There are so many things that I won’t do again because I’ve learned that they aren’t for me or that specific types of situations really aren’t going to get me the results I would want. But the beautiful part about it all is that I can just live it in my imagination, where, if I don’t like the outcome, I can ponder up an alternative or two or three all while sitting at my desk at work, taking in even more fuel for my dream world.
I looked at the list on facebook of the 60 or so individuals (out of over 500) who indicated that they were actually going to the reunion and thought to myself, “most of those people aren’t worth seeing for the $65 ticket fee.” I just finished my MBA, 65 bucks is a lot of cash for me until I get my act together. Also, I can see what people look like and what they are up to on facebook.
But most importantly (and this is so high school, I love it) the cool people who were supposed to plan the reunion had cool things going on in their lives and so they were unable to plan the reunion. This left the planning to the highest bidder.
Well… so, well, you know, I didn’t go to uncool people’s parties in high school, so why would I pay to go to a party ten years later that was planned by those same uncool people?
Usually when I come across someone who holds a place in my mind, a whole wealth of memories flood into my mind screen. They just keep flashing and reminding me of all the different attitudes towards the person I have taken.
I imagine the same thing about me is going off in their head. Suddenly I find that the conversation has overtones of previously unspoken attitudes. “Does he really realize that I didn’t like him way back then?” I ask myself because all of a sudden the topics of choice all have a common theme. We are all of a sudden talking about people we’ve both lately come across people from the past that we didn’t like.
“Odd how the conversation went in this direction,” I continue thinking to myself, feeling a little exposed. It continues to the point where we discover how we actually have the same reasoning and methodology for not liking general people.
I find it strange talking to people who I don’t like about the details of not liking people. It is kind of a mind trip, but the situation goes on and now we have actually found something in common. The confusion sets in because now, I have something in common with a person I don’t like… does that mean that I kinda do like his personality after all? I don’t know, but I’m definitely intrigued.
There is something in writing that I can find in no human being. It is the ability to express myself as needed, as often as I need to. Socializing requires me to be too much of an actress. Too many social situations are governed by behaviors that I, for the longest time, believe were simply the way things had to be done. It is not that these social rules are too strict or that I have a different way of approaching situations… it is that I do not get much out of them. They are not productive in ways that I need them to be in order to feel happy and refreshed after a social encounter.
I find the best example in conversation repeats. People (myself included) get uncomfortable when they hear that same story or example told by the same person, over and over again. We all do it, so why is it that none of us allow each other to do it. There is a totally obvious social behavior that people exhibit when they’ve heard what you are saying before (actually there are a few, some nicer than others) but those behaviors are not the point. The point is that the bigger the impression something made on you, the more often you feel the need to express it. Like wearing the same shirt a few times in the same week because you like the design, the way it fits, or how soft it is…someone is sure to notice you wore that recently. Whether or not they choose to comment is irrelevant, it is the fact that we notice eachother’s repeats and are disturbed by it.
A better example is conversation…I need to tell/rethink some of the same stories because they made a huge impression on me and I do not want to see that look on other people’s face when I have once again found a relevant reason to bring up a certain subject. It is on my mind…more so, most likely, than most people who are in front of my eyes.
I guess it depends on if the people are conversing for the sake of presenting themselves to society or for the sake of interacting with the people around them… those types of points of view make all the difference.
For an eighth grade project, I had to build a miniature bridge out of glue and toothpicks with a boy in my science class. Of course we waited until the day before the project was due to complete most of the work, so as you can imagine, I was in the boy’s large garage for quite a long time after school that day getting the project finished.
I wasn’t prepared for the long haul, so when his mother came home around 8pm with a whole bag full of sandwiches, I salivated at the thought of eating one.
As she walked by us, his mother said something to the boy in another language with a nod in my direction.
“Oh good!” I though, “She’s asking him to offer me one.”
I was right! A few seconds later he asked, “Do you want a sandwich?”
“Yes,” I excitedly replied, “please!” There was silence for a second while he gave me a quizzical look before replying back to his mother in their native language.
After his mother’s response, he told me, “Sorry, but in our culture it is impolite to accept food at someone’s house even if they offer it to you.” His mother then handed him one sandwich.
While he took a break to eat his sandwich, I continued to work on the toothpick bridge as I planned my strategy to get home just in case they didn’t let me use their phone to call for my ride.
With many things, except money, I often do not dread the worst-case scenario the most. I dread the mediocre scenario. This is because if the worst-case happens, I am pretty damn sure that I will not go do it again. I will rationalize all sorts of reasons for why that particular “worst” is definitely not going to enter into my paradigm ever again, and I will build coping mechanisms (i.e. habits) that ward against these defined “worsts”.
But after having gone through a mediocre scenario, the passion derived from the “worst” escapes me. I have no real reason to repeat and no real reason not to repeat.
It is like a bad date, I know I will never see and/or date the guy again because of the disastrous events and feelings associated with the date, but at least I have a funny, drama filled story to tell. But a mediocre date, oh god, I could be doomed to repeat the same vanilla over and over in my efforts to force some value or at least a tickle of a feeling of excitement. But that is just one example.
The point is not to avoid the mediocre, it is to know what mediocre means and to learn from it sooner, rather than later. Identifying the mediocre makes the exciting shine.
Some people are so absorbed in their culture that they have very rigid beliefs about the way society functions, or should function, that it is almost pointless to tell them any of your rather humorous fuax pas because, instead of laughing, they will start to pity you.
The moment you realize you are being pitied, is a moment of truth. The sun shines brighter, a breeze whirls around you, an intensely fresh scent intoxicates you, and it suddenly it hits you that you don’t actually give a damn. You find yourself yelling, “Finally!! I am free of this shit!” with you arms up to the sun in a victory V and your head tilted back. Your mind starts to reconnect the past in ways that make you realize why you’ve been feeling so disconnected with this person for so long but didn’t have words or reason to describe it.
Gingerly, you wait as time passes…”maybe it was just a fleeting moment and I will change my mind,” you think to yourself. But no, as time goes on, life gets better. There is no aching hole to fill, instead you actually enjoy using it for target practice and admire it like a trophy by hanging it on your wall…”See this here,” you imagine telling some future person, “this is all that’s left of that friendship, beat it to the ground didn’t we eh? nothing left to salvage [insert Santa Claus laugh here].” You realize that you didn’t actually need the person at all because you haven’t hardly even had an inkling of a reason to pretend like you are friends with them again. Now there is a whole open space, void of bitching and agreeing-just-to-avoid-negative-situations, that can be filled with new people and ideas and happy thoughts…..
The most recent situation I’ve encountered is the “if you don’t agree with me, I’ll pick on you” game. At certain pivotal points people when speaking need to be listened to AND agreed with. If for some reason you don’t agree and you state your opinion, even in a passive “oh by the way” easy-going manner, you’ll see the split-second glare, probably followed by a few word stumbles while they take what you said into consideration and finish the conversation as if nothing really bothered them. Then…wait for it….wait for it….wait for it…. once the topic changes suddenly the next most interesting topic is criticizing something personal about you. This will definitely make me avoid someone for a while.
The next one is what I like to call the “set you up to put you down” game. This one I walk into all the time. It just works so well on me. Pick a topic that you know we both disagree on, bring it up by inquiring about how I recently responded less emotionally supportive than you think I should have. I will defend my reasoning on the matter to show that I meant no ill harm, “the situation has nothing to do with me so it is reasonable for me not to get involved”. Then respond to me with something like, “well, I don’t think you’re always rational”. And I didn’t think it was necessary to bring up the topic.
Every once in a while I come across people with certain characteristics that I want to experience more of. Often times it is because their manner of exchanging communicative signals and social games is similar to mine, so the conversation keeps going even if nothing of useful substance is actually being said. And key, we both enjoy it, or seem to, because we keep doing it.
Infatuation evolves out of wanting to interact but not being able to get enough of the interaction. So the mind essentially improvises, to my dismay. Now the person ceases to exist to me in their real form. I unknowingly create an extra-added layer of perception, which I end up rationalizing as real because my mind is great at making up perfect scenarios to fulfill the excess emotion that isn’t properly stimulated by the external world. It creates confusion between whom I’m actually thinking of and whom I’m actually in the presence of. This makes me nervous, because I start having difficulty acting normal since I don’t actually know the person well enough to know if how I perceive them is actually how they are. Thus how I want to behave is held back in fear that I perceive the situation incorrectly. The remedy: to actually hang out with the person as much as possible until I find that one thing about the person that I absolutely cannot put up with. This dulls the emotional need to incorporate the person into my thoughts. Once they are out of my thoughts, I’m free of the person I was hoping they would be.
The difficulty in assessing the correct answer to the question: “What the Hell Happened?” is that most of the time I am still inside the situation when I start asking that question.
It isn’t until the situation dies down, to a practically non-existant level, that I can look back and see the starting line more clearly, then I realize where it all went awkward. In hindsight, my first clue to most ackward interactions with people was in fact the first real interaction of the era. Relationships (of any kind or magnitude) have eras, each of which have distinct characteristcs and levels of involvement which can and often do fluctuate.
So the awkwardness usually starts at the beginning of pivotal points, either when first realizing that the human body presenting itself to me actually is more than a typical drone/robot, when starting to hang out with someone again after a long period of not hanging out with that person, or when moving from acquaintance to friend. Anyways, in two cases, I have to admit, I honestly loved the awkwardness of it. I think it is fun and flirty. The real spark of this writing situation, however, just plain sucked because it was set up vaguely from the start and remained that way the entire time. I was confused. In wondering why everything was so vague, I realized that it was me in the first place who kept playing along despite the fact that I can’t handle vagueness with people. My brain fills in the gaps with a bunch of paranoid crap that makes me delete phone numbers because I have no way of ever knowing if I will ever actually get to know certain people who keep appearing in my life. Perhaps a post on “timing” or “people who don’t talk but still want to communicate” would be more appropriate.
Oh well, the sun is already coming up in another world, I’m sure it won’t take long to find out what is weird about this one. There is always something weird, one must just be patient and wait for it to manifest and then choose whether or not the person is worth the weirdness and if I am capable of living with their issues.