Thursday, August 28, 2014

Threads By: Karen Pilarski

In middle school I took a home economics class. The classroom was 1950's style for a late 80's course. A kitchenette with lime green tiles on the wall and frilly aprons. The teacher had to be a hundred years old. The sewing class was worst. It was near impossible to thread a needle to make the cheesy wall hanging.

Every time I grabbed a string of thread it slipped through my fingers. Using scissors, I would cut off the end of the tread. I even wet the ends to help keep the string straight.

I poked my sensitive thumb several times with the needle. Evidence of my ineptness was shown with a slight drip of blood running down my hand. I ripped out threads after each mistake. By the end of the semester I didn't have a well done wall hanging, I had a ripped apart piece of fabric with patches on it.

My girlfriend *Yvonne made me think of thread today. She was discussing a dating disaster that she narrowly averted. What I admire most about my friend is that she can read people easily. It is also an ability she doesn't get enough credit for.

A man she was seeing at first seemed flawless. Attractive, smart, athletic and hard working. He made a few sexist comments and she ended the relationship. Although I didn't know the whole story right off the bat.

I thought maybe she was over reacting. However when she filled me in, it was apparent the guy was a d-bag. She hit the nail on the head. Bang!

She was able to do something many women take years to do. She trusted her gut and heart and discovered what was this man's true agenda.

She was able to rip through the threads of lies and cover ups to find the ugly.

I kept the concept of thread in my mind throughout the day. Relationships (romantic, platonic, professional) are similar to thread, very fragile. Thread brings together soft material in a strategic way. The unity it once produced can be ripped to shreds in a matter of seconds.

Strange how thread can work for and against people.

I give people the benefit of the doubt. I strive to be supportive, protective and loyal. Often the red flags are there but I fail to acknowledge them. I have heard ignorance is bliss, it isn't. Not when you know you are being duped.

Besides domestic duties, I loathe lying and making excuses for poor behavior. A person acts like a bitch or an asshole and supporters quickly jump to the defense. Yet, to keep the relationship pieced together, it is patched over with excuses. "He/she is stressed out" or "He/she is going through a hard time." In one way or another, we all have shit going on.

What makes their frustrations more important than ours? Why is their struggles put above our own? I'm guilty of it myself. When I am fond of someone I will not let someone smear their reputation. Only when the true ugliness shows, I realize how wrong I was to stand in front of the firing squad. I wonder why I was willing to hang on by a thread to salvage the relationship.

I realize everyone has Yvonne's gift of seeing a person's true self. The decision has to be made if we are willing to put up promise of alterations or give up threading that needle once and for all.