Thursday, March 18, 2010

We don't do it like that around here

Have you ever been told that you're just not doing it right?  "IT" could be anything.  They way you cook something, clean something, build something.  We've somehow been led to believe that the way we do things here in Holmes County are the ONLY way to do something.  I can't even count how many times someone told George he wasn't doing something right.  I try to fathom in my mind why someone would feel led to tell a grown man something like that.  Is it because he's doing it differently?  Or just differently than WE are doing it?  Maybe because he comes from another country he IS doing it differently.  Wow -- I just answered my own question.  
Let's take for example raising children.  In Mexico, most kids do not have their own room. They share bedrooms and often times share beds.  They think nothing of it.  When Belle was little I would repeat the oft-used American saying of, "She just needs some alone time".  I would say this when she was crabby or being disobedient and my husband would cringe.  George would say, "No way, she needs to be here with us.  Being alone just causes her to get her own way". Oh, the times we would argue about simple differences.  I would argue up and down, and tell him that's just the way we do things here.  I was so stupid.  I argued a way of life that had never seen anything different introduced to it.  I was self-righteous and puffed up.  I didn't listen to anything he had to say.  Our early years of marriage had much conflict because of this.  I failed to realize the wealth of good ideas and ways that George had brought with him.  I had simply thrown everything he said in the trash.  Without George and I parenting together, our kids would be lost.  The blending of our parenting styles is what works for us -- and it took me way too long to realize it.  Because of this my kids have never been disrespectful to me, and God forbid they ever raise their voice a notch to George.  Bedroom doors don't slam in this house. 

It also has carried over into George's jobs.  He is such an excellent painter.  I would call him an artist, with the faux finishes he creates, the textures he slathers on, and the smooth line he finishes with.  In the beginning though, people laughed at him because he did things differently than peoople here. What possesses or gives us the right to laugh at something done differently?  Does the end result look as fabulous?  Always. There are so many techniques in the world to receive an end result -- why should we be closed to them?

When I lived in Mexico the people there were so warm and hospitable.  Yet, I found myself thinking sometimes that they just weren't doing things the right way.  I had a haughty air when all they were doing was trying to please me or going about their daily tasks.   What was instilled in me to question and point out, what I thought, were wrongs in people?  It took me a long time and alot of maturing to realize how very arrogant I was.  There is such a big world outside of Holmes County, and not near enough time to take pleasure in it.  I realized life is too short to think that I was the only one who knew how to do things the right way.  It's a lesson we all can learn.  Next time we open our mouths to point out someone is not doing something the right way, let's remember what we really want to say is they're not doing it OUR way. Let's learn to open our mouths in love -- instead of pointing out what we THINK is wrong.


Tina said...

Great post and so true. I like the way you do things and one of the things I like about people are the differences. I've learned so much from being around and being inspired by the differences. You guys are great and you are right, George is an artist and so are you my dear. So blessed to know you.

Leslie Limon said...

So very true, in so many ways! Hubby and I had more than a few disagreements in the early years of our marriage because he did things differently than what I was used to.

Now, I am the one in the family and in town that does things differently. I cook differently. I clean differently. I parent differently. Probably much like you and George...the best of two worlds. :)

I remember when we first moved here, my young niece refused to eat the avocados that I had sliced because I sliced them the wrong way. (I slice them lengthwise and my suegra slices them the other way.)

I could go on and on...

Melissa said...

Thanks for the kind words guys!

Leslie, I once made a chicken soup when we lived in Mexico. I took the chicken off the bone (gasp!) because that's how we made it here. His brothers were little at the time and they refused to eat the soup! They wanted the bone. :) And I had forgotten to make beans. That was the killer. haha

Two beautiful cultures -- the blending can be hard, but once you get to that point you see all the years wasted in arguing dumb little things.

Dawn said...

Really good post - something we all need to be more aware of. Thank you!

My World said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cioara Andrei said...

Foarte interesant subiectul postat de tine. M-am uitat pe blogul tau si imi place si am sa mai revin sa-l vizitez. O zi buna

Jackie said...

Hi , I found you through Tina.What a very authentic post.Some people go their whole lives and never get this message. I remember what an awakening it was for me when I first realized that Hey , who am I to think I am right? I remember realizing how selfish and arrogant that line of thinking was. it changed my life and I am much mellower now:)

Tina said...

Hi Sweets,
I've given you a blogger award. Do with it as you wish as far as passing it on or simply accepting it, but wanted others to be encouraged by your blog as I am.

paperbatty said...

Hello. I followed Jackie over here from her twitter link. What a wonderful post! I hope it comes back to me the next time I fall into one of those arrogant stubborn moods. Thanks.