Friday Fodder – Suspicion

Once upon a time…

“Grandma, how long until mummy and daddy come?” asked Wendy over apple pie and ice cream. It was almost 8:00 PM. On any other night, she and her younger brother, Noah, would be settling down to a bedtime story. Today, Grandma picked up Wendy from school instead of their mother. At Grandma’s house, they get to eat ice cream and have lollies after dinner, which Noah enjoyed without much else going through his little head. Wendy, though, felt a little uneasy being unexpectedly out of her routine.

“Oh they will be a while yet, my dear. They are getting their Christmas shopping out of the way” said Grandma, unwrapping a little chocolate Santa and popping it in her mouth. “Your cousins will be staying over for the holidays, and mummy and daddy want everything ready for when they arrive.”

“But Santa will bring the presents on Christmas Eve,” said Wendy.

“Santa only delivers gifts to good girls and boys,” said Grandma. “Grown-ups have to get gifts from each other. And nobody wants Uncle Larry snooping around while his gift is being wrapped.”

“I want PAW Patrol. PAW Patrol!” said Noah with a mouth full of chocolate, momentarily punching the air in front of him.

“When are you going to go Christmas shopping, Grandma?” asked Wendy.

“Oh, Grandma hasn’t done that in a very long time,” said Grandma.

“Why not?” asked Wendy. Grandma gathered the empty dinner plates from the table. As she placed them in the sink, she took one last look outside the window behind it. The backyard, normally visible through the window was darkened by the evening sky, yet she could clearly make out the dew glistening on the grass and the old wooden swing. However, she most certainly could not make out the little red sleigh riding just below the cloud line.

Mrs. Claus leaned over the edge of the sleigh next to Jangles, a young elf with a scar above his left eye. She stared through the scope of her DXL-5 Havok with a little North Pole magic to allow her to see Grandma’s house from six thousand feet above the ground.

“I can’t believe I’m actually going through with this,” said Mrs. Claus, pulling the rifle to her side. “If I shoot Sharon Adams, it would be the naughtiest thing I’ve ever done.”

“We could break into her house and chop her to bits,” said Jangles, picking his teeth with a chef’s knife.

“No no no – that wouldn’t do! The crimson would clash with my outfit. That’s not my style, Jangles. How you can stomach such a mess is beyond me.” She repositioned the rifle over the edge of the sleigh.

“How is the beef with this Sharon lady personal if you don’t want to settle it in a personal manner?” asked Jangles.

“Oh, it’s personal, all right,” said Mrs. Claus. “It’s been personal for thirty-five years.”

Grandma settled into her recliner with Noah resting on her lap, his little eyelids heavy and only moments away from sleep. Wendy leaned against the side of the leather couch and gazed at her grandmother with anticipation of another fascinating tale from the past.

“Your father was four or five at the time,” said Grandma. “He was such a rowdy boy that I was sure he’d be on Santa’s naughty list that year. It would break my heart if all he got for Christmas was a lump of coal. So, that evening, I left him at my sister’s house and went to the shopping mall to find a Transformers toy.”

Wendy looked crestfallen. “Is that why Mummy and Daddy are taking so long? Because I’m on the naughty list and they have to buy something for me?”

“Oh, heaven’s no,” said Grandma. “Mummy and Daddy are taking so long because grown-ups are hard to shop for. I know for a fact you’re on the nice list.”

“Thirty-five years ago,” said Mrs. Claus, who now gave Jangles her full attention.  “Nickolas and I went to a mall in this town. It was the beginning of December, and we wanted to see what the kids were into in advance so we would be prepared for the big day. There was no internet in the North Pole at the time, so we had to physically walk into toy shops to see what was selling. Then we would come home and make a list for you elves.”

“That evening,” said Grandma, “was stressful. Just making my way to the toy shop was a nightmare. The mall was so busy, and chaotic. People were trampling over each other with a dozen bags in their arms. It wasn’t even Christmas Eve yet! I saw two fistfights, one over a television – and believe me, TVs weren’t nearly as fancy back then as they are now – and another over a toaster.”

Wendy giggled. “Who would fight over a toaster?”

“Exactly,” Grandma began to laugh, but refrained so as not to wake Noah, who had already dropped off to sleep. “Anyhow, I managed to swoop in and grab the last Transformers toy from the shelf before three other mothers could get to it. It was the fire truck one, too, which was supposed to be the main one. Everyone was so cranky and grabby. I clutched the toy to my chest and made my way to the checkout counter.”

“As Nickolas and I arrived at the toy shop,” said Mrs. Claus, “he noticed that Sharon Adams dropped her Transformers action figure. Of course, he noticed her – he couldn’t miss her! With her big, curly red hair and her tiny waist and so much makeup, she looked like a clown elf. I remember how she was always on the naughty list until she was eleven, and if Nickolas made a naughty list for adults she would most certainly be on that one too. Although, I have to admit she did work hard as a mother. Anyway, Nickolas helped her to pick it up.”

“Someone bumped into me and it fell out of my arms,” said Grandma. A shocked expression came over Wendy. “I went to pick it up as fast as I could, but some dirty old man tried to steal it. He was disgusting. His white beard was huge and all matted and his gut poked out of his t-shirt. He smelled like Brandy pudding – Yuck! I didn’t want him to get my little boy’s toy. So, guess what I did.”

“And guess what that hussy did,” said Mrs. Claus.

“What?” asked wide-eyed Wendy.”

“As soon as he handed her the action figure,” said Mrs. Claus, “she kissed him on the cheek and whispered something in his ear before racing off. When he turned to look at me, and he was clearly blushing! How could that bonehead let some tramp kiss him in front of his wife of several hundred years?” Jangles gave her a smirk. “We stopped counting after 600.”

“As soon as he grabbed the Transformers toy,” said Grandma, “I headbutted him before he could run away and I snatched it out of his hands.”

“What’s a headbutt?” asked Wendy.

“It’s when you hit someone really hard in the face with your forehead. I got that greedy old man right in the teeth. I even have the scar to prove it.” Grandma leaned over carefully so as to not disturb Noah to show Wendy the tiny horizontal scar in the middle of her forehead. “He covered his mouth, but I know I got him right in the clapper, so I ran away as fast as I could.”

“Wow!” said Wendy.

“I was actually a bit shaken up by the whole thing, though,” said Grandma. “Everyone was fighting over material things that get forgotten in no time. Your father loved that Transformer toy, but after a month he was begging for an entirely different toy. I started to feel really remorseful like I had hurt that old man for no reason. I made a promise to myself right then and there to never shop for Christmas gifts again. No more will I fight people I don’t know for something the people I love won’t treasure forever.”

“Is that why you make Christmas cakes every year?”  asked Wendy

“That’s right!” said Grandma. “There is one hanging up now. It’s cheaper, not meant to last forever, and always made with love. Plus, everybody loves cake.”

Wendy laughed. “That’s why Daddy’s so fat.”

“That should have been the end of it,” said Mrs. Claus, “but two weeks ago, as Nickolas was double-checking his lists, I caught him watching Sharon Adams while she was sleeping. Nine times I caught him watching her! He doesn’t even deliver gifts to old prunes like her. I think he’s going to try to make a move on her Christmas Eve while making his rounds. Well, ol’ Margaret Claus will have none of that.” She nodded toward her rifle. “And I’ve been keeping tabs on Sharon, too. Whenever her grandchildren get picked up from her house by their parents, Sharon always meets them by the door. Tonight should be no different. That will be my moment to strike.”

“Are you sure that he’s really going to do that?” asked Jangles.

“100 percent,” said Mrs. Claus. “And how dare you question me like that. Back in your box, elf.”

“I have never killed off of a hunch or a gut feeling before,” said Jangles, his gaze becoming lost in the night sky. “I made sure to dig up concrete evidence to make sure the bastard gets what he deserves. Like when I caught Hans using my sunflower pen for twenty minutes when he said he’d only need it for one. Or when Twinkie admitted that he lied to my face when he said he hated my choo-choo train designs when he actually really liked them. My therapist taught me that it’s important to talk out your feelings with the people who upset you, so you can come to a peaceful resolution together. Maybe you should do that before you – wait, is that her?”

Mrs. Claus rushed to position her sniper scope over the edge of the sleigh. There she was: Sharon Adams. Standing in the doorway of her humble home, waving goodbye to her son and his wife as they carried off their sleepy children away, after a late-night of Christmas shopping.

Jangles offered to do the deed for Mrs. Claus but Margaret Claus told him in no uncertain terms that her hands were steady enough.

“To find out if she really loved me, I hooked her up to a lie detector. And just as I suspected, my machine was broken.”

― Dark Jar Tin Zoo

Moral of the Story:

Every occurrence that triggers your suspicions with another person is a chance to see if you can come up with a solution that promotes greater transparency. Often, suspicious jealousy stems from the desire to be “favoured” in some respect and the fear that you are not. Without open transparency in place, and the emotional intelligence to address your concerns, it can fuel the flames of suspicion even more. Here’s the thing: suspicious jealousy is not based on the actual deeds of your partner, but merely on your state of mind.

Suspicion has a dynamic of expansion and is often a self-fulfilling prophecy. The initial seeds of doubt about a partner’s fidelity give rise to a larger scope of doubts and uncertainties. The person’s suspicion becomes the prism through which the world receives its meaning. Suspicion colours the person’s picture of reality and supplies a permanent device for interpreting the other person’s behaviour. The person will start to constantly test their partner. Every type of behaviour, every action or word, starts to be interpreted as a sign of something else, an indicator that supports and exacerbates the sense of distrust. Thus, in an infinite vicious circle, the more reasons that the person finds for jealousy, the more solid the suspicion becomes, and the easier it is to find more such apparent reasons. These thoughts are irrational most of the time, and they are painful at all times. Where there is suspicious jealousy, there is no love.

“When rigidity and suspicion take over, joy dies out.”

― Nick Montgomery

Affirmation: Difficult situations lead to Divine solutions.

I am sure of myself and I trust the process. Everything is happening in Divine timing. I am well prepared for any situation. My emotional pain shows me what needs to change. I am committed to believing that the best is yet to come so I face any challenge with wisdom and clarity. I am strong, independent, and intelligent. I radiate with confidence and self-esteem. I am loved, respected, and appreciated by my partner. I make good choices. I feel safe and supported in my relationship. Trusting my partner is easy for me. The universe brings me everything I need. I am completely aligned with my highest calling. I trust that everything happens for a reason, even in hard times. I embrace my story because it makes me unique. I am so grateful for what I have as I trust the process. I trust myself and I know I am worth it.

“Distrust is like a vicious fire that keeps going and going, even put out, it will reignite itself, devouring the good with the bad, and still feeding on empty.”

― Anthony Liccione


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Suzanne Cunningham

(HBIC) Creative Director
Pure Element 5