Proverbs 31 - A Wife of Noble Character

........Oh, to be this strong, this wise, this fair....that's what this blog is about after all...... Learning to live well and love well and to do all things for His glory...


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Live & Learn

Suck up. Not "suck it up". Suck up.

At my age (over 40, oh nosy one) and as the parent of a six year old "suck up" is something I thought was a LONG way behind me and a LONG way ahead for my daughter, but alas, the fine art of cozying, cottoning, fawning and (my personal favorite) bootlicking is alive and well in the "Let's act like we're in middle school even though we've got crow's feet" crowd.

On the one hand, I would love to list my grievances and the guilty sycophants, but that would be wrong. Oh sure, it would be fun, but it would plop me into the aforementioned "middle school" category and spawn a dozen comments quoting James 3:8. Instead, I will address bootlickers in general and the temporary insanity that prevented me from knowing a suck up when I saw one.

You see, I wasn't always this stupid. From the time I was young, I was a fairly good judge of character; not a perfect track record, but pretty good. I've had the same best friend since I was five so I'd say I get more than a handful of points for that alone. In general, I've usually been able to weed out "so called friends" from the real deal. Even as a teen, I could pick out the chick who wanted to borrow my clothes, the kid who needed a ride, the one who wanted to borrow my ID or money. Whatever IT was I recognized it. I'm not saying I was always prudent in my choices (insert guffaw and snort here), but the point is that deep down I KNEW I was being used. I've never been hypersensitive so it wasn't THAT big a deal. (Well, there was that one time when my entire family forgot my birthday. That was bad. OK, that was REALLY bad. But since then, I've never been hypersensitive.)

Flash forward a few, er, decades. In the meantime, I've married, divorced, remarried and held down numerous jobs and had a pretty successful career. During the course of life in the rat race, I have maintained friendships with many former coworkers, employees & employers. To be honest, there are many more whom I've totally forgotten and couldn't pick out of a police lineup, but that's another blog.

Recently, I had the privilege of working on staff at my church. From the moment I was hired, I recognized that many more people sought to talk to me and spend time with me than in the past, and I attributed this to my being more visible to and active within the congregation. During the time I was on staff, I worked really hard to build and maintain relationships with the volunteer base and considered several of them to be good friends. And THAT's my problem.

When I chose to resign, I found that literally overnight some of my "friends" not only were no longer "friends" but now couldn't be bothered to speak to me or even make eye contact when I dropped off my daughter for class. People who had been in my home and welcomed me into theirs now considered me some kind of pariah. While it's true that I'm guilty of many things, I didn't (and don't) deserve that kind of rejection. I'll certainly take any blame for things I've done or said that offended them and take any blame where I've acted out of line or let my pride seep in.

But honestly, I believe I'll just have to chalk this one up in the "Live & Learn" column. And I think I'll put an asterisk by a couple of those names just so I'll remember who and what a big suck up is.

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