You may be right

…but I may be crazy *(Billy Joel).

Just yesterday, I had a good friend ask my opinion.

Before she asked, she prefaced her question with this, “I know what you’re going to say, but I’m asking your opinion anyways.”


She has a situation with her husband, who’s been working for several years towards a higher degree; he’s about to graduate and receive major accolades for all that hard work.  His parents have said they want to attend the ceremony and subsequent celebrations.  Here’s the rub: they’re not involved, with her, their kids, his life, … anything.  But. They’re his parents.  I understand why she feels as she does.  She has every reason to resent them because she’s  been the one who sacrificed so he could accomplish all that he did. Not them. But.  They’re his parents.  I understand her position, and believe me when I say there’s been enough water under this bridge to cause a flood.  But he wants them there. And. They’re his parents.

Her question to me:  Should I tell him I’m afraid they’ll make it all about them? That they’ll steal his thunder, and all his hard work. And the unspoken part: that them being there renders her invisible… again.

My response: “Are you telling him something he doesn’t already know?”

Her answer, “No.”

My next question: “Do you think that their being there lessens all you’ve done for him?”

Her answer, “No.”

My second to last question: “How does this help?”

Her answer, “I dunno.”

My last question, “Is there a possibility you have a need to say ‘I told you so’ ..later on?”

Her response, “Maybe.”

My words, “Suit yourself.”


We’ve all done it. We’ve all regretted it.  Next time, let’s t-h-i-n-k:
 T – Is it true?
H – Is it helpful?
I – Is it inspiring?
N – Is it necessary?
K – Is it kind?

There were times in my life that I had a huge need to be right, to get the last word in. I’m don’t do that much anymore .. it’s just too much darn work. And … the Jimmy-Cracked-Corn file is nearly full.


You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for
Turn out the light
Don’t try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right – Billy Joel

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, fear, Friendship, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Men, Opinion, Personal, Random, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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20 thoughts on “You may be right

  1. I think that’s excellent advice, MJ. Probably not what your friend wanted to hear though. Some of life’s situations are tough ones, that’s for sure!

    • Um, yes, probably not what she wanted to hear. We talked about it later, and she admitted it was good for her to just say it outloud. Even if she didn’t say it all to him, it was out .. and she was better for having talked about it. That’s what friends do, right?

      • Exactly! Sometimes it’s difficult to know just how much and what to say. True friends are those who know the right balance. (I have a feeling that you are one of those!)

      • … Learning to be 🙂 MJ

  2. Great feedback to your friend, MJ. Sounds like a bit of projection on the part of your friend. Yes, the parents may make it about themselves, but it sounds like she wants recognition for the sacrifice she’s made. If these disinterested parents are finally showing interest of any kind, how can one turn them away, just for having not shown it in the past? Gotta reward their good behavior, since it’s impossible to judge their motives. If you deny them a part in the graduation, that’s one SURE way they will stay uninvolved.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • I agree; I think it’s some of both — she wants and needs to be recognized and appreciated and she’d rather not share this special moment with 2 others whom she doesn’t like very much .. but I think she knows it’s his day and if he wants to include them, she knows how it’s going to go down.

      Oh it’s a tangled web we weave, right?

  3. You got it right. It’s not really her decision. It’s not her day. I loved your comment about the need to always be right. It struck home but like you, I found it too much work. There is something good about growing older, wrinkles be damned.

    • Kate, I have had similar thoughts…there IS something good about growing older. I LOVE being the age i am, and smile when I see/ hear my children now wrestling with some of the same issues I did @ their age.

    • Darn right, sister. I have let go of my prior need to fix everything for everyone. I know what I know, I can do what I can, but I no longer need to be the team donkey, carrying everyone else’s weights. And — if you ask my opinion (and I care about you) .. I’ll tell you .. honestly. If I don’t know you well, or I don’t much care for/know about the situation .. I might give a lighter less-committed response 🙂

  4. It’s the age-old battle between in-laws. As long as she keeps the focus on her hubby, where it belongs, things will work out just fine. I wish them all the best. You’re a good friend, MJ.

    • Thank you, Patti. I am a good friend. She’s a dear person, and a close friend, and someone I care enough to tell her what I really think. The thing is, she knew me well enough to know my answer before she asked 😉


  5. Oh, there was one summer when that song was played over and over and over in our house. Now it’s gonna be stuck in my head! LOL. That’s okay. Good song.

    I’m afraid I’m too often very much like your friend. I want to be right. I want to prove something to those who have offended me. It’s hard to sit back and silently do the right thing, especially when you just know that the offenders will have no idea how much you’re sacrificing to take the high road. But what your friend and I need to remember is that we won’t feel good about ourselves if we “fight” back. It’s just so hard to actually deal with these kinds of situations.

    • I understand; I have someone in my life like that who gallivants through, does pretty much nothing, gets all the credit and I have to grit my teeth and bite my lip when I’m near them. But here’s what I learned: that person doesn’t care, and I’m the one who pays for it. It’s just .. not worth it.

      That song is stuck in my head, too! And … I never really liked it all that much 🙂


  6. I wish you lived down the street from me so I could walk over to your house every day and have hot tea and talk about stuff.


  7. Been there….done that (what your friend did) Is it okay to voice frustrations verses trying to get someone to agree that your situation stinks? I honestly don’t know. What ends up happening is that I keep it bottled up, it brings me down and makes me miserable. For a “carefree type” I have trouble letting some things go. I just try to remove myself from the situation, person, issue as quickly and as professionally/kindly as possible. In some regards I’m darned if I do and darned if I don’t.

    • I think we all have, RR. I definitely understand where you’re coming from — I’d rather a friend just say, “I need to talk” – that’s my cue for “please listen, say nothing, be my friend.” Some things are easier to walk away from – other people’s issues being one of them 🙂

      Cheers! MJ

  8. Perfect response to your friend! I use the question, “How does this help?” ALL. THE. TIME! It is one of the best filters I have for determining if I should say or do whatever is bubbling up inside. Usually, the answer is that my knee-jerk response won’t help at all.

    Love your term “team donkey” in one of your replies! That’s exactly what I have been for most of my life…the self-appointed peace keeper, and mostly what that has achieved is that I internalize all the stress of family issues, etc. I am getting better at keeping my thoughts and my angst to myself…accepting and letting grace cover a lot of people and situations, myself included!

    Great advice to your friend from a wise woman! ~ Sheila

    • Thank you and yes, I’ve learned to unshackle the little donkey and send her on her way … Doesn’t mean it won’t happen again, but it’s happening less & less so I’ll count that as progress 🙂

      Bests to you!

  9. Pingback: Crows and Eagles | Emjayandthem's Blog

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