When is the last time you did something you felt was so praise-worthy that you asked for the praise outright? My mom and I share this trait: After making what we feel is an above average meal, we can be heard saying, "This tastes pretty good. If I do say so myself." Yes. Well, we do say so ourselves because we are certain no one else is going to be heaping on the praise.
As well-documented here, my family gives me much to ponder- serving as my muse more often than not, as well as old-fashioned, live entertainment. This morning, as if it were some major culinary feat, the Big Man made slow oatmeal --you know--not in the microwave. For everyone and not just himself. Personally, I think this was the bigger cause for any celebration if there was going to be any celebrating. Over oatmeal. For whatever reason, he seemed to want something from the rest of us regarding this task. I heard him mutter, " I can't give my oatmeal away," as one child opted for toast. The coffee was poured and steaming in front of me, and I had yet to take a drink because I was enjoying slow oatmeal. He'd also made the coffee and was waiting for my reaction. So it made me wonder...is this over-praised kid's world creeping into the under-praised adult world? Are we all becoming needy? Looking to others for validation for the simplest tasks? Ok. I am the first to admit that I am not of those stoic quiet midwesterners just flinging out one good deed after the other without expecting something in return. I am a midwesterner. I like doing good deeds. I probably differ in that I don't mind if people know I have done something good. Plus, I just think it's good manners to say 'thank you' when someone does something for you. While I wanted to just, you know, let him stew in my reality for a bit, I did say thank you to the Big Man. Occasionally, we just have to put it out there. There can't be too much harm in asking for what we need and in turn, practicing good manners. Good manners are under-rated. As is the Big Man's slow oatmeal.