Tuesday, August 31, 2010

(43-35) A Gift Horse Tale

Today I looked a gift horse in the mouth and thoughtfully turned it away.  Now you have to know that with an opening line like that; this is going to be one of those rare cases where I have to be unexplicit; and I do apologize.  Since I need to be discreet, I can't tell you who the gift horse was or what it was offering; but suffice it to say, that as is typical of a gift horse; it presented something that we REALLY needed; but for the sake of sanity and morality we couldn't accept.  Vague, Vague, Vague; I know and I hate it.  I am typically The Queen of FULL DISCLOSURE.  No one has EVER accused me of being short on details and in fact; yes I know, sometimes I say much too much - but not this time.

So, why am I teasing you like this?  You know the answer to that.  (Say it with me,) "It's for the GREATER GOOD."  Even though I have to be unspecific; today was a turning point for me and even in generalities; this is a story that I want to share.

When it comes to a gift horse, it seems that the endowment always arrives at an opportune time and most often there is some question about the benefaction and whether or not to accept it.  Remember, this is a gift horse and NOT just a gift.    "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth"  originated back in the day when horses were frequently given as gifts.  As you can tell a horse's age by looking in its mouth; the proverb encourages you not to do so, because it would be in poor taste; as it would seem that you were questioning the integrity of the gift giver.    Not looking a gift horse in the mouth connotes to me that you should just take what's being offered and not question it; but the truth is that there are consequences for our actions and sometimes all that glitters isn't gold.  I find that people often encourage you NOT to look a gift horse in the mouth; and to accept what's presented to you; but for those of us who believe in personal accountability, I think there are certain times when it would be remiss not to do so.  To quote Freud, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar ;" and I believe that's true; but then again; sometimes it's not.

So we've covered a proverb, an idiom and a quote; let's head up hill... The offer that we received today was very unexpected.  It came from someone that Luis and I have tried to distance our family from; and although most people would have jumped at this opportunity; it was one that could also have had serious repercussions for us.
When I first heard from the individual that I've been referring to; Luis was at work and I was caught off guard.  Things happened very quickly, and as gift horses can be; it was extremely persuasive, and very persistent.  I discussed the situation at great length with my devoted, friend Rachel K who is very familiar with this gift horse and the problems it has caused for me (in particular) in the past; and she was able to provide me with a great deal of clarity.  Rachel's advice and wise words were invaluable today and after we took EVERYTHING into consideration; Luis and I decided that it was best for us to keep our distance from this person and stay true to our beliefs.  Luis called the gift horse and declined the "gift" because sometimes there are very high costs for what a gift horse bestows and we were not willing to pay the price.

Now I know that this is probably the most confusing story that I've ever told, (and that's saying something;) and I assure you that I was not trying to be difficult, but to present a real life quandary in it's most basic terms.  You may have to read it again, OK, and again, before it truly makes sense to you; and I hope at some point it does; because it was a very important day for me.  I stood my ground and it was liberating.
Till next time...


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I actually followed along....and after we met and chatted...sadly...I think I know who this is... sorry for the stress in your life... I hope all is better soon....and can't wait to see you and Joni soon! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Joni Parker said...

I followed too...it's a good reminder that the "grass is always greener" is NOT necessarily true since you can't see how many weeds the other yard has!! (I just thought of that..).. I love how you just share your heart with us... it's refreshing.