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Pick a Team

Once I feel like we have made a connection, I count you as a friend. I will be loyal to you. Unless you pick the wrong team.
football players on sideline of game

I have a toxic trait. Shocking, I know. I seem so kind and fun and personable and like I could be your best friend. I will probably tell you way too much information about me within the first day of knowing me. I do talk too much. But, I like to think of myself as being open and honest. Of being real, you know? Isn’t that what we are all supposed to be doing now? Being real, authentic is on trend. This is not the toxic trait, by the way. This is just background information.  

You see, once we have hung out and shared things. Once I feel like we have made a connection, I count you as a friend. I will be loyal to you. Unless you pick the wrong team. I don’t mean like the football team you root for (although, trash talking my Auburn Tigers will put a mark by your name in my book) or which denomination your church is or even which party you vote for. Yes, these are all valid aspects of who we are and likely have something to do with why I liked you in the first place. But they won’t be the determining factor of whose team you are on. If you end up picking wrong, things won’t be the same between us. You might not even realize you have made a choice. In your defense you don’t even know the guidelines I want you to abide by. You may get a second or third or even fourth chance to come back into the fold, but at some point I am going to cut you off. You might not realize I have traded you. (Just continuing with the sport terminology…go with it.)  

My grandmother was a fantastic woman. A true servant, helper, keeper of the home, fiercely loyal, phenomenal cook, and terrible speller. Gorgeous. A former Miss Piggly Wiggly of Gadsden, Alabama, a title she was seriously proud of. My goodness she was funny and creative. I am sitting here feeling sorry for all of you because you never heard her read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Her rendition was hysterical. But once you were on her list, you were there. No going back.  

tales of a 4th grade nothing by Judy Blume
Emily Trotter behind desk at Nothin' But fine podcast studio

I get it from her. The list part because I am a fantastic speller and have never been Miss Piggly Wiggly. Sometimes I think it’s a helpful trait to have. Other times it feels mean. The older I get though the more often I feel I say that you have to pick a team. Jim actually quotes me about this. To other people. Sometimes it’s the punchline to a joke or story and the audience doesn’t always realize how true it is of me.  

As I’ve thought about this recently I think I have gotten some good perspective about it. In some cases, having this set of boundaries is helpful. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing these days? Setting boundaries? Finding the ability to say no if you want. That is what its really about. Saying NO. Okay, or just no. It is supposed to be good for us to stop doing the things or being with the people who make us feel yucky. It is good. I guess that is where my list comes in. Chances are you got on the list because you hurt my feelings, or someone I love, and it made me sad or very mad or both. The list is just my way of saying no. It would probably be more helpful if I actually said no to the person out loud though. You know, give them a chance to explain or apologize before being banished from my presence. Not everyone is permanently suspended, more like moved back to the minor league farm team. Held at arm’s length. I have only ever banished like 3 or 4 people. So you are probably safe.  

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