Sunday, January 24, 2010

Right and Wrong

What still really gets me is that there is right and there is wrong. And I just don't understand why people are so afraid to stand up for it. Are they just too damn lazy, or busy, to bother? Or worse, do they really not understand the difference?

It's not just about Ryan and her walk to school, but we can start there. The other two mothers honestly don't seem to understand what all the fuss is about. The mornings work out fine with all three girls. So why not just cut out the afternoons and have them fend for themselves. This is their solution.

Why can't they see that I need help in the afternoons? Why can't they see that Ryan deserves to be good enough to walk with mornings AND afternoons? Why can't either of them see that Jule ignoring Ryan when Julia isn't there to protect her isn't right? I'm more disappointed in Julia's mom. Julia IS sweet and thoughtful and DOES stick up for Ryan. So, why won't her mother stick up for what's right?

I just don't get it. Our two girls could walk to and from school together just fine without the one causing the problems. So why, after over three years, is she still expecting me to put up with it? Why are we letting this mother get away with treating everyone else like their needs are of less value than hers?

It happens all the time. We know people aren't doing their part. We talk about it amongst ourselves, but then we continue to leave things the way they are. To be honest, we don't even talk about it much. Kind of hint at a bit of a problem and then laugh it off. Maybe bring it up generally. But never hold anyone accountable. People get away with things that are wrong. Is this just in the name of getting along?

Let's face it, in my day to day life as mommy, it's small things. And so I've learned to keep my mouth shut and play along. But, it's still wrong and....yeah....I was slowly dying inside at just accepting this and smiling along with everyone else. I won't make a fuss now. I am learning to bow out. But, damn it, I wish I could just understand how everyone else seems to just sit there and take it with a smile on their face.

And it does matter. The school system here SUCKS. I can say it, because EVERYONE AGREES. Parents and teachers anyway. The poor kids don't know anything else. IT IS WRONG. EVERYONE AGREES THAT IT IS WRONG. We bitch and moan. AND THEN WE DO NOTHING ABOUT IT. How can you live like this? I am not judging (anymore); I really want to know. There are things we can fix, problems we can solve, wrongs that we can right, if only we worked together and stood up for it.

Is it only Germany? God, I'd certainly like to think so, if only because it means that there are people out there who WILL fight for what is right and who WILL fight together for a common good.

A few years ago I would have raised a far huger stink over this thing with Ryan's walk to school. A few years ago I still would have spoken up, and at least brought attention to, the things that everyone else was thinking. But I've learned I can't do anything alone. One voice shouting in the wind is one voice shouting in the wind.

I died inside.

I've got to move on. I've got to find the place where my voice is joined by others. I can do "nice" and I can do "getting along" but I've never been one to place much value on external appearances. If it's rotten underneath, I don't care how nice you've painted over it.

I'm not going to stop being friends with Claudia because she won't defend me and my daughter. She's a good person and a good friend. (I wanted to say true friend but I couldn't bring myself to do it.) She means well and she is protecting her own small world.

But I need people who will SCREAM AND SHOUT AND HOLLER AND FIGHT - or at least write and talk about - what is right. At least TALK ABOUT what they BELIEVE IN. Seems we don't even do that anymore. Does anybody still believe in anything?!

Some people are sure going to be disappointed that I've found myself again. (Most noticeably my father.) I was a lot quieter zonked out on the couch drugged out of my mind on medications that were supposed to make me be normal. I couldn't feel, I couldn't care. I just made it through the day.

If that's normal, if that's what everyone else is really about, then I prefer being insane.

Don't worry, I'll behave. I'll play the game and sit quietly, the same vapid smile on my face as everyone else. I'll make nice.

But underneath, I know who I am, and I know that I, at least, can make a difference


  1. Once again, since I can't say it enough (and apparently never as well, or as succintly as weparent!) a reminder that too many of us sacrifice ourselves in "peace in" or "piece of" relationships. Still bummed my friend won't support me, but willing to give up the big moral fight in order to just stand up for Ryan. Piti Piti. (Small steps, in Haitian Kreyol)

  2. Heavy sigh...
    Where to start, another heavy sigh...
    The Germans were raised to Keep their mouth shut or risk getting gassed. When you live here long enough, you turn into "one of them". You stop making a public scene when people cut in front of you, and you find it normal to eat pizza with a fork. The problem is you rip yourself apart on the inside.
    Let me quote from the 1976 movie Network...
    You CAN say something. Trust me, the German mothers are the first to say something if it's their kid being left behind or picked on.
    You need to find a nice balance... Somewhere between sticking up for youself, and psychotic. It's all in the tone, and the amount of eye twitching when telling someone they have cut in front of you.
    My husband cut in front of 238 people at the airport when it came time to board the plane. I yelled up to him "HEY DU DA! Wir sind nicht beim Backer in Deutschland - move to the end of the line!" Now THAT got a lot of laughs.
    Hang in there Honey! And remember - The line forms to the left... and the right...and any other place the isn't BEHIND the next person.

  3. Balance,yeah. And not dying inside while you try to find it. Deep sigh is right. Sorry you understand only too well.

    But isn't it time we stopped using the old WWII Nazi excuse? Time to get over it and start acting like human beings again.

    Poor Uwe - you read the next blog on the Lufthansa line right? Thanks for the confirmation. Sorry it's your husband! Bet you bitch him out when he cuts in line at the Weinerwald too. Poor guy - that's what he gets for marrying an American!

    Thanks again Liz - maybe it's time the Amis started handing out chewing gum and chocolates again!