The Caramel Crunch (25 April 2020)

Over at Caramel (Learner at Love), CARAMEL has started a new prompt. I’d like to see her prompt do well, and I had some time today to write a post, so here we go…

The prompts are called the Caramel Crunch and so far are centered around a moral question. For your convenience I shall repeat her question.

You have a close friend who you are very fond of who seems to be neglecting their own personal care. When you are with them you notice their dress and grooming is becoming increasingly unkempt and the odour they emit indicates that either they have a medical issue that needs attention or that they are not regular with cleansing their body. What do you do.

That can be quite a difficult one. Maybe try and broach the subject, but with tact?

I had that once with my daughter, when she came here to stay. Your clothes are smelly, I said (OK, not very tactful 😆). It might well have been her shoes, because she tends to wear them without socks and they stink. She duly responded that she thought it was inappropriate for me to say that to her. It probably was. But I said, did she want to hear it from me, or from one of her friends? It pretty much doesn’t matter what I think of her, but it will definitely matter what her friends think.

And that’s the crux of it. I think it is probably a good idea to say something, because you want the best for your friend and it is probably better if it is picked up by you, rather than by somebody else. But, let’s face it, it is not good news so they’re not going to like it. That’s where your tact comes in.

If you mention it, and they confide in you that there is a good reason, then you should offer to help, if you can.

If you mention it, and they stonewall you, what can you do? You can lead a horse to water… You cannot, ultimately, be responsible for somebody else.

The Caramel Crunch (18 April 2020)

Over at Caramel (Learner at Love), CARAMEL has started a new prompt. I’d like to see her prompt do well, and I had some time today to write a post, so here we go…

The prompts are called the Caramel Crunch and so far are centered around a moral question. For your convenience I shall repeat her question.

Your boss is very friendly towards you and very supportive at work. You are grateful because you love your job. But your boss has asked you a number of times if you would like to go out for a drink after work. You are not sure if they are just being friendly or if they perhaps have a romantic interest. Your boss has not done anything inappropriate, but they are persistent in asking you out after work. You are concerned that it might affect the dynamics between you in the workplace. What do you do.

Okay, a couple of things. One, it might already have changed the dynamic, and there’s nothing you can do about it. If somebody is sweet on you, it will change how they behave toward you. That might be nice at first, but what about when they finally say something, and you reject them?

I’m ssuming here that you would reject them. Nothing in your question suggests that you are the slightest bit interested.

Second, I must admit I never wanted to have a relationship with anybody I worked with – I always wanted to keep the two separate. My work suit was my uniform, for that same reason. Work and home. I worked in a very male-dominated profession, so there was never really the opportunity, anyway. Plus, on the flip side, even though my wife and I have very different jobs, there is still common ground, because when you talk about work, what do you talk about? So-and-so is an asshole, right? I bet that happens in every job.

I did tend to socialise with workmates, but never anything romantic, and mostly men in any case.

Sorry I have nothing more to offer.

The Caramel Crunch (11 April 2020)

Over at Caramel (Learner at Love), CARAMEL has started a new prompt. I’d like to see her prompt do well, and I had some time today to write a post, so here we go…

The prompts are called the Caramel Crunch and so far are centered around a moral question. For your convenience I shall repeat her question.

You are in love and the person you have been courting for some time wants to marry you. Although you are very close, there is one main difference in your outlook. One of you believes in a Creator and wants to practice a particular faith. The other does not believe in a Creator and despises all religion. When the two of you talk about beliefs, emotions run high and generally the conversations have to be cut short because it can become hurtful. You realize this may cause challenges, despite the love you share.. What do you do?

This one becomes easy when you start to think about your children. Would either you or your partner want them brought up with your faith (or lack of)? Would either you or your partner be happy that the children would be brought up according to the other person’s faith?

Depending just how high emotions do actually run, I think this scenario makes the problem black or white.

Two people of different religions is not necessarily doomed, however. My wife and I were born into different religions, but since we’d both already rejected them, there was never a problem. My daughter was brought up in a secular manner and if she ever adopts a religion, it will be her choice. Which is exactly how I think it should be.

On the other hand, my cousin was (is?) Protestant Christian and she got together with a Muslim guy. They were together as boyfriend and girlfriend for ten years, all except … his parents did not know! He would not tell them he was seeing somebody outside of the Muslim faith. And for reasons I don’t know (or understand!), she put up with this.

After ten years, he asked her to marry him. Which, for her, entailed not only marrying the guy, but becoming a Muslim, as part of the deal. But she agreed. I attended the wedding, and just as far as being a wedding guest goes, this guy’s mosque were some of the most hospitable people I ever met.

My cousin was not religious, I don’t think. And obviously she had got together with this guy in the first place, and stayed with him all that time, so she must have thought his religion was acceptable. It became more of a problem for the relationship as this guy got more devout over the years. Tony Blair and George Dubya bear a large responsibility for that, I think – their wars created whole generations of Muslims who now have very hardline view of the West – I hope they will one day forgive us.

Anyway, long story short, the guy decided (!) that any offspring they had would have an Islamic education. Which, as far as he was concerned, involved either educating them at a dedicated Muslim school, or educating them in a British school, and supplementing this with three hours tuition in Islam, every evening, Monday to Friday, at the mosque.

I wouldn’t like to speculate what caused the split, but the marriage lasted just two years before they got divorced. Fortunately, my cousin was still childless, because that would have made the separation more complicated.

And these were two people for whom the issue of religion never even came up beforehand, let alone fighting about it!

The Caramel Crunch (4 April 2020)

Over at Caramel (Learner at Love), CARAMEL has started a new prompt. I’d like to see her prompt do well, and I had some time today to write a post, so here we go…

The prompts are called the Caramel Crunch and so far are centered around a moral question. For your convenience I shall repeat her question.

A blogger who has been reading your posts keeps on making rather acrid comments at the end of your posts. They seem to be increasingly critical and making fun of your character. You try to respond in good humour, but the blogger seems to continue with more sarcastic and cutting remarks. What do you do?

Does this actually happen on WordPress? I have found everybody on WordPress is immensely polite. Even where people pick up on something I wrote and disagree with it, it’s never been done done with any nastiness.

So, my first question is, Are you sure they’re being malevolent? I say this because some people have a weird sense of humour. I know if I post something jokily, before I publish I do try to remember to ask myself Could it be misinterpreted? Might they be offended? I have to say that the answer to these will depend on who I’m talking to. I’m more confident when I feel I know how somebody will react. So I might make a different comment to different people. But maybe sometimes the commenter will misjudge this?

I’m not saying that this is acceptable behaviour, but it would change my response. If I thought they were just being clumsy, I’d respond to the effect that their comment was inappropriate.

Okay, if I thought somebody was being malevolent, I’d block them, pure and simple. I’m not even sure what blocking means on WordPress, because I’ve never done it. I wouldn’t censor their comment, but I would reply to the effect that the comment was unacceptable, just so that other readers get the message.

The basic philosophy here is that blogging should be a 100% positive experience. 100% enjoyable. We don’t have to agree with each other, but we can at least disagree in a civilised manner. I don’t think blocking somebody is a particularly negative thing either, you’re simply making the point that you expect a better quality of debate. Let them go find some blogs at their own level.

The other thing here is that I think the old adage applies (I bet Fandango will quote this in his A-Z in a few days 🙂), that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. I try to live by that; sometimes I even succeed! But if I find a post that I disagree with, I’d like to think I could just walk on by, rather than start a conflict. I hope I do succeed in that, there have been one or two posts/comments, especially on diabetes, that I have concluded are bs, but I don’t think I ever said anything to that effect.

As I’ve already said I have never experienced this on WordPress, but I did on Facebook, which I’ve used off-and-on for more than 10 years. On Facebook, I resolved long ago to block nasty people, and, really, the platform is irrelevant here. I say again, it’s not the disagreement I have a problem with, it’s the nastiness. I’m a silly old duffer who thinks that we can at least communicate civilly with each other.

Now, Caramel, you gonna block me? 🤣

The Caramel Crunch (28 March 2020)

Over at Caramel (Learner at Love), CARAMEL has started a new prompt. I’d like to see her prompt do well, and I had some time today to write a post, so here we go…

The prompts are called the Caramel Crunch and so far are centered around a moral question. For your convenience I shall repeat her question.

You are spending time with a close friend (or perhaps someone you are courting) at a public venue – perhaps at a shop or eating in a restaurant. Your friend is unhappy about the service, but when expressing their complaint, they are very rude to a member of staff. What do you do?

Hmmm…tricky one.

It is definitely a negative thing. But I’m not sure about fatal.

The reason I think it might not be fatal is because it happened when I first met my wife. Similar. We’d ordered an afternoon tea, the waitress screwed up the order (which, being afternoon tea, was pretty straightforward), and my wife was less than kind. Even at the time, I didn’t like it, but I never said anything. Having said that, it was quite belittling but I wouldn’t have described it as very rude. We got over it and twenty years later, we’re still married. I know her well enough now to realise that what I saw was a one-off. And my wife does not know to this day how mad I was at her. Well, I guess she does now, if she reads this post 🙂.

So I guess the question is really is being rude to a waiter/waitress grounds to end something? In my ivory tower, I say yes. In practise, I said no.

Incidentally, my response to that situation would likely be just to be polite, point out the mistake so it can hopefully be rectified, to chalk it up to experience, but at the same time to remember it and probably not go there again.

If it were a friend? I’m sorry, I can’y really conceive of a friend behaving in such a way. Put the other way, if they behaved like that, they wouldn’t be a friend.

I guess this fits, Fandango’s FOWC for yesterday, which was “confession”. Sorry buddy, I didn’t see it and forgot about it, until I saw someone’s response this morning.