Freedom and the Controlling People | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

Freedom and the Controlling People | Mark’s Remarks

By on July 11, 2018 at 9:30 am

I once knew an older couple who seemed to be very nice.  Both of them worked in the community and were members of the church. By all appearances, they were a solid couple.

When I was young, I couldn’t help but notice that the wife and their grown children were sort of “sour-pusses,” if you will.

Yes, I said they were nice, but they were all very shy, serious folks. They didn’t seem happy to me at all and I wasn’t the only one to feel that way. Even when I visited my hometown and would run into them, the wife would seem so sad.

“Well, Mark Tullis, I haven’t seen you for years,” she said to me once. She may have been happy to see me, but her face didn’t show it. I guess some folks are like that.

The father, on the other hand, was larger than life. He was friendly, always smiling, personable and dependable.  When you ran into him you were always greeted with a warm welcome. He was a gentleman, helping his wife out of the car. You had a feeling he was old-fashioned; you know, one of those guys who lived the man role and expected everyone else to do their part. He provided for his family and took care of things. But if he was around, he was the center.  And I think most people liked him. I did.

With people like this, you are always surprised if you hear anything negative. I mean, things seem to be going well for them and even though most members of the family seem serious and even sad, you question why and surmise that they are just that type of people.

A few years ago a large party was given for the couple’s wedding anniversary, hosted by their children. The meal and gathering was put together by a local caterer who ran a business out of her rustic farmhouse and barn. It was a wonderful setting, with the renovated barn and house decked out with tables and all the trimmings, topped off by a sumptuous smorgasbord. When you scheduled such an event, you paid for each person attending.

At the end of the night, the friendly patriarch of the family approached the owner and inquired about the price. This is when things got ugly. He balked at the price and even though the owner of the place was an acquaintance, even friend of the couple, the father refused to pay the asking price.

This, as you may guess, became a problem.

When I heard the story, I was amazed such an upstanding community member and deacon of a church would act in such a way, and it just goes to show that you can’t put your stock in people. Now, he may have had good reasons for doing what he did, but the bottom line is fairness. It seemed money was more important than paying for the hard work of the caterer. The story still makes me shake my head. He was 100 percent wrong, in my opinion.

A few months later, the man died suddenly. It was then people began to learn what had really gone on in their house for all those years: a very controlling man who wanted to tell his wife and kids how and when to make every little move.

He would go grocery shopping with his wife to make sure she spent exactly the right amount and he wouldn’t let her buy certain things. Every move she made, every move the kids made, was controlled, closely scrutinized and often criticized. It must have been a terrible way to live. No wonder they were all sour-pusses.

It sounds like I’m gossiping here, but the story was well-known and told by family and those people who heard the story were amazed and surprised. You never know what’s going on with others. I feel like the story needs to be told, if for nothing else than the lesson learned.

But I will tell you there is a certain freedom now. I’m sure the man is missed, but I’m also sure there is relief knowing every little thing isn’t being watched. They aren’t being bossed around every second of the day. Imagine being that controlled all the time and how wonderful it would feel to be on your own, able to make your own decisions.

I’m sure we all know controlling people who feel as though they have to tell others what to do and how to do it all the time. I’d be interested to know why they do it. I’d be interested to know where they came from and what made them the people they are today.

I’d be interested to know if they ever realize what they do to the people around them.

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