C’mon, there are probably better ways to describe it but you know what I mean.
It’s the germs that people with bad luck or awful situations have. It’s the aversion that the ‘lucky’ or the ‘healthy’ or ‘functional’ have towards those who are in bad places.
I’ve experienced this with mental health – apparently nobody likes depressives (which makes recovery even more difficult) and one place thought that all I needed was prayer, more prayer and possibly an exorcism to remove my spirit of wilfully not obeying the Lord’s wish that I worship him gladly. I tell you, gladness is not on a depressive’s mind.
What about widows? Ah, they’re a special category. Providing that they are ‘morally pure’, then they are deserving of pity, maybe charity if the situation merits it, and also should be kept at the back of the cupboard so nobody can see them. They’re not meant to celebrate anything or even show an occasional flash of humour.
Most of all, widows shouldn’t count on being spoken to at all. No Christmas cards (even when the widow sends a card to you), no phone calls during the holiday season (it’s time they got over it, you know), and don’t even think of asking them to come to supper or enjoy a coffee with you. It’s not as if they’ll notice you having fun with others and pointedly not even inviting the widow.
Bitter? Not quite. I’ve found out who is my friend, who can’t be trusted, and who thinks I will contaminate them. In a strange way, that is one of the best gifts of Christmas.