Friday, November 24, 2006

Turkey-induced Coma Recovery Day and a Dilemma of Conscience

Well, the turkey was delicious, the stuffing was soggy (never had that happen before) but tasty, the gravy was nicely seasoned and non-lumpy, the side dishes (relish tray, mashed potatoes, green beans with toasted almonds, scalloped corn) were not an after-thought for once and were yummy, and the pies (pumpkin and apple) are almost gone now. All diners were well behaved and appreciative, and the day was calm and peaceful and relaxing. A day for giving thanks, indeed.

I opted not to go shopping this morning. I looked over all the sale flyers and made a list, and it turned out that most of the really good deals I was interested in were items from my own list (for me or for the household) and not necessarily presents. Many of the retailers only carry a limited number of the popular things and I was afraid I'd be driving across town at 4 or 5AM only to be disappointed when I eventually got into the stores. There were really only two things (a 1GB flashdrive and 2GB digital memory card) that were knock-down great prices, and the other things (a doll, a game, a Magnetix set) were things I'd have to look at first before deciding if I wanted to purchase them. So I stayed up late last night watching Jaws on tv with Mr. Malaprop (I actually fell asleep near the end) and then had a bit of a lie-in today, savoring the fact that I was warm in bed, listening to my DH crumpling paper for a fire and grinding coffee beans, instead of out and about in the cold dark morning.

The only fly in my ointment of contentment, so to speak, is the tiny prickling of a guilty conscience. Someone who shall remain nameless called very early yesterday morning and talked to Mr. Malaprop. I was still in bed. When informed of the content of the conversation a little later, I got the distinct impression that this person was fishing for an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner. The caller's significant other was out of town with the children. I know I really should have returned the call and issued the invitation, but I didn't WANT to. So I didn't. And now I have this (admittedly very slight) guilt. Why only a smidgen of guilt? Well, there are reasons. In my opinion, the reasons are good ones. Number one is the fact that I'm 99% sure this person had somewhere else to go for dinner. How do I know this? Because something similar happened last year, and I felt taken advantage of, mostly because of reason number two, which is: This person is a habitual liar. These untruths are mostly little white lies, but ALL THE TIME, about things that noone really cares about anyway, so why lie?

So what would you have done? Would it make a difference to you if it was a relative? What if it was just a friend from work or church? What if you knew the person would stay all day, or if you knew he/she would leave right after the meal? What if he/she was someone you see every day, or weekly, or someone you see only seldomly?

1 comment:

Nancy C. Brown said...

Interesting situation.

The fact that the person is known to be untrustworthy in other matters, and also that this happened last year and you felt taken advantage of, to me means you are following your gut instinct to say "No" or by your lack of calling ...meaning no, thank you.

I think this person knows very well how kind you are and is trying to take advantage of that kindness to get out of going someplace he/she would like to have an excuse not to go to. That *IS* taking advantage of you, and for him/her, it is not standing up and saying to their other invitation, NO thanks. Instead, they are making YOU the excuse, and that's not fair to you.

People do try to take advantage of us.

However, if this person was someone you liked spending time with, was good with your children, and helped with the dishes, and in every way was a great guest, then you would invite him/her over without a qualm, right? My guess is they are not that kind of guest.

So, wipe off that guilt, and tell yourself that you were doing this for the protection of your family, and you were standing up for yourself and your children, and there is no reason to feel guilty about that.

Ask yourself: on a normal day, under normal circumstances, would I invite this person over for dinner? If this person called and hinted at needing a dinner invitation any other day, would I invite him without guilt and just laugh and say, "That's ole' Sam for you, gettin' himself invited for dinner, what a card! He's a great friend/relative though, so I don't mind a bit, in fact, it's great he calls, because sometimes I forget that he's alone for dinner..."

Does that help?