Q: What Do Apathy & Butter Have In Common? A: They Spread Easily

Rainy days do not get me down.  No sir.  So of course, today as the rain poured, I decided to take the dog for a walk that prompted another odd, strained, and failed attempt at  expanding the very limited mind of my step-daughter.  I understand that some minds stand taut and unflinching despite the best, most well-intentioned efforts because like addiction, the recipient must be willing and open to accept the help.  No doubt I’ve been down this road before with my step-daughter…but I have always been a firm believer in offering (at the very least) options that unbeknownst to the recipient, may help them find their own way.  Once again I found myself in the position of talking to myself as neither my step-daughter nor her mother are excellent conversationalists within earshot of each other.  Neither one is willing to reveal each other’s true feelings for fear of some strange, intangible judgment or rejection that I can’t truly understand.  So basically, I begin talking to myself so I can break the silence and indirectly offer up some helpful hints on avenues my step-daughter could take.  My step-daughter insists that she successfully completed a certification in phlebotomy, but I haven’t seen very much follow-up or follow-through past her initial half-hearted attendance in the program.  I had heard that she did well on the tests, but I can neither confirm or deny that as I haven’t seen much evidence of it.  Nevertheless, she says she has the certification, but has failed to land a job due to the bad economy. Again, I allow her this because she needs to hold onto an excuse to justify her failure to deliver any results. 

Enter Apathy.  This is what obliterates all the senses when desperation and youthful shortcomings prevail in a life that has not yet begun.  This is what I see when I look at my step-daughter:  all talk, no action.  Not even a bit of action.  Not even an inkling of action.  Not a breath of it in anything that she does.  What’s most disappointing is her lack of interest in anything that doesn’t involve…what exactly?  I don’t know.  She doesn’t know.  All that there is apathy. 

To prove my point, here’s a day in the life of my step-daughter:

Get up at noon.  Maybe.  Brush her teeth.  Maybe.  If she doesn’t today, no worries.  There’s always tomorrow.  She checks her emails, her texts, her online profiles, etc.  She has a very active online life.  She listens to music.  She hums to herself.  She forwards her resume to one place and waits weeks for a response.  If they call, she may call them back.   For the most part though, she expects them to do the calling…and the chasing.  She eats a lot of food…if there is any around.  She walks her boyfriend to work and is there to meet him when he’s done.  She goes with her mom to barbecues and babysits her boyfriend’s kids for extra money a lot.  She watches tv and comments on several webpages, but she rarely does anything out of the ordinary.  Maybe she drinks, maybe she hangs out with friends…but most of the time, she’s at someone else’s home doing a whole lot of nothing.

The saddest part is that she is not alone.  A great many young people her age–in their twenties–find themselves in this same predicament.  They victimize themselves and recite a laundry-list of obstacles that prevent them from succeeding or accomplishing anything.  The world becomes a massive, impenetrable hurdle.  The worst aspect of doing this is that over time, they start to believe their own hype and their hopes and dreams follow accordingly. 

A Typical Conversation With My Step-Daughter Will Go Like This:

Me-“What do you want to do?”

SD-“What do you mean?”

Me-“…with your life?  Have you decided–”


Me-“Okay, okay…”

SD-“Something related to the health field.”

Me-“Did you try going online to see if there’s any volunteer services or charity organizations where your expertise is needed?  Maybe you could learn how to do something that you didn’t think you’d like and then…”

SD-“I don’t wanna do that.”

Me-“Okay.  How about trying to get your foot in the door in local hospitals?”

SD-“I did that already!”

Me-“Yeah, but did you look into being a candy-striper or trying to see if your phlebotomy certification can be useful somewhere?”

SD-“I’m not an idiot!  Why does everybody think I’m an idiot!  It’s not what I want to do!”

Me-“I know.  But maybe you can enter through the back-door.  It’s just to get your foot in the door…”

SD-“I’m not you!  I am nothing like you!  Stop trying to tell me what to do…”

Me-“What’s two plus two?”


Me-“What’s two plus two?”


Me-“What’s one plus one plus one plus one?”


Me-“There are many solutions to a problem.  I’m just trying to get you to open up and discover your own solution.”

SD shrugs. 

<End Scene>

But I know that my step-daughter will not amount to anything so long as she’s closed-minded.  She has not made any attempts to learn anything new or introduce herself to any alternate points-of-view.  I want to believe that someday she’ll come out of this but I really don’t think so.  I hope and pray I’m wrong, but I gotta give it up.

Apathetic is Pathetic; but for some people that’s all there is.


About Lisa Perez

Lisa M. Perez is a published poet, editor, copywriter, public speaker and artist. The co-creator of the first ever ArtSpace in Jersey City, member of IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists), and administrator for an online Mail Art group, Lisa supports the arts and advocates for creativity. Her successful, Art Journal and "Notes from my Brain" series are ongoing projects that evolve with the artist. In addition to being an active blogger since 2005, Lisa scripts and edits copy for various online articles and videos. In September 2017, she was a guest-speaker and virtually chaired a YOGA Recovery meeting. In her spare time, Lisa studies, reads, and creates while maintaining a day job in a STEM field and being a full-time fur-mommy to her shih-tzu, Cher.
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