Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hooray for Me and...

My old boss, Bob Wishon, was a tough guy who grew up poor during the Depression.  He had a way with words – sometimes blunt, but always effective.  When someone took an intractable, self-serving position on an issue, he would point out their failings with a sarcastic, “Well, hooray for me and fuck you!”.

There’s a lot of “Hooray for me” attitude going around lately.  I’m now four and a half years removed from office politics, but still am affected by selfish bickering and bullying taking place around me.

Our lady golfers have become divided between a competitive group and a social group.  I would venture to say that when we are on the golf course, we are all “serious” golfers.  Whether some of us are very good (yet) is another thing.  We play by the rules of the game, and strive to improve.  However, some want to impose more stringent policies on us that could adversely affect our fun.  Why can’t they let people enjoy the game as they wish?  We’ll follow the rules to ensure that our handicaps are valid.  Other than that, we want to play in a relaxed environment.  The Mean Girls need to back off, play with those of like mind, and swallow their insulting criticisms.  You aren’t going to ruin the joy I have discovered in golf.

On another front, the unfortunate real estate market conditions are causing our Homeowners Association in Chicago to consider imposing new rental restrictions in our Declaration By-Laws.  There are valid concerns, such as insurance and financing issues that could arise if our 12-building development has “too many” units rented.  Three of us (25%) are already renting our units, due to personal situations and financial considerations.  Market conditions won’t allow us to sell without substantial losses.  A rental restriction could disallow any more rentals and/or restrict owners currently renting from renewing leases that expire.  We could be forced to let our unit go empty with no rental income to help us cover the costs.  Some owners don’t mind hurting others to protect their interests.  "Hooray for me and...", well you know the rest.

As we slog through this political season toward the Presidential Election, it’s impossible to ignore the vitriolic rhetoric all around.  Rhetoric is too nice a word for some of the insults, belittlements, and threats so casually tossed around.  If I don’t have the same viewpoint as you, I’m not stupid.  I still deserve to vote, and you are not going to bully me.  I’ve hidden some of my Facebook friends' status updates so I can avoid their attempts to “educate” me with their political posts.  The "fuck you who do not agree with me" attitude reads loud and clear and repels me.  Have your beliefs, and I will have mine.  If you knew how to debate in a civil way, I might join in a healthy discussion.  God forbid, we might both actually learn something and gain some tolerance for opposing views.

So, Wishon, may you Rest In Peace.  Your spirit lives on when I encounter those that are so self-absorbed and intolerant that I find occasion to channel you and growl, “Well, hooray for me and fuck you!”.  Now I'm going to go hang out with my kinder, gentler friends who give me gifts of peace and happiness instead of sleepless nights.

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