I get suspicious when people are nice to me. I often catch myself looking for hidden bits of string and their associated connection points. People remark on my cynicism with apparent surprise, but in my view it’s entirely understandable: I work with contractors, developers and other liars.

Consequently, when others – even friends – do things for me without any obvious expectation of quid pro quo, I start to twitch. Even when we’re talking small, but meaningful acts of kindness, saying “thank you” becomes an excruciating exercise for me. I flip-flop between wondering if I’m being grateful enough or if I’m being too effusive and coming across as insincere. I can’t quite decide whether I’d prefer people to think of me as a miserable bastard or utterly shallow. Both may be true, but that’s not relevant here. Man, I got issues…

So anyway – thank you. I mean it. You know who you are.


17 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Ah, don’t mention it.

    I know it’s not me, it just feels good to pretend.
    Also, “miserable bastard” is definitely the best option, in my – utterly shallow – opinion.


  2. That is cool, whoever did whatever for you just out of the goodness of their heart and not expecting anything back – thats …… what do call that…. a blessing, I guess. You are blessed KN.


  3. It’s a pity that life sometimes screws us up so badly that we are convinced an act of kindness comes with strings. Most of the time it does. But when it doesn’t I guess that is an indication of a true person, worth walking the journey of life with.


  4. I’ve been told that only kindness matters and that we’re all just looking for some happiness in life… but real life ie. in the corporate world of backstabbing and deceit… when it’s questionable who you can or can’t trust. You tend to “fake it” and only allow those close to you to see who you really are. Being ratty and negative seems to be a self defense-mechanism.


  5. “Miserable bastard or utterly shallow…”

    Love your narrative/thought process in getting around to thanking whomever for whatever.

    You’re almost certainly neither of the above, which would explain why the person you’re thanking did what they did for you in the first place.

    Loved the yoga posturing post, btw…it’s always fun to get those blind stares going and the crickets chirping with common sense…


  6. anne: “…it just feels good to pretend…”. Not when it comes to orgasms, it doesn’t.

    Spookie: You’re right, but I’m thinking it’s more of the “Bless me Father, for I have sinned” variety.

    Katt: Good point, but I’d rather drive.

    tripeak: Another good point, although my defense-mechanism is a pump-action shotgun.

    Terri: One Grappa ‘n’ Tequila coming up.

    Within, Without: Like I told you – issues.


  7. Actually, I thnk of you as both utterly shallow and a miserable bastard, but then by saying that you’ll know I’m only trying to gain your trust so I can exploit you some more… (I dare you to untangle that one.)


  8. You? an utterly shallow twitcher. Welcome to the club. We do yoga too. Doll’s rule of etiquette on gratitude, you must pass it on. We will awaite the story. There I have applied the string.


  9. Never look a gift horse in the mouth is still sound advice.
    But sycophants need love too.

    Having spent too many years with developers and contractors I find myself suspicious of anyone who begins a sentence with “No problem, we could have it finished by the….”


  10. Dearest Ky,
    I think you & a “certain” anchorman are in the same state:

    Ron Burgundy: I’m in a glass case of emotion.

    ~ The Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

    Smoochez from the wild side of the world,
    The Tart
    ; )


  11. Yup

    20 years ago you might have been guilty of unnecessary cynicism. Today, I fear you are simply realistic. Greed rules.

    Trust nobody. Especially lawyers, accountants, estate agents, employers and politicians. And of course contractors and developers.


  12. andrea: Sounds like reverse psychology stuck in neutral to me.

    The Doll: Take a deep breath… okay, now let it out. That will make the waiting so much easier.

    homo escapeons: As long as they aren’t psycho-phants (like my #1 fan), I’m happy.

    The Tart: Then I guess I’d better curb this urge to heft a few stones.

    Ol’ Hoss: Thank you, from the heart of my bottom. Hang on, that’s not right. Let me think…

    Inyoka: Why be a sufferer if you can be a carrier?

    WretchedToad: Time for a new mattress, maybe.


  13. I think the best course of action is, like in the movie, to pay it forward. Come to think of it, if the good deed does come from the heart, the person who did the good thing wouldn’t be expecting anything in return.


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