Being a People Pleaser Can Get You into Trouble

[WARNING: This blog post contains a visual image which some readers may find offensive and which could cause nightmares. Elderly people, young children and readers with weak constitutions may wish to avoid proceeding further.]

There is something seriously wrong with me. No, I’m not talking about my moderate OCD. Or my phobia of snakes. Or that I listen to Gregorian Chants – even though each one sounds exactly the same.

No, I have an even deeper personality flaw: I’m a chronic people pleaser. Throughout my life, I’ve been hard-wired to want to please people and have sometimes gone to ridiculous lengths not to disappoint them. A few cases in point (all of these are true):

In high school, the class I hated the most was Latin. But my teacher, Mr. Vandenberg, really liked having me as a student. So, at the end of the year, he asked if I’d sign up for Latin 2. I swore I would NEVER take Latin 2. But I caved, because I did not want to disappoint him – which is why I also took Latin 3 the year after that.

In college, I always gave my roommate the bed closest to the window. In grad school, I offered my apartment mate the nicer bedroom. Not because I was a great guy, but because I wanted them to like me.

Once when I was a sales manager my team had a record-breaking quarter. I took them out to celebrate. The reps only wanted one thing from me at the party: to watch me smoke a fat eight-inch cigar they’d bought just for the occasion. I don’t smoke. I’d never smoked anything stronger than a candy cigarette before that moment. But they all were cheering me on, and well, I didn’t want to disappoint. So, I puffed, gasped and choked my way through the entire cigar. It was torture. And they loved that I was a good sport. Then I excused myself to the bathroom so I could throw up.

A few years later, I was boarding a commercial jetliner on a business trip with co-workers. One of them urged me to walk into the cockpit, hold out my boarding pass and tell the pilot with a straight face, “I believe you’re in my seat.” So, I did exactly as he asked. Thankfully, I was not arrested. But that may explain why I’m now on the terrorist watch list.

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  • but do notice that Tim draws the line of decency at uncovering his feet... he can't bare to bare without…
    Mark
  • Published On Mar. 26, 2017 by TEJ
  • My Confession to My Readers

    Confession to my readersLately, I’ve been carrying a heavy burden that I need to get off my chest. There are many things I feel guilty about, and I just have to come clean about them to my loyal readers – all eleven of you. In the spirit of Stephen Colbert’s Midnight Confessions, I have decided to make my own public confessions to all who care to listen.

    [NOTE: Before reading my heartfelt confessions below, please turn up the volume of your speakers, then click on this link, skip past the commercial and wait about four seconds, after which you’ll hear some appropriate background confessional music. Then return to this page to read my confessions. God bless you, my friend.] 

    Dear reader,

    Sometimes I can be a bit lazy. Like when my wife asks me to clean the sheets of the guest bedroom after our most recent visitors have left, I will say “Absolutely, honey” but then I’ll simply pull the bed covers over the sheets without changing them.

    Sometimes I will tell my neighbor that his lawn looks great, when secretly, deep down in my heart, I know it doesn’t. It really needs to be weeded.

    I’m not proud of this, but recently, when I played golf with my buddies, I told the guy keeping score that I got an 9 on the par-3 eleventh hole, when really I got a 10.

    When donating food to the homeless, there have been times when instead of putting the Girl Scout Thin Mints cookies in the donation bag, I’ll put in graham crackers. Because I don’t particularly care for graham crackers – unless they’re the cinnamon ones, in which case I’ll probably keep them, too.

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    • Tim, no need to confess your deflated golf score.......after two seasons of playing golf with you I have always added…
      Ken Neilson
  • Published On Mar. 17, 2017 by TEJ
  • My Sinkin’ Lincoln

    When it comes to car ownership, I’m a Hyundai kind of guy. I’ve always purchased safe, practical, mid-priced, somewhat boring cars. I’d never driven anything remotely top-end in my life. But on a recent Florida vacation, the rental company gave me a free upgrade to a luxury car. Not just any luxury car. Oh no. I’m talking an elite LINCOLN!

    What a sweet ride it was. Smooth, gorgeous lines, spacious leather seats, rocket ship acceleration, and more dashboard buttons than you’d find in the cockpit of a 747. There was enough room in the trunk to easily stow both of our kids – not that I would seriously consider such a thing – unless they were acting horribly, of course. It was the most incredible driving experience of my life.

    Everything was going along swimmingly. My wife was speaking to me for a change. The weather was 75 degrees and sunny every day. And people I drove past were giving me that “what makes you think you’re better than me?” look. Answer: “I’m driving a Lincoln – You’re driving a Ford Fiesta.”

    Maybe I was getting a little too full of myself driving around with that smug expression on my face. I guess it was just a matter of time before God weighed in to teach me a lesson in humility. And that happened right after I went to church. Technically I wasn’t there for a church service. That just happened to be where a classical guitar concert was taking place. The church parking lot was full – of Chevys and Priuses and such. But not a single Lincoln – until I made my grand entrance, with my smokin’ sunglasses. I was seriously stylin’ in my Linc. (I’ll bet that’s what cool dudes call their Lincolns. But I’m just guessin’.)

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    • Matthew McConaughey doesn't mention anything about this in his Lincoln commercials, although he does fall backward into a swimming pool…
      Drew Fisher
  • Published On Mar. 05, 2017 by TEJ
  • The Very Happy Story of Snowball and MooMoo

    This is the story of Snowball and MooMoo, two very, very happy kittens. At first, they weren’t very happy at all. No, they were scared. And cold – because they were born one November morning in a forest with nobody to love them. Their mommy had left them and never returned. Poor kitties. So, they were all alone and wishing that someone would take them home and play with them.

    Then something wonderful happened. A nice lady found them and took them to a building called an animal shelter, where lots of other lonely kittens were living. They made lots of new friends. And they were fed and cleaned and had a good time. But they spent most of their time in a small metal room called a cage. They did not like living in a cage one bit.

    A couple weeks went by and then another wonderful thing happened. A nice man came to the shelter and offered to foster them for a few weeks until they found a permanent home. And in less time than it takes a kitty to crush a mouse’s skull, they had a new home with the nice man. He named them Snowball and MooMoo – because one was snowy white, while the other was black and white, just like a Holstein cow. The nice man was very good at coming up with lame kitty cat names.

    At first, Snowball and MooMoo stayed in a small room with a tile floor and a sink. There was this big box filled with what looked like sand, only rougher. It looked kind of scary, so they made sure to always avoid it. When they had to go poop or pee, they just went in a corner or in the sink – anywhere other than that scary box with the scratchy sand.

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    • Moo Moo and Snowball are lucky cats! Except for the other cats making fun of their names. ;)
      Tony
  • Published On Feb. 19, 2017 by TEJ
  • Top Stories in The News – Alternative Facts Edition

    [The following news summary has been approved by the White House Ministry of Clarifying Communications and Truthful Facts, the greatest, most truthlike communications ministry in American history.] 

    Contrary to the endless lies propagated by fake news sources like CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CBS, NBC, ABC, NPR, and 500 other America-hating, fake media sources, the news lately has been amazingly great. Here’s a summary of the incredibly positive top stories from the past week.

    President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) to override the Circuit Court of Appeals’ unanimous verdict, which had falsely claimed that his Muslim travel ban was a Muslim travel ban and thus unconstitutional and illegal. Trump’s EO officially bans all federal courts that disagree with any of his EOs because his awesome presidential constitutional authority is bigger than the courts’.

    President Trump had an amazingly successful first phone call with Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. In a seven-minute call originally scheduled for an hour, the Queen gushed about her adoration for America’s new president and pledged her full submission, we mean, full cooperation to ensure strong diplomatic relations. And if the Danish ambassador says Trump called the Queen a b*tch when she refused to let Trump deport all our Muslims to Denmark, the ambassador’s a lying, whining loser whose wife is a 4 at best.

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    • Gee Tim, I thought this was supposed to be a comedy blog, not real news?!
      Lee
  • Published On Feb. 12, 2017 by TEJ
  • A Valentine Story – Love and Romance in Aisle 7

    Author’s note: Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I thought I would celebrate with a true story about love and romance. Sometimes you never know when or where love will find you, as this story proves. Their names have been changed out of respect for their privacy but the story is exactly what happened. – tej]

    “Pardon me, sir. But do you play bridge?” That’s how it all started. A simple question, posed by a middle-aged woman to a complete stranger. To be more specific, Beth was emboldened to ask this question in Aisle 7 of the grocery store, somewhere between the shampoo section and men’s shaving cream.

    “Um, well, uh, yeah, I do”, stammered the elderly man, confused by the query and not sure why this mysterious woman was accosting him in the middle of a store. His name was Ed – a kindly fellow, well into his 80s, with a warm, jovial smile. He was just minding his own business. But Beth was not finished. “My mother plays bridge. Would you like to meet my mother sometime?”

    More stammering. More confusion. Mixed with an extra helping of embarrassment. Ed was caught in a deer-in-the-headlights moment. He had no idea what the correct answer was to this audacious inquiry. So, being the gentleman that he was, and not wanting to offend this lady in Aisle 7, he replied, in his noticeably southern drawl, “I dunno. Well, um, I guess that would be ahhhlrahhht.”

    Apparently by “sometime,” Beth meant NOW. Because before Ed had time to ask her name, she was on the phone with her mom. “Mom, meet Ed. Ed, meet my mom, Margaret.” And then she handed the phone to Ed and walked away. Suddenly there were now two deer caught in the headlights – and neither of them knew what to say. Margaret wanted to say, “Beth, why are you trying to embarrass me? Hang up this phone this instant!” But Margaret was raised to be polite and instead told Ed, “What a pleasure it is to make your acquaintance,” hoping this awkward situation would be over quickly, never to be discussed again.

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    • Right On Tim! emotional and tear jerking for sure. Happy Valentines Day.
      Janice Strong
  • Published On Feb. 04, 2017 by TEJ
  • Signs My Daughter Loves Me

    signs-my-daughter-loves-me-cartoonIf you’re a parent like me – or even if you’re a parent who’s not like me – at some point you’ve probably asked yourself, “Why on earth did I ever have kids?” In my case, I blame my wife.

    For years, I found that same question popping into my head – roughly every four minutes – as I would endure one battle after another with my rebellious younger daughter for household supremacy. I fondly recall that satisfying period when I was in charge and my word was law. But then she turned two.

    Parenting is exhausting, with long stretches during which you wonder if your children will ever show you a glimmer of respect or affection – and by “long stretches” I mean from age two to whatever age they currently are. If you’re feeling anxious that perhaps your child doesn’t love you, despite all the hard work and sacrifices you’ve made, it’s understandable. But there is hope she’ll get through her awkward, narcissistic phase, and the day will come when she shows you her devotion. Admittedly, when I say “there is hope”, I mean in the way that there’s hope my Seattle Mariners may someday make it to the World Series, or how astronomers hope someday they may find intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.

    The signs are obvious if you just know where to look. Here’s how I know my daughter loves me:

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    • Tim, you're a master at hyperbole, they can't help but love you. They show you with their gaze that melts…
      Paul Burgess
  • Published On Jan. 29, 2017 by TEJ
  • WARNING: You may already be exposed to T.R.U.M.P. Disorder

    Over the past 18 months a previously unknown but highly dangerous psychiatric disorder has spread across the entire United States. It is now considered by medical experts to be our nation’s most nefarious mental health problem. This malady’s scientific name is Tolerance of Racist, Unbalanced, Misogynistic Predators Disorder. But it’s more commonly known by its acronym, T.R.U.M.P. 

    People exposed to T.R.U.M.P. lose the ability to maintain clear, rational thinking and are unable to tell fake news from real. Scientists have discovered that T.R.U.M.P. tends to target less educated and lower income individuals. Blue collar workers concentrated in white, rural communities seem to be particularly vulnerable to this disorder.

    One of the most insidious aspects of this thus-far incurable condition is that most people who have contracted it are oblivious to just how dangerous T.R.U.M.P. is to their safety and economic well-being. And the number of people afflicted has risen alarmingly in the past few months.

    Warning signs you may already be exposed to T.R.U.M.P.

    If you enjoy reading conspiracy theory rants on social media about Mexicans and Muslims ruining America, you may have been exposed to T.R.U.M.P. Interaction with fake news sites like Breitbart and PatriotNation.com correlate highly with contraction of this mental illness. If you have no problem with the leader of our nation grabbing women by the genitals or walking into dressing rooms of beauty pageants to ogle young, semi-nude female contestants, you may have a particularly noxious case. If you believe in the concept of “alternative facts”, consult a psychiatrist immediately.

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    • There are many forms of the disorder and it scares me how widespread it is. Or is it just more…
      Janice Strong
  • Published On Jan. 23, 2017 by TEJ
  • My Treasure Trove Revealed on Antiques Roadshow

    Antiques - trunkI’m the proud owner of an extensive collection of priceless one-of-a-kind heirlooms, some of which I’ve owned since early childhood. Recently I decided to find out what they were worth. No doubt hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, when I heard that Antiques Roadshow was coming to Seattle, I knew this was my chance to determine conclusively just how valuable my rare compilation of artifacts was. The following is a transcript of my conversation with the appraiser on Antiques Roadshow.

    Antiques Roadshow (ARS): Welcome to another episode of Antiques Roadshow. Good afternoon, sir. What do we have here?

    Tim: Love your show. Big fan. By the way, I recently wrote this book called YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LI-

    ARS: We really don’t have time for you to shamelessly plug your book.

    Tim: Why not? After all, this is my humor blog.

    ARS: Pardon me? Okay, what is it you have to show me, sir?

    Tim: I have this rare coin my father gave to me when I was five years old. I think it might be ancient Mesopotamian, probably from the 5th century BC. It appears to be in really good condition. What would you say it’s worth?

    ARS: Well, sir. I agree this coin is in excellent condition. However, on closer inspection, it appears that it does not date quite as far back as the 5th century before Christ. I would date it, instead, to sometime around 1960. It appears to be a New York City subway token. Notice here, where it reads “Good for one fare” – in plain English.

    Tim: Well, that’s disappointing. Okay, well, how about this item, then? I think it might be a rare impressionist painting. I can’t really make out what it’s supposed to be about. But my mom had it posted on our kitchen wall when I was very young. It looks to me it could be an early Monet or maybe a Van Gogh. Do you recognize the artist?

    ARS: Hmmm, I’m sorry to say, I don’t, sir. But look here on the back – there appears to be some sort of signature. I glean the letters “T-I-M-M-Y” scrawled in reddish orange crayon. Does that name mean anything to you?

    Tim: That’s funny. That’s my name.

    ARS: Intriguing. You don’t think by any chance this might be one of your childhood finger paintings, do you? Perhaps from when you were, say, two or three years old?

    Tim: Hah! I had not thought of that. But how can you be so sure it’s not something by one of the early Impressionists? Read More…


    • I've often wondered, Tim, what happens to the "out-takes" from episodes of Antiques Roadshow. Now I know. My greatest disappointment…
      Drew Fisher
  • Published On Jan. 15, 2017 by TEJ
  • My Family’s Christmas Miracle

    christmas-miracle-tree-in-hand

    Once upon a time there was a humble family man named Tim. Tim loved the holiday season more than any other time of year – all the traditional songs, twinkling lights, frosted gingerbread cookies – but most of all, seeing the magic of Christmas in his kids’ eyes. Yes, Tim was blessed with two wonderful daughters, Rachel and Emily. He remembered so many wonderful Christmases from their youth with fondness.

    However, in recent years, as his girls grew older and more independent, Tim sensed that the holiday spirit was slipping away from their Christmas gatherings. Indeed, this might be the last year that the entire family would be together for the holiday as both girls were embarking on careers in far-away cities. So, Tim made up his mind. He was going to bring back the magic of Christmas one last time!

    The holidays were rapidly approaching. Emily arrived home first. Tim was so excited to see his younger daughter. After all, he’d not seen her in six full moons. Tim had a wonderfully festive plan for just the two of them. They would hunt down the perfect tree, a majestic tribute to Father Christmas. Then they’d decorate it with shimmering ornaments and glittering tinsel. But Emily was jet-lagged from her long flight home from China and went straight to bed – for the next two days. So much for that inspiration. Oh, Tannen-bomb, thought Tim.

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    • That tale choked me up Tim.... Real chokes of sadness and tears of emotion - glad it worked out well…
      Janice Strong
  • Published On Dec. 31, 2016 by TEJ