Saturday Evening Post

We have all had time to button our pants back, so grab a cuppa. Snuggle into a rocker. This has been a fun and productive week. The schedule stood on its head. Clyde is curious, as always. Let’s talk.


This week has seen more manuscripts make their way to the final layout. The ISBN are going to be attached in the next week. Then, we will be ready for proofing!

The forum has been hopping. There is a holiday project in the WIP room, new replies in the Gratitude thread and a rumor someone is going to put in a playpen… for all those times silliness is the only solution.

The main site will go live quietly. The M3 Readers are welcome to come, register, scroll around. The bookstore is on track to be ready. Everyone pass a thought this way for no more software crashes. I am currently on the fourth (4!) piece of software. I am the reigning alpha queen. I can break anything you send to beta (or stable) as though I was on an alpha team.

Too bad the pay is not commensurate with the jewels.


I knew when I posted Bad it would garner many comments. You are amazing. In what is bordering on our longest conversation on M3, traffic remains high to ingest the topic and the comments. All of it makes me want to buy an island.

No, not to get away. To build the world we discussed. No matter how many ways I say it, you are the single most enlightened, intelligent, compassionate and reasoned audience anywhere.

Analyze This.

Another post which got everyone talking, even those who were not sure what they wanted to say, was But Not. There were many interpretations of it. The SIB held quite a few requests to have me reveal what Mantra had in mind when this one hit the notebook.

Considering I attempted five other verbs for the last line, I always came back to “break”. It really was romantic.

Utter Minx

Through the stanzas, the theme was: What everyone else expects is not what Mantra was after. Regardless of the amount of work we pour into being what we expect others want of us, it is emotionally easier than being ourselves. Over and over, Mantra chanted what she wanted was not what the accepted version of “ideal” was.

She harkened back to the Strength & Weakness series. She was not looking for a breadwinner, a savior, a fixer, a seducer, a guide. Instead, she wanted Mate to let it go and be Mate by embracing the opposite.

In the end, she asked for reciprocity: to be allowed to be herself without the trappings of expectations; to break the cycle of going through the motions; to be free. Overall, it was very romantic.

M3 Changes

My apologies to the colorblind in the crowd, but the changes around here are cosmetically obvious to everyone else. Green and red are my colors… as if you could not tell by the posts, my hair and the color scheme. I am behind on updating the Alumni Club, the Map and no, that is all. There have been updates to the Green Room (more than 15), Updates Only, The Office (everyone should have read these…yes, you), Widowed Blog Hop and About Momma.

The poll is going to be a casualty. As much as I have relied on the polls to do various things around here, they are an invasive piece of software which has come to the end of its usability. I will be looking into other alternatives, but for now, it is going to fall by the wayside. More on this at the end.

The sharing bar at the bottom is one of my favorite new pieces. I am aware of the issue with the Pinterest sharing tools. From all the information I could gather, it is a problem between the core WP software driving this flying circus and Pinterest. No clue when it will be fixed, but the solutions I know so far are cookie based: Empty your cookies from the last hour, and it should work. Meh. If you are on Pinterest, bug them to create a portable button.

The Love! button is fixed. I have deleted and destroyed all evidence of what was causing it to malfunction. Press it when you like something. If you come back and read later and like it (again, some more, still), press it again. I will never know. The top posts displayed in the right side bar are new and based on your showing Love!

Right Turn, Clyde!

So, Clyde wants to talk about apples. No, not the apples from the last SEP: The kind which never fall far from the tree. Generally, those are the rotten kind.

When we talk about stellar characteristics we hold in high regard, we are unlikely to credit the parents with the instillation and nurturing of said characteristics. As shameful as that is, let’s move on to something different.

Talk about horrible habits and bad traits: Fingers jab and thumbs jerk toward the parents. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Now, Ralph Waldo Emerson meant something different in 1839, but H.W. Thompson did not.

Enter Ape

Right turn, Clyde.

Clyde wants to know why we credit children’s (even the grown ones) bad behavior to the parents. Although bad behavior can be learned anywhere, we should do the responsible thing and be totally honest: More often than not, it is apt.

We have discussed the original social circle; It consists of the nuclear family. (You need to know the real definition. We will wait.) During our identity formation, it is the most powerful of circles. Just as ripples lose effect as they broaden, so do social circles.

Looking at the most egregious of behaviors, we find they are most often witnessed by the child and aped. (No offense taken by Clyde.) Ergo, Johnson’s application is correct: The apple never falls far from the tree.

Barring psychopathic and sociopathic behaviors, the majority of bad behavior can be traced directly back to the parents. Before you start decrying your children’s bad behavior as not my fault, let’s have a few examples.


The authoritative parent is the one who produces the largest herd of memes. This parent is quick to employ Do as I say, not as I do.  Child learns to do as Parent says in front of Parent and what Parent does behind Parent’s back.

A good example of this is children of alcoholic/addicted parents. While they profess no drinking/drugs to the children, in an effort to relieve themselves of the weight of parental responsibility and return to their self-serving behavior, children mimic what they see. Child learns Parent can do this and still be a Parent. Child sees no reason not to master the skill on the sly, serving self just as Parent does.


The drama family has theatre in their blood. From a young age, Child sees Parent panic at e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Each disappointment is a catastrophe. Every illness wound hangnail produces a near-death experience. Every award is the only one ever to be bestowed and the last of its kind because there is no one else on the planet, ad infinitum, will ever be as laudable or worthy.

By the time Child becomes Teen, the two are competing for the limelight. Teen leaves Parent’s home to engage Mate with all the same drama and trauma. To the outside onlooker, it is an obvious inheritance. Neither of them are likely to see it, much less admit it.


Passive-aggressive behavior is learned. Some apples fall across the fence, but many of them land directly at the foot of the tree. Child will use these tactics where they will be most effective, namely against peers and siblings. When they are gainfully employed in adulthood, they are most successful in fields where deception is an asset. For the record: Passive-aggressive behavior is a form of abuse.

Many other behaviors are directly passed from Parent to Child: co-dependence, physical abuse, theft, lying, lack of personal responsibility. Often one or the other will see the behavior in the other as bad. Call it Blindness.

Break the Cycle

Not growing up to be your parent is something all of us attempt to do. It is the human trait responsible for the cyclical nature of our history. While separate, distinct identity can be readily achieved when we apply ourselves to learning why our parents do things a certain way, many forego the effort in favor of being better at it than Parent.

Clyde thinks the apple has a worm through it.

Until next time,

Red Signature


Name a trait in your family you are grateful not to have “inherited”. What is one way to ensure we are not passing down bad behavior to our children? 

If a Survey Monkey is installed on M3, would you use it? Have you entered to win copies of Christine’s books? Did you have a good turkey day?

When you tweet or +1 this post, please use the hashtags #parenting and #psychology.

(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. I want to reblog this cause you look so dang cute. Thankfully, I don’t think I adopted any of my families bad behavior (had I maybe I would be criminal).

    Have to get back and fix my profile (again). But for now back to layout and fence fixing.
    Valentine Logar recently posted..All that is GoodMy Profile

  2. Hi Red… I think I am grateful for a little of the creative urge, from one side, and the roll with the flow from the other side. And your specific line “For the record: Passive-aggressive behavior is a form of abuse.” could not have been any better for whipped cream topping on a piece/letter to a passive-aggressive that I finally got tired of giving the benefit of the doubt to. And the heading for that paragraph really caught my eye. MEAN they are. I only recently came to a full understanding of what P/A meant. I was sooooo naive!!!
    Just regular food in our home for me and Mama and Mimi, Thursday, but I got to smell the delicious scents of my downstairs neighbor’s cooking fest and their leftovers today. (Grrrrrrrrrr goes my tummy!!)
    Yes on the monkey and yes on all the other things people have mentioned they’re trying to get out of their system…

    much love and big hugs…


    PS you were nice to let your sister have the tiaras!
    BuddhaKat recently posted..Funny how Fractals Feel if/when Freshly Pressed…My Profile

    • LOL! She righteously has one a dozen of her own!

      I see so many different PA behaviors it is revolting. I am so glad you stood up to the person being that way.

      We do barbecue for Christmas. I get the whole “regular food” thing. I have far too many leftovers now! <3 & {HUGZ} Thank you for the monkey vote!

  3. I have enjoyed reading this one Red, actually I always find your postings of an excellent calibre so keep up the great work that you are doing 🙂

    I really like the colour scheme here, a very subtle green with red is definitely pleasing so don’t be changing it again or else? 😉

    Now naming a trait that my family have, which luckily I don’t adhere to is their incredibly shallow take on what is right and wrong in some instances, of course I won’t spell it out but let me just say that I am certainly not of the same mould and I am pleased about that 🙂

    Have a wonderful rest of evening Red 🙂
    I might even get back into the forum one of
    these evenings, well eventually 🙂

    Andro xxx

    • Glad to see you tonight, Andro. Truly, it is a trait you do not have. Rightly so. It is particularly ill to be judgmental.

      And you have a wonderful morning, Andro 🙂

      • Thank you for your kind thoughts Red 🙂

        Hey I have just been experimenting with your colours and I rather like the results on my Space, of course I had not realised how many postings I would have to edit in the process being that the font was mainly white but now I have changed a few to red I have something a tad different and it looks okay I think? 🙂 Well maybe? lmao

        I hope that your evening is a wicked one 🙂

        Andro xxx

  4. I believe I’ve said it once before for sure, but this is the post I have most enjoyed.

    Love this: Clyde thinks the apple has a worm through it.
    Tess Kann recently posted..It’s Done!My Profile

    • His commentary has become a priceless addition to the SEP. I am glad you liked this one. The right turn was rather sharp this week 😉

  5. Wow, is that you in the picture! You are so beautiful! And with a crown, too… glad I stopped by today. I liked the paragraph about Mean… I’ve had some unpleasant PA experiences lately. It’s heartbreaking when an individual has so many wonderful qualities, but cannot seem to recognize their own dysfunction, even when they believe they’ve done lots of personal “work.” And trying to be the mirror… sometimes only makes the person angry.
    Anyway, glad you are well, the blog is well. And red and green! You should come to NM, where just about every restaurant offers that choice — red or green. Referring to chile, of course… 😉

    • I like them red and green. *grins* The hotter the better. Glad you stopped by, Laura. Yes, that is me in the crown.

      One thing which never flies with me is the “Look at how much work I have done!” While the effort may be laudable, to celebrate it is merely rewarding mediocrity or worse behavior. Almost fixed is not ever good enough for any situation. 😉


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