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Sarcasm

11 May 2009

Sarcasm defined courtesy of Merriam Webster online:

A sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain.

A mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual b: the use or language of sarcasm.

Okay, so Mother's Day is finally over. (I am NOT being sarcastic!)

Thank Heaven!

That is not to say, I don't love my mother. I adore my mother more than words can say. She truly is one of my best friends. I can only go a few days without having a marathon 2- 3 hour phone call with her. She truly has been a perfect example and is always helping and gently urging me to better myself, so thank you Mom!

But, I still hate Mother's day. My hate for it has been in the making for about 8 years. Chalk it up to a number of things including my barrenness, being handed dead flowers as a gift, and not so gentle reminder of said barrenness and being told by a mother of five with three clinging children, that "oh, your a mother". I could go on, but I'll save it for the book.

Anyway, I will try not to be too bitter, I have after all, been finally blessed with the desire of my heart. But Mother's Day Sunday rolls around and it just screams PAIN to me. I think about the women who haven't had children, I think about the ladies longing to be married, those that have lost children, and it is just awful. It throws such a sharp relief on a painful place. I can hardly make it to church, let alone listen. In fact, I rather like being out of town that weekend and stopping by, unidentified at another congregation's meeting.

You may be wondering what the deal is with the title of this blog.

So, I will explain. Yesterday, I finally made it through the entire first meeting of church, without breaking into tears and running for my life. At the end of the meeting, they always remind everyone to stay seated, and then ask the women to stand up so that they can get a gift. Which I also do not like, it feels so fake to me, so forced, so "we have to give you a gift- even though your not REALLY a mom".

I got my gift, which was chocolate, and very much what I like.

I sat down excited for the first time ever. I glanced at my darling husband and he smiled, knowingly, that only two months away all of our fondest dreams are coming true. Then someone walks by, stopping at our pew with a box that had been holding the gifts. This is someone I know, like, and that knows my situation. He pushes the box in front of my face, not understanding why, I laughed and said, "Do I get the box, too"

He replied "No, you need to give that gift back, it doesn't count until the baby is born." And smiled at his wittiness.

I was speechless.

I was shocked.

I was mortified.

I was stabbed straight to the heart.

I forced myself to smile.

He turned and walked away. I burst into tears, like now, and ran from the building. Yet again, another mother's day destroyed. With all my hopes, with all my excitement, why would someone say something like that? Why do we intentionally poke fun at other people's softest spots? WHY?

What ever happened to if you can't say anything nice?

Lately I have begun to notice that we are surrounded by sarcasm, from generally nice people. But please, if you read this blog, think twice about being sarcastic.

When did it become such a crutch of human language and expression? Why can we not say uplifting things to people? Why do we have to make ourselves feel big at others expense? My mother has always said, if you say it, then you've thought it, which means you mean it, and it is no longer sarcastic. Especially if there is truth behind your remarks, that makes them lethal.

By using sarcasm we hurt each other's spirits. We crush each other. And, I think we will be held accountable for that pain we cause, if we cannot learn to control our tongue, which we are told we must do. Words cannot be "taken back" They will always linger, or come out to haunt someone in times their of pain.

I for one, will try to work extra hard to say kind things.

And, I may just reserve a hotel, out of town for next years "blessed" day.

11 comments:

Marsha May 11, 2009 at 5:21 PM  

Oh Cassity, that post broke my heart. I know excatly where you are coming from but in another manner. I can remember about 4 or 5 years ago, a teenage cousin had a freak seizure. He had never had one before, but it happened. Anyways, a sister in law said non chalantly, there goes another member of the family with epilepsy. Like it was no big deal. Her children are healthy, she is not living with seizures in her home. I on the other hand have watched Savannah fall to the ground in convulsive seizures. So when she was so brass with that comment, it really hurt and to this day obviously I am not over it.
Onto some happiness, your tender hearted care for Savannah and Larry during their illnesses was like that of a nurturer. And I know you are a loving aunt, wife, sister, and daughter so you should be celebrated and that fool should have realized that.

Drake, Rachel and Olivia May 11, 2009 at 5:36 PM  

Oh Cass, I am so sorry for your hurt, yesterday and the past 8 years...I hope that you will feel some healing in that area after Etta is born (the healing that may have beginning yesterday before you were trampled). Either way you will have a "gift" in a way: after all your heartbreak and sorrow, you will have an appreciation of motherhood that is so deep and strong. I am grateful everyday I have been blessed to be a mother but as strong as it feels I am sure it won't compare to yours because of what you have been through... that will make you an even more special mom to Etta. Thanks for the reminder to be kind with our words, they are truly powerful.

deidra May 11, 2009 at 6:46 PM  

I thought so many of these same thoughts yesterday. I wish we would have gotten chocolate, but instead we got some booklet on being mothers (I obviously dropped it in my purse and haven't given it a second glance). Inside the cover it said, "To all the mothers and future mothers..." I kept wondering, "Why can't they just say, 'To the sisters of our ward?'"

I have a post that is so similar on the sarcastic note. After I received a really sweet compliment from a man at the temple, another man walked up behind us and said, "Whatever he said, don't believe him." Thanks for the reminder to be a little more gentle with each other, because we never know another's heart.

luvmykids May 11, 2009 at 6:55 PM  

Oh, girl I am so sorry. I used to dread Mother's day because I always felt so guilty because I didn't feel like "The World's Best Mom". I hope next year and the years to come will bring you comfort on this holiday. When Etta brings home a handprint or picture she made for you, I know you will cherish it.

hwilcox May 12, 2009 at 10:36 AM  

Cassity, Your post is so true! I agree with you in every way and I'm sorry you had to be the receiver of such a cutting remark. I appreciated that our bishop got up and talked about the new Gospel Art Picture Kit book and said, "On your way out, please grab one, we would like everyone to have one in their home". I liked that it wasn't directed to mothers, but something they wanted everyone to have whether you were married, single, with or without children. For my own reasons, I have a hard time with mother's day as well.

Thanks for your post, it's such a good reminder how careful we should be with our words.

Carmen May 12, 2009 at 1:32 PM  

Seriously???? (I'm not trying to be sarcastic- I'm really saying, "Seriously?") You have got to be kidding me!
I am SO sorry that happened to you. And let me just say, if I had been sitting next to you and heard that comment...I would've told that dude to take his box and move on. I'm not kidding. That was SO wrong on SO many levels it's unreal.
We had a Sister speak in our ward on Sunday, and her situation is very similar to yours. She had waited about 9 years for children, and then was able to finally adopt 2 sweet girls. My heart went out to her, and it goes to you as well.
I hope that next year, (when Etta is here) that your Mother's Day is a much happier one for you. ♥ hugs ♥

Joe and LeiAnn May 12, 2009 at 3:04 PM  

Cass, I almost started crying when I read this post. Broke my heart! I remember when AJ was being life-flighted and we were afraid he wouldn't make it. Someone tried to comfort me by saying that I would see him in heaven if he died, and that I was still his mom. I know she meant well, but that was a horrible thing to say at the time. I imagine that you felt similar all the times you heard that you'd get to be a mother in heaven if it didn't work out here on earth. Words can certainly cut deep!

Tink May 12, 2009 at 8:17 PM  

Cass, I am so, so sorry that happened to you. I try to be sensitive on Mother's Day, mainly because of my older sister for whom every Mother's Day is incredibly painful, but I can only begin to imagine how horrible that must have been for you. *big hugs*

On the topic of sarcasm - I couldn't agree more. There was a guy in my ward growing up (a bishopric member over the youth, sadly) that always said the most cutting remarks to me. He destroyed what little self-esteem I had, and I think he honestly just thought he was being funny. ): I'm 35 now, and still trying to get over the hurt from that.

I, too, will try a little harder to say only kind things to people. Thanks for the reminder, but I'm sorry it came about in such a painful way.

The Gee Six May 12, 2009 at 8:39 PM  

We have a long-standing joke in our family about sarcasm - "There is no place for sarcasm in the home." It's mostly a joke because we grew up with sarcasm. It's the way we operate. It's how we show each other we care. But, what I've called sarcasm all these years is apparently not that - we never say "sarcastic" things with the intent to hurt others.

With that definition, I am not sure what that brother said to you could be classified as sarcasm. Because I know the brethren handing out the gifts, and not one of them would intentionally say something to hurt you or anyone else. I don't think they would feel the need to tear someone else down to make themself feel better. I think it was probably more of a joke - perhaps not an appropriate one - but a joke nonetheless. Probably something he could have said to any of the pregnant sisters in the ward.

I don't know who it was, and it honestly doesn't matter. But, perhaps just like all of us at some point, he said something without thinking first. I know I have done that many times, and most of the time, I have been too embarrassed to correct the mistake. Maybe it was the same for this brother. I suppose my point is that you cannot judge what his intent was. And as hard as it is, the only way to truly feel better about that situation would be to do what the Savior would do - talk to him and tell him how it made you feel.

That said, I agree completely that we all need to think a little more before we speak. And not only that, but to try to be a little kinder to those around us. What an amazing world that would be!

Noelle May 12, 2009 at 11:21 PM  

Whoever said that obviously did not understand your history. I guess that is why it is a good idea not to be sarcastic.

I used to be freaked out about mothers day because I had two miscarriages ON Mother's Day. Crazy.

Carol in NC May 13, 2009 at 11:47 AM  

Cass, you can come stay at my house next Mother's Day...which is always an open invitation! Love ya!

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