Monday, February 18, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake

Dear BHBs:
I recently did a favor to help a relative, spending several hours helping them out on something they had to write. I didn't mind doing it at all. I e-mailed it off to them and after a week have heard nothing back. Not anything saying they got it, or a thank you or anything. I wrote to them, asking if they at least got what I sent (and what I worked so hard on), and once again have heard nothing. Am I a mean person to feel annoyed that I didn't at least get a thanks for helping, even if they hated what I did?
Signed, Used (and Abused)?

Dear Used (and Abused):
We are reminded forcibly of the tale of Chloe the slave at the Myrtles Plantation. Chloe was a house servant purportedly forced into sexual relations with the master. But did the Master appreciate Chloe? Apparently not. He dumped her for another slave and had Chloe’s ear chopped off. That’s gratitude for you. Chloe began sporting a turban to hide her injury. Oh, but there’s more! Because she feared that she would be sent out of the house and made to work in the fields, and perhaps because she just wanted to be appreciated, she concocted a scheme to prove just how valuable a house servant she was. She baked a cake for the Master’s little girls and added a special secret ingredient--poisonous Oleander leaves. It seems Chloe may have intended to make the kiddies ill in order that she might nurse them back to health again (since she knew the remedy for the Oleander), thereby proving her worth as a house servant and finally being APPRECIATED! Oops. Too much Oleander. Bugger. The little girls and the Master’s wife died. Ouch. Chloe got lynched. The end. And to think, if only someone had treated Chloe with a little respect there may have been a slightly happier ending to the story. OK, maybe not that happy, since slavery totally sucks. Sounds to us like you are being treated in a servile fashion; however, unlike poor Chloe, you are free to do something about it. We suggest simply enough, that you do not volunteer your time or services to the ungrateful parties ever again. Period. Do not expect a “thank you” from them for your past efforts, just accept that you cannot force someone to have good manners--and let it go. And bake them a cake. Yes, a cake would be just the thing.

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