DISCLAIMER: MRS. HATE LOVES DOGS
I love to cuddle them and scratch their ears and all those affectionate things that come naturally if you love animals. I grieve when they get hit by a car and die or when they age and their bodies fail them, just as we humans age and die.
However, what I DON’T love and what bothers me is when people put grieving for a pet right up there with grieving for a human.
And again, this opinion is coming from an animal lover.
There are way too many scenarios to expound upon, but here’s a few, with a compassionate viewpoint filtered through the lens of perspective.
You’re old and housebound, your family has all died out, even your children have pre-deceased you, and all you have left to love is a cat or a dog. Is this a sad situation? Yes. When that pet dies, will it be sad for the owner? Yes…very.
You’re a child, and you love your pet. A snake bites your pet, or maybe a car runs over your pet, and pet dies. Is this a sad, traumatic time for the child? Yes. Will the child always remember this first pet death and the void that followed? Probably.
So what’s the problem here? Why the hate, Mrs. Hate??
Look at these situations:
You’ve just been told your child…let’s say he or she is around eight…has cancer, and the prognosis for healing is not good. This eight year-old is old enough to know that death means death and leaving loved ones and leaving playing with friends and leaving a future. You, the parent, get the agony of explaining sickness and death to your precious child. How would you feel if you overheard someone talking about how sad they were that their dog or cat had died?
You’re pregnant, getting close to delivery time, and you find out that your highly-anticipated child has died in utero. Do you want to hear about someone grieving over their dead pet?
Your only child has been born with multiple birth defects and his life will be spent twisted and contorted in a wheelchair, with catheters and such attached, and his measured intellect will remain at a two-year age level. Do you really want to hear about your neighbor’s ongoing sadness over her dog who just had its leg amputated?
You’re a loving family, and the full-of-life daughter and sister has been kidnapped, tortured, and killed. Her body is found desecrated and rotting in a garbage dumpster. Can you empathize with the person who’s talking about how much they miss their dog or cat who just died of old age?
People, put all this into perspective. Love your pet, be thankful for the joy and happiness it brings, but please don’t over-dramatize pet tragedies vs. human tragedies.
And, if you lack the insight to see the difference between grieving for a pet vs. grieving for a human and putting that grief IN PERSPECTIVE, at least don’t go on and on about your pet sadness in the presence of people who have human sadness going on in their lives.
I know if I had one of the human tragedies listed above, or anything of a comparable nature, it would be hard for me to keep a civil tongue in my head if I heard someone going on and on about their pet’s health problems.
Arise! O ye capturers with Nikons and Canons of life’s special moments …and stone and shun the infidel writing this rant.
A picture of Mrs. Hate at this “special life moment” (that would be writing this post) would capture her with an irritated, sour look on her face, because she’s thinking about the state of modern-day photography.
And what is that state, might you ask? Let’s crank it up.
How many pictures does one have to see of a model (usually female…in fact, HECK, I’ve never seen a male model pose this way) with her feet and her toes-ies pointed inward, all kind of knock-kneed? All it looks like to me is there better be a bathroom close at hand, or else that model is fixing to wet her pants.
I don’t get it!! What’s up with the pigeon-toed look? And, almost as bad as looking as if you have a bladder problem, is it supposed to look DEMURE??? What’s so special about a female looking demure??? Oh-my-gosh…I feel the irritation building.
Another “foot look” is the wham-mo picture of feet. The first “foot look” that came to mind is the shot where the camera is pointing down towards the feet/shoes (ADMISSION HERE: MRS. HATE IS PRETTY MUCH TECHNICALLY FEARFUL OF CAMERAS AND HOW TO WORK THEM…but she knows what kind of photographs she likes) and voila, a bee-you-ti-ful picture of feet in shoes. And..bonus!!…lots of times these shoes are peep-toe shoes, which gets into the whole “toe cleavage is so sexy” area. Blah. BUT WAIT!! there’s another type of foot photography…THE BAREFOOT foot photograph. Another oh-my-gosh. Mrs. Hate loves going barefoot, that’s not the problem, but WHY is it all of a sudden the trend to photograph people all dressed up (or shoot, just dressed in jeans/whatever) and their feet are naked?? Boring. Trite. Not original.
But wait again!! There’s more!! And this is where Mrs. Hate is thankful she’s anonymous, because the following photography “look” is all around her in her neck of the woods, and the local photographers might band together and put a bounty on her hateful little head…which would actually make a pretty good photo shoot—a covey of squawking photographers (again, probably female) twittering around in righteous indignation that a big bad meanie-head “attacked” them. HA!! But only if the photo shoot “captured” the covey positioned in front of an old rusted truck or some old rusted railroad tracks or an old weathered (with a rusted roof) barn.
And that’s what bothers me—and it ALWAYS boils down to originality with Mrs. Hate…always.
The first time someone took a picture of a happy couple or a beautifully dressed man or woman in front of an old rusted truck…fine…the photographer had a nice juxtaposition of rough and smooth, plain and fancy, however the artistic eye views it.
The second time?? Danger…ask yourself “might this become trite?”
After the ba-jillionth time, you don’t have to THINK about it becoming trite…it’s been trite six ways to Sunday and deserves to be given a merciful death.
Maybe the only way posing with an old rusted truck would be justifiable would be if that truck belonged to your family and had meaning for you. And it wouldn’t matter if the truck was five years old or fifty, so long as it was a REALLY important part of your memory life.
Railroad tracks?? Did you play on the tracks…did a family member work for the railroad…do you have a “thing” for creosote-treated railroad ties?? Again, I just don’t see the fascination with railroad tracks.
Maybe a photo shoot with the girl tied on the tracks as a damsel-in-distress, with the heroic man-boy saving her in the nick of time before the thundering train cuts her into bloody giblets, would be a little more creative. Photographers, if you use that idea, I’d appreciate a small commission 🙂 Just kidding, kids.
Old weathered barn?? Well, I admit, I have a fondness for the barns on the farm here, BUT ONLY because I GREW UP with them. I could almost throw a bone to those wanting their pictures taken in front of a barn, in that maybe they lived in an urban setting all their life and just wanted a taste of the rural life, but my feelings on that are still pretty much anti-barn pictures, unless a barn was your playhouse growing up.
So what would Mrs. Hate’s idea of a perfect picture be?
1. for individuals, a studio headshot, interestingly lit
2. for couples or groups, formal poses using chairs, divans, or the like…maybe some seasonally-appropriate props (Christmas tree, Easter baskets, dining table set for Thanksgiving dinner, such as that)
3. for that way-different look, get the book I Missed You by Francois-Marie Banier…ordinary everyday people living ordinary everyday life captured precisement
A studio headshot sure would be nice right now. It’s 5:30 in the morning, and this wore-out terrycloth bathrobe is comfy, but not how I envision myself. I am barefoot, however, and there are some old barns and a 1954 Ford truck all rusted out in the backyard…and have I mentioned I’m knock-kneed and pigeon-toed thanks to a full bladder??
“I’m passionate about anything chocolate.”
“She is passionate about her children.”
“If there’s one show I’m passionate about, it’s “New Girl”.
“I have a passion for knitting.”
“I believe that my passion for working with the homeless qualifies me for this job.”
“Your passion for learning is impressive.”
Can anybody tell where Mrs. Hate is going with this???
TRITE, TRITE, and MORE TRITE.
Oh-my-gosh…don’t people realize how tired and overworked the words “passion” or “passionate” have become? Look at the following scenario:
Maybe you’re interviewing for a job. Maybe you have a little anxiety bubbling up in your breast (although there are some people who loooove to insist that “no, I’m so great and self-assured that there’s no way I could be anxious”). BUSTED. Here’s what psychologist Tamar Chansky has to say about nerves before a job interview:
“When we perceive that we are in a high stakes situation, the brain doesn’t distinguish the high stakes of a job interview–where it would help to be calm, cool and collected–from the high stakes of being under threat from attack (say, from a tiger),” says Dr. Tamar Chansky, author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety. “The body responds the same way–gearing up to run or fight for our lives. We experience a myriad of highly inconvenient and uncomfortable reactions which would make complete sense if there really were a tiger there.”
But I digress. Back to the words in question.
What if you’re in the interview, a little anxious or nervous, and the interviewer says something along the lines of “why are you interested in this position?” or “what do you feel your qualifications are for this position?”.
Well, Mrs. Hate feels this way…the words “passion” or “passionate” are thrown around so much these days that people don’t have the originality God gave a goat and continue using those words like pigs rushing over the cliff in the Bible. Next thing you know, the interviewee starts yammering on about how “passionate” they are about exceeding their sales goals or what “passion” they have for coming in early to work or the “passionate” feeling of satisfaction they have when a client compliments their work.
Surely the interviewer’s eyes are glazing over at this point. Maybe he or she starts scribbling a little in the corner of a notepad. And what might be the words being scribbled? “Do not hire this person…they are boring me to death with their stupid “passion” words, and I’m afraid that every day I will be subjected to how $%^&*!!! passionate they are about one thing or another…including swatting that fly that just won’t go away.”
Meanwhile, the interviewee might be thinking “Wow!! I’m nailing this!! Bet the interviewer is scribbling down all sorts of nice things about me on that notepad!! I’m feeling passionate about my chances of getting this job!!”
How about saying “it’s very important to me to exceed my sales goals” or “honestly, I get so excited about my work that I might come in early some days” or “I love being complimented by clients”. If you feel you just HAVE to gild the lily, how about using the words “fervent” or “zealous”?? The interviewer may still think you’re a little full of yourself, you passionate thing you, but at least you’re mixing it up a little and stepping out of that trite zone by using a comparable synonym.
Mrs. Hate has gotten so passionately tired with all this passionate thinking and passionate writing that she will wrap up this little post by saying…
Read the Lake Superior State University 2013 List of Banished Words…I do believe you will find “passion/passionate” made the list.
if you’re reading this page, maybe you’re a Believer, maybe you’re not
as we say in the South…
that’s between you and the Lord
there was a patient one time, however, who was a Believer
but was “worried about some things”, as she put it
this woman was only 52 years old, but she knew her health condition was such
that she was probably on borrowed time
we got to talking and I saw the sadness and distress on her face
and the uneasiness in her demeanor
so I volunteered to call in a preacher to settle her spiritual mind
and she accepted the offer so, so gratefully
grasping at the straw
clinging ’til the morrow
when this fine, calm, and caring man of God would come
the preacher came the next day and spent some time alone with the patient
the patient’s face was wet with happy tears
and her countenance was glowing
when I came back in
I walked into the patient’s room the next morning and this is what I see
a changed woman, at peace
and this is what I hear
“I could hardly sleep last night, I was so excited about
who I was going to see today
and what the day would bring
I feel like I have a new life
thank you for bringing the preacher to me”
the patient was discharged a few weeks later
two weeks after that, I read her obituary in the paper
thank you to all of those who come to visit our patients in their time of need
sometimes a visit is life-changing
in memory and honor of a black-haired patient and Reverend Milton Gardner
How shamed I was of any ill attitudes and unpleasant behavior I might have exhibited at ANY time in my life, after hearing this ill and dying woman tell me that she couldn’t sleep the night after the preacher came because she was so excited to think about what the new day would bring and who she was going to see.
What purity! What grace! What joy! What a testimony! Bless you, my patient-that-became-my-friend, in your heavenly home lo these past seven years.
I told the preacher how much I appreciated his eagerness and desire to come visit this stranger in the hospital and how her spiritual life was renewed by his visit and prayers. I also told him this…”if I never have another patient whose life is changed for the better through a salvation experience or a renewal of their faith, having helped JUST THIS ONE will be worth all my efforts.”
Thankfully, there ended up being more than “just one” patient who had a spiritual experience. This patient was the first, however, and she made a huge impression on me. After my experiences with her, working in therapy took on a whole new meaning for me…the idea that you could help, support, and encourage patients in other areas of their lives besides just improving their physical health.
We had a good therapy team and were always thankful that we helped our patients however we could, whatever their needs were. What a great five years spent caring for patients!!
Oh my word, the stress that can come when one thinks about what to name her blog.
Will the fate of the blog hang on just how eye-catching that name is?
Will the name avoid being laughed at, criticized, or ignored?
Will the name go down in social media history?
Ummmm…Mrs. Hate is babbling now. That brain of hers is just dreaming up all sorts of stuff and wandering, so back to the origin of the name.
Mrs. Hate’s younger sister has a son who is observant, precocious, and on the autistic spectrum. You never know what he might come out of his mouth at the oddest times, but that’s okay, because it usually gives the family lots of anecdotes to chew over and laugh about.
This nephew has a cousin on “the other side” of the family, meaning his half-sisters’ paternal cousin…what you could sort of call “kissing cousins” here in the South. This particular cousin is a very pleasant young lady, except she tends towards the negative all along (pleasant, yet negative…can’t explain it).
So, the nephew is just hanging around playing his video game or whatever it is and all quiet, while his sisters and the cousin are blah-blah-blahing about girl stuff. After the cousin leaves, the nephew very calmly and matter-of-factly say “she’s just a Mrs. Hate; she always is hating something.”
Well, that’s been a family joke of sorts for some years now. At some point, even the cousin was let in on her new name, and she had the grace to be cool with it.
Then came the day when Mrs. Hate solicited a blog name opinion from younger sister. She ran a few name ideas by younger sister, told younger sister how she was generally going to “handle” the blog, and younger sister said “you need to call yourself Mrs. Hate since it sounds like you’re going to be ranting and raving and hating all along”.
Mrs. Hate it is, then. Thanks, Will 🙂 🙂 This post is dedicated to YOU!!!!
Mrs. Hate doesn’t know quite where to start with this subject that is so near and dear to her heart, so let’s all just take a deep breath and dive in:
There is no shame in having an accent; be authentic, talk like where you’re from, keep your regional identity, and don’t be ashamed of it.
If you’ve moved around a lot during your formative years and you’re not really from anywhere and your accent is a mishmash, keep the mishmash, but at least have a modulated voice.
Either be self-confident or imagine you’re self-confident, please, and just talk with the same inflection and such you’ve had since being able to form sentences into paragraphs and converse.
Just freaking talk with the voice God gave you.
Talk like a person instead of a hog raised on concrete.
Mrs. Hate feels like she’s getting her sea legs now, so let’s walk and stomp all over the dangerous, insidious, duplicitous, cunning MONSTROSITY that is vocal fry.
Mrs. Hate has an authentic, pure, soft, NOT syrupy Southern accent. Her voice might be a little low, maybe even the slightest bit nasally, but she has been told all along by the opposite sex that her voice is lovely. This is not any kind of posturing or vanity on Mrs. Hate’s part, it’s just a statement, and she guesses that a man is more comfortable saying things like that to a woman than a woman would be saying that to a woman—at least in this small town. Who knows? Mrs. Hate is not going down that path today; that’s a gender-based subject for another post.
While Mrs. Hate cannot imagine talking any other way than Southern, at the same time she enjoys—she LOVES—hearing other accents. She has no shame stating in a genuinely interested (and there’s a big difference between being interested and being nosy) way to someone she comes in contact with while out and about “you don’t sound like you’re from around here…where are you from?”. It’s just part of realizing that there is a world beyond this rural Southern town and a way to imagine a different way of talking, being, indeed living life.
So, authentic regional accents are totally fine, even if they are not Southern, and even if they might sound a little harsh or brisk to Mrs. Hate’s ears. They’re authentic, and that’s what counts in Mrs. Hate’s book.
How about inflection? Do random inflections and syllable stressors get a “pass” from Mrs. Hate? Probably. Different people may emphasize certain syllables in certain words differently, and their voice may rise or fall in a certain pattern, but it least it’s all (relatively) pure and/or recognizable.
A glaring exception to this point would be what is popularly known as “Valley Girl” speech pattern. Let’s be a little more precise here and quote from Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_rising_terminal):
The high rising terminal (HRT), also known as uptalk, upspeak, rising inflection, or high rising intonation (HRI), is a feature of some accents of English where statements have a rising intonation pattern in the final syllable or syllables of the utterance.
Hmmm…Valley Girl?? Possibly a precursor to vocal fry?? Hmmm…
And what if you moved around so much during your childhood—growing up in a military family seems to be the example used most often—and had just all sorts of accents around you and you developed your own “mishmash” accent? Fine enough—impressible years here.
But what we’ve arrived at here is THE CREEPING DANGER that is VOCAL FRY.
Why does Mrs. Hate have such hateful feelings about this?
Because it just sounds so, so, stupid. Why growl at the end of a sentence? Does the speaker (usually a female) think it makes her sound more in CHARGE, more SELF-ASSURED, more “ALL THAT”, maybe even more “SEXY”??
Well, let Mrs. Hate tell you something. It doesn’t. What you sound like is you don’t have wits enough to just talk with the voice God gave you and from the area you grew up in. It sounds like you don’t have a high enough level of independent thinking to NOT follow the legion of young women who, God only knows how, somehow DEVELOPED or HEARD this VOCAL FRY and decided it was…in charge, self-assured, “all that”, and “sexy”.
Furthermore, no matter how smart you are, you sound intellectually deficient. When Mrs. Hate sits at the computer type type typing away and hears the television going on in the background with a supposedly highly intelligent female interviewer/political type/entrepreneur/whatever spouting VOCAL FRY all over the listener—well, it just boggles her mind. She usually gets up and walks over and stands in front of the TV and starts waving her arms around and sputtering. Then, she becomes speechless with the gruesomeness of it all and just scurries back to the safety of the computer (where she usually searches for YouTube videos pertaining to vocal fry so that she can get upset all over again, validation-wise).
If Mrs. Hate were in a position of hiring and firing (which she most assuredly is not, as she just does her own thing in her own house and in her own life, just as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine), she has a strong feeling that a job applicant growling and creaking and yapping with vocal fry all over the place—NO MATTER HOW SMART SHE WAS—would be told whatever employers tell people that they don’t want to hire. Mrs. Hate does not know how one “gets around” not hiring somebody you don’t care for (laws and such), but that’s just not her problem here. Her problem is that she fears vocal fry is an indicator of a rising tide of stupidity and shallowness in the way people think, act, and even talk, leading to an increasing lack of authenticity in the very core of our being.
Perhaps it seems strange to get so worked up over phonation, in this case what is correctly termed “the vocal fry register” (vocal fry). It’s not cancer, it’s not abuse, it’s not war, it’s just…as unnatural as hogs raised on concrete. It’s just not right. And don’t say it’s an accent. It’s not. It’s an acquired speech pattern.
And where on earth did this phrase come from—“as unnatural as hogs raised on concrete?”
Well, Mrs. Hate’s father raised hogs for some years, and those hogs were kept in a dirt pen so they could root around and wallow and do what hogs do best…just be hoggish. How unnatural would it be to raise hogs on concrete? Very.
And that’s what vocal fry is like. Unnatural.
Grow up, ladies. Be yourself, whatever kind of accent you have. Just be authentic.
The realization of…how on earth does one keep up with all the interesting WordPress blogs out there?
Mrs. Hate figured there would be lots of opportunities for learning all sorts of things through blogs…and she is an insatiable sponge for learning about all and sundry…but the rapidity at which new blogs and new blog posts keep coming at her is just a little daunting.
However, Mrs. Hate is nothing if not hard-headed. She hasn’t met much in life that has stumped her, and keeping up with blogs certainly isn’t going to be the thing that breaks her stump-free record. So here’s her approach so far.
Mrs. Hate has a little small band of followers, and she checks in on their blogs regularly, so that’s one way of keeping up.
Then, she looks at “Freshly Pressed”.
After that is a general tag search of topics that interest her.
There might be some other search tricks that Mrs. Hate has come up with, but at this point, just trying to remember the orderly steps she takes to OCD check out what’s new is fixing to irritate her.
Did anyone catch the word “fixing” in the above sentence?
That’s really how Mrs. Hate talks…”I’m fixing to go to town, I’m fixing to go to bed, I’m fixing to read a book.” Why say “I’m getting ready to go to town” when “fixing” is standing by panting, eagerly wishing to be used? “Fixing” is just kind of a sui generis word. Folks, if you’re an insatiable sponge of a learner, just go look that word up. It’s always more fun to Mrs. Hate to learn about something on her own than to be spoon-fed something, and she sincerely hopes that others would enjoy learning in that way also; thus, you go look it up your own self. 🙂
Mrs. Hate feels the use of the word “fixing” is a form of vernacular speech, and vernacular speech interests Mrs. Hate just about as much as accents do, and they interest her a LOT. In fact, she has an accent-based post coming up this Friday 4/4, so anyone interested be on the lookout for a post title which begins “As Unnatural As Hogs Raised On Concrete”.
So, a slightly winding blog post (it’s fun to wander!!) and a question to readers out there who might have an interest in the mechanics of bloggery research:
WHAT DO YOU ALL DO TO KEEP UP WITH BLOGS SO AS NOT TO MISS SOMETHING FASCINATING, THOUGHT-PROVOKING, INTRIGUING, AND IN GENERAL JUST WONDERFUL?
Thank you all so much!!