For Bad Or Worse

Every vice is only an exaggeration of a necessary and virtuous function. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1836

As most everyone else, I have many vices. It depends on who you ask as to which one gets mentioned. As long as I can remember I’ve gotten in trouble for talking too much. It was probably written on every report card I ever got and discussed at every parent/teacher conference ever held about me. At one such conference in elementary school, the group of teachers met with the parents, in this case my mother, and discussed the student which was me. Apparently one of them started in on how I would never shut my mouth. Another teacher who happened to be my father’s cousin piped up and said, “The child can’t help it. It’s hereditary.” My mother knew it was useless to even try to get me to pipe down. I blame it not only on the fact that it was a curse from my father, but in being the youngest of six kids. No one EVER listened to me. They all had much more important things going on in their lives. So I just got louder and more obnoxious, and they still ignored me. I tried interrupting conversations; they still overrode me. It have spent many years trying to retrain my mouth. I am sorry to admit I have not yet been successful.

According to my husband, my vice is that when I am accusing him of something or just plain complaining about something, I “always” use the term “always”. You always leave the top off of the toothpaste. You always leave the kitchen cabinets open. You always forget your keys. You always spend too much time on the computer. You always buy the brand you like. You always pick the biggest piece for yourself. You always choose the movie. I really don’t “always” do this. I only say always if he “always” does those things. Maybe there are just a lot of things he “always” does.

I am not the best or the most comfortable driver. And I am a worse passenger. It’s not that I don’t trust the person driving my car…I just don’t trust the people driving the cars near us! I don’t like the loss of control I feel as a passenger. I tend to white knuckle the hand strap above the window, push the nonexistent brakes on my side, or brace my hand against the roof. Yes, I know none of these things produce any results other than the annoyance of the driver. I try really hard to refrain from doing these things, yet I catch myself time after time. Old habits are hard to break.

Though I know fully well that it is wrong, I still make assumptions about people’s motives for certain actions. Though I hate being judged and even catch myself judging others, I still do it. I even apologize to who I am talking to about it and continue, as if that makes it right. You know it fits right in there with gossip. You know it’s kind of like we think that it’s our family and it is true then it’s not really gossip. But if someone else that wasn’t family said it then it would be considered gossip. Seems to be accurate reasoning when trying to stomp out the guilt over it. But none the less, it doesn’t make it right.

I am a flawed person. I am human. I make mistakes. I hope that if I don’t catch them that someone I know will set me straight. It might embarrass me or hurt my feelings at first. But I am better off in the long run if I am called out. Fortunately, I have family and friends who love me regardless of my shortcomings.

Sometimes, vices really aren’t character flaws. They make us interesting and quirky. They stamp us with individuality. They make us shine. They make us stand out. Just as virtues, they make us who we are.

Living Out Loud, Volume 22: Name Your Vice

32 thoughts on “For Bad Or Worse

  1. I love people for who they are, and not what I want them to be. It’s all the little things our love ones does to get on our nerves that we miss when they are gone. I am a middle child out of ten children and I too love to talk, my mother said I could win a talking contest. LOL I love your little story suzicate and so far I love everything that I have learned about you. You are a beautiful, and very smart young lady. Hugs Vi

  2. If I remember correctly, I believe Mama used to tell the teachers if they could figure out how to shut us up to please tell her so she could use it at home! I think we all got that talkative gene.

    We are all flawed, some more than others (LOL – that’s not gossip, it’s true!) but we still love each other.

    Have a wonderful trip.

  3. Well if we were all “perfect” then what a boring old world it would be 🙂

    I was a talker in school too – one report card said “Jane does very well in class but would do even better if she worked more and talked less.”

  4. It isn’t about perfection, just about the connections we make. You are right we all have our vices and the people who love us accept us for who we are not who they think we are going to be.

  5. ” And I am a worse passenger. It’s not that I don’t trust the person driving my car…I just don’t trust the people driving the cars near us!”

    Meeeeeee too!

    “….” push the nonexistent brakes on my side, or brace my hand against the roof….”

    Ha! I do the same thing!

    “Sometimes, vices really aren’t character flaws. They make us interesting and quirky. They stamp us with individuality. They make us shine. They make us stand out. Just as virtues, they make us who we are.”

    You are soooooooooo right, Suzi!

    Have a great weekend!

    X

  6. This might be too much, but, have I told you that I love you just the way you are?
    who the heck would want to be perfect? perfect is boring and droidlike. I like you human. I makes me feel good to be human.
    and you’re not the only one that does what you do (stressing about driving as a passenger, using the word always (it sure feels like always!))

  7. Shall we see who can out-vice who? I too am a terrible passenger and I try to keep my mouth shut. Minimally successful at that. I have a mania for accuracy (as I see it) and therefore a terrible habit of correcting Hub when he tells a story. Makes for tension. My way is generally best. Just ask me!

  8. I got in the same trouble at school, I talked too much. Now I am trying hard to learn to listen. One way I can listen better is by quieting the inner dialog in my head (can maybe double as helping not being judmental?).

    I think we all drive differently so it can be taxing being a passenger. I once mentioned one thing to my husband that he does that makes me nervous. And he kindly tries not to do that when I’m in the car. Sweet, huh?

    “Always”, so difficult to not say that, huh? I try to remember to use “often”. Sounds better and is often more accurate. Yes?

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Pingback: … in a Bottle » Blog Archive » Recap of Living Out Loud volume 22: Name your vice

  10. I am “always” using my imaginary brakes and grasping the dashboard. My hubby drives like a maniac! He gets into a giggle fit watching me struggle with his driving. Sometimes I think he does it on purpose!

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