A Good Deed Goes Bad (cont.)

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So … from all the REASONABLE advice I’ve received (thank you!), I have a pseudo-plan in place. I will also draw from my wealth of spiritual and self-improvement reading, which I rarely get to implement these days (meaning things are going pretty well).

First of all, it isn’t about me.

Whatever is going on with this young woman, it isn’t really about me and I shouldn’t make it that way. I should quell any desire to make her conform to my idea of what she should do or to imagine what I think is going on. I don’t know what she’s thinking, and if she chooses not to tell me, I may never know. I am totally OK with this, and it gives me great peace of mind.

Secondly, I live in a rural southern community.

(Scraping all peace of mind, I decide to figure out what she’s thinking.)

Outside of the metro areas, the rural foothills of the South are home to a lot of Fox News Trump supporters. (I know this because our local paper said that the small town we live in was a 70-40 split in favor of Trump.) This matters because, having followed lots of news and Republican relatives, I know there is an attitude that people who are “takers” are lower than low. So I may have inadvertently (in her mind) put her in a class with welfare mothers and government handout leeches. She may despise the idea of receiving “charity.”

I happen to be watching a sappy romantic movie last night where a woman tries to pay rent to a down-on-his-luck cowboy and he frostily says, “We don’t take charity, ma’am. We may be poor, but we have our pride.” This might explain why she hasn’t addressed me at all. It might be as if I called her a bad name or slapped her or worse. (Sooner or later, I have to read Hillbilly Elegy, because it supposedly explains the whole mindset.)

After tomorrow, I’m out of there regardless.

I know, this seems like a convenient escape.

I tutor tomorrow morning, and because I have been thinking of taking other projects anyway, I am going to scrap the tutoring for this year. It was really a matter of when, not if, but the idea of dealing with this every day for another four months seems like needless discomfort for me. After all, it’s not like I’m related to this womanThe little girl I tutor will be given another tutor. (I kind of suck at it anyway. I end up playing with her and coloring and creating art projects when I am supposed to be focusing on teaching her reading.)

So here’s my plan:

I am going to send a text loosely based on the idea that I may have offended her, and apologizing if that’s the case. Two sentences max. Also, I’m going to blame the whole thing on my husband. (He’s OK with this.) Then I’m going to show up tomorrow, do my final tutoring, and see what happens. But as you can see, I am already in a much better frame of mind. I’ve let it go, for the most part. It doesn’t matter what happens anymore. And I can honestly say that YOUR COMMENTS made all the differences. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Wish me luck. I’ll let you know how it goes. It is refreshing not to dive into a drink and then rant to “solve” the whole problem. I feel compassion for the woman instead of the immature, unstable, victim-mentality emotions I would have had a year ago.

Wow, is this how people deal with problems in the real world?

 

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19 thoughts on “A Good Deed Goes Bad (cont.)

  1. I guess I’m kind of confused. If she thought of it as offensive, or doesn’t like accepting charity… wouldn’t she have just returned it? Something weird is going on. You don’t take a gift then ignore the person completely. I can see forgetting to say thank you and being somewhat embarrassed but the way you explained it makes me think she is not talking to you for negative reasons?

    I don’t know. It leaves me with a knot in my stomach. It’s kind of crazy making because to say anything now is like saying… WELL???? Did you appreciate the gift or not??!? And not saying anything leaves this weird awkwardness now. I hope you work it out. This is going to drive me nuts lol.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Me too!! I have been sitting her rehashing the whole thing with my husband, and he thinks that I should probably just let it go completely without apologizing. He thinks I should just act like nothing happened. And you’re right — the whole thing is completely confusing because she didn’t give the cards back. Crazy making is what has happened here, for sure.
      I’m resigned to the awkwardness of tomorrow, but I am inclined to let sleeping dogs lie at this point. So much for my peace of mind!
      Somehow sharing this craziness has made me feel more sane, however. I was beginning to think it was just me. ; )

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I was going to say in your previous post that it is totally ok for your feelers to be bent. I live in the South too and that is not how people react to gifts…. I mean no. She’s got other issues. I’m sorry you are leaving your tutoring job. Don’t let her run you out…. or quit, whatever. And if you need a charity case I will totally give you my address. .. just kidding. But. Have you heard of Kiva? It’s an online donation program that helps folks all over the planet with micro loans that they eventually pay back and then you can donate the money again. It’s my favorite. Good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is the coolest site! Thank you for pointing that out. I will definitely contribute to that, especially for women/single parents.
      And you were so right about the Southern thing. It had nothing to do with her response. I was completely off-base. People in the South are remarkably friendly.
      I like the phrase about bending your feelers. haha! It seems to be popping into my head pretty regularly, now that you’ve pointed it out. ; )

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Maybe you could just send her a simple text with a “hey, just for my peace of mind, when you use those gift cards can you just shoot me a quick text to confirm that they were activated properly. I always worry about that when I give gift cards!” As if it’s not a big deal and you always hand them out. And then you know what? I think you and your hubby should go on a really nice date or go for a couples massage, tell each other how kind and thoughtful you think each other are, and come up with a “giving list” of random acts of kindness you’d like to do over the next few years (sounds like you’re good at it!). ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think the point here is you’ve done a lovely generous thoughtful thing. The appropriate reaction from someone who is uncomfortable receiving gifts (many people can’t even accept a COMPLIMENT) is THANK YOU BUT NO THANK YOU. So yes, clearly something going on that you have nothing to do with. And good job identifying that it’s not about you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But isn’t everything about me? Yes, I had a remarkably self-centered reaction, but I am going to think of it as you put it: from my heart, it was a good thing. How it’s perceived doesn’t matter.
      I can’t wait until someone gives me $600 so I can model what I’ve learned. ; )

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with EndlessRivers, that texting is like asking for acknowledgement. It is not about you. You did a nice thing. Why she is uncomfortable about it is her own issue. I think some people have a tendency to want to emotionally dump on others, they just want to complain but gosh forbid someone should try to help them, to fix them. I have a need to express myself emotionally and just want to get it out. That’s not fair to my hubby who, seeing what I am doing as distress instead of venting, tries to fix it which then pisses me off. It is NOT his issue, it’s mine. This is something I work on. She imposed upon your space, your thoughts and placed you in the position of wanting to help and lo and behold you did. Maybe she will think twice about airing her woes in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. I decided against texting an apology and just texted what I would usually write: “I will be in tomorrow instead of today.” This is exactly a normal text from me, so I will see how she responds, if at all.
      I think I might be one of those people who tries to fix things. ; ) I am glad you explained it that way. I put in my two cents (which is probably putting too high a value on it) and then expect that I’ve solved the problem. I think my dilemma here is a good example of me solving someone else’s problems. But then I don’t have to think about my own!
      Thanks for your input. This is certainly becoming a learning experience. ; )

      Like

  6. Read Proverbs 25:21-22. Maybe to your face she was nice but behind your back not so nice. And in her heart. I have experienced this myself as a frequent giver and devout Christian. As long as God is happy with me nothing else matters. I would not lose any sleep over it LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you may be right here. I may have hit a nerve unintentionally. What was cool about the Proverbs verse is that it mentions heaping burning coals on someone’s head. I had to google that one. ; )

      Here’s the translation I got:

      “To melt him into kindness; a metaphor taken from smelting ores.”

      That makes perfect sense to me. Thanks, Just Sober!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep! Came to me right away when I read your story. Remember you cannot out give God. His rewards are ALWAY best. You just have to worry more about the vertical than the horizontal…Interpretation= concern yourself more with what happens between you and God than what happens between you and people.👍. You did a wonderful thing and God is pleased😊. Do not grovel to her. Let her be. Hold your head up high and be proud of what you did. Most would not do what you did…

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Honestly, it is distressing you. This is one of those times where the real answer is to suck it up and ask her if something is wrong.

    Maybe she tried to used the gift card and it didn’t work and she thinks you are playing a trick on her? It’s possible….

    The possibility for miscommunication is too high. Just ask. You will be glad you did. She will be forever glad you did. You will have saved both of you from what will otherwise be unfinished business.

    Plus, if you otherwise disappear she will think it’s because of her and this incident might become some huge problem.

    Deflate it now. Honestly. You will feel so much better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, I did reach out with a text. You’re right, of course. I had actually considered just running away but must act like a grown up these days. Plus, it always comes back to bite you, doesn’t it? She would move in next door or something. Anyway, just about to post my good news. ; )

      Liked by 1 person

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