Saturday, July 17, 2010

good trait or bad...

After years of introspective analysis, I’ve determined that I’m tolerant.

tol-er-ant adj. 1. showing the capacity for endurance; 2. showing respect for the rights or opinions or practices of others; 3. tolerant and forgiving under provocation; 4. showing or characterized by broad-mindedness.

Many times in my life I’ve been at a crossroads. I’ve had to make a decision. Once that decision has been made, I’ll stick by it and see it through. But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t times that I wish I could go back and perhaps react differently, say something, stand up or run away…but different than what it is that I’ve actually done.

Growing up, in our home, we learned tolerance. We learned acceptance. We learned consideration. We took others thoughts and feelings and many times placed them above our own. Not that we didn’t stand behind our convictions, mind you, but just that if others had opposing thoughts or theories, we never criticized or disparaged their views. We listened. We might debate, but we still listened.

We got all the facts before jumping on any band wagon or cause. We didn’t rock the boat. I wonder if I had grown up in a family that automatically jumped and then apologized later if wrong, if I would have a different approach to life. And in turn, things in my life would have turned out differently?

Once when visiting my parents, a friend came along with me for the drive. Carol had a new kitten and although it would have been fine left alone for a few hours, Carol wanted to bring it with us on my pilgrimage home to Sylvania. Cats don’t like cars. They make horrible guttural sounds. The drive is 2 hours long. I was about to lose my mind.

At my parents’ house, the cat had free reign. We were at the dining room table and this cat, whom I’m decided is most definitely possessed, is laying track through the family room, the kitchen, the dining room, the living room, the foyer and then back around all over again. And again. On one of its rotations it leapt up onto my brothers back, made a sharp 90 degree turn and grabbed onto my mother’s formal draperies directly behind him.

My brothers face was in pain. You could tell it hurt. His eyes were watering, his lips drawn tight, his shoulders now contorted into odd angles. But not a sound came from him. He didn’t cry out. He didn’t scream…although you could tell he most definitely wanted to. But that would be impolite. We were at the dinner table after all.

My mother spent weeks, months even picking out the right silk and having them made for their house. To see this kitten hanging with its claws halfway in the middle of these draperies…well, it didn’t please my mother. But this was a guests pet. She wouldn’t have said anything. That would be impolite.

Carol got up and removed her cat, as carefully as possible from the drapes, but even where I sat you could see the small tears that those little claws made. You could see the little drops of blood pooling on my brothers shirt where those little claws had been. But we just took it in stride and passed the brussel sprouts.

That’s tolerance.

My mother would offer the devil himself lemonade if he appeared on her doorstep. She was tolerant.

Recently my tolerance was tested. A woman that my family has known through church for years has tested it. And my dad. My dad has been on a kick to ‘clean house’ since my mother died. She wasn’t like on the television shows, but she did have a tendency to be a mild hoarder. My dad would throw away mail or newspapers and my mother would retrieve them, put them in a brown Krogers bag and stick it in one of the spare rooms to ‘take a look at later’. Sometimes later never came. And by that time there were 3 more bags of the Blades newspaper Peach section for her to look at before it was deemed ‘ok’ to throw out. It’s the 2 steps forward 1 step back syndrome. This went on for years.

When my mother was ill and at home, she thought that people were taking her things. And in truth, they were. My father never disturbed her ‘bags of things’ when she was 100%. He wouldn’t dare, although you knew it had bothered bothered him for years. But with her not running at full capacity, he thought this the perfect time to do something about it.

He had the cleaning lady start removing the bags from the spare room. Pretty soon she went onto the other storage space. And the hallway closet. And the eaves.

After my mom died, I went through her belongings. Icleared our her closet space. Some of her dresses I wanted to keep. The purple silk Schrader Sport dress that she wore to school when teaching was one of my favorites. It just looks like her. I wanted to keep that one. Her dressing gown that still smells like her. I wanted to keep that too. I wanted to keep some of the beautiful costume jewelry, and all her fine jewlery items. And some of the dressy gowns that I knew would make fun dress up costumes for Boo in the future. I don’t necessarily have that much room in my own home, but I transferred the items of mention into the closet in my room at my parents house.

My dad and I had an agreement. Louise, the cleaning lady, can go anywhere she wants in the house and take anything out…but no one is to go in my room. I mean, you can go IN my room, just don’t go through anything in my room or remove stuff. There are items in my closet that belonged to my grandmother. Some stuff that belonged to Grandpa. My wedding dress was in there and my graduation dresses from high school and college. I used to collect vintage cashmere coats with ¾ sleeves. My collection of those and the antique hats were in there as well.

There were lots of really cool things in my closet.

They are no longer there.

At my mothers funeral, Gigi and her husband Bob attended. I personally don’t like Gigi OR Bob, but I’m tolerant. Gigi’s a busybody. Both she and her husband do not do anything without knowing that somewhere, someone will say, “Oh…that Gigi and Bob! What good people! What good Christians they are!!!!” I call bullshit. People shouldn’t do good deeds for the accolades they might and expect to receive. They should do it because it’s the right and good thing to do.

Gigi and Bob took aspirin and over the counter medications to South America on a mission trip. They like to tell people about it. To gain a listening ear, hear their voice congratulating themselves and get sympathy because of the hardship they endured while trying to ‘do good’. Whatever.

Gigi was a deacon at my parents church. She liked the recognition. Actually, she loved the recognition. It made her feel important. She busybodied herself into a place of importance when the church was between pastors. Once the new pastor arrived, he thanked Gigi for her service and her input, but she was no longer needed. She didn’t like that. So she left the church, in a huff. Gigi isn’t quiet about her thoughts of the new minister. It’s not good. And personally, I really like the new guy…the sermon he gave at my mother’s funeral was most amazing. It was moving. Most in attendance were in tears. It was a beautiful tribute to my mothers life.

Afterwards, Gigi and Bob were in the foyer. I stopped and thanked them for coming. I was raised tolerant. They wanted to talk…a lot. I tried to excuse myself.

“Gigi, Bob. Why don’t you join us for the luncheon? The ladies of the church have been busy; please join us in the fellowship hall.” I asked them, gesturing towards the other wing of the church.

“Oh no. I couldn’t. I can’t be in the same room with that man...”, Gigi responded with disdain in her voice. (She was talking about the minister.) “Because of him, we had to leave our church home.”

Now….this is bullshit as well. They didn’t have to leave. They chose to leave. They didn’t feel as if they were getting the right amount of attention for all their “good deeds”. Bah.

At this point, I’m mad. But I’m tolerant, so I don’t say anything. But DO NOT use my mother’s funeral as a platform to gain sympathy for yourself. Please. So these are my thoughts about Gigi and Bob.

I bet at this point you wonder, 'What does this have to do with her closet?'

Gigi’s daughter, who apparently is a self deemed expert at garage sales, resale shops and the likes, is in town from Tennessee. Somehow Gigi has filled my dad’s ear with her daughters skills and he invited them over to help sort through things for potential garage sale, resale shop or Goodwill. Where did they go? My closet.

This woman and her daughter went through all my things. Packed them all up and took them away.

All the stuff that I’ve saved over the years? It’s all gone. Why? Because of a woman whom I abhor.

My dad said that they told him there were some valuable items. No shit. And now they are gone.
I’m mad.

I’m mad at my dad for reneging on a promise to not allow anyone into my room. In his overzealous efforts to 'clean house', there are items lost that cannot be replaced.

I’m mad at Gigi for thinking it was okay to the rest of the family members to take MY belongings and those of MY mother and MY grandmother out of the house. What possibly could she have been thinking? Why wouldn't she double check before running off with my wedding dress, and my mothers wedding dress?

I suppose they are just items. Stuff. Clutter.

But they were MY items. To be sorted through and given away at MY discretion. Not Gigi and Bob and her daughter. Not even my dad. Had I known what he was planning, I would have removed everything long ago…but I didn’t know that my room was no longer my room. I didn’t know that anything left at the house where I grew up and what belongings I left behind would become rummage sale items. I just didn’t know.

And now I’m pissed. And I’m mad.

And I’m still damn tolerant.

I SHOULD call and give her a piece of MY own Christian mind for imposing on my belongings. But I haven’t, because that would be impolite. So I am presently choking on my horse sized tolerant pill.

I’ve done it before and lived, so I assume I can live through this as well.

Did I ever mention way back when I was married, I awoke from a deep sleep to hear my Land Rovers engine idling in my driveway? After looking at the clock and seeing it was past midnight, I went down to see what was going on. My then husband was in my car. There was a woman in my car. He said he couldn’t find his wallet and thought he had left it in his car. He was giving this gal a ride home, or downtown or somewhere, I can't remember. The excuse seemed lame at the time. It's still lame today. I was in my nightshirt with no shoes, no makeup, and the baby sleeping upstairs. I asked who she was and what she was doing in my car. Her response was to my ex, "I told you not to drive up the driveway." What?

Turns out it was his mistress.
But I didn’t learn that until over a year later.

I should have insisted she get out of my car.
I should have insisted that my husband turn off the engine and go back in the f*ing house.
I should have screamed, or thrown a tantrum, or been a bitch.
I should have done something.

But I didn’t.

I was tolerant.
What a great attribute to have….

But this morning is a glorius morning! I'm leaving soon to go pick up Boo from camp. I feel enlightened. I feel good. Today...there are going to be some internal changes for Nancy. I can be tolerant, but I don't have to be silent.

And I have Gigi's phone number.
Yup. Today is going to be a glorius day...God help her.

Update:  5:45pm...I talked to my dad. He assured me that he will do everything that he can to see if he can get the items back. He apologized for not understand OUR understanding. He said that he didn't know there was anything in there that I would want, or wanted, or did want. I don't quite believe that. I think a little of it is lip service...but hey, I guess he's trying. He's never been good at admiting to wrong or apologizing.

Gigi and Bob? Or Gibob (as Julie named them!) They didn't answer the phone. I was very polite, yet firm, with the message I left. I let her know that I was displeased...VERY displeased that she and her daughter went through my personal belongings. I let her know that I was indeed incredibly disturbed by the fact that they would have the audacity to ASSUME that wedding dresses could/would not be of any significance...and take them away. I asked to have anything that they removed from the house returned.

I'm not sure if they will call me back or not. I'm going to assume they will call my dad and deal with him instead of me. Oh....but I did also call and vent about this to my brother. He does not like Gibob either, and now his view is even less of them. He is going to see what HE can do about this as well. There is a crawl space behind my closet that has many of HIS things in there. If they got to his stuff? In comparison, my verbal attack will be nothing....

Oh, and Boo is back, sunburnt and very, very tired. But had a wonderful week. She's like the Pet Detective in ALL the animals in the house are presently trying to see who can get closest to her.


  1. I think you should murder Gigi. OR start passive aggressively calling her "Jiggles" in public. OR start a rumor that Bob hosts all male sex parties when Jiggles is away. There's a lot to work with here.

  2. Oh my word, you have every right to be furious! I'm very much like you, I realize, reading this post. I hate rocking the boat, so I never say anything either, even when I'm the victim. It's so frustrating. I need to figure out that speaking my mind and standing up for myself is not a bad thing. I'm gonna try and take a leaf out of your book! Good luck with wailing on Gigi. What a beast! :-)

  3. Oh, Nancy, we are a LOT alike. I don't argue (except with my husband), but not with family members or others. I don't like confrontation. But as I was reading this post, I was getting angrier and angrier! I just KNEW that Gigi got ahold of your stuff in the closet. AND I'm having a hard time believing that she "donated" the stuff. If she had a garage sale, where are the profits? The least she could do is give YOU the money?

    I'm assuming it's too late to get these items back. I think you need to clear the air. I would tell your Dad how you feel and that you were disappointed and hurt that he let Gigi go through your things. I would DEFINITELY give GIGI a piece of my mind. Being nice is one thing, but letting people walk all over you is another. Be strong!

  4. I know how you feel. I few years ago, when I left the city I grew up in to move to another city for work, I left boxes of my stuff in my brother's basement.

    When I didn't ask for it, he and his wife when gave it all away to charity. I was livid, but, like you very tolerant. I had to let go of my attachment to these things and moved on. The only thing I really miss are the pictures, which can't be replaced.

  5. I am pissed, right along with you. I, too, was raised in the school of tolerance and understand how limiting it can occasionally be.

  6. Oh, Nancy... I think we were separated at birth! I always admired people who could throw a shit fit in front of other people. Me, I'm way too nice for my own good. I'm sitting here absolutely hatin' on Gigi, as well as your ex! What's with my inherent need to always be tolerant of other people? Sometimes I think I learned my lessons too well in Sunday School.

  7. Nancy, Clearly Gigi is a bad person, and it's good that you will confront her. But you won't really feel at peace until you also talk to your dad. He brought her into the house and said, "Take everything," so why wouldn't she do just that? I say this from a long history of not confronting my own father, and putting all the blame for many things on his second wife. But he allowed it to happen. I hope you truly ARE having a wonderful day!

  8. Ok ok ok ok... I've written several responses... and then went back and took any and ALL references to bodily violence and mayhem out of it... I think.
    I WOULD call them and ask for your items BACK! I


    It is clear in what you have written that these people know NO boundaries! The world is THEIRS!!

    I have brothers and sisters like this... especially the sister that I've forgiven and take to dinner several times a week because I feel sorry for her because she's old enough to be my Mother but she fdueck us over anyway...

    The stuff that family members stole from the rest of us when Mom died.. and then Dad... are long gone. In the long run it was "stuff"... but... it was stuff that allowed a connection to remain between my parents and myself... and I still wish I had them back...

    I would call anyway...


  9. Give her Hell. Sometimes tolerance can seep over to being taken advantage of. I have been there many a time. You can let people know they can't step on you but do it in an appropriate way. Although, there are times when being appropriate doesn't work. You just have to let it fly. Good luck!

  10. yourself, Nancy. If I understand correctly, at least some of the items (if not all) that were taken by Gibob (portmanteau for Gigi and Bob) can still be given back.

    It makes me slightly ashamed to think that my family is nowhere near as tolerant as yours. Nonetheless, make sure you're not using your tolerance as a 'screen' behind which to hide. Sometimes, if you feel emotions boiling inside you, the healthiest thing is to let them out - you can always apologize later, after all. ;o) (Although by the looks of it, I don't think it will be necessary with Gibob.)

    Don't hold back and go get 'em! Go, go, go!

  11. Hope it goes OK for you. I don't consider it a breach of etiquitte to plainly state a boundary aloud to another person if they have, or if you are nervous that they might breach that boundary.

    Being polite does not mean that you are obliged to endure another person's inexcusably bad behavior.

    I'm so sorry that she took those wonderful treasures that were attached to such cherished memories. Very sorry.

  12. Oh Nancy, I can see the quiet thread joining us together. I agree wholeheartedly with Poindexter - you don't have to accept another's bad behaviour without comment. Because we do, people assume that we can be taken foregranted. And no we can't we deserve the same level of common decency as anyone. I really pray you get your things back, and that you speak to your Dad as well to let him know how much this has hurt you. So often we don't let people know how their actions hurt us. We just accept that. Pleased Boo is home too. Enjoy and be strong and speak out - you are still tolerant, polite and all of those things... you are also STRONG.

  13. I'm sorry that your stuff is gone. What an empty, sad feeling that leaves. I'm very proud you called this Gigi lady. Perhaps a word or two about how this will affect their reputation will get them to take you more seriously. Honestly, what cheek!

  14. First of all, WTF kind of name is "Gigi?"

    People like her are a big reason I don't go to church. I can't stand people like that - and there are a lot of them out there.

    I really hope you get your stuff back!

  15. I was raised "Minnesota Nice". Took me decades to discover and believe that I had rights and was allowed to stand up for myself. I know how difficult and uncomfortable it was to confront your dad and make that call. You had every right! Now--follow up on it. Make sure they all try to get your things back. You deserve absolutely nothing less than apologies--sincere apologies!! And I hope you get some things back. You didn't mention how much time has lapsed. I hope it hasn't been long and you can get it ALL back!

  16. Love your blog Nancy! I think you have every right to give Gibob a run for their money!!! You could offer to weed their garden and pull out all the plants or something. .....not that i'm into revenge! Busy bodies are annoying but seriously...what goes around comes around. In the meantime its soooooo great to read the blog of a single mum!!!! Yay.

  17. I would be flipping out ......screeming, crying and I don't know what!!! I would have to see these people in person and I don't know what!! My mom has passed away and I have her wedding dress so I know how you must feel!! I really hope you get your stuff back. That lady must be very stupid not to call and at least ask.

  18. Good for you for handling that! I would've went and banged down their door and screamed in their faces...which I would regret later. :)

  19. I am a 'have to deal with it right away' kinda girl... I really hope you get it all sorted VERY soon.

  20. Nancy, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. I understand completely, especially the difficulty in confronting your dad. But also there is the possibility (maybe because I am mistrustful) that Gibob saw an opportunity to take advantage of your dad as well. He may not want to admit it but his way of dealing with all the stuff (memories of your mom) is to avoid it so get rid of it ... Gibob saw an opportunity to profit off someone elses avoidance and grief and swooped in to "tell your dad what experts they are at garage sales etc." Assholes. I'd do more than give them just a piece of my mind but thats just me, probably would burn up the phone lines. Hope you get your stuff back. Glad Boo is home to support you and help you feel better.

    BTW, if not for you get angry for Boo, those things that you were saving you were also saving for her, how many memories and heirlooms of her mother, and grandmother are now gone.

    You need some out of town muscle???? Give me a call.

  21. I had to print this out to read - and you know something? I'm more pissed at your ex for breaking his "promise" than I am at the "odd" people that took your stuff or your dad's... seemingly uncaring mood.

    Your trait... is something that makes you a civilized human being - but it also makes you someone that... can be taken advantage of (in a way)...

    I think I would have clobbered with a baseball bat, 2x4 or golf club, an ex that did what yours did... and for all that... he's such an idiot he doesn't seem to understand what he's lost, thrown away, and betrayed.... a woman that is a class act and full of love for her family and smart as hell.

  22. way to go Nancy! in my opinion,one of the greatest attributes is tolerance along with respect, and if more people are raised that way, a huge difference in human relationships would be made (cheating husbands included). But, tolerance should only last until somebody crosses a line - and GIBOB deserve to die! I really hope you will recover your stuff and that you feel much better now that we, your readers, know all about it. Thanks for sharing and for another great post.

  23. - You are too darned tolerant. ;-)
    - Your dad needs a whack.
    - You need a safe. I have a big one. Anything I want to keep, goes in there. No one has the combo but me. Of course, it's a bit late for you, but it may forestall future "misunderstandings."
    - You are way too darned tolerant. ;-)

  24. Your post was very painful for me to read. Some people think it is just stuff- and quite frankly it is, but stuff attached to people or memories is important. If anyone had the audacity to touch or move my son's blankets I'd let loose on them- and I am tolerant to a fault as well. That's why I am learning to grow a pair of cahones when necessary.

  25. I am a very tolerant person too. I still live with the loose dog and have yet to confront the neighbors like I really want to.

    Wow, you still had stuff at your childhood home, in YOUR room. I thought that was only in the movies. I don't know anyone that still has stuff at their parents house. My parents would have thrown our stuff away within a few months if we didn't ask about it or attempt to get it or pay storage fees.

    But then again this Gigi should have known better and should have called you to confirm it was okay.
    I sure hope you get it back.
    Glad Boo had a great time at camp.

  26. I have no tolerance. Let's drive over there.

  27. WOW....that was some emotional roller coaster! I have a really hard time focusing on white type on black background (makes me dizzy for some reason)... I admire your tolerance. I was not raised that way (Irish/explosive temper) HELL I'm extremely angry with Gigi!!! not your dad, he's at a loss, but Gigi!!! and to use your mothers funeral to plead her case against your minister is INSENSITIVE AND IGNORANT!

  28. keep pursuing gigi/gibob - that they did is unconscionable!!!! and they should do everything they can to return YOUR stuff. accept no excuses - not even if they say your stuff is now in tennessee or at shops - if they say that you tell them that they will simply need to figure out a way to retrieve the stuff.

    the only place for tolerance in this woeful tale should be for your father's not fully understanding your understanding about your room - gigi was simply WRONG all around there is no place for "tolerance"

    we all need to be careful not to confuse 'tolerance' with other things.... one should NOT tolerate bad behavior as that is simply rewarding bad behavior and will encourage more of the same.

    hugs and good luck!! if there's anything i can do to help, let me know!

  29. a BIG Thank You to all of you for your support! It means the world to really does. And has helped me this past week.

    I watched a movie the other day, Invictus (highly recommend) with Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman about the rugby team and Nelson Mandella. There was a line that Mandella said, "Forgiveness liberates the soul."

    Well, I'm trying to be liberated. Haven't quite gotten there yet, but I'm working on it.

    @Buffy - I made the font 2 pts larger. I hope that helps!
    @Green Monkey - we don't want you to get dizzy while reading, so I lightened the color from a dark gray to a lighter shade. Let me know if that helps YOU as well!
    and @TinkerBell - Thank you for your personal e-mail. It means alot to me that you remembered. And noticed. Thank you.
    @Intense Guy - I think I love you. ;-)
    @Carlos - Jiggles. I love this! You do ralize that now everytime I think of them I start to chuckle. Thank you!
    @Chrissy - I've got their address. Take a day off work. Let's roadtrip!

    Thanks everyone! Much love to ALL of you!


  30. Nancy, your post couldn't have better timing. But it would be strange for me to pour out my heart on your blog. So thank you for voicing your experience and your thoughts and inspriring me to voice mine.

    I so want to be that person that would confront them! Can I ride along w/ you and Chrissy?

  31. I've arrived at the party late, Cherie, but I recommend killing the pair of them. No jury would convict you. I'll come be a character witness.

  32. I've done a bit of confronting before and the rush is incredible! However, you were right to be angry. I hate it when people are so inconsiderate! I hope they return everything and if they "sold" some of the items then I suggest you ask for your money!

  33. Gosh, Nancy, I am (almost) could anyone have that audacity to remove items such as wedding dresses without conferring with the owner first! Gibob needs to be put in her place. People like her are the reason I have taken a step away from my church...I am tolerant, but I am TIRED of hypocrisy! I hope you give her heck over it. I really hope you get your things back...hugs! Glad Boo is home safe and sound!

  34. I am tolerant, hate to rock the boat, let people walk all over me. I want to come beat up Gigi for you. There are words I think fit her but being as this is a family blog we will pretend that's what fb stands for family blog. The woman is dense on purpose and sounds as if she is well on her way to deranged. To take a wedding dress in someones closet without really checking? And the coats? And your mothers dresses...gimme a break, she knew....if she didn't she shouldn't have gone to Africa cuz it's a wonder she got back being as dumb as she is pretending to be. GET her!! can't wait to hear what bro does...

  35. I just stumbled across your blog. I love it! I'm going to poke around, I promise to put everything back where I found it!


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