Monday, November 17, 2008

Lost in Translation

I hope I haven’t kept you in the dark about my family issues. If so, let me sum up…

My husband and I currently live separately but are dating.

One of my kids doesn’t talk to me.

My mom and I are like oil and water.

Okay… so now you know that behind this perky exterior, there’s a bit of a wounded soul. Don’t worry. I’m learning. One of the main things that I’m realizing is not only do I get misunderstood, sometimes I do the misunderstanding.


Yes, it’s true. Apparently, I am human. {sigh} I hear what I want to hear and say things in a way not taking into consideration the wounds of others. I’m not a callous bitch. I’m just guilty of being too raw for the people that are closest to me. My honesty, it seems, is not always welcome. But not wanting to live a life of make believe with those I love, I’ve been trying to come to terms with how my mom or husband or daughter hears the words I am saying just as I am trying to let them all know what it is that I heard.

It’s all very Dr. Phil without the annoying moustache.

I think it’s always that I am being understood. It’s also really good to avoid inadvertently offending others when I mean to come across as helpful or compassionate. You know, like when you mean to feel someone’s pain but because of your snarky tone, you just come off as patronizing and disrespectful. You know…

Like Motrin.

Oh boy… I walk away from Twitter for like half a day and POOF! There’s a new topic trending called #motrinmoms. If you are unfamiliar with Twitter, you clearly don’t visit here often enough, but let’s move past that and catch you up real quick. Twitter is like an instant message, worldwide chat room, friending type place that is similar to the office water cooler. You can follow my “tweets” to find out what I and others are reading, doing, watching, blah blah… You can also use Twitter as a way to syndicate your on-line business or blog. But the best thing about Twitter? It’s THE place to get the latest info on just about anything. The efficiency and speed with which information is passed on in this medium is like a shiny penny to a kid. Heads up is good luck. Tails up… well… let’s just call it “unfortunate.” Motrin learned that very important lesson the hard way. Apparently, they forgot to ask their target market what they thought about this:

Rule #1. Never piss off the Mommy Bloggers. NEVER!

Within hours, the patronizing tone of this ad became the downfall of a household name. If Advil or Tylenol know ANYTHING about marketing, they will be all over this debacle. Remember this incident. It will be taught to your kids in business and marketing classes for generations to come under the chapter of what NOT to do.

Knowing what to say and how to say it are truly an art. Unfortunately, sometimes, saying sorry just isn’t enough. Thank God, family is a lot more forgiving than the market.

Just for fun, check out the Motrin Moms Twitter Stream.



mary kay said...

Thanks for the little "window to your world"! Makes us all feel a little more human. I completely agree with you about the Motrin mess. I'm kind of amazed that the folks running the ad campaign didn't have the foresight or even the basic perception skills to know that they'd get a boatload of mommies really ticked off.

Anonymous said...

It is nice to see a little more of who you are. I haven't been reading your blog very long, but your brutal honesty is nice to see.

I missed out on the Motrin mess, and from what I've read, they made a mistake and are working to fix it. I hope Advil and Tylenol pick up the slack! :)

Kristin T. said...

I am so grateful for your blog, and your honesty, and your efforts to keep figuring things out, as you go.

This is particularly wise and insightful: "One of the main things that I’m realizing is not only do I get misunderstood, sometimes I do the misunderstanding."

I needed to be reminded of this. Taking it to heart will do worlds of good in all of my relationships.

Delores W said...

I have the same problem. I can be VERY blunt, and our society has come to be a bunch of cream puffs. Ok, well that was insulting, but people are so worried about hurting people's feelings, saying the wrong thing, or whatever, that people are afraid to engage anymore. When you start being afraid of who you are, then THAT is the problem. Oh, and not talking is a control and manipulation thing that is overused.
I am sorry that you are going through this, but at the same time, maybe the lesson needs to be "being confident in who I am to be the person that God created and not the one that man wants to create."

Naomi said...

I went to visit my parents last year. me and my dad...oil and vinegar too, so i'm feeling your pain. we were trying to have a simple convo which quickly started turning into a fight. that's when my mother said to my dad, "I think she just wants to know ..." and my dad said, "oh" and responded differently and in a way that actually made sense to me. I realized that it wasn't that either of us wasn't direct enough, it's just that sometimes people don't hear what you think you're saying.

on the same note, i think there's a big difference b/t being blunt and honest and trying to force your point of view on other people. Just b/c you think you're right, doesn't mean you are. Sometimes it just means you're being an ass and you need to shut up.

and that's not a fact, just my point of view : )

btw, not apologizing for long comments anymore, you should just expect them; and, i love that every time i'm over here, you've added some new doodad to your page.

D'Arcy said...

yeah, I do that. a lot. sometimes i get so focued on what i know, and what i read, and what i believe that when someone who hasn't read as much or hasn't thought about it as much disagrees with me, then i get a bit angry and high and mighty.

it happened just last night with my cousins. i was stating a few facts about health and food chemicals because we were on the subject of it and they just kept saying "you're just making blanket statements, that is NOT true" when I believe that it IS really true because I have read up on it and .....anyway, you see where this is going.

no good.

i ended up just apologizing and moving on, but obviously i've got a lot to learn.

Deb said...

oh girl, you and i may have been separated at birth. i like the term raw... i use the term "unfiltered"

anyway, since my kids are older i haven't been as involved in the motrin scandal on twitter. obviously a big misstep on their part, but i have to admit, i love the stuff.

queenoftheclick said...

Hey girl! I'm going to be praying for ya tonight. Glad you and hubby are dating :)

If you can and have have the number, give your kid a call. My Mom and I didn't speak for awhile, but she called and would just say, "I know you are mad at me, but I am calling to say I love you and look forward to a day when we can talk again." So yeah I was the difficult kid. I was so annoyed when she called, but one day I gave in and talked with her. I wasn't going to call because I believed she was at fault.

And while you aren't going through an easy time right now, just remember that we are all human and no one is perfect.

The Motrin Moms were something on Twitter!