Why are People the Way They Are?

David McCarroll
3 min readJun 27, 2023
Photo by mari lezhava on Unsplash

I’m still stunned by how people can act sometimes, and this time by people, I mean my Dad. Last night after finishing eating our habitual and obligatory dinner together, I made the announcement that I had a long weekend coming up because the 4th of July falls on a Tuesday, and I have both Friday and Monday off in addition to Tuesday. I asked the boys what they thought if we went back to the Oregon coast like we did last summer. After they understood where we were planning on going, Trulie and I say to my Dad, “And we would like to invite you along as well.” We didn’t even get the whole sentence out before he throws up his hands and in a loud firm voice says, “Pass.” He then continued on, it’s going to be hot this weekend and we have to water the flowers and the garden. I started to say that I knew that, I was going to hire someone, but again he just flat-out refused. There was no, “Thanks for inviting me, but I’d rather just stay home,” it was just a flat-out NO. As if I had offered him dirt to eat instead of chocolate cake. He went on to say he’d rather do something when my sister comes out in August, which is still the plan, but apparently, he can only do one or the other?!

To say the least, I was floored. I didn’t expect some grandiose acceptance or rejection, but I thought it would be nice. I thought it would give him a chance to get out of the house. A chance to do something other than watch TV. I can even accept that he didn’t or doesn’t want to go, but he didn’t have to be so forceful about how he said “no”. I doubt very seriously I will invite him to anything else in the future.

Anyway, I have a lot of thoughts about this, but they really just come down to me complaining. I believe everyone has their agency. They can make choices for themselves. I certainly cannot control the choices he makes, and while I may not like the choice, nothing good comes from me complaining about it. I’m also not willing to go talk to him about it. Perhaps there’s a reason he was so forceful and adamant about not going, but in my own mind that’s just an excuse for what I consider to be rude behavior, and frankly, I don’t want to hear it. So, this coming weekend, we, the boys, Trulie and I, will go to the Oregon coast, and I am sure we will have a lovely time. I’m sure afterward he’ll regret that he didn’t go, and he’ll continue to be lonely and frustrated, that seems to be his lot in life right now, and he doesn’t seem to want to change it.

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David McCarroll

Just a guy trying to figure life out (still) and hoping I don’t offend too many people along the way.