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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

try it, it works!

She sat in the form of a miserable pile as the social gathering grew around her.  We were at my sis-in-law's (Magnum's sister) several years ago for a little family shindig, and her stepdaughter - about 13 at the time - was miserable and looked it.

She'd just returned from having her orthodontic braces tightened, and "social butterfly" was not her mood.  Several people in attendance began offering advice:

"Eat something cold, like ice cream or a smoothie - that will numb your mouth!"

"NO, that will just make the wires of your braces contract and feel worse.  Drink something hot to make the wires expand!"

And so on, and so on...

The poor girl just remained there in her miserable heap, rolling her eyes and not heeding any suggestions as 13-year-old girls typically do in any advice-given situation (I know since I was one once).

Eventually, amid all this advisement chatter, a gentle voice emitted from a nearby recliner

"What she needs", the voice began, "is  a counter irritant"

We all shut up and turned to look at my stepfather-in-law (Magnum's mom's husband).  Grandpa Don is a retired family physician.  He's an intelligent, thoughtful, and introspective man.  I'm sure he had excellent bedside manner.

And there it was, a solution, spoken with authority.  He went onto explain:

"The counter irritant takes your mind of the original irritant by making something else more irritating".

Hmm... made sense.  He continued:

"Back in the old days, when someone came in with a minor temporary gripe, we'd give them a shot of milk in the butt..."

WHAAAT?!

"It made them forget their original gripe, and by the time their butt felt better, the original gripe was nearly gone anyway".

The stepdaughter chose that moment to exit the party altogether.

Over the years, I've had a few instances reinforcing this magic of the counter irritant.  It works!

For instance, just this week.  I was irritated with Meego over some schoolwork he needed to complete that wasn't yet completed.  Being irritated with a kid, I think, is one of the worst forms of irritation for a mom, yes?  So I was irritated about the irritation.

My sis-in-law (same one as above) came to my rescue, however.  On the same day I was irritatingly irritated with Meego, SIL sent out a well-meaning (I think) email to a couple of colleagues on my behalf.  She and I'd had a short conversation last weekend about how I'm looking for some volunteer opportunities to make some purposeful use of my job skills while I'm currently in a sort of - by my choice - job limbo.

She happened to know people who run a couple of local non-profits.  She could introduce us.  Perfect, win-win, blah, blah.

So she sent an email to them and copied me in.  Somehow my intention of offering myself to fill volunteer needs became more of a desperate attempt to get a job.  Not her exact words, but kinda how her email came across, and totally off the mark.  I had to read the email  a couple of times.


In the end, I was able to quickly do some damage control, which actually worked out well and helped me to better introduce MYSELF.  

But lo and behold, while that was going on, I realized I was no longer irritated with Meego!  He was instantly back to being his lovable self - albeit with a lingering homework assignment - once again demonstrating the effectiveness and magic of the counter irritant!

However, I'll pass on the shot of milk in the butt, thanks.
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Linking up this week with a bit of a changeup with Mama Kat for the prompt:
3. Share a lesson you learned from your Mother retired doctor stepfather-in-law that still sticks with you to this day




10 comments:

B Nickerson said...

Actually, a great idea. Diversion from one problem by another.

John Holton said...

That's like someone stomping on your foot when you're complaining about a toothache.

Abby said...

I've also heard, think about *anything* else, but that's easier said than done!

Abby said...

Exactly! Go try it and report back!

Jenn Belden said...

Oh, I love this! It's so true!

I'll pass on that shot in the butt, too, thankyouverymuch.

Abby said...

Take two irritants and call me in the morning.

ShadowRun300 said...

That email woulda irritated me too. I occasionally feel like I have to back pedal on some emails, or send a separate email explaining the intentions. Most times I prefer others to stay out of it. Meego was probably happy it happened though. Did he finally get his work done?

Abby said...

Well, I don't think I'm gonna have anyone send emails on my behalf anymore! Meego says it's done?

KatBouska said...

A shot of milk up the butt...sounds like something your sister in law might need! ;) Kidding! I'm sure she meant well! lol

Abby said...

HA!