravioli!) and no matter whether we choose board games, cards or going to a holiday-release movie, it is the BEING together that counts!

Tammy - Maryjo, Oooooh, homemade ravioli sounds wonderful. Isn’t variety the spice of life!? Being together IS what counts, but I must add that these days I pick and choose who I spend my time with. I have friends that are just like family to me and I have family that I’m not too fond of. Being together with those you love and respect is awesome. About 20 years ago we began going to a holiday movie on Christmas day. The theaters were empty and it was no problem getting a parking space. Now it’s packed big time; a new tradition for many. The times … they are a changin’. Always great hearing from you, thanks for the post. Have a most wonderful holiday!

Tammy - Kellie, I remember asking my Aunt once at what point would I be able to be seated at the “adult” table. She told me when somebody died. Yikes. It was tradition that the eldest sat at the large table. So, in my house there has never been an adult or kid table. An eighty year old is no more important than an 8 year old, not to me. We are all precious, we are all important. If we can’t all sit together, we buffet it as best we can. It works out just fine. What works for some, doesn’t for others. But, you’re right, of course, one person should not be calling the shots over the holiday. Luckily, in my family, it’s never been the case. Thanks for sharing and have a great holiday with your family!

Kellie - oooh yes Tammy
I am 49 1/2 and never did make it off the kid table for turkey day (the only single person in the family who dare show up dateless! (by choice … shameful!). I only bring dates to such a family event if I care a bunch about that person in my life in a serious way. I did finally manage to make it to the adult table on my mom’s 80th b-day! I threw a hissy fit and said “yaaa lets do musical name card seating this time around!” You have a great Turkey Day gobble!

Maureen - Another great post Tammy – hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Tammy - Maureen, thanks so much, and the very same to you!

Fiona Villate - Tammy. Loved the blog. I can totally relate. Having not been raised in this country, Thanksgiving holds no real significance but having married an American who LOVES Thanksgiving I have learned to deal with it!! I have tried everything to go to a hotel or restaurant for the meal, but he has to have home cooked!! I have lucked out for the past 4 years as my sister-in-law has held the festivities (even though she can’t cook and has it catered). But inevitably this year it is my turn to cook. I have learned that with a couple of Appletinis, things go swimmingly well. Happy Thanksgiving? I hope so.

Marie - I think traditions are what we make of them and what gives meaning to our lives. When I was very young, we did the relative thing–hosted a Thanksgiving dinner at our house every year for two dozen or so relatives. Good thing my mom was a good cook and had a house full of daughters back then. Since then, we’ve had years where we planned family trips (turkey sandwiches at Disneyland come to mind), where we had just ourselves and where we spent the day with good friends. They’ve all been memorable in their own way, whether anyone else approved of celebrations or not–and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t trade any of them.

Tammy - Fiona, I absolutely LOVE your attitude! Yes, it’s your turn up at bat; not something I envy but you’re right, Apple-tinis (they are my ALL TIME favorite!) will help things go swimmingly well. The things we do for love! I shall keep my fingers crossed and will be thinking of you tomorrow. Would love to know what part of the world you hail from. I’m feeling pretty confident that you and your American husband will be making lots of new traditions in your life together. Can’t wait to hear about them. Good luck and am sending good turkey thoughts your way! Thanks so much for sharing … it’s awesome!

Tammy - Marie, so well said. So well said. Turkey sandwiches at Disneyland … awesome! I think we learn as we get older that it’s the people we are with and not the thing we are doing. Since I have been doing what I like with whom I like, I too would not trade one single memory. Before then, when I was doing what everyone else wanted of me I was pretty miserable. I remember one Christmas a stray cat we had just taken in took down our entire tree Christmas Eve. When we woke up the place was a shattered mess of tree limbs and broken ornaments. After the shock of it we had a pretty good laugh and still remember that Christmas mornings as one of our very best. I love your flexibilty and open mind. Doesn’t it just make life so much easier? Have a wonderful turkey day and thank you for being here. It means tons.

Cheryl - Tammy,
You are so on—–I just read your and other blogs and feel much better. I was lamenting that our day was very quiet and we went out to dinner. As you know, my family is on the outs since my mom died. Holidays are really much more enjoyable not having to deal with a certain sister. Thank you for helping me realize even holiday traditions change——-and that it is really a good thing. You are so witty and WISE.

Tammy - Cheryl, I think we are, many of us, in the same boat and a growing majority. Nothing stays the same, which is not to say that change is always easy to adjust to. Not in my case. But adjust we must, and when we surrender the past we find it so much easier to enjoy the present with all its new and different ‘traditions’. I understand how the holidays are more enjoyable without certain people in them. Believe me … you are NOT alone in that one. The difference these days is that we have the courage to cut these people off and not allow them to ruin our moments. Kudos to us! Thanks for your post, its awesome knowing you are on the other side of them.

Nancy Wurtzel - Oh, I LOVE your take on Thanksgiving, family traditions and expectations. Yes, the ability to adjust and start new traditions and seize the time with family and friends is so important. Thanks so much for sharing and I’ll be coming back to read!

Tammy - Nancy, it seems we have a lot in common. Both you and I have learned that adjusting isn’t quite as voluntary as we perhaps once thought. Damn. That’s okay, half the game is won just by showing up. That…I can do. So, my sister from another mother, I look forward to your reads and welcome you to mine. Wonderful having you here!

Can we survive our pet peeves?

We were having a lovely dinner the other night with some friends when they brought up a pet peeve of theirs that was going on at the table next to us; loud chewers. It occurred to me that we all have something that drives us crazy. Since I know you’re just dying to know what […]

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Jeffrey Davidson - Let’s add to that…
Cigarette smokers are among the worst litterers.
How about people that talk on their cell phones at an elevated voice level so that everyone in the restaurant can hear them?
People who are in one of two multiple turn lanes and they always crossover into your lane and back.
Drivers at a light intersection making a left hand turn and don’t pull up into the intersection so only one car gets through when the light changes.
Well that’s my contribution to your already comprehensive list.
Jeff Davidson

Joan Cooper - How about drivers on the freeways that leave at least 5 open car lengths in front of them in heavy heavy traffic. I have never been able to figure that out, but it drives me CRAZEE!!!

Sharon Westmoreland - Love your posts! Keep ’em coming!

Add people who chew with their mouths open and I think you’ve got it covered! Oh, what about people who don’t signal when they are changing lanes or turning?

Jennifer Eubanks - Where shall I begin? Please do NOT talk to me with your mouth full of food, and by the way when you chewing it better be with a closed mouth!
People who PARK in the middle of a “drop off” round-a-bout so nobody can get through. Yes, I AM honking my horn at you because I too have children that need to get to class. Move ON.
People who ask you questions, then argue with you or tell you it isn’t so. Don’t &(*$)(@) ASK me then.
Drive-thru’s. I don’t go often, but when I do I’m always asking myself WHY. I’m sitting here 20 minutes waiting on a tea and there is NO escape route.
Being interrupted in the middle of a sentence. It makes me feel like I am not important. Besides, I really do only have a 10 second memory so if you start talking OVER me….SQUIRREL!
Seriously, I think I need help because quite frankly I could be answering this question all night long.

Jennifer Eubanks - *you’re chewing…it is supposed to say you’re. ANOTHER peeve! I can’t go back and correct it!!!

Kellie - My pet peeve! People with expensive cars who feel entitled to park in two parking spots, so we poor little morons don’t dare bump or scratch their little perfect cars. I have news for THAT poor moron … it only makes me want to KEY you car! But I won’t …

Carmen - Great article. As usual right on target!!
I agree with all of your pet peeves!!!! I have a few to add: Automobiles with closed windows — and the music so loud you can hear the music down the street and it is not Mozart!! Gum chewing cracking loud with mouth open — especially in a place of worship. AND CERTAIN LOUD NOISES/WORDS OR LANGUAGE !!!

Maryjo Faith Morgan - Right on! I could not agree more, and wonder about progress if it makes us less polite.

I am offended when someone dives for call waiting while we are talking … unless I’ve been forewarned a business call is expected and we might be interrupted. I appreciate that courtesy.

You’re doing a great job here – you make me laugh and say, “Oh yeah!” all the time. 🙂

Maureen - I so agree with you!! My biggie is those rude people that blow their car horns to make you move…I don’t mean a simple, polite toot-toot, that can actually be appreciated if I make the unforgivable mistake of daydreaming thru the light turning green. And when they just sit on their horns I automatically stop moving anyhow, thinking I’m about to hit or be hit – so it just defeats their purpose. Are they really in that much of a hurry??

Marcia Nichols - Tammy, I think you’ve covered it for me….with only one addition. For me, one of the most irritating pet peeves is a L-O-N-G voice mail message. You know…..Hello (pause), this is Cindy (pause), thank you for calling. I am on another line or away from my desk (duh) and am unable to answer my phone (duh). I can be reached between 8 and 5 Monday through Friday, or on my personal cell phone (number) during off-business hours, so please feel free to call and leave me a message and I will call you at my earliest convenience. Thanks and have a great day!

Suerae Stein - Good ones! And I love Jennifer Eubanks one about the parking in the drop off round-a-bout. We have the same irksome problem at our school. I cannot STAND when people post things on Facebook things like “having a great time at the bar” from their phones. If you’re having such a great time, why are you even picking up your phone and posting anything on FB???? And why do we need to know this? Love all your pet peeves, and mine has always been people who throw cigarette butts on the ground, as if that’s not some of the most harmful litter!!! ~ Suerae

Tammy - Jeff, judging from the reaction to this blog post, I left quite a bit out. I agree about cigarette smokers being the worst litterers, and people too afraid to pull out into the intersection waiting to turn left on a green drives me crazy. It’s one of the few times I use my horn – it never helps. Thanks for adding to the list, you’re awesome!

Tammy - Joan, Haa, I get that about every day. I had a conversation at a dinner once about this very thing. One of the people at the table complained how every time she would leave 5 car lengths in front of her on the freeway (so she could drive safely) some moron would cut her off. Yikes, I had to tell her that I was one of those morons and it wasn’t a ‘cutoff’ but rather a “move your butt” move to pass her. We never became friends. Can’t win them all! Thanks for posting!

Tammy - Sharon, huge thanks for the encouragement. Open mouth chewers are HUGE on my list too! Clearly I did neglect to add a few good pet peeves mentioned in the comments here. But on the other hand, the post would be endless. Great having you here and appreciate you posting!

Tammy - Jennifer, well now, tell us how you really feel! I also have a 10 second memory (if that) and I’m hopelessly lost if interrupted when I’m on a roll. I remember those school drop off days; amazing how pissed off we get when people don’t follow the rules. I’ve also had numerous episodes in drive-throughs (see my post You wanna Piece of me?!) and yet I continue to go. There is little rational but laziness. Open mouth chewers drive me up the wall and I don’t know why I didn’t include it on the list. I don’t think you need help just because you could be answering this question till the cows come home, I think you need to surround yourself with less annoying people. Easier said than done….they’re everywhere! I love knowing you are on the other side of my posts and always happy when you chime in!

Tammy - Carmen, OMG, how could I not mention those annoying thump-thump blasting radios that come from very inconsiderate drivers (usually under the age of 25)? You’re right…Mozart it isn’t! Gum smackers are right up there too, and I have to add when they just spit it out on the street. Huge yuck! Clearly my blog post needs revising! Thanks for being here, appreciate your posts!

Tammy - Maryjo, thanks, girl, for the words of encouragement, appreciate it big time. I LOVE that I make you laugh and think. Awesome! See you next time…and thanks so much for posting, it’s great when you do!

Tammy - Maureen, Haaa, I’m finding that so many of other peoples pet peeves involve cars and rude drivers. Duh?! I know…every time I hear a horn honk my natural instinct is to stop or slow down until I figure out what’s wrong. And yes, they really are in that much of a hurry as they go along their merry rude way. Great having you here, thanks for chiming in. It’s been pretty eye opening to read everyone’s peeves. Happy I’m not alone in them! Thanks for the post!

Tammy - Marcia, Oh my stars, YES! When I hear those long, slow messages by the time I get to leave one I’m so ticked off that I had to wait 4 minutes to do it. Slow takers in general kind of drive me up the wall I once had a very sweet friend who was an extremely slow talker. She was a great gal but I just couldn’t get accustomed to waiting for her to finish her thoughts and sentencing. Seriously. I drew away from it because it became such an aggravation and there was no way she was going to change. I still feel like a heel for doing that but I found myself always trying to finish her sentences for her, which made ME the rude person. Oye! Thanks for posting, great hearing from you!

Tammy - Suerae, clearly my list needs adding to! Cigarette butt litter is disgusting and vile. Hate it. Do they think it’s bio-degradable or do they just feel above the law? Either way, it’s so piggish. Yeah, Jennifer had some pretty good pet peeves and I agree with pretty much all of the ones mentioned on this forum. I FB everyday and see a lot of silly-ness. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of porn and violence (not awesome). I would discontinue my profile but have made some very good relationships on there. But I don’t need to know where you are having dinner or drinks, that’s for damn sure. Thank for posting, always a pleasure having you here!

Tammy - Jennifer, Haaa! Yes, that and auto-correct!

cheryl - Hey girl——this is such a timely topic now that the holidays are upon us——-time to get a sense of humor or slit your throat. I have two huge pet peeves
1. When shopping in the grocery store or walking through a shopping mall or along the sidewalk, it drives me crazy that people I meet choose to walk down the center of the aisle or sidewalk. I find myself always moving clear to the side (almost in store windows) to make room for “them” who are often walking 3 and 4 abreast. I would like to say teenagers are the offenders but——-not. Now I am a short lady but I am NOT INVISIBLE!!!!!!——Oh, maybe I am?????
2. We have totally killed the word “are” in our vocabulary. This is the kind of stuff I hear all the time—-and from fancy national “journalists”.——–
“There IS A LOT of PROTESTERS in the park”
Should be———
“There IS A LOT of PROTEST from people in the park”——is a lot of protest (singular)
“There ARE LOTS OF PROTESTERS in the park”—— are lots of protesters (plural)
All must be in agreement to be correct.
Actually, a better solution would be to report that there are many protesters in the park.
I know I’m old and “old school” but people from other countries use english grammar more correctly than we Americans. I think it is shameful.

Tammy - Cheryl, Wow, aisle and sidewalk hoggers are a ridiculous pet peeve of mine too! I’ll go one further and share that I often encounter people waking in parking lots right down the middle of the driving lane with no regard to the cars waiting for them to move over; rude thoughtless people. You must be a retired English teacher, yes?? But you’re right, of course; Americans butcher our language to exhaustion…especially journalists. I’m not sure why that is, they, above all others, should know better! I think you have found yourself a new job in an advisery capacity to the networks. Lord knows they could sure use you!! I’m a big fan of old school and a fan of yours. Thanks for posting, wonderful hearing from you!

Kris Henderson - There’s the person who is standing in line in front of you – cheerfully talking with their friend or family member about their car, their children, the weather, whatever – and then when they get up to the counter to order, start looking at the menu (really! what did they think was going to happen at the counter?), they ask the person they’re with if they’ve ever had one of the menu items (really! there’s people behind you), they start to hem and haw, fold arms, bounce a little, say “I’m sorry” (don’t say that – you’re not) and then finally order. Wait…..then ask 2 or 3 questions about what’s on it, how’s it cooked, how long it will take. Keep in mind, we’re at a fast food restaurant. It’s every thing I can do not to reach out and thump them on their forehead and demand they go to the back of the line just for the mere reason of their stupidity.

There’s many other pet peeves I have (it’s true) but this particular situation just happened to me. I just hope that one of my own little idiosyncrasy’s don’t become pet peeves for other people.

Tammy - Kris, oh my gosh … you hit the nail on the head! I have to add something here; I have a dear friend who takes forever ordering a meal at a restaurant. She asks a million questions (many of them you mentioned) and racks up about ten minutes of everyone’s time just to determine what she wants. I seriously don’t go out to eat with her anymore because this makes me nuts. But the fast food person? Well, they need to learn some manners. I love your solution: send them to the back of the line just for being stupid. Hahahaha! That solution, by the way, works in other venues of life. If only it were true. Thanks for your post … it was awesome!

Sharon - Have you ever been backing out of a parking lot space with two SUV’s on both sides of your car impeding your view of what’s happening behind you? As I slowly and cautiously back out, it never ceases to amaze me that people walk behind me as my engine is on, AND, I’m actually moving! Why do people assume that I will see them and stop before I hit them? People are generally distrusting of strangers, and yet they depend on me, an unknown, to miraculously notice them and stop as they proceed to walk behind my moving vehicle. Pedestrians, please don’t take such risks! Stop when a car is blindly backing out!

Tammy - Sharon, happens to me ALL the time. It brings out the worst in me as my secret passion is to just run them over then stick my head out the window and ask “what? you didn’t see me?”. Even more aggravating than that are the people that walk right down the middle of the parking lot….slowly. Really? Once again, I just want to run them over. Yikes, I think when I become rich and famous I should hire a driver. What do you think? Great having you here, thanks for the post!

Kesha Brown - Tammy, girl, I sure have my list as well and some even match yours…here are a few of mine:

1) people who hog and spit in public
2) people who throw cigarettes out car windows while driving
3) i’m with you on the finger lickers and teeth pickers
4) people who drive in the fast lane (slowly) when there’s nothing in the left lane…

I could go on but….I’ll survive! LOL


Tammy - Kesha, I love that you gave me a nick-name … Tammy girl. <3 Someday we must meet in person and shoot the breeze. I agree with all of your pet peeves which is why I don't carry a gun. I re-read some of my readers comments and can't for the life of me figure out how I missed so many of them. Spitting in public is huge on my list. Clearly another blog for another day. Great hearing from you as always, thanks for posting!

Are you a failure?

I am. Well, at least I’ve had my turn up at bat and the game isn’t over yet. Yup, I’ve been a failure many times over. The way life is set up; we are bound to fail at points along the way. If we don’t, we aren’t trying new things or taking chances. I love […]

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Joan Cooper - You are so mellow. I cannot imagine finding a happy ending for even a tiny failure. I do not forgive my failures. Of course, I am older than you and I should have learned by now. But alas, I still make mistakes.

You give me hope though.

Suerae Stein - I didn’t think people were supposed to be so wise before the age of 70. How you manage such wisdom at 58 is inspirational. You are wise beyond your years and I am grateful that you share it with the rest of us. 🙂

Eileen - I’ve been enjoying your writings for some time and felt it was about time to let you know how much. You’re insights, humor, and willingness to share even some of the most personal things are truly wonderful.
So much of what you talk about are things I can honestly relate to, but I’m not sure I could so honestly address them. Thanks for doing this for those of us who don’t have the wit or nerve to do it!

Tammy - Joan, gee, I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but mellow has never been one of them. Thanks for that. I must share with you that forgiving yourself is paramount. Whatever you need forgiveness for; I hope you find your way clear to do it. We need to be our own best friends (a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it). I hope you do keep making mistakes. I know that I sure do. It means we are still out there plugging along, trying new ways and new things. It’s all good. I shall remain hopeful for the both of us. Thanks for posting!

Tammy - Suerae, if I have any wisdom on this subject it’s because I’ve had my share of failures. I’m so very happy to be even a hint of inspiration. I figure I should always share what I’ve learned and hope that people will do the same for me. My failures have shown me a good amount of success. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. Color me grateful. Thanks for being here!

Tammy - Eileen, What a wonderful post, thank you! I’m happy you’ve been enjoying the reads. Isn’t it amazing how much we all have in common? You’re right, I share pretty openly and with wild abandon. Goodness knows I should probably have a bit more decorum. I guess I figure that at this stage of my life, it is what it is. I’m very happy to have you on the other side of my posts and hope you will share again some time. Love hearing from you and thanks for reading!

Carmen - We all have had life experiences that we can view as positive or negative. That been said it does not mean they are failures. They are life opportunities (that not everyone gets to experience in the full sense of the word, or that everyone learns from). There is a saying “the best school we can have is the school of hard knocks — I would like to call it the school of experience, provided we learn from these experiences. The beauty of these experiences is that we can share these experiences with others. What a great feeling!
You are an incredible success story and perhaps you would not be the person you are without all these experiences.
Keep up the great insperational articles you produce…it makes alot of us dig deep into ourselves! Thank you.

Marie - Great post, Tammy. We are taught so strongly to fear failure as children that, as adults, we become afraid to try new things for that fear of failing. It wasn’t until I really looked at failing and recognized it for the learning experience it is, that I have finally felt like I am moving toward success and freedom.

Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - Words to live by…

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” -Wayne Gretzky

Tammy - Laure Lee, And let us say .. Amen!

Tammy - Marie, damn good for you, girl! Isn’t it sad that these are lessons we learn so late in life? I mean, I sure could have used all this info when I was in my 20’s. But then again, try sharing it with a 20 year old and see how far you get. It is perhaps something that is suitably learned with age. Thanks for posting, great having you here!

Tammy - Carmen, I think that by the age of 58 if I hadn’t been to the school of hard knocks I would have to have been living under a rock. Life does have a way of knocking us around ready or not. You’re right, I absolutely would not be who I am if not for all of my failures (experience). I’m sure I still have some in store for me. I can’t lie; I never look forward to those teachable moments but I take what I can get from them. And you, Carmen have shared some teachable stuff with us here. Thanks for posting, wonderful having you on the other side of my blog.

Dede - I don’t think that trying something that does not work is a failure. Having the courage to do so is harder sometimes than doing nothing.
I have had to take a step back many times and keep pushing forward. Our own fears often keep us from succeeding or accomplishing what could be our greatest moments.

Lee Lefton - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You never cease to impress and inspire me. I would NEVER describe anything you’ve done in the nearly 30 years we’ve been friends as a failure. You, my dear, have always had the courage to step out of your comfort zone and take those leaps of faith. Some of them have been quite successful. Others simply didn’t pan out as hoped for. (Wrong timing. Market situations. Whatever). But no one could ever say that you didn’t give your everything to everything you tried. And I see you continuing to do so. So I take real issue with the first two words of this post. NO. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! Take that from someone who has always loved you and always will. As a short addendum and inside joke: Omelet boy blew it bigtime.

Shirlene - I agree wholeheartedly with you Tammy. My life motto has always been….” It is NO unless you ask and If you fail to try something , then yes you have failed. Our failures seem to give us the most wisdom!

Tammy - Shirlene, on the same page as usual. Wisdom gained by failure is wisdom well earned. Thanks for posting!

Tammy - Lee, I’m certainly no failure in the ‘friend department’; having you in my corner and in my ear means everything to me. Has it been 30 years? Oh my … we ARE old! Venturing out of my comfort zone has yet to get easy. I’m not sure why I still try, but thanks for noticing. As Thomas Edison once said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. As so, we plug along, don’t we, my friend? It’s the journey and I’m so very happy you are along for the read while I make my way. Thanks for being here. Oh, and I’m still LMAO over omelet boy!! *snicker-snort* Love you too!

Tammy - Dede, Life does sometimes feel like two steps forward, one step back. At least we are going in the right direction. At times, my ideas wait for my courage to catch up. It always does. Thanks for posting, great having you here.

Kellie - Tammy great blog post. Well as my mom tells me, nothing is a failure if you at least attempt it. Since moving to the desert I have kept this in mind and it has served me well…as you know on my NEW adventures. Of course I have never been one to be afraid to attempt new things on my own. So I fail, so what? do I care what people think, NEVER have!

Tammy - Kellie, you are way ahead of the game, girl. I have never really cared what other people think of me (thank God), but it has not alleviated me from the occasional fear of failure. The good news is that it never stopped me. The bad news is, there were times it should have. Thanks for posting, great having you here!

kellie kennedy - Oh girl I know what you mean, but I figure all my good friends already know I am an idiot half the time …so what’s the harm! LOL!

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