Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What Are You Smoking?

On Friday, DH received the following message from EFIL in his work email:

From: EFIL
Sent: June 24, 2011 @ 4:52 PM
To: DH's Work Email
Subject: (no subject)
Attachments: The Letter; Photocopy of excerpt from "Maximized Manhood"


I don't know if you got my other emails and card so I'm sending it to you here. Please DH don't throw away your whole past and now your future with your blood family Please read these things. A WISE man has many consolers. You are a wise man DH

I love you

And on Sunday, he received the following in his personal email:

From: EFIL
Date: Jun 26, 2011 @ 12:51 PM
Subject: Letter
To: DH [actual email address], DH [incorrect email address]

Hi DH,

Could you please email me your response to my letter so I may respond to them easier? :)

You may have already guessed it Dear Reader, but I see several issues in these emails. Please, allow me to outline them for you:

1. As was the original email that EFIL sent to DH, which contained an attachment of the infamous letter, the email on Sunday was sent to multiple email addresses, only one of them correct. It was clear to me that EFIL was so desperate to have his message heard that he sent it to six different email addresses, obviously not knowing which one, if any, DH would receive. It was quite apparent that EFIL just didn't know DH's email address and wanted to make EXTRA sure that his message was received. To illustrate, imagine that DH's correct address is this: DH123@hotmail.com. EFIL sent his original correspondence to: DH123@hotmail.com, DH123@yahoo.com, DH123@gmail.com, 123DH@hotmail.com, etc. And as if that wasn't enough, he went further out of bounds and sent it to DH's work email address, which he most likely found in an online database which is open to the public. The fact that EFIL went so wild and crazy in his attempt to be heard is bothersome to me because it shows such a disrespect for my husband and his need for space and time. If this kind of behavior were happening face-to-face, it would look like the parody of a conversation. Picture it like this: EFIL walks into the room, and it's obvious that he is just bursting with something to say. So he walks up to DH, face-to-face, and says it. Then, with DH still standing in the same place, EFIL moves off to the side and says, "Just in case you didn't hear me, let me say it again from over here." He follows that up with the same message he gave DH the first time. Then, when DH moves to sit down at the sofa, EFIL follows him and, while walking to the couch says again, "I'm not sure you got the message when I told you the first two times, so just in case you didn't, here it is again." And he follows up that statement with the same exact message. This would continue over and over ad nauseum. So what I want to say is that we get it. We got your damn message the first three times you sent it. We got it in the mail. We got it in a voice mail. We got it in your damn emails, or at least three or four of the seven you sent. SAYING IT A THOUSAND TIMES ISN'T GOING TO SWAY ANYONE INTO THINKING YOU ARE RIGHT. It is rude and disrespectful to continue to send your message because you would rather think DH didn't receive it than acknowledge that he did but he chooses not to respond, or not to respond the way you'd like him to.

2. I have to say it, folks. The poor spelling and grammatical errors really get under my skin. I realize that EFIL doesn't understand that he is quickly losing his chance to communicate with DH, but one would think that he would work a little harder at making his correspondence clearer and more precise. I know he hasn't yet figured out that these letters may very well be the last time DH speaks with him under these circumstances, but with that knowledge in my pocket, it makes me sad to think that DH's EF couldn't even take the time to run a spell-check or have someone proofread what may be his last correspondence with DH. The spelling errors, grammatical issues, and lack of clarity in his words are indicative of a person who won't even put the effort in to making his point clear. Either that, or he is even less intelligent than I had thought. I doubt that his communications would be riddled with fewer errors, even if he knew that it would be his last chance to be heard by his son, and I guess my thoughts on that matter indicate how very little I feel DH's father feels for him. If it were me, even if I didn't realize that I wouldn't be getting another chance to share my thoughts, I would still write as though it were my last chance. I would want to present myself as an intelligent person who had, at the very least, shown that I was willing to take the time necessary to make my feelings and ideas as clear as possible.

3. On that note, the definition of "console" is this, according to dictionary.com: –verb (used with object), -soled, -sol·ing. to alleviate or lessen the grief, sorrow, or disappointment of; give solace or comfort: Only his children could console him when his wife died. Origin: 1685–95; (< French consoler ) < Latin consōlārī, equivalent to con- con- + sōlārī to soothe ( see solace); perhaps akin to Old English sǣl happiness (see seely) I don't believe that EFIL was telling DH, "A wise man has many people to alleviate his grief." While a wise man may indeed be surrounded by people who will comfort him in times of sadness, I believe what EFIL actually meant was perhaps something more like this, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel." (Proverbs 12:15) or this, "A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel." (Proverbs 1:5) or this, "A wise man has great counsel." (The last fortune cookie I cracked open). I believe COUNSEL was the word EFIL was looking for. COUNSEL. CONSOLE(R). "Consoler" isn't even a word.

4. It is completely inappropriate and disrespectful to send correspondence to someone's work email address, unless that person has specifically given you permission to do so. Furthermore, even when you have gotten permission to send correspondence to an individual's work email address, the content of those emails must still be safe for work. The rules of business in our country say that it is unethical for employees to use their work email addresses for personal reasons. While it is unlikely that anyone is reading DH's work emails, it is not out of the realm of possibility. Therefore, it is my feeling that sending personal correspondence to his work email address is inexcusable. It is just plain wrong to mess with someone's livelihood; particularly if your reasons are selfish and self-serving. Just because EFIL is desperate to be heard, doesn't mean that he gets to send his personal attacks on DH's character to his work address, where his employers have a right to read them.

5. The fact that EFIL is so dead-set on being right is very apparent in all of his letters and messages to DH. "Don't throw away your whole past...with your blood family" is a clear indication that EFIL believes DH's past is something that is worth keeping by allowing it to repeat itself in the future. He thinks he is right, and that DH's interpretation of his own history is wrong.

6. Just because DH chooses not to do what EFIL wants does not mean he is not wise, which is exactly what EFIL has implied, many times over. In fact, I would say that DH is more the wiser for choosing to open his eyes to the abuses he has suffered his whole life, and the abuses being inflicted on his FOC. He is more the wiser for having gone NC with people who do not value him as a human being, love him as a unique and beautiful person, or respect him as an equal.

7. The whole "Can you make it easier for me to respond" thing is really annoying and speaks more to EFIL's laziness than it does to his interest in communicating with DH. Anything that needs to be said can be typed up and re-written, if need be. DH had several very good reasons to send his letter in the mail, and EFIL is merely disregarding those reasons by asking him to make it easier for him to respond.

8. The smiley face. Dude, seriously? What are you smoking?

9. I have never seen EFIL "fight" so "hard" for DH before. Now that DH has decided he's going to ex-communicate himself from his FOO and extricate himself from their abuses, EFIL is doing all sorts of crazy things to "save" DH from his own "terrible" and "uninformed" decisions. EFIL is trying to save DH from himself. EFIL is trying to save DH from me. The fact that this is probably the hardest EFIL has ever tried to communicate with DH is very sad to me and speaks to his apparent desperation to keep DH at least in the periphery of their dysfunctional lifestyle, rather than having anything to do with genuine love or consideration.

I will conclude this post with a few of my own quotes. Since EFIL is so fond of throwing his around as irrefutable evidence of his "rightness," I found some I would love to gag him with in return. From some of The Greats:

On being called a fool:

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
Albert Einstein

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.
Benjamin Franklin

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
Bruce Lee

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.
Henry David Thoreau

If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool.
Carl Jung

Guard your roving thoughts with a jealous care, for speech is but the dialer of thoughts, and every fool can plainly read in your words what is the hour of your thoughts.
Alfred Lord Tennyson

It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!
Marquis de Sade

There is a difference between happiness and wisdom: he that thinks himself the happiest man is really so; but he that thinks himself the wisest is generally the greatest fool.
Francis Bacon

You think I am a fool, but you are a greater fool than I.
Sitting Bull

On Truth:

Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.
Albert Einstein

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.
Oscar Wilde

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Aldous Huxley

The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.
Winston Churchill

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
Oscar Wilde

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
Oscar Wilde

In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Author Unknown


  1. Oh, dear. I read counselor. I'm liking that clarification of "blood is thicker than water" more and more.

  2. Sadly Orwell didn't say that thing about telling the truth, or not exactly, though the quote is often attributed to him. He did more or less live by it. Maybe that's good enough.

    BTW this sounds so much like Lisette's comment re everything being a business transaction. I'm picturing EFIL trying to return something at the Customer Service desk in a dept. store, at the stage of demanding to see the manager.

    - GKA

  3. Judy, I had that thought as well - that EFIL may have meant counselor. Either way, I'm thinking "consoler" was incorrect.

    I also really love the clarification on "blood is thicker than water." I think it speaks to the truth (or at least to our truth) so much more.

  4. GKA - You have pointed out that I credited a quote incorrectly. Specifically, this one: In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
    George Orwell

    I will make changes according to your observation. Thank you!

    And, you're so right on with that fantastic metaphor about everything being a business transaction for DH's FOO. Gosh, that is so right on, and that is exactly how it feels. EFIL is so wishing he hadn't bought this particular son and wishes to return him for another one. He's in that indignant state of mind right now.

    Wow, fantastic metaphor.


  5. Strategically speaking, EFIL's assertion that DH has decided to 'throw away his past and future with his FOO' aggressively frames this conflict to put DH on the defense. Is he supposed to respond to this inaccurate interpretation with reassurance that he is not in fact doing that? It's like a gotcha-question. If you answer it at all, you allow him to frame the terms of the "debate" and come out either looking like a cold-hearted asshole or the doormat they know and love.

    That is NOT what I see DH doing here, after reading his letters and responses, and to be "on the defensive" responding to EFIL's claim is just where he wants DH to be.

    My FOO pulled similar strategic stunts, accusing me of divorcing my family, kicking them to the curb, walking away from them, etc. etc. simply for raising issues about our family that they would NOT address or acknowledge. When I needed space to figure myself out, they pulled out these big guns.

    People (i.e. family members) who quickly accuse you of walking away from your family for needing space or having genuinely irresolvable differences/issues/problems betray their short fuse in this move. In effect, they push you further away. Epic fail in terms of strategy - and we're not even talking about the FEELINGS surrounding all this game-playing...

    Pressure is not a good reason to engage or react. Taking all the time needed to decide for oneself should be okay with people who love and respect you.

    Stay strong, this tomfoolery is so obvious.

  6. Damn. What IS he smoking? This is just so...over the top crazy. I loved your analogy of him saying these things in person from different angles. Haha!

    "The fact that this is probably the hardest EFIL has ever tried to communicate with DH is very sad to me and..." Totally agree.

  7. Hi Jonsi,

    Sorry for the nitpicking above. Meant to say thanks for the Oscar Wilde items.

    Yes, Lisette is so right with that "business transaction" phrase.

    Re customer service, that sort of comes from the "Fry and Laurie" comedy sketches about replacing people. One sketch where a father wants the school to replace his son now that a non-religious science education has "spoiled" the one he has. (He settles for a large bottle of locusts.) Another where a widow appears at a department store exchange desk to return her dead husband's suits and pick up a new husband.

    - GKA

  8. GKA - Please, no apologies necessary! I very much appreciate that you pointed out my error. I'd rather be told I made a mistake than not realize I made one in the first place.

  9. OK, I can't resist asking, is that really the title of the book EFIL was quoting from? "Maximum Manhood?"

    It conjures up such hilarious conjectures of what its philosophies might be, including the possibility that its advice might tend to results that are the opposite of the title!

    By the way, EFIL really seems like an NFIL. -- quartz

  10. Quartz - It would seem that "Maximized Manhood" was indeed the title of the book that EFIL photocopied for DH. I know, it sounds like a practical joke, or else an email that goes right to spam in the cyber world that you DO NOT click on. (Click Here For Maximized Manhood!)

    It seems that in a lot of commentary on my posts about EFIL, readers tend to refer to EFIL as a Narc. A very astute observation!

  11. There's some great quotes here, I really like the one by Bruce Lee:
    "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer."

    Here's one more on truth:

    "Trying to suppress the truth, is like trying to hold a beach ball under water. It can't be done indefinitely--it will always rise to the surface...."