Aging & Attitude
New Thoughts on Words
We call them lose-lose situations, predicaments, or sorry plight. We feel squeezed in a trap; morass, swamp, or quicksand. It is a quagmire. Quagmire is a noun meaning, “soft miry land that shakes or yields under foot, or complex or precarious position.” Both are difficult to get out of.
The joke about the Jewish Mother comes to mind. You know the one; A Mother buys her son two shirts. The next morning he comes to breakfast wearing one of them. The Mother says, “What, you don’t like the other shirt?” The son is in a quagmire, an emotional trap, and wonders how to get out.
As with all types of swamps, cranberry to quicksand, once immersed there are techniques to avoid drowning in quicksand, whether you are dealing with your mother or mud.
- Stay calm, panicking or wriggling around will only get you in deeper.
- Delay reacting while you think over the predicament.
- Slowly pull out one leg, and if the muck is only up to your knees, your best bet is to move slowly.
Now let us practice responding to the Jewish Mother’s question, “What, you don’t like the other shirt?”
- Do not explain that you plan to wear the other shirt to the game on Saturday because it is a pastel color. Guaranteed, she will say, “So it’s not good enough to wear to the office. You’ll wear it when no one sees you, strangers.”
- Control negative body language, wait her out and let her keep the discussion going. She will continue with something like, “Did you try it on? Does it fit? I can take it back.”
- This may be a good time to kiss her Good Morning, then respond with a question. For example, “How does this shirt look?” With any luck, she will say, “Perfect!” If her response is, “You look like your cousin Jonathan,” you could be in over your knees. Move slowly out the door saying you have an early office meeting.
- The Ghost from Mud Lake (writeat.wordpress.com)