Hating on the Haters

Dolly says, “If you see someone without a smile, give them yours.” I’m going to keep doing that, and yes, I will always love her. Hugs, y’all!

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

Hate is a very strong word. In fact, I absolutely hate it. I’ve actually been told by two-thirds of my immediate family members that they actually hate something about me, and interestingly enough, it’s been the exact same thing. I’d like to tell you that it’s water off of a duck’s back – those hateful words – but it’s hurtful to me and frankly downright unnecessary, especially given the genesis of the actual act they so despise.

Now you would think this thing that my people hate so much would be an absolutely despicable trait that I embody or an un-Christian-like characteristic that I employ on the daily. And it actually is something I make an effort to do each and every day, but frankly I don’t see it as a vile and evil act. In fact, it’s something that I believe makes people feel valued, makes them feel good about themselves, and yes, I admit at times, gets me to where I need to be. But in the end, this deplorable character flaw gives us both – me and the person I share it with – something that we need even though we may not realize it at the time: a friend, a smile, a pleasant exchange, a lift, a bright spot in our days.

This hateful thing is the reason I know the kind gentleman at the drive thru at McDonald’s, the reason I know ladies at my favorite stores, the reason I call by name the waiters and bus boys at the restaurants I frequent, the reason I know the folks at the post office. I know their names, I inquire about their families, their well-being, and yes, I hug their necks – COVID be damned! I’m that girl. I am interested in them. I make friends. I care. I can travel to a hotel, and in less than a few hours have friends on staff. They are amazing resources and frankly, lots of fun. And yes, we become Facebook friends. It’s a thing. It’s what I do, and especially over the past couple of years, it’s become more important than ever, that human touch, that minute to take a minute to visit, that minute to care.

It doesn’t cost a thing to be kind. To tell your girl at the bank that she is having an amazing hair day. To let a sis you are passing in the parking lot know that her outfit is fierce. To see a woman in a lobby tearful, stop a minute and inquire if she needs a friend or a tissue or a hug. To see a momma struggle with a baby, a toddler and a handful of bags and lend a helping hand. It just costs time. Time, I have learned, is our greatest gift, and the easiest and best thing to share.

I visit with the receptionist at the doctor’s office. She’s super sweet. I talk at length with the hostess at the restaurant – lovely young lady – working and going to school. I go to the same cashier at the grocery store in Colorado – sweetest man named Jim – and if I go to the self check-out, it really hurts his feelings. I can’t have that. His wife doesn’t get out much, and I need to check on her. I really don’t know any strangers; I only know potential friends. I like it like that.

Now I’ll be the first to confess I have days when my natural pleasant, gregarious, humorous self is hiding in the back forty, and it takes a virtual cattle prod to get me out of the thicket and adjust my attitude. Ouiser Boudreaux has nothing on me at times, but I recall that even the Steel Magnolia Southern squall came around to kindness toward her arch enemy. “I’m pleasant. Damn it! I saw Drum Eatenton this morning at the Piggly Wiggly, and I smiled at the son of a bitch ‘fore I couldn’t help myself,” Quiser boasted. Heck, if Quiser can rise above, so can I.

So, the next time I’m out and about, if I don’t see you, holler at me and say hello, if I don’t do it first! And remember, give and give freely of your time, because time – that minute – is truly our greatest gift to share. A minute to visit, a minute to inquire, a minute to be genuinely interested in someone’s day is kind. And giving that minute of your time is the very definition of kindness whether it annoys your people or not.

See ya’ll next week – on the porch!

Patti Parish-Kaminski

Follow Patti Parish-Kaminski on Facebook at facebook.com/patti.parishkaminski and on Instagram at instagram.com/ontheporchwithpatti/.