Mental States

We’re making a pitch for a new house. We decided on a realtor agent who is giving incentives we couldn’t turn down, with a solid plan to get us out of our current house and one rental and into a million-dollar home in Mr. W’s dream community, and instead of feeling excited, I’m feeling a little sad. Mr. W put me at the helm for this project, and I’m steering the ship, but I’m letting the Universe control its course. I’m okay with either Plan A (big house) or Plan B (slightly smaller big house), they both have pros and cons, but where it matters, they’re both win-win situations for us.

Maybe I’m just tired cuz I was up having an email conversation with our agent until past midnight about this. Or maybe I’m drained anticipating the unhappiness we’d have to create soon by first having to tell an agent we’d met with earlier in the week that we’d decided we’re going to go with someone else for our listings (we hadn’t committed to that agent, yet, and he certainly doesn’t need our listings cuz he’s a top-producer with a bazillion projects in the pipeline so he probably wouldn’t even be the one sitting at our open house), and then the even bigger blow we’d have to give to Jayne, who knows we’re looking for housing to get Allie into a better school district, but is hoping it wouldn’t come down to selling her home.

Oh, did I mention that the stepkidlet’s bridal shower is this Saturday at our house? And that I get to deal with Mr. W’s Ex #1 (stepkidlet’s mother) in our home because of it (which shouldn’t be that big of a deal since I’d never had any negative run-ins with her, except I know thru the stepkidlet that Ex #1 really wanted the venue moved so she wouldn’t have to come to our house, where the stepkidlet lives)? And that I found out this week that the stepkidlet felt compelled to invite Mr. W’s Ex #2 to her wedding, and that this IS a big problem because this ex (and also another major ex of his, too, come to think of it) had maaaaaajor problems with Ex #1 and there’s more bad blood there than with me, whom Ex #2 also has had problems with? Ex #2 needs to get some electroshock therapy and learn to stop trying to control people no longer in her life and to move the eff on. But she still has the stepkidlet firmly in her psychological abusive control. “I’m sorry, but yeah, I was thinking about myself when I invited her, not you and my mom; I don’t want to deal with the giant fallout and the can of hell that would open if I didn’t invite her to my wedding.” Yay.

On Sunday, Allie and Dada decided to hit the beach but Allie wanted her sand toys, so I went back alone to our hotel room to grab them. I also decided I would go to the hotel’s gift shop to get another bottle of spray sunblock, since were had 3 more days left and maybe a quarter ounce of sunblock for it. It’s not often I get to run errands child-free, so I wanted to take advantage.

In line at the giftshop cash register, I overheard a male voice behind me saying, “Oh, look, they have small bottles of vodka there behind the counter.”
Female voice: “You wanna get one?”
Male: “Do you have any idea how much bottles like that would cost here? It would be three times the price of a big bottle at home.”
I instantly thought of the giant bottle of vodka we picked up the first day from Costco, of which we’d drunk very little due to the facts that I don’t drink much, and that hubby was too busy regurgitating everything he ate and drank the first night and hasn’t been in the mood to test his stomach thereafter. I turned and found myself facing an older couple, in their late 60s. “Are you guys going to be at this hotel for much longer? We have a really large bottle of vodka upstairs in our room, and we’re leaving Tuesday and won’t be able to drink it all.”
They were surprised, and we chatted a bit about when we were all leaving (they’re going home to the East Coast on Tuesday, as well) and how horrified the wife was at the price of food that morning for breakfast, and then it was my turn at the register. After I paid for my sunblock, I waited near the store exit for them. I think they thought I’d walk away, not serious about my vodka offer, and appeared pleasantly surprised to see me there. Their room was in the same tower as ours, just a floor down, so we went there first, chatting along the way. The trip was on their bucket list, he was recently retired from the aerospace industry, she’s on the brink of retirement herself, they had taken a cruise that stopped here and decided spontaneously to take up the option to disembark on Oahu, stay for a few days, and then fly back home from here. They were Disney Vacation Club timeshare holders and never quite thought they’d make it out to the Aulani, but this is a splurge they thought would be their last opportunity to do before they both retired and had a limited fixed income. They talked about how they discovered that as Vacation Club members, they had a 10% discount everywhere in the Aulani, but how outrageous prices still were. In exchange for the vodka, they offered me the use of their discount for anything in the hotel shop, and I confessed that I HAD been eyeing an Aulani signature cotton jersey. They were completely friendly and open, but as we approached their room, I had a brief thought of how easy it would be for them, once in their room, to rob me. We’ll call thoughts like those an occupational hazard. I reminded myself that this was my idea, not theirs.

In their room, we emptied out Gloria’s water bottle, Ron located his Disney Vacation Club Membership Card, and we headed back to our room. When there, I poured almost half our giant bottle of vodka into their water bottle (and would’ve poured more but Gloria stopped me and reminded me that they’re only staying a few more nights and can’t take it with them on the plane, despite the fact that Ron was saying, “Oh, I’ll finish it! I have a drink of Ketel One every night at home!”), and since they were hurting from the price of breakfast that morning, gave them 3 cartons of assorted Chobani Greek yogurt (we bought practically a palletful from Costco) and assorted sliced turkey and ham, as well, since they had English muffins in their room. Now I’d feel less guilty about having to leave all that food behind or throw it away, given that had really too much of everything thanks to the hubby and Allie’s lack of appetite the first few days.

Not knowing if we’d pass by each other again, Ron suggested we go down to the giftshop immediately to use their discount to buy that shirt I’d wanted, so we walked back to their room to drop off the vodka and food (and they returned a clean plate to me to replace the plate I’d used to put their luncheon meat on, just in case the resort counted the numbers of dishes, etc. in the fully stocked kitchen after the guests leave and would charge me incidentals for a missing bowl), then we all walked together to the giftshop. I learned that this cruise was a combination birthday and anniversary celebration. Ron was turning 70 and they were married something like 43 years. At the giftshop, I went to the clothing section while Gloria and Ron went to look at a different section, and soon Ron came to me and took the shirt out of my hand. “We’ve decided to buy this for you instead of just using our discount for you,” he said. A Disney t-shirt in Hawaii is very overpriced, and I protested. I told them this practically nullifies the free vodka they got; they may as well just have bought those bottles themselves, then (altho what I gave them was close to double those giftshop bottles). Gloria said that she doesn’t consider money spent on food/drink to be money well-spent as it’s just gone as soon as it appears, but money on a souvenir, she’s happy to spend. She said she’s been jaded and pessimistic about people in the world these days, but meeting me and being the subject of my spontaneous generosity toward strangers has restored some of her faith in “young people.” They both insisted that I take this gift from them, remember the story I can tell of the origin of this shirt in my wardrobe, and to “think of us whenever you wear it.”

We parted with a hug.

By the time I got back to the pool and found hubby and Allie, I was relieved they had passed the time well and weren’t angry I took so long, nor minded that I gave half our food away. I told them I had a story to tell by way of explanation about why I took so long. (By the time we checked out of the resort a few days later, we STILL had food left over in the fridge, and I had tried to get Gloria to take more when they were in our room, but she wouldn’t.)

I never did see Gloria and Ron again, but I hope Ron had a great birthday the following week.

I have a funny little girl. She’s forever trying to make us laugh. Even when she does something that goes against my parenting interests, it’s hard not to accidentally encourage her.
We were out having dinner at Buca di Beppo with the family of one of Mr. W’s oldest friends, and Allie insisted on getting out of the booth where she was trapped between Mr. W and me in a booster seat. I acquiesced because she’d been in there for hours. The moment her feet hit the floor, she took off. I went around the tables after her and she giggled, but took my hand and led the way back to our table. Before we got there, she suddenly slid into the booth of another table, in front of a startled-looking young man whose date or girlfriend had left momentarily. “Allie! That’s not our table!” I said, pulling her off the seat.
“I’m funny!” she said, continuing on our journey.
“That’s not fun– Hey! That’s not our seat either!” I pulled a self-amused grinning Allie out of yet another booth, although this time thankfully the booth was empty.
“I’m funny AGAIN!” she announced.
The same week, Mr. W and I were with her at a Selma’s Chicago Pizzeria where Allie was munching on a dinner roll as we waited for our food to arrive. Suddenly she chucked a chunk of bread at me.
“Allie!” I said sternly, surprised at her uncommon misbehavior. “That’s not nice. We don’t throw food.”
Wearing a huge smile, she said, “I’m funny!”
“No, you’re not funny. Don’t do that again.”
The smile only faded a little as she insisted, “I’m funny a LITTLE bit.”
Mr. W had the luxury of being able to laugh since she had her back to him and was facing me. I had to keep my face straight and serious.

I see the 2s as an age when her emotions have developed enough that she feels things very strongly, but her immaturity and inexperience keeps her from being able to evaluate what is an appropriate level of response to a situation or stimulus. Hence, tantrums. For example, she sees a glass item that catches her eye and she wants to hold it, examine it in her hand. We don’t want her to hold glass, so we don’t allow it. Her response is to instantly wail because she is SO disappointed and she wants it SO badly and she’s SO curious about the item. Anyone would feel the same way, but as adults, we are able to say that in the realm of things, this isn’t a big deal and thus we aren’t heartbroken over the denial. She doesn’t have a range of experiences to know that this is small beans, so it’s a BIG DEAL. However, I have yet to discipline her because I’m usually able to reason her out of things. I lower my voice and say to her very seriously, “Allie, listen to me. This is made of glass, and glass is not for little kids. If you drop it, it will break, and you will get hurt.”
She’ll usually stop wailing to listen to me and she’ll acknowledge with a head-shake and a, “That’s not for little kids. No.”
I’ll offer a compromise. “You can look at it, but you can’t touch it. Okay?”
“Yeah.” She’s instantly mollified.
I pick her up to look at it. She examines it visually and sticks to her word. Sometimes the compromise is, “You can smell it, but you can’t put it in your mouth.” “One last video clip, you get to pick, and after that we go take a bath, and you don’t cry.” “Eat the last carrot, and I’ll go get you more cheese.” She’s pretty much always reasonable and trustworthy when she agrees to something.
The largest hurdle these days on the wailing front is leaving somewhere she’s not ready to leave yet — the house, the grocery store, the park, a shop in the mall. She’s too upset to listen when we explain it to her so we just have to pick her up and carry her off loudly protesting. “Nooo, I don’t wanna leave! Dada put me down! Stop, dada, stop!” And then she’ll try another strategy. “I wanna walk! I wanna walk!” We’ve learned that before she’s out of the protest mode, not to put her down or she’ll just take off back to where we’d dragged her out of. So she’ll try, “Mama hold Allie, not dada! Mama wanna hold Allie! I want mama!” And then she’d try to wriggle out of my hold, hoping I’m less resistant than dada. If she’s bad, we just won’t address her crying anymore and ignore it. If we’re somewhere private like in our house or in our car and she’s strapped in safely in the carseat or high chair, I’ll tell her, “Okay, you go ahead and cry, I’ll wait for you to finish and when you’re good, I’ll come back/talk to you again.” Then I’ll break eye contact and placidly step away or look away. The tantrum hasn’t lasted more than 10 seconds after we do that. It ends with her saying, “I’m all done now. I be good. Mama are you happy?” Today in the car, she wailed her protest about not wanting to go home. After talking to her went unheeded, I told her I’m going to wait until she’s done before I address her again and I looked out the window, ignoring her attempts to get me to pay attention to her again. That fit quickly ended with, “I’m almost good. [3 more seconds of wailing] I’m good now. [smile at me]”
“You’re all done?”
“I’m nice now.” And she was.

Funny girl.

The above is literally my first photo ever with Santa. Allie’s second time taking photos with Santa, so she’s already got me beat.

My parents had come over the weekend before to do a pre-Christmas thing so we’d already unwrapped some presents. My parents got us all sweaters from Old Navy, and Allie got a great cat keyboard that incorporates karaoke with an attached microphone and different keyboard sounds (one being cats meowing in the key[s] of the note[s] hit), from my grandma. Allie loved it and kept giggling playing with it. Christmas morning, since the stepkidlets wanted to do an afternoon thing, Mr. W, Allie and I went to my parents’ house and Allie got to play with her great-grandma. We came back for her nap, during which time the stepson came over, and the stepkidlets and I hung out with the stepdaughter’s room while Allie and her dada napped, as very young and, uh, old people tend to do. =P

After Allie’s nap, there was more present-opening. Allie is less dainty about ripping the wrapping paper than she was last year. She just needs a good grip, sometimes with assistance, and then it’s a big sweeping motion with each arm, leaving scrap remnants on either side of her. She was so excited getting 2 more dolls from her grandparents and nanny Auntie Jayne that she lost interest in the clothing she was unwrapping from other people. Before the dolls came into the picture, when she unwrapped clothes, she’d put it up against herself, and ask her to help her “put it on Allie.” For example, this Minnie chef outfit that her grandparents (Mr. W’s parents) sent her. This set also came with a matching oven mit (not pictured because we hadn’t unwrapped it yet when we took this photo). It was perfect for Allie when she “cooked” in her play kitchen. We’d never seen anything like it, which we later discovered was because Mr. W’s mother made this outfit from scratch herself!

Also among her grandparents’ present was a giggling and bouncing baby doll. When Allie popped open the box and saw a bit of the doll, she gasped and said as if in disbelief, “It’s a baby doll!” You’d think she didn’t already have a baby dolly, 6 Disney princess dolls, and countless stuffed animals. Auntie Jayne also got her a play-stroller for the doll, which Dada put together right away. The moment that was done, Allie refused to open more presents and instead pushed her new dolly around in the tinkling stroller around and around in the kitchen and hallway. Despite our inability to see her (cuz she refused to return to the living room), we knew she was alive because we could hear the rattles and clickers incorporated into the play-stroller making noise for…well, it was a long time. Nonstop.

The stepkidlets joint-purchased us a really neat photo frame made up of lots of other frames put together in different sizes and directions, with an attached typewritten letter that the plan was to take professional family photos together and fill the frames. “This will be the last photos we can take as just the 5 of us because come August, we will have a bearded German,” she explains in her letter. The letter opens with her expressing her gratitude for living with us and having us in her life, supporting her. She has a section of her two-page letter that was addressed specifically to me that they made me read aloud, which wasn’t nice because it made me cry. To commemorate in case the unsentimental Mr. W tosses the letter:

Cindy, I just wanted to let you know that I have noticed over the past two years that I tell everyone “on yeah, my parents…my parents this…my parents that…” Because it truly wouldn’t feel right to just say “my stepmom” after all that you have done and continue to do for me. You’re a huge part of my life and my story and I love you so much! Thank you for taking my dad in (haha!) and loving him and his kids from day one. And thank you for giving me the best gift EVER — my little sister! 🙂

It was a really nice evening. Everyone got to hang out, stepson even caught me up on his love life and decisions, and stayed to hang out way later than he’d originally planned to. It didn’t even matter that much that Allie refused to eat her meal at McCormick & Schmick’s (she ate much of her fruit plate and much of my veggies, altho she refused to eat her own cheeseburger) and is in a “difficult time” right now, very emotional when she isn’t allowed to do some small thing, such as run amok in the restaurant while other patrons are trying to enjoy their dinner.

As you can tell, we ate out a lot. I really do want to do my own cooking and have a family gathering, or at least make a dish to participate in one elsewhere…someday. Just not while Allie’s still got her midday nap going. =P (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.)

I’m going to post 2 photos from the afternoon with the stepkidlets. Look at the adoring gazes. What’s the focus of everyone’s attention?

That’s right. Those darn ipads.

Today, I went to a coffee shop I semi-frequently visit for matcha green tea lattes, and on the way in, saw a bearded man sitting alone at an outdoors dining table. He was shabbily dressed, unkempt, and had a wire cart near him full of bedding and miscellany, from what I could tell. He wasn’t pan-handling or anything, just sitting there with no food or drink in front of him, unlike the other patrons who were at the outdoor seating of the food court area where the coffee shop is located.

He appeared to be talking to himself when Mr. W and I passed him going into the coffee shop. When we came back out, he was no longer talking, but seemed to be wearing almost a serene smile as he sat and looked into the distance.

I mentioned to Mr. W that I wanted to buy him a cup of coffee, but wasn’t sure if the guy wanted or drank coffee, of what kind of coffee he’d like. Mr. W frowned and said if I did that, I’d have myself a stalker, since I go there somewhat regularly. I said I could just have a coffee shop employee bring it out to him and say it was an anonymous purchase on his behalf. And then I thought aloud that maybe I ought to buy him a meal instead from one of the restaurants. Mr. W said I would be encouraging unwanted behavior from the guy and that the restaurants and coffee shop would not want freebies for people loitering there. He said for business reasons, the coffee shop wouldn’t want vagabonds to hang out there. I said I didn’t think that was the case with the coffee house, as they had done a Suspended Coffees program a few months ago that I’d participated in. Despite Mr. W’s disapproval, I got up and went in to run this by the coffee shop employees, and if they objected to my suggestion, I’d respect their wishes and not do it.

I spoke to a semi-new barista who looked to a regular male barista (are males called baristas, too? barrister?) who appeared to have the authority of a manager. The male shook his head at me and said, “That guy’s got plenty of money.”
“What? Really?”
“Yes. I’ve seen his wallet. He’s got plenty of money.” Somewhat cold tone, I felt.
“Okay, that’s good to know. So he gets money from working the freeway corners or something?”
He shook his head and with steely eyes, said, “He used to work for Carnival Sales. I talk to him all the time. He’s fine.”
Oh. Okay. Glad I checked. As I left, the female called after me, “Thank you.”

Not sure how to feel about this. Was I almost swindled (not that the man outside had asked for anything) and had gotten saved by the coffee shop clerk? Was the coffee shop clerk just telling me stuff to prevent me from encouraging “bad for business” practices? Was he speaking the truth, but just simply unsympathetic to people now down on their luck no matter what job they used to have? Am I a gullible sap?

Diana and I were just texting about my diplomacy, which I think I usually keep pretty well controlled, and then 10 minutes later I lost it. Completely. And I’m about to lose it again by reposting my social networking site rant, because this is how fed up and pissed I am about moron Americans and their proud ignorance. (I didn’t mean to say Americans are proudly ignorant and moronic — just that there are some Americans who are submoronic cretinous idiots, and they’re loud and indignant to boot, and THOSE are the people I want to scream at.)

All this anti-presidential talk of “no evidence of gas use,” “no evidence presented to Congress,” “it was all made up so the President can start another war,” blah blah… SOMEthing had just seriously effed my Marine husband up after he watched what was presented to Congress, when President Obama said he didn’t feel the American people are directly threatened enough for him to declare war on Syria but that there was enough evidence Syria violated Convention rules. I’d listened to Syria’s president al-Assad say over and over in the interview with Charlie Rose (CBS) that “there’s no evidence.” Rose insisted there WAS evidence because SOMETHING was presented to Congress. Assad denied it, said, “Then where is it? Show the American people. Your polls show that most Americans are against starting this war. You haven’t seen the evidence because there IS no evidence.” (paraphrase) Well, the evidence is out, now, and my husband couldn’t get all the way through it, and I wouldn’t let him describe it to me beyond, “…just regular civilians, not military rebels… watching the cameras, wide-eyed in agony, and dying in front of the cameras and there was nothing they could do. There were little kids, a baby barely Allie’s age –”
I don’t want a war, either. I’m with the President when he told Congress he has “no interest” in entering another war and he wanted a diplomatic way out of one, if at all possible, so he was going to keep trying to resolve this with Syria peacefully. I’m hopeful for a peaceful resolution, but I don’t have a lot of faith in the integrity of al-Assad’s words that he will turn over all such nerve-gas and reveal their production plants, given that he’s made broken promises before (in agreements to previous cease-fires and didn’t follow through), but will you people just for goddamn once use your eyeballs and ears and look at the information before you go picking up someone else’s propaganda and wave their banners and signs without knowing what the hell you’re talking about? This is life. This is us, this is them. This is real. Al-Qaeda is sponsoring ONE of many rebelling Syrian groups, yes. But fucking inform yourselves, and after you do, if you disagree with me, I will still high-five you for coming to your own conclusions.
Stop being a blind partisan, and hopefully I’ll never have to write like this again.

Yeah, I’m PMSing, but that doesn’t change my opinion; just the strength of it and my control over its expression.

Status Message tonight:

Cindy’s friend Dwaine had once said to her that you know you’re doing something right when you have haters. That still applies, right?
Dwaine: Even more so now. 😉
Cindy: I haven’t gotten this much, um, confirmation that I’m doing something right in years. YEARS.
Dwaine: You’re a victim of your own success. Congrats! 😀
Cindy: It’s disconcerting. But you always put such a happy spin on things. <3
Dwaine: You know who doesn’t have haters? …losers. Haters are just losers who don’t have the courage or conviction to follow your example. I love haters…as long as they watch their mouth around me. >:(

…I love that guy.
Women tend to either love me or hate me. I guess I can’t take personally that multiple stranger women whom I’ve never met have decided they’re threatened by my existence, especially when I haven’t done one negative thing to or toward them, all because men they’re apparently competing for (“competing” in THEIR perception) have initiated friendships with me, and these friendships developed hard and fast. Sometimes people just “click.” Doesn’t mean there’s anything going on. Maybe I’m more interesting than these women are to talk to. Maybe these women should work on their personalities. But it’s their issue, not mine. And my new guy friends have each told me privately that the women’s behaviors don’t matter to them and that they stand loyal to me. *eyeroll at these immature women, to whom I am NOT a threat if they could see past their own egos*

So kind of funny… After writing the last 2 posts, I exchanged a couple of emails with the hestitant friend I’d mentioned in the earlier of the 2 posts, and he suddenly (instinctively, he said) let me into his inner circle. He’s going through some emotional reeling due to a romantic relationship issue, and that happens to be my specialty, so we’ve been chatting online about it nightly. He’s doing a lot better now so the chatter isn’t as involved as it was over the weekend, but we still touch base over it daily/nightly. It’s felt really, really nice to be able to help, to help someone feel better, help them move forward, be their sounding board…just like in the good ol’ days of youth. He’s lately my fitness guru, so it’s a reciprocating relationship. He truly feels he can get me “in the best shape of [my] life” by instructing me remotely. We’ll see.

In any case, I’m always happy to have a new quality friend.

I was notified this morning that my friend’s husband Rick had shot himself last night and was in ICU. Rick’s gun collection was something impressive, had I known enough about guns to be impressed, so I’d thought (hoped) that he was cleaning his guns or goofing off or something and accidentally shot himself in the foot. As more information came out, the people in the know told us this was intentional, and that a neurologist was going to examine him this morning. And then someone in the hospital with my friend said something about life support and the possibility of organ donations, so Ramon (the primary guy keeping me in the loop; he’s my former jujitsu sensei although he’s only a few years older than I am) and I were confused. If a doctor would use a donated organ on Rick, that means there’s a good chance of survival, right? But if a neurologist was examining him, doesn’t that mean there was head trauma? So where did he shoot himself? Did he spray himself with a shotgun somehow? I shared our confusion with Mr. W and he said that it sounds to him like Rick shot himself in the head and if the neurologist determined he was brain dead, they would keep him on life support to keep his body alive in order to donate Rick’s organs to someone else.

I texted my friend, because I didn’t want to bother her, but I also wanted her to know I was thinking of her with love and prayers. She texted back, “Thanks Cindy. Please send my love to [Mr. W]. We’ll let you guys know somehow where the memorial will be held.” So to her, Rick was already gone. I think Mr. W was right. I was later informed that Rick would be taken off life support tomorrow.

Ramon called me after he’d spoken to my friend (the wife) personally. We’d rarely seen or spoken to each other since we both got married, I had Allie and he now has 2 daughters, one turning 3 soon and another mere months old. Allie was napping, and Ramon’s wife had taken the baby for a short weekend trip to NorCal and his mother-in-law was at his house helping with his older daughter. It was a rare time that we were both free, and it was a rare occasion that made this phone contact necessary. We talked for 45 minutes, which he said was likely the longest phone conversation he’d ever had with anyone.

At the end of our conversation, I told him about the topic of my last blog entry, written last night (altho I never said I had a blog). It was kind of like, ask and ye shall receive. But I never imagined something like this would be the catalyst to a rebond with a friend. He said he’d only spoken to Rick last weekend and everything seemed fine. This came out of nowhere. I’ve been obsessing about this all day. I don’t understand what happened. It would make more sense if this were an accident, and Rick, being the usual clown he always was, didn’t realize the gun was loaded and was playing around. His wife, my friend, was at home when it happened, but I’m scared to ask her anything. I just keep thinking whether I should’ve been more diligent as a friend so that I could’ve maybe picked up on something. And how he loved her so much, how could he leave her in this way? He’s got to know the kind of emotional, psychological, financial, practical, legal, etc. mess he’s leaving behind for her to deal with, alone. I don’t understand it at all. He didn’t seem depressed or psychologically compromised in any way; they were still social, since the reason Ramon talked to him last weekend was because Rick had called to see if Ramon & family wanted to go with them to the County Fair. (Ramon had to decline as they were out of town.)

I’m just at a loss, and I don’t know what to do or how to help.

One of my favorite things about my teenage and young adult friendships was the ability to spend inordinate amounts of time analyzing people, relationships, thoughts, dreams, and so on. We camped out on the phone for hours at a time, and come to think of it, most of those conversations weren’t about what HAPPENED, they were about what it meant, or may mean, that whatever happened happened.

I’m older now and the luxury of spending hours on the phone or hanging out in person has taken a back, back seat to things that need to get DONE. It’s become a new way of life, and none of my previous phone conversation savvy friends — at least, none that I’m still in contact with — do this with anyone anymore, at least not on a regular basis. We all prefer shorter, at-your-convenience types of communication that can be broken up throughout the day, over a number of days. Texting. Emailing. When the phone rings, we’re annoyed and usually perceive ourselves as too busy to pick it up. And who is so demanding as to dare place a phone call, as if requiring my attention NOW? Don’t I have anything to say about when I can or want to talk? Don’t they know it’s dinnertime/driving time/time I’m busy with the spouse/kid/work? The audacity!

So it was that I looked around mentally at my potential contacts tonight, then flipped through my mental Rolodex for someone I can talk to regarding a new friend I have who is fascinatingly puzzling, and about whom I may have suddenly had a psychological breakthrough analysis…and I find nobody I can have that kind of conversation with. Some of the people I used to talk to are still in my life, but they’re busy with their own lives with things that have more pressing urgency (i.e., young kids) than what I need them for. The irony is that this new friend could be the right person to have this kind of conversation with, provided I do it all over email, but I can’t very well talk to someone about themselves and how I think they may have a narcissist disorder and how/why I think that and what it may say about me given how I came to that possible conclusion.

And then I suddenly recall that weeks ago, I’d tried to recruit another new friend into that position (over email), and how it hadn’t gone anywhere, the friend bowing out of contributing to my theories and analyses by claiming insufficient expertise in the area to discuss such with me. I understood, but bummer.

I miss not being an island.

Next Page »