I love listening to my Nanny talk about how things were when she was a little girl. When I talk to my children, I sometimes hear what I’m saying and I chuckle. I sound like my Nanny
There were no cell phones. No one ‘sent a text. As far as we knew, email hadn’t even been invented yet. But the worst thing was the absence of call display.
Back then, when the phone rang, someone picked it up. It was important to know who was calling and what for. These days, unless I’m expecting a call or I recognize the number or the name, I don’t answer.
The reason for my reticence? The world is full of thieves. It’s not only the phone / online grifters and con hacks attempting to steal money from pensioners to worry about. There are the time and attention vampires who promise that what they say will only take a moment. The reality is much different.
All theft isn’t terrible.
I’ve enjoyed some wonderful stolen moments, stolen glances leading to stolen dances.
These have been some of my most pleasure filled experiences.
This brings me to the most insidious type of thief: Pleasure bandits.
The idea of pleasure bandits was a footnote in yesterdays post. I was asked about it by a couple of people in direct messages.
A warning against this kind of theft is necessary. Pleasure bandits are a product of emotional and spiritual poverty. I have a lot of tolerance for a lot of people. Pleasure bandits? Not so much.
If you hear yourself saying any of the following phrases to someone:
I hate to rain on this parade but…
Not to be a wet blanket but..
Remove both of your shoes.
Rub them in dogshit.
Then place them directly into your mouth.
Unless the person you’re talking to is an immediate physical threat to you (not a threat to your belief system), a direct report at work, or a child in your care, disrupting the pleasure of another adult is the most duplicitous, wormlike form of dominance under the sun.
Common fools interrupt people in the middle of enjoying something with information that may be ‘enlightening’. Common fools think their dominance ‘comes from a good place’. Common fools believe that for one reason or another that they ‘know better’.
Remarkable fools know that they don’t know any better than another person and that we’ll arrive where we’re heading one way or another.
If you want to convince someone to change a behaviour they appear to be enjoying, let it go. It’s not your job to show them the way. Moreover, when you dominate someone by ‘teaching them’ whilst in the midst of pleasure, you will create resentment, not change.
So, run away from the pleasure bandits. If it’s their pleasure to advise, dominate and critique, stare at them blankly without saying anything until they go away.
You are not obligated to sacrifice your pleasure for theirs.
I don't recall anyone using these towards me. Don't know what I would say in response. At this point in time, if someone said, "I don't want to be a wet blanket...", I honestly think my response would be, "Then don't." Actually, I think someone I love may have said that. But to their credit, they suffered much of life under a mound of wet blankets and lived to shed the cold damp that is a dominating, overbearing family member. These people are the rescue animals of the human race. They have been abused. They will carry remnants of their abuse, like the tendency to quell happiness. My natural reaction to a rescue human, is to be gentle, to perhaps help with their recovery, but at least to try to not harm them. "You know, things might not work out. I know that. But they could work out, and that would be awesome. If I am going to move forward with my life, I need to keep the awesome in the forefront of my mind." See what happened? "I see your Wet Blanket and raise you one Little Miss Sunshine." My brothers taught me to play poker at a young age. I see your grumpy, naysayer hand and a touch of optimism always beats it. Next hand. Who's in?