"...how old does one need to be before one truly understands that in life there is no such thing as reciprocation?I first had an inkling of this many years ago when, as a child our family took a short holiday at Butlins in Filey, Yorkshire. We often took one of these unexpected and at very short notice holidays and unlike other families we usually went back 'home' to a different house...often in another country!! It was most unenjoyable for several reasons....I stepped out of a swingboat on the side that didn't have a step down and fell to the ground, knocking out a front tooth and smashing my nose in - I was a chubby child and the poor soul who carried me back to our chalet was in greater need of medical attention than I when we finally got there; whilst watching an instructor and a Redcoat having a play fight on a large trampoline the Redcoat bounced off on top of me and almost knocked me out. But as he explained, it was really my own fault for standing with all the other children who, like me were waiting for their trampoline lesson; my younger sister was banished from the creche for constantly crying; the unending rain; falling into the freezing outdoor pool fully clothed; my father was angry and antsy because there wasn't a betting shop on site; failing to win the Lovely Mother and Daughter Competition (also, inevitably, my fault); and I discovered that people are not always as open-hearted to you as you may be to them. Every afternoon there was entertainment of some kind in the theatre put on by the holidaymakers usually - talent contests, Glamorous Granny contests, that kind of thing. It was the 70s. And the optimum seat for the best view, the one that all the children tried to get was front row, right side on the aisle. One day I was lucky enough to nab this seat early and was waiting with anticipation for the Knobbly Knees event, or somesuch extravaganza. A girl that I had become fairly friendly with came sidling along and asked whether she could share the seat with me - not an easy task since, as I mentioned earlier, I had more chins than a Chinese phonebook. However I agreed and we spent a most uncomfortable couple of hours crammed into a theatre seat. I didn't mind - I had a friend.
The next day I was a little later getting to the the theatre and my friend was in the prime seat, next to her family. I went up to her and asked if we could share the seat with her, since that's what we'd done yesterday. My friend scowled at me and her mother leaned over and told me to 'clear off', leaving me in no doubt that I was as welcome as a fart in a sleeping bag (excuse my French!) therefore giving me my first real lesson in the perfidy of people.
So my question is, why am I still surprised and saddened when my nearest and dearest lack reciprocation? Last night I was unwell enough to take to my bed at 7pm. The dishes from dinner were still in the sink this morning (which goes against all Flylady principles, not that I'd expect my husband and daughter to know that!) when I got up. Nobody had the decency to do a little something, ie load and start the dishwasher for me when I do so much for them whether they are ill or not. When will I ever learn that doing nice things for people does not guarantee that they will help you out by doing nice things for you? In other words, when will I stop being a well-used doormat?
I await your response eagerly."
'Ms Un-Perky of Southampton'
PS The mug belongs to Red, the least likely jolly hospital porter and volunteer-with-disadvantaged-children in the world.