Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Aaron doesn't like when I bring this up, like I do all the time at parties and barmitzvahs, because he thinks it makes him sound mean, but I know it doesn't. It was just one of those times where he said exactly what was on his heart in a very genuine, cute way. That's his style, ya'll.

Anyway, a few months ago he came home from some get-together with a bunch of guys from our church. I don't know them that well, but have met most of them. And when Aaron got home he said "Ria. Everyone thinks you're so...sweet. That's the word they use." People from his work said that all the time too, he said. And his tone and his body language and his eyebrows said, what are they smoking?

I knew exactly what he meant by his confusion and if you've ever met me, first of all sorry for all the yelling, and secondly you probably know what he meant, too. Because I'm not sweet.

I really do try to be kind to people. If a resident at the nursing home tells me their kids never come to visit, I genuinely feel burdened for that. If a friend had a terrible day and I'm not there to hug her, I've been known to shed a tear, or two thousand. But if my waitress brings me tea and it's cold, she'd better go warm it up. And if the guy at the auto shop tries to charge me $200 for focusing his eyes in the general direction of my car and then saying "it's probably ____," he'd better get ready for an disproportionately long discussion in which I WILL GAIN THE UPPER HAND.

And if you put me in a play rehearsal with 30 other people who love music and acting as much as I do, I'm going to be obnoxious. Because that's what makes life fun.

My point is, I'm not "sweet."

I was telling this to my mom recently and she said "of course you are!" And since moms never overestimate the positive attributes of their offspring, that settled the matter right then and there.

Actually, in response to her, I said, in my brain, the word "sweet" is synonymous with the word "timid." And when I said that, she did one of those annoying "OHHH!" things, as in, OHHH, I just Freud-ed you and you didn't even know it! And then she threw her microphone on the ground, popped her collar and made a dramatic exit.

Do you think "sweet" means "timid"? Does God call us to be timid? Can you be kind without being timid? Can you loan me $200?

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