Friday, May 29, 2009

Placing Blame Where It Belongs

Left to its own devices, my mind tends to wander. That's what happened this afternoon, as I pondered why we are a society, collectively and individually, that needs to assess blame for everything that goes wrong. That's the first thing that has to happen before we can begin to solve our problems.

I'm no exception, although this "blame someone else" theory is not unique with me. I wasn't even the first one to put it into practice. That distinction goes to Adam and Eve, who, upon partaking of the apple, and discovering how much fun they could have, had to cast about for someone to blame. Their gaze soon fell on the unsuspecting serpent, who was just minding his own business, trying to sell snake oil to the folks in the next county. Apparently, it didn't work out well for them, because they got kicked out of Eden, anyway.

But, back to me. Early on, I began to run out of ways to blame my mother for everything that went awry from the date of my birth well into adulthood. In the same way, she had blamed her own mother for tying her to a tree when she was five, to keep her from running off, and then blamed my father for up and dying and leaving her with a spoiled, headstrong teenaged daughter. That's why on the day of my wedding, my mother handed me off, gratefully, to my intended with the admonition to me not to come running home if one of us dumped the other. Then, she went home, alone, with a spring in her step and a song in her heart.

When I married D.J., he immediately and unknowingly started laying the foundation upon which I would, eventually, lay all blame. He played right into my hands when he rode off into the sunset with someone new. It took me quite a while to get over my divorce, but when I finally emerged from the muck and mire of self-pity, I saw my opportunity. I discovered that when a door closes, a window often opens, and through that open window, I beheld the retreating back of the man I could blame for all my ills for the rest of his natural life, and maybe even beyond.

My relief was palpable. Not only could I blame him, I reasoned, but, with my careful coaxing, my children could, too, thereby absolving me of all responsibility for the wrongs they would inevitably suffer until such time as they married, and could transfer their bitterness to the shoulders of their respective spouses. I had it made, in the shade!

So, the next time you hear someone blaming the government for their own pathetic lives, have a little, dare I say it, empathy? They are only making do because they are unfortunate enough not to have absentee spouses or parents who can shoulder all the blame. And they are not about to take responsibility for themselves.

So, the beat goes on.

Stay tuned.

13 comments:

Arkansas Patti said...

Excellent and insightful post Betty. Thank you. Per usual, you make sense.

kenju said...

Ditto what Patti said!!

Darlene said...

Betty, you told it well and with great humor. I think blaming someone else for our troubles is a human condition. If we have to look in the mirror and blame ourselves when things go wrong what would happen to our self esteem? ;-)

I just posted the Meme that you are tagged for.

Cynthia Springer said...

bikehikebabe says:
My brother gets mad at me for blaming Mother for the way I am. Bully bully (whatever that means) for him!

Mothers didn't try to make their sons after their own image (to be like them), like they did daughters. I think mothers don't do that now. They encourage daughters to...be themselves, find their own interests etc.

Cynthia Springer said...

P.S. It was all subtile. I didn't realize what happened until I read her diary written before she was married. "I want my children to learn to play instruments & speak other languages." My major was Organ, minor French--neither of which I was interested.

I forgive her all that. She picked out my husband- indirectly. He was handsome but a brainy "nerd" back when those weren't popular.

Cynthia Springer said...

Waaaaaa! I am not Cynthia Springer in Blogsphere.
I'm bikehikebabe with a gravatar (picture).

The HTML tags ???, URL ???, Open ID ??? won't accept that information. I've looked over all the blah, blah & can't find out how to change that.

Looking to the Stars said...

Ahh, the blame game. I've gone in that circle so many times and it always comes right back to me. I go back and forth about my mother in my mind then I end up telling myself, I am here now and I have a good life, doesn't matter what she did and didn't do. I try every day to be a better person then she was, which is hard because I have her temper :)

Joy Des Jardins said...

This was a great post Betty...and there's not one of us who haven't been guilty of 'the blame game' some time or another. You said it all....and beautifully. You always make me laugh....and think at the same time. Thanks Betty.... ~Joy

Ima Wizer said...

Ha, ha, great post....but I prefer to blame my "mother".

Deanna said...

Boy howdy did you get me to thinking! I blame others without even realizing I'm doing it. I swear it is human condition we are destined to have. I love the quirky sense of humor you use to get your point across.

Margaret LaVonne Hall said...

Good grief, Betty! You certainly hit the nail on the head~! I blamed my mother for just about everything, and then some. Now, my daughter is the one that is "top dog", it seems. Yes, blame seems to be wafting about, and I was definitely the agressor, and I blamed the man whose back was to me, also. But, we live and learn, huh?...GREAT insight...

Anonymous said...

Hi all
my name is Tom and im completely new to this forum.

I hope that I'll learn and share a lot of interesting things.


Take care!

Anonymous said...

Sorry for off topic, but 2012 is close, is this really matter?