Cinfulcinnamon's Blog


Posted on: April 1, 2010

     What a truly wonderful emotion sympathy is.  It can be used as a tool, a true expression of sorrow, or a “get out of jail free card” when there is nothing that we can say. It’s one of the few things that we can generate naturally if circumstances call for it, as well as pull it out when we’ve got “nothin”.  And by that I mean this: You somehow find yourself in the middle of a situation not of your making.  People are looking at you for some kind of a response. You don’t have any money to help. There’s no advice that you have that you feel is suitable.  But you’ve got sympathy.  Whether you feel it or not, sometimes it’s expected of you to bring it out and make over someone so that they feel better.  Am I saying that you should fake sympathy? No.  But sometimes, it’s all you have.  And all you have to give.  You then promptly remove yourself from the situation breathing a sigh of relief that you made it out and managed to do it gracefully.

     Here’s a scenario that is probably familiar to anyone who is a parent.  You vaguely remember your kid asking to do something that is just out of the question.  You are amazed that they don’t kick and scream at your answer.  It goes to the back of your mind.  Next thing you know; some time later, you find yourself standing in the middle of your own kitchen.  Your kid is there.  Along with a group of his friends. The kid is asking to do the same thing again, but this time they’ve brought backup.  All of them are pleading the case, your kid is standing there nodding while you give him the evil eye.  You know you’re going to still say no.  You mentally give the kid points for the strategic move, but you’re still going to say no.  You’re trying to do it the nicest way possible without embarrassing yourself or your kid (you’ll kill him later) and surprise surprise.  What comes out of your mouth?  An apology dripping with sympathy.  About how you are sorry that you can’t say yes to the request but that something just doesn’t feel right about it.  The pack ushers out the door, minus your kid to go do whatever “jackass” stunt they were going to do.  Then later, it also doesn’t surprise you when it’s learned that one of the kids did indeed crack open their head, or break a limb and you send your “sympathies” over to the neighbor’s house.

     Sympathy is one of the super powers that we humans have that can be used for good or evil.  Usually, the people who genuinely deserve sympathy are the last to ask for it or want it.  The ones that use it to get attention, or to get you to see things their way are the people who are mostly devoid of any real need for sympathy.  But it saves them from actually needing a defendable point of view.  Because that ploy that we gave our kid points for is one that we see time and time again in the rest of life.  If a person can get enough people to “feel” sorry for their cause, then they never have to actually defend something.  Even if they are wrong in what they believe.  They count on the fact that most good people  are still a touch naive and vulnerable.  We want to believe in others.  We may have NO idea what the other side of a story might be.  If we like the person, we tend to want to believe them.  Especially if we don’t know the other person that our friend is speaking of.  It’s a fact that there is a right and a wrong side of every story.  And it’s just plain easier to hope and believe that our friend is on the right side.

     I learned this lesson the hard way.  The years that I spent bartending and waiting on the public broke me in.  And in many more ways than I needed.  My sweet, kind Dad was made a patsy so many times in his life.  He was such a loyal soul.  If his friend would say something… god it was written in stone.  It was very hard to change his mind and get him to give up on his belief.  Even when shown the facts, he didn’t want to give up on his friend.  It would make me sad sometimes.  I know that I inherited that same trait from him.  The difference was that my Pop didn’t work with the public.  He was alone on the highway driving his truck.  I got my ass and my heart handed to me so many times that I’ve now gotten just a little bit hardened to the ways of humans.  I still give everyone the first shot.  And rarely am I disappointed.  Sooner or later, they will see my kindness for weakness and find a way to exploit it.  I’d like to say that as I get older, that happens less and less.  And maybe that’s so.  I sure hope so.  A very good example of the world making me hard almost cost me my husband.  We’ve only been married 6 months.  But he had contacted me almost 2 years ago.  The first time we talked on the phone, he was so open and honest.  He talked about what he wanted out of a relationship, how his loyalty meant to him that he would lay his life down for the woman that he loved and would defend her honor forever.  To be honest, for a first conversation… scared the shit out of me.  I thought the guy must be some kind of a Viet Nam psycho nut job.  And I thought that he must say that kind to stuff to every woman that he talked to.  And so, I kinda blew him off and found excuses for not meeting him.  We re-connected around the time that my Mom was dying.  I couldn’t deal with him then either.  But he was persistent.  And eventually won me over.  He broke down the walls around me and made me see that everything that he had said was true.  He was and is the real deal.  I am blessed that he found me, and I try to tell him that everyday. 

     Recently, I was accused of having a chip on my shoulder.  And yes, I probably do.  I have a chip on my should for what is RIGHT.  I will not back down when I know I am right, or that the cause I believe in is right.  I also have a chip on my shoulder for people who are treated badly.  But I am like most people.  Sometimes, all I have to offer is sympathy.  At the same time I was being told I had that chip on my shoulder, I was also told that I “dog” people with my blogs.  That isn’t true.  I’ve never mentioned a single person’s name in any of my blogs.  If people see themselves in them, then hopefully that may help them see what they are doing and help them.  Doesn’t mean that I consider myself an authority on anything, or want to tell people how to live their lives.  It just means that if an alternative idea, or way of doing something can be put out there to save them some trouble….what is wrong with that?  If you don’t agree…that’s fine. I am in charge of no ones life but my own.  And brother have I made mistakes. I trusted blindly and been cheated.  I’ve loved deeply and been used.  But I’ve made some good choices too that I am very proud of.   And  I also talk about the good in people.  The things that they do that make me proud to know them.  I am actually writing this blog for someone who I don’t even know.  Someone that I feel is being fed bits of information from one side only.  They are being “pumped” for that sympathy.  Some have befriended this person, and been nice to them, so that little by little the poison can be fed to them and they will believe it.  I think this person is way too smart for that.  And I hope that they are pulling out some of that “convenient” sympathy.  It can come in handy.  I wish them luck.  I’ve been EXACTLY where this person is.  And so many times I have regretted not keeping my guard up.  Good luck to them.




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Goofy Me

I am: an Air Force vet, Mom, sister, friend, Lifestyler, and all-around smartass with a heart of gold. I have lived all over the far East and learned many things about people and cooking, art and true value. I like to share my experience with the rest of the world. I will be the most loyal friend or most annoying enemy you've ever known. Honest to a fault. My life has not always been easy, but it has never ever been boring.

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