Grandma: "You know something Brock?"
Me: "I know some things, but not all."
Grandma: "You are not compassionate. At all."
Me: Confused/bewildered/guilted/WTF/look across my face. "I'm not? Is this because I'm beating you?"
Grandma: "Nope, you're just not compassionate. That's all."
I sat there stunned at the delicate demon slicing my soul in the barstool across from me. What? I'm not compassionate? She had to be venting because of yet another colossal defeat in cards, adding yet another tally mark to my win streak. However, I was really wondering if these were vendetta-induced comments, or if the wise old sage had one or two last truthful remarks up her sleeve. Therefore I asked my dear little sister, who's blogalias shall be Lunchboox, which I might add is the nickname I gave her when she was 10. (If anyone can name the movie where the nickname is from, I'll pass along 5 bucks. That means you LTT.)
Sitting across from her at Zupa's yesterday I asked my dear Lunchbox the same question that I had been asking myself ever since the personal attack was started by my dear Grandmother.
Me: "Lunchbox, am I...compassionate?"
Lunchbox: Without blinking or looking up from the next forkful of chicken caesar salad. "No."
Me: Confused/bewildered/guilted/WTF/look across my face. "What do you mean, no?"
Lunchbox: Annoyed/rolling her eyes/'Are you kidding me big bro?'/look across her face. "I mean, no. You're not. Is it that hard to understand?"
Me: "Actually yeah! I think I'm compassionate. I think I care about people! I think I wouldn't take away candy from a baby!"
Lunchbox: Seriously, what the heck is your problem look across her face. "No, you don't. You're the kind of person that if something bad happens, you just forget about it and move on. Rather than feel sympathy or compassion you just say, 'Oh well, S*** happens! Let's keep going.' There's nothing wrong with that, you just have no soul. Either that or it's buried in three feet of solid concrete. I still love you despite the fact that your heart is blacker and smaller than the Grinch's was on Christmas Eve in Who-ville."
Cut back to her Caesar Salad.
Ouch! I have no heart? I'm meaner than the Grinch? My soul is buried in three feet of concrete? What do you people think I am, a cardboard box of a human being who feels no emotions at all?
Yes. Yes they do.
Just because my childhood heroes were Yosemite Sam, Ebeneezer Scrooge, Ivan the Terrible, The Big Bad Wolf, Nero, and 'The Brain' who's cage mate was Pinky, does not mean that I have no compassion. And so what if I secretly have a Dove soap bar carved to be 1/16th the size of Simon Cowell. That does not mean that I have no soul. I just like the guy. And dove soap. Does the fact that I have watched Titanic, The Green Mile, The English Patient, Braveheart, and Road to Perdition all in one sitting and still have a set of dry eyes afterward mean that I'm heartless?
Yes. Yes it does.
Am I supposed to feel sympathetic for women who call me up at one in the morning to confess that they think their parents are getting a divorce, or girls who text message me saying that they coughed up blood, or women who ask for emotional help because their garage doors just won't open all the way, am I supposed to be compassionate then? Am I supposed to be oozing with sympathy for crying women who have drank $100,000 down the hole and can't find the courage to quit pouring one more shot of vodka?
No. No I won't.
Maybe I don't have a soul. Maybe I am a cardboard box with a pop-up head posing as a human being. Maybe I make the Dad from 'That 70's Show' look like an angelic saint. Maybe I have a heart that's small, three sizes too small. Oh well, that's just who I am. And yes, my dear Lunchbox was right, S*** happens; let's keep going, may be my tattooed motto for how to handle life. But it's gotten me through the first 26 years, I think I'll stick with it.