SYW: I Give You Permission To Read This Post

The title of this post is quite arrogant, isn’t it. It’s based on a line said by a character in a TV show to another character which was: “I give you permission to like me“.

At first I reacted to hearing it as I think viewers were supposed to react, with eye roll at the narcissistic grandiosity of it. However the character it was said to reacted with relief at those words, they had been very worried that their feelings were becoming a burden to the other, and were happy that they could now like them freely and openly.

That scene gave me food for thought, and since I’m a messy eater, it spilled into other areas.

In some ways when a blogger publishes a post, they’re giving people permission to read it. And when we read a blogger’s post we’re giving ourselves permission to read it.

We also give ourselves permission to like certain things, subjects, music, art, colours, foods, and, of course, people, celebrities, and friends.

Mostly we do all of that subconsciously, but sometimes we do it consciously and may even debate with ourselves, listing pros and cons, about liking something or someone.

We do it too when we become aware that someone likes us – we consider whether we like to be liked by them. And if we don’t like being liked by them, perhaps because they don’t fit into our friend requirement rules, we may exclude them from our friend zone.

Being sized up by other people based on what we like, are like, look like, what we’re wearing, what we’ve said, what we did, where we come from, our family, our background, our education, our work, what our status is, whether we’re socially acceptable, can perform the correct set of social rituals, whether others can relate to us in a manner which is pleasing to them… then waiting for their approval or to be rejected, has made human interaction feel like a talent show.

Did we pass or did we fail to make it through to the next round… who do those judges think they are, just wait until we get to be the judge of them!

Others can be tough judges to please, but perhaps the hardest person to please is ourselves. Do we really ever give ourselves permission to like ourselves? Or is that too arrogant?

Anyway, all of that leads to this:

Melanie of Sparks From A Combustible Mind’s Share Your World 1-7-19

Did you have to help out with chores when you were growing up?  If so, what were you assigned to do?

I was banned from helping with chores due to my being a mistake-making mess.

My mother was a perfectionist and I did everything imperfectly. Giving me a task to accomplish inevitably lead to her having to clean up the disaster I’d made while trying to help. The floor tiles were smeary, I’d used too much polish on the gates, I’d missed a weed on the cobblestone drive, I’d splashed too much water while doing the dishes, my hospital corners had made the sheet on the bed too tight…

There was just so much she could take before she decided that she’d had it up to here (hand gesturing to some level way over her head) with my uselessness, my faults, flaws, wrong-doing, and failure to do things properly.

So I was assigned the role of spoiled brat by both of my parents because it got them loads of sympathy when they bitched about me to others.

“Is she the only one at fault? For though she’s spoiled, and dreadfully so, A girl can’t spoil herself, you know. Who spoiled her, then? Ah, who indeed? Who pandered to her every need? Who turned her into such a brat? Who are the culprits? Who did that? Alas! You needn’t look so far To find out who these sinners are. They are (and this is very sad) Her loving parents, MUM and DAD. And that is why we’re glad they fell Into the garbage chute as well.”

― Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Have you ever researched your family tree?   What do you know about your family’s roots? 

Once upon a time in school, for History class, we were given a homework assignment to create our family tree to help us kids be a little less disinterested in and understand Royal family trees.

I didn’t get very far with that project because trying to get a straight answer from my parents was an impossibility, especially when it came to things which they viewed as part of their great identity. My father was a descendant of Arab Princes, and my mother was Eleanor of Aquitaine in a past life.

I couldn’t ask anyone else in our family because I wasn’t allowed to talk to them for various reasons which changed with my parents’ moods.

By the time I was old enough to look into those kinds of things myself, I’d had enough of family matters.

What’s your cure for hiccups?

I haven’t had hiccups in years (famous last words… those would be very amusing last words engraved on a headstone).

I did read up on it when I used to get them and it’s apparently caused by the diaphragm being irritated, so I would focus on relaxing my diaphragm and it seemed to help.

“I think hiccup cures were really invented for the amusement of the patient’s friends.”

― Bill Watterson, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

What makes you roll your eyes every time you hear it?  Either figuratively or literally?

I roll my eyes fairly regularly at myself and the things I say, since I have a lazy eye it’s good exercise for it but the other eye doesn’t see why it should work out all because of lazy.

When it comes to others, it’s usually when someone is being nacissisticky, especially super-sneaky-narcissisticky (like my father) or holier-than-thou-narcissisticky (like my mother).

The super-sneaky-narcissisticky is the classic smartest person in the room with a Muttley chuckle.

They think everyone else is an idiot, however they need those idiots to achieve some goal they’ve set themselves – like Social Media popularity – so they spend a lot of time being a lecca lecca (Italian for lollipop, used as slang for kiss-ass).

Signs and symptoms include thinking they’ve thought of something nobody else has ever thought of to win the popularity competition and aren’t they a clever clot (there’s a very good reason why other people aren’t using that tactic, but that kind of thought doesn’t occur to a narcissticky person).

If they’re out to woo Followers, they’ll ‘Like’ everything you post, and make stiff complimentary comments (which often have a barb in them because they really hate you and having to be nice to you – they’d better get what they want after all the effort they’re putting in) on every post.

Their own posts will be based on what the popular people they want to be, have studied and copied, do. They won’t share anything truly personal as they’re wearing a persona which isn’t theirs, but there’ll be little narcissistic ‘mistakes’ which they don’t realise they’re making that give away how little they think of the idiots they’re following and who are following them (you’d better be following them after everything they’ve done for you).

The Holier-than-thou-narcissisticky is a saint and martyr preaching to a world of sinners. They also believe they’re the smartest person on the planet and think everyone else is an idiot. They don’t need those idiots, those idiots need them and their pearls of wisdom, knowledge and high IQ.

We are not worthy, they regularly tell us so, but they are generously allowing us to benefit from their experience of being superior and better than all of us – anything you say or do, they’ve said or done it better, and will gladly share their long list of achievements.

These people love to pontificate. It might be interesting if they didn’t make it so incredibly tedious – they’re like those History books which make the crazy, wild, exciting times of the past just a bunch of facts, stats, names, dates, and Royal family trees.

The Murder of Andrew, Duke of Calabria by order of his wife, Joanna I of Naples by Hans Bryullov

I wonder if the Duke of Calabria had hiccups, and his wife ordered someone to help cure him of it but the cure turned into a kill and historians decided to alter the facts to make it less embarrassing for everyone involved.

Finally: Share a gratitude or positive moment or experience from 2019 so far.

Last night my mother appeared in a dream. That hasn’t happened in a long time for which I am very grateful.

It was night. I was in an old 1930’s style car with her. She was in the driver’s seat. I don’t know where we were going but she took a shortcut which ended up at a dead end on the edge of a private stately home.

She turned to me angrily and blamed me for her mistake, telling me it was all my fault, she would never have taken that shortcut if it hadn’t been for me forcing her to do so (I didn’t, but that’s irrelevant when dealing with the self-righteous).

The lord of the manor turned up to find out what all the ruckus was about, and to make sure we didn’t trespass on his property.

We switched places. I took the driver’s seat, turned the car around and drove back the way we’d come. My mother was still harping on and on about how this was all my fault, how I’d embarrassed her, she was perfect, the mistake wasn’t hers, etc.

I slammed on the breaks, turned to her and told her to shut it. That I was fed up of being blamed for what was clearly her mistake and it was time she owned her shit because I wasn’t going to be her chamber pot anymore.

I was right in her face – her face filled the whole dream screen. Her expression went from stubbornly determined righteous indignation to complete blankness.

The dream ended shortly after that. I think I woke myself up so that I would remember that moment. Usually when my mother appears in dreams she’s a symbol of intense frustration which won’t resolve itself, but this time it… was resolved.

That was a cool positive.

Featured image is a photograph of a painting, On The Tube by Emanuele Taglieri, at the Castello Aragonese


  1. So very interesting Ursula.
    Please don’t misunderstand me when I say you have had a very different childhood than I. I feel fascination and sadness when I read about some of your experiences growing up.
    There are lots of bloggers I follow (most of the blogs I follow are foodie or travel blogs because I enjoy them so much) not many write about their personal experiences. But it is amazing to read when someone shares their world and opens up.
    I wish you so much happiness. I think there have been times in your life when it may have been hard to feel truly happy. I mean that kindly. I just feel like I would have loved for you to have moved in with my folks and been a part of our family mayhem.


    • Thank you, Mel 🙂 that’s very sweet of you, your family sounds warm and wonderful ❤

      I've found it very therapeutic and healing to share my personal experiences like I do on my blog. There's a kind of real magic to writing about your life and the stories which are a part of your living experience. Putting your life story down in words can give you a new perspective on the places in the past where you've left a part of yourself, where you're kind of stuck, of things which have been stuck in your system, and it can yield a new understanding.

      And putting it out there for others to read is very rewarding, I've had so much incredible feedback over the years. When you share yourself openly, others feel free to also share themselves openly with you, and it is a powerful way to interact.

      Blogging has helped me to figure out how to be happy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “I was banned from helping with chores due to my being a mistake-making mess.” I tried using that strategy with my wife when it comes to household chores. It hasn’t worked.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Yeah, I read that advice for men to get out of housework too, you’re supposed to break dishes and glasses when doing the washing up, and generally be such an oaf that it drives your wife nuts and she never allows you to do housework ever again.

      The main problem with that tactic is that if you’re an intelligent man as you are, and intelligent men tend to marry women who are more intelligent than they are (as that is an intelligent choice), then your wife will always be one step ahead of you. I reckon that you’re also rather proud of being the kind of husband who helps out with household chores, and you like it when other wives look at you with admiration and tell your wife what a lucky woman she is to have such a wonderful husband. So you’re never getting out of it 😉


  3. Thanks for Sharing Your extreme unique World with everyone. I read and I’m again stupefied that you survived your ‘family’. Still. The next time your mother turns up in a dream tell her you’ve got your revenge (if you needed it. I suspect you did not) from living well. And she can f*ck off. Sometimes the brightest diamonds are made because they come from some harsh compaction processes. I think you’re a diamond.


    • Thank you, Melanie 🙂 that’s so lovely ❤

      I survived my family in a similar manner to the way you survived yours. Sheer willful determination. Since we live in a crazy world, it kind of helps to have that kind of training. 😉


    • The song is called “Hey Look Ma, I Made It”.

      The whole blocking content thingy can be a pain, but I figure if others do what I do when I read posts which have videos in them that aren’t all that relevant to the post they will most likely not listen to the video. I put it in there more as a point of reference for myself.


  4. So frustrating that you couldn’t get a straight answer from your parents about your roots😟. Are you going to try on your own or are you like f**k It, doesn’t matter? Love the poem about parents too.


    • A while ago they had this TV Series in the UK – Who Do You Think You Are? – I think they did a US version of it too. Which was very interesting to watch. I did do a couple of very lazy searches online at the time using the names of family members I knew, and I came across an entry on one of those family tree websites, someone had done a very thorough tree for one branch of my mother’s family which went all the way back to the 1600’s or something like that. There were some intriguing tidbits, but it’s still just a list of names of strangers.

      When I read Melanie’s Q about the family tree. I did do another lazy search, and my dad’s name came up connected to a couple of family trees other people had done on those ancestor websites, but you have to join to see the trees and probably pay for it, so nah.

      If I had a strong personal reason to do it, I might get more into it, but I can’t think of any. Both my parents broke free from their family roots in their own ways, and I sort of see that as the family legacy for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have some basic family tree knowledge, but not a lot. My dad’s family is French and my mother was born and raised in Sussex. But the men in my dad’s family were in the habit of marrying English women: both my grandmother and great-grandmother were from England, so despite my French surname and French cultural background, I’m mostly English. Go figure. But I don’t know much more than that, a few bits and pieces, really. I kind of don’t understand the popularity of genealogy. For me, it’s a type of mildly interesting trivia. Your DNA and roots are what they are – you can’t change them. Is my life going to be different because I find out I’m a descendant of or related to Charlemagne or Churchill or Manson? Nope. 🙂

    Yup – I had to do chores. Mostly I was supposed to keep my room clean and keep the dog clean, which I did. My mother liked to complain (that often turned into these tirades and rants) about how much she had to do, so she never really wanted anyone to help.

    Eye rolls? I have a couple of staffers who can make my eyes stare out the back of my head. 😉

    Something I’m grateful for – your blog, My M, a good job, many, many other things.

    I’m really happy to hear that your dream-self told your mother to f-off. It’s wonderful what happiness can do. 😀


    • Thank you for sharing, Lynette 🙂

      Oh, before I forget, I shared a link to your plane on a stick post with Cee the other day because she also posted mini-planes on sticks –

      I thought it was such a great coincidence!

      I remember that we discussed what you knew of your mother and father’s family history a while back. I recall you saying that your mother really missed her home and family and didn’t take to life in Canada. Oh, and I asked you if you were related to a big business French family. Looking at the history of our parents can sometimes explain why our parents were the way they were. My mother spent a lot of time as a child/teen living with her grandparents, my great grandfather was in the military and treated her like a military cadet, which definitely influenced her attitude to household chores and her obsession with things being done perfectly.

      I think looking at family history can be fascinating and insightful, particularly if there are certain family patterns which you find have influenced your own life. It can help to see the bigger picture, how a behaviour or life path has been passed down from generation to generation, perhaps looking for a resolution of some sort through its members.

      There’s this UK TV presenter who did the Who Do You Think You Are? TV show and he found out that this industrial inventor was an ancestor and it made him wonder if perhaps that had something to do with his fascination with machinery.

      It would be fun to find out that some big historical figure is an ancestor, but unless it’s relevant to your own life it’s just a fun fact. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you – she came by. I’m going to take a leisurely stroll through her blog. 🙂

        Agreed – family history can be informative and insightful. I haven’t thought about the idea of a generational resolution before though – thank you. 🙂

        I know this show and have watched two or three episodes. I saw one where the subject (can’t remember her name now) found out that she was descended from a woman who had gone on trial for witchcraft and had survived. I think she found out about one or two other strong women in her tree as well. That type of discovery does interest me; the idea that yes, you can get through whatever life is hurling at you right now if you remember your ancestor who made it through a witchcraft trial. Might be pretty mild by comparison. 🙂

        About 15 years ago we had a show here called Ancestors in the Attic. It did family tree stuff but the episode that I remember was the one about a high school class assigned to research the histories of the WW I soldiers listed on the alumni memorial wall of their school. With the show’s help, they dug hard to find information about a particular young soldier whose family for the most part had little knowledge even of his existence. They found some of his personal effects and returned them to his niece who remembered him from when she was small (the only family member left who remembered him as a living person). She was so touched and happy. For the students, he was no longer just a name on a wall, but a real person. Very poignant.


  6. Great answers to the questions Ursula.

    My Father would dish out chores, and then take them away from me thinking l couldn’t do them. My Mother would award me chores then scold me for not doing them right, both parents complained bitterly about my ability to do chores and yet if l did any chores without being told, they would simply tut and say they could have done no better – absolutely no winning in my household!

    Geneology, was a big topic with my Father especially, and was not always warranted, but he always wanted to be someone else in consideration to whom he actually was. As to my interest, not bothered in truth. My family is enough for many lifetimes dead or alive.

    Suze informs me that drinking a glass of water from the otherside of the glass is a great way to cure hickys and oddly enough it seemingly works due to our concentration on the task at hand.

    As to eyerolling moments, mostly aimed at my mother who declares she has another exciting illness.


    • Thank you very much, Rory 🙂

      I know that feeling about there being no way to win with your family. That was the main theme in my family, everything was a competition, and I do mean everything. You couldn’t do or say anything without it being part of a competition.

      Liked by 1 person

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