Offense

Today I saw a poster on FB that read “Stop being offended by what someone to you, by that FB post, by a piece of art, by people displaying their affection. Be offended by war, poverty, injustice.” These words reminded me of a blogger, someone whose posts I read sporadically. Her blog has its fair share of loyal readers, who would cheer it on and comment on her posts. A while ago, she announced the “end” of said blog with a long rant that went on about how she was not interested in sharing her thoughts on this platform anymore because people were not commenting/responding to what she wrote. She took deep offense at their silence, and decided to stop writing once the validation ended.

I feel two ways about this. One, I certainly understand. In fact, I’d written in an earlier post myself on this very blog that I would love to read comments if my readers felt something resonate. Who doesn’t like a word of feedback, or a signal that something that we have done has been noticed? Who wouldn’t like a little nod of acknowledgement or involvement? But slowly, I found my opinion changing. I realized this a while into beginning this little blog of mine: I enjoy this a lot more when I don’t spare a thought to you, my reader. It is exhausting to write with even an abstract, faceless reader in mind. Now I just write when the fancy strikes me, and I say what I please. A part of me wishes I could just pass on this (unsolicited) opinion to the bitter blogger I mentioned earlier, but few things are more unwelcome as unsolicited advice.

But back to the poster. I have come to believe that the world is too big, and too deeply screwed up, for any one person to make any significant difference in the mess we find ourselves in worldwide. Being angered at the injustices that riddle our world is an impotent act at best, and forgotten the moment our phones beep with a new notification. We are enmeshed in the little details of our own lives, not caring about much else outside of that little orbit.

Yesterday, the H and I purchased a loveseat. It had been an exhausting few days for us, and we really just wanted to get it over with. Purchase made, paid for, truck rented, packed couch hauled upstairs. We had some scary moments with trying to move it upstairs, and I realized I am not cut out for moving giant couches as part of a two-person team. He left to return the truck before our 75 minute rental ran out, and I proceeded to tear open the packaging. You know what is coming, don’t you? Wrong couch. This one was bigger (we had assumed it was well-padded to protect while moving) and a more expensive model and we weren’t even sure it would fit in the space we had kept aside for it. It was not a fun half hour for me to sit stewing about in the house with a too-large couch on my floor and the H away. We go back to the store, and while they acknowledge their mistake, they would like us to pay more for the couch or bring it back to replace it (at our own cost). My indignation boiled over, predictably. In all likelihood we will keep the bigger model. We might pay more for it as well.

The H had to endure a long angry speech from me about the injustice of it all. And about how annoyed I was about the whole thing. About how it’s not our fault. I ended with the announcement that after this whole sorry mess is sorted out, I will be sending a strongly worded email to this store describing just how dissatisfied I am with their service. For the entire duration of this tirade, the H heard me out with a patient look on his face. While he agreed with every word, he didn’t want me to write any email to the store, and ended with saying that either ways, we get a good couch, but my email might cost someone their job, or some pay, or whatever. And we didn’t need that. That stopped me. What with my struggles to find a good job, I would never want to be the reason for someone else to worry about theirs.

Reason came flooding back, along with the realization that I had been railing and ranting over a very first world problem. He went back to work leaving me with the couch and the half-torn plastic packaging all over the living room. An hour later I saw that post about offense. It was the final piece of context I needed to just stop stewing about it. So now, with my new-found wisdom (ha!), I just need to figure out how to fit this couch in our room. Problems problems.