Tag Archive for: dividing

Harvey Brought Us Together; Now It Is Dividing Us

A psychotherapist told me recently how the storm that brought people together is now dividing us.

Taking the bait, I asked, “How so?”

“People who didn’t flood want to get back to their normal lives. People who flooded can’t.”


“The ones who didn’t flood just can’t fathom what it’s like for people who did. So they often say well-intentioned things that come off as insensitive.”

“Come in and make yourself right at home.”



So I asked friends who flooded. It’s true. Some want to scream inside even if they’re smiling on the outside.

One told me, “I belong to a community (that I never chose), of displaced, defeated, depressed people who have to figure out how to put their lives back together, both physically and emotionally.”

How would you react if you flooded and someone said to you…

“Don’t you get tired of only cooking with your microwave upstairs?”
A) “I love popcorn for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
B) “So come over and chop some fire wood for me.”
C) “It doesn’t get any better than Jimmy-Dean cuisine.”
D) “When I need variety, I bring my microwave downstairs.”

“Well, just think, you get to redecorate!”
A) “I hate decorating. I don’t like shopping. And I liked my home just the way it was.”
B) “Yes, I’m in luck. The second-hand shop is having a scratch-and-dent sale this weekend.”
C) “Unfortunately, at the moment, I have champaign taste on a beer budget.”
D) “I always aspired to that college-dorm-room look, but I’m going to have to settle for the deer-camp feel.”

“Without a kitchen, at least you don’t have to cook very much.”
A) “It’s convenient when you don’t have plates either.”
B) “We’ll just fly to New York for dinner tonight.”
C) “I needed to go on a diet anyway.”
D) “Whatatime I have at Whataburger!”

“You’re still living in your camper?”
A) “Yes, I turned down a weekend at Mar-a-lago so I could enjoy the freedom of the open driveway!”
B) “It’s roomier than a coffin.”
C) “My crew cab doesn’t have a shower.”
D) “Yes, we don’t have a choice. The raccoons have taken over the Port-o-let.”

“That was just ‘stuff.’ You are alive and you have your family.”
A) “I’ll trade you my weird cousin Izzy for some drywall.”
B) “True, but I could do with some matching shoes right about now.”
C) “Who needs hot water when you have each other?”
D) “Yes, living with four-people and a dog in a 276-square-foot camper has brought us closer together than ever.”

“Now you have a blank canvas…”
A) “…and an empty bank account.”
B) “If only I could afford the paint.”
C) “I always wanted to pay for my house a second time!”
D) “I’d look at the bright side, but all my Dale Carnegie books wound up in the dumpster.”

“How’s the house coming along?”
A) “They built the Empire State building in one year; why is my bathroom taking two?”
B) “Kind of like the Mueller investigation. No end in sight.”
C) “Great. I’m having an ATM installed by the front door.”
D) “I like paying top dollar for bargain basement service.”

“We just got back from (insert romantic destination here). You guys going anywhere?”
A) “About all I can afford is a wild weekend in Waller.”
B) “All my money is going into the house; we will not trek Everest this year.”
C) “Can you have a wild weekend in Waller?”
D) “I hear Waller has a good donut shop.”

“What can I do to help?”
A) “I can tell by your Gucci’s that that was a pro forma offer.”
B) “Mean it when you ask.”
C) “Start putting up some drywall.”
D) “Get the skunk out of the closet.”

“We redid our kitchen two years ago. What a nightmare! I know what you are going through!”
A) “I’m pretty sure the judge would call it justifiable homicide.”
B) “I look pretty good in orange jumpsuits.”
C) “You think they’ll give me time off for good behavior?”
D) “Where’s Al Queda when you really need them?”

Said with a wink and a smile. Really. If you heard yourself in any of the questions or responses, give yourself a perfect score. You are still a human being.

Posted by Bob Rehak, August 9, 2018

345 Days since Hurricane Harvey