Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Blogging Challenge (Day 1): The Anatomy of Mean



The plus side of having a memory like mine is that you remember the most arbitrary pieces of advice or scenarios when you’re hit with a real-time situation. Today’s little flashback down memory lane was no exception:

The year is....errr, let’s just say it’s long before The Age of Cell-phones and more in realm of time of when Madonna could wear white, claim to be “Like a Virgin” and nobody was side-eyeing her... out rightly anyway.

So to set the scene, there I am Little V, sitting in the school hall with a bunch of other kids and its reading time. This is the day I am introduced to the literary genius of one Roahl Dahl in the form of his book, “The Twits” which is ultimately a story of a husband-wife duo who perform hilariously unkind pranks on each other, just nje. One that particular day, the teacher reading the story paused after having read out the latest in a line of despicably funny but mean exploits performed by the couple on each other to issue her own words of wisdom*, that, “People can grow out of a lot of things, but generally, those with a harsh mean streak never grow out of being mean.”

Suffice to say, that comment on meanness stuck with me, unravelling itself in a multitude of ways over time but standing true all the while to that simple statement.

People, more often than not, do not grow out of "mean".

We could be here all day arguing over what motivates or encourages an individual to nurture a mean streak, but the crux of the matter is that if by a certain age you have not seen how this one personality trait of yours is alienating you from forming sincere relationships that are not based on characteristics, such as: intimidation, scorn, jealousy, pettiness and viciousness, then good luck to you.

I sincerely hope you get your wake-up call sooner rather than later.

Digression:

Things I was told when I younger that I would grow out of and have resolved that I never will:

1. My current bra size: Before my mother realised I had inherited her side of the family’s lack of boobage, she was so optimistic that I would experience life beyond a b-cup, suffice to say, I am still waiting for paternal genes to kick in.

2. Allergies: Maybe allergy meds have advanced over time so they mask the symptoms better, but who are they kidding, nobody grows out of seasonally allergies, tsk tsk.

3. Cerelac: The only thing stopping me from consuming this yummy cereal, targeted towards newborns, every day of my life is the knowledge that my waistline will expand in a short space of time due to the ridiculous amount of kilojoules per spoonful.

4. Fluffy type chick-lit: I hope to goodness I NEVER grow out of reading this genre because nothing tickles the inner cockles of my heart quite like reading how Arab sheiks or Greek heirs succumb to the charms of some damsel of sorts. Predictability is the name of the game in this genre, with its formulaic story lines...thing is, I find comfort in this obviousness.

5. My flair for the dramatic: I’m a middle child. That is all.

*It’s worth noting that in that same sitting, this same teacher also informed us Third Graders that brushing one’s eyebrows every morning would avoid us a lifetime of embarrassment going forward in life. She was a wise teacher this one ;-)

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In other news:

Thanks to Shonavixen (of www.iamshona.com) for challenging me and a host of other bloggers to get to this 30-day blogging challenge. I can’t promise that every post will make sense, but here’s to keeping to it ;-)

Shameless Promotion: If you do have some time, please pass by www.diasporandarlings.com and read up on the latest host of articles recently uploaded. Don’t forget to get your commenting on ;-)

Have a good one chickens!

Love,

V x

11 comments:

Shona Vixen said...

Vimbai I agree with you some never grow out of their mean streak...till their old and gray!It is sad though when one doesn't stop and look within..or maybe its a sheer case of denial.
Things I have not outgrown - my
love for Enid Blyton...tsk tsk tsk
Allergies never go away and they suck!!

Tatenda Mhende said...

Wow, Vims your Day 1 has just kicked the challenge up into high gear. I have a few childhood tales that have stuck and refused to leave. Keep on blogging!!!

Rebirth said...

Your teacher is/was a very wise woman..... some are just naturally mean and they have refused to address that personality cuz they see nothing wrong....sigh

kookie said...

This is a very true post chica. My advice to anyone still indulging the meanies in their lives...there is no amount of love within you to rewire someone who has that mean streak. Its a realisation I came to this week and parallel sis, trust you to have posted this to confirm the lesson in my head.

thandiwe said...

Huh - the only thing that stands out for me from being read The Twits (in the self-same grade 3 class - ah, history, got to love it!) is Mr Twit having myriad of old crusty food in his rather ample beard. This is not so much of a life lesson... Perhaps I was a shallow kid and missing the point...

Vimbai said...

@Shona: Enid Blyton????! Seriously? Which books exactly (although I doubt that will exempt you from my ridicule, ka ka ka). Who wrote "The Far Away Tree" if that's her, then I don't blame you.

@Tatenda: Ehe, we are just warming up here, can't wait to see what you put up over the next few days ;)

@Rebirth: I can totally link up this post to your Boundaries post, it's one thing for people to be mean by their bad else selves, something else if its within "my" boundaries.

@Kooks:Your "rewiring" comment hit home. That's the crux of the matter, wishful thinking....stupidly expecting a different outcome everytime.

Like Maya Angelou once said, "If someone shows you their true selves, believe them".

Vimbai said...

@Thandiwe: Oooooh, am loving that history factor and that you were there with me comrade! And don't stress, I also remember that Mr Twit had a crusty beard and Mrs Twit a glass eye that popped out etc.

I just tend to remember crap even if I was, like you, too young to be only concerned with the shallow stuff at the time...one day (like yesterday) it all comes back but with a twist and depth.

Which reminds me, I've got plenty of stories on you saka be nice to me ;-)

Myne Whitman said...

I have also not outgrown my bra size or my love for category romance, or just reading as a whole. :)

The first part of the post is so true.

Vimbai said...

@Myne: NEVER outgrow reading...that would be a complete tragedy :-) Thanks for stopping by missy.

QuirkyKoso said...

I still maintain that I am still growing so my bra's still have time to be filled, though the big 3-0 is fast approaching, no matter, bra cups will be filled. Wishful thinking much? Lol
One thing I have not out grown and cannot shake because my Mother seems to have hard wired it to me; is peeing before all meals, bed time, wake up time whether I need to or not, my body's been hard wired to go no matter what. (TMI?)
I have a tendency to see the world with rose tinted glasses (is that the correct phrase?sounds weird) at times but even at this age of mine, call me silly but I am a believer of people changing, in second chances , so I do believe a mean person can change their ways, well i'ld like to hope so. That's not to say you let your guard down in the hope that they will change, no, but just don't completely close the door. (My two cents). Xx

Vimbai said...

@Quirky: *dead* at your TMI tale there missy, but cackling to myself all the same! Your mum got you good.

Believing the best in people isn't a bad trait...letting 'em take you for a free ride because they KNOW you are holding out for some goodness on their part, is not advised.

Good to see you in these here, neck of the words chica.