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October 9, 2012 / angelavbolton

Random Thoughts ~ Thoughtless Acts

Angela and Bob, O’Connell Street, c. 1985

I was thinking earlier today about how similar Robert and I are: we’re both Cancerians so – if one believes in that kind of thing – can be a little precious or moody, are emotional and possessive. That’s true, actually, we are both like that (except for moody, I don’t have the patience to be moody, and Bob wasn’t a bit precious).

This did lead to some explosive situations between us at times, and rarely did one or the other of us let anything slide if we didn’t feel like it – we’d chew each-other out if it was felt to be required.

We also have terrible tempers. When Robert loses his temper you simply don’t want to be there – you won’t notice it necessarily, he doesn’t raise his voice or wave his arms around, he just gets really quiet and determined and will not notice that a steamroller is heading for him: he’ll just walk through it. He can cut a person dead with a well-chosen sentence. Temper wise, I’m pretty much the same. There’s a line that can’t be crossed: I don’t know exactly where it is or how it works but once it’s stepped over I forget about social niceties and the done thing.

I was reminded of this tonight by an old ‘friend’ of ours – and a very old friend of Robert’s – who had the insensitivity to laugh at the idea that Robert was incapacitated to the degree that he is. He actually laughed. It might have been nervousness, or it might have been ignorance. But it was so infuriating that I lost my temper momentarily and if that person had been standing in front of me I might have responded in, well, a bad way.

He’s not the first to say something horrendous but he’s the most regular contributor to the annus horribilis list of conversations I’ve had to have with some of Robert’s least ‘aware’ friends. I know that, as they haven’t seen him or had experience of this kind of injury, they know little or nothing about it, but that doesn’t temper my temper, to coin a phrase. And most of them are very sensitive and kind, thoughtful in what they say.

I’d advice caution ~ I may be small but I’m incredibly vicious. If I don’t get you, I have two (adored and adoring) brothers who are never far away.

So, gentlemen, practice the art of diplomacy: think twice and then say nothing.

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