Kindly

There’s an old episode of South Park where the boys enter a bar, and the scene is set up a bit like an old-timey Western, and someone says: We don’t take kindly to folks who don’t take kindly around here

It’s kind of funny.  My brother says that all the time.

The line is from an episode called “Sexual Harassment Panda,” and if you know how I feel about pandas, it makes the line even funnier.  But the whole idea of the episode was kind of on point here, which was to make sensitivity training sort-of accessible.

There are a few things to which I take exception; to which I don’t take kindly.

Here’s one example:

Totally jeals you’ve had a stomach bug!  I wish I could stop eating for a couple of days!

I’ve been really sick for the past week.  I did not have a stomach bug.  I thought I did.  But it was a bad reaction to a hard-to-tolerate rheumatoid arthritis medication.

My sick-feeling has been miserable.  I have had blisters in my mouth, and the inside of my nose.  I have been blindingly nauseated.  I have experienced myriad other side effects that wouldn’t be right to mention even in impolite company.  I am prone to headaches anyway, but I’ve had a mind-splitting one.  I’m not one to skip work, but I stayed home on Friday, laying on the bathroom floor until my housekeeper moved me so she could clean it and she put me back in bed.

I am not proud of how bad I feel and have felt.  I am angry; I am sad.  And I’m jealous that your life is different.  This is going to pass, I know.  But it sucks, and I’m wallowing in it.

However, I don’t think your jokes and comments are funny.  I don’t want to hear about your herbal supplement that totally kills your appetite.  I don’t want you to congratulate me on being so lucky to not have to eat for a whole weekend! 

I have run ten marathons and I am trying to stay healthy.  I am fighting rheumatoid arthritis, and I am a recovering anorexic.  Even if the aforementioned weren’t part of my  identity, I still think your inane statements are hurtful to me, to yourself, and to women.

I am trying, desperately, to be kinder to myself.  I don’t take too kindly to when you don’t think before you speak.

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