We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore

Ah, the 80s in all of its absurd pageantry. What a laugh riot that was. This isn’t to diminish the acoustic contributions of Twisted Sister, rather laugh at our zeal in exploration. There comes a point in discovery when you are so eager to do everything that you may blush about it years later. I never thought Zubaz were a great idea. Ever.

The theme is quite old, a rebellion of new desires versus the established norms. Every generation wants a voice. Everyone wants to be noticed. This isn’t new at all. America was established because a handful of people said, “we’re not going to take it anymore.” Peter Finch in Network gave us the unforgettable line, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” There has, and always will be, a breaking point in the tolerance of others and other beliefs.

This leads me to think about all of my past relationships. I’m not an old timer here, but old enough to consider myself a veteran of the arena. I’ve met all sorts of people in many situations. Sometimes people would frustrate me to the point of misanthropy, but these days I think I’ve been able to adopt a philosophy of de todo ha de haber en el mundo, or “there must be all types in the world.”

Norman Douglas once said, “to find a friend one must close one eye — to keep him, two.” I find this statement horribly misleading and the gateway to being a doormat. If there was ever a situation where I had to look the other way, it better be something small like picking one’s nose in public or breaking wind on the ride home.

There’s definitely a line between accepting people for their faults and overlooking toxic behavior. If people want to benefit from my company, which is indeed a perk (I’ll explain later), then they’re not going to use me for their own gain. That’s where I draw the line, even if it is merely saying an insult to elevate your self-worth. That’s it; you’re done.

As previously mentioned, there are perks to having good relations with me. I’m one of the few that move my friends. I’ve moved roughly 15 friends on 20 different occasions in my lifetime, and it probably won’t stop there. I’ve been known to jump start dead car batteries, pick up dinner tabs, donate goods, taxi friends to and fro, and other things people need an extra hand with. This isn’t behavior to be taken for granted. Unfortunately, there are some people who do and others that will go beyond that.

I can say in my experience that I have never, not even once, regretted walking away from a bad friendship or relationship. There are plenty of toxic people just waiting to steal your time and use your good nature. There is absolutely no need to be a doormat to them. As a friend of mine once said, “people are either flowers or weeds, and you should only water the flowers.”

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9 thoughts on “We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore

  1. laurasmess says:

    This post was unexpectedly deep, Nate… considering that you opened with a perfect example of 1980’s pageantry! By the way, I never knew that Zubaz existed until today. Wow. Over here we call similarly offensive trousers by the name ‘happy pants’; my husband’s mother made her three boys a few pairs during their childhood (we were children of the 1980’s) and the unavoidable photographic evidence is now stuff of legend. I’m pretty sure I’ll show them to our children one day…!
    Regarding personal relationships. I’ve unfortunately been exposed to a few toxic relationships in my time. On most occasions, it took me a while to actually realize (or more accurately, ‘accept the realization’) and even longer to actually separate myself in a self-protective fashion. Aaron and I are now happily married with a group of eccentric but loyal and generous friend, and we both agree that our bad relationship experiences have helped us to develop a better appreciation of the good, lasting ones. You definitely sound like a good friend Nate. Metaphorical high five to not being a ‘doormat’!!

    • Those pants are certainly happy, aren’t they? Ha!

      I was born in ’79, which means I’m on the cusp of every generational definition out there. Originally, I was Gen X then Gen Y then back to Gen X then a Millennial then a Child of the 80’s then… it has happened so often I dub 1979 as “The Year No One Wanted.” It was beneficial in a way, though, as I was able to see the end of the Space Age and dawn of the Information Age. I knew what it was like to draft my book reports on notebook paper (writer’s cramp!) and then becoming fully word processed. I remember how rotary dials were then replaced with cell phones. I remember how the floor model Zenith CRT TV was then replace with flat-screen technology. It’s that kind of contrast that would give anyone perspective on technological advancement.

      There was only one time I had to admit I was in a toxic relationship with someone. It was nothing more than a friendship, but she is highly charismatic. It was a hard charm to break, and it hurt like none other when I did walk away but it was the healthiest thing I could ever do. She even got money out of me, and the sad part was I knew I was never going to get paid back. By that time I knew she was deceitful, but I was more than hooked and couldn’t stop myself. Never again.

      It’s encouraging to hear of your success with your husband. I agree bad relationships are an experience. They do tend to make you appreciate the genuine ones.

      • laurasmess says:

        The difficult thing about toxic relationships, or human relationships in general, is that people are so darn complex. When severing a relationship, you lose the good and the bad, as you did with your friend above. I am so sorry that it was such a deceptive charm. Argh, I know similar people. Their deception erodes a portion of your trust and innocence that can never be regained.
        Re the generations, very funny that you’re on the cusp. I think they’ve now decided that 1980 is the cut-off for Gen Y but I’m sure that will change, as it has before! My birthday is on the cusp of libra and virgo… not that I’m a star sign believer, but I just find it amusing as I must have multiple personalities, according to some 😉

  2. rockettattoo says:

    wow this is so appropriate for me right now. I left a job I loved (notice this is past tense) because the environment was getting to oppressive and toxic. Just by reading your blog it helped me realize I took a stand today and in my own way said: “I’m not going to take it any more”. BTW don’t worry (not like you would) I have another job I was offered waiting to take its place. Thanks for the post

    • I’m glad it was meaningful for you. When I was in Charlotte, I ran into a bona fide hostile workplace. I tried to cooperate, even working 12-hour days to “catch up” to everyone else’s set of expectations. However, when the tax manager said, “men can’t do a fucking thing,” I knew it was time to go. Nothing I did was ever “good” or “fast” enough for them. After reviewing some of the work of my “superiors,” I knew it was more misandry than actual performance that was getting me cornered. Nice money, but never worth the abuse.

      It was at the worst possible time, too. It was during the 2008/2009 bank meltdown. There were absolutely no jobs that could pay my rent. It was either food service and go to the ghetto, or relocate back to my hometown for a chance at a better job. I don’t think I’ll be able to completely forgive that firm for how they operated, but I don’t regret quitting. Oh, no. Not one bit.

  3. Well said. I’m not sure that house moving for friends is a sign of undying friendship. It suggests to me that you’re trying to move them a long way away for a more long distance sort of relationship:)

    • All of them have been local. The town’s only a handful of kilometers wide. It’s more apartment to house, basement to apartment, apartment to apartment in the same city. When they move cross-country I abstain, because that would cost me quite a bit more in time and money. I may load up their lorry for the journey, but I can’t be expected to cross several states to unload it.

      If they were someone I would like to have a longer distance relationship with, I wouldn’t have even bothered with the details. I may do a little happy dance, but that’s about all the energy I’ll exert over people not worth my time.

  4. *****searching my 80s archives for some Twisted Sister*************

    Okay, I’m back.

    I don’t know how old you are, Nate, but I was almost 40 before I realized that being loyal in the face of toxic relationships was harmful. I don’t know how much energy I threw away on bad friends. I work a lot harder now to try to keep myself in check. I have a lot of friends, but I’ve realized how to gauge what many of them want, and I don’t invest more than that, even when I may want to. It’s a good lesson to learn, and I wish I’d learned it in my teens or early twenties.

    And, I’ll remember you the next time we move. Ha.

    • I am 34, Andra. I kick and I stre-e-e-etch and I kick.

      The genesis of this post came from a friend mentioning a name I hadn’t heard in years. We didn’t get along the greatest, and I had to finally put my foot down. She was verbally abusive on multiple occasions and I gave her an ultimatum of “either we work on making our friendship stronger, or I have to go.” She told me she was not comfortable with those options, and I told her that she unwittingly made her decision. With that, another “friend” decided to take sides and we no longer speak either. He isn’t that great of a person, either. This made me assess all of the people I’ve had to leave behind, and I realized that I made the right choice in every single case. I may not wish ill upon them, but I certainly haven’t missed their company. It makes me feel better about my prudence.

      By the way, the two stipulations on moving I make are a) I need to be in the area and b) I have no prior engagements. 😉 Otherwise, why not?

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