Thursday, December 04, 2008

Trish is a Sage

It doesn't matter when I start on Christmas preparations, I'm still doing them at the last minute. There's always something more I can do so I just keep going.

Tonight I realized there was a problem with my database when I printed my Christmas card labels. So, I'm trying to sort that all out. To say detail work is not my forte would be a very generous description. So, if you were expecting an invite to my open house and haven't gotten one yet, realize it's not that you have been left out intentionally and please just come. Do email me so I can fix your address in my database so next year it will be smooth. OK, I'm trying, really. I want it to be smooth. Seems I'm trying to do that constantly. Why can I never get it done? Oh yeah, reference the details not my forte comment earlier.

I had lunch with Trish today and we talked, among other things, about holiday gatherings and friendship in general. I told Trish the Christmas card list always makes me think about people in my life who don't engage with me in any meaningful way.

I mentioned a specific friend... well, I guess he's not really a friend... he's, well, he's a former friend, maybe... although I question if we were ever friends... anyway... I never see him unless I just happen to bump into him. When I do he's over-the-top effusive. "Oh, we MUST get together! I've missed you! Lets have dinner soon! It's so good to see you. blah blah blah"

Well, stupidly, I believe this means he wants to see me and we should have dinner soon. Where do I get these ideas? So, I will email and suggest something and he will be positive but we never actually set anything up.

The thing I do not understand is why in the world would you put this much energy into pretending that you like me and want to see me when you obviously do not? You can be polite and say hello and "it's good to see you" without this "we must get together, oh my gosh how have I lived without seeing you" crap. And it is crap. It's not that this person is not social at all. He sees other people in my extended world. In these days of blogs and facebook this knowledge shows up on my computer screen without me looking for it.

Trish suggested that she thinks maybe it's a way people feel like they're being social because they're acting like we're long lost friends. I'm not lost. I live a few miles away. I'm on facebook, myspace, twitter, pownce, plurk, linkedin, entrecard and a host of other sites I can't even recall. If you google for me you find about a dozen pages of references to me, with multiple ways to contact me. You haven't. That's cool. But why oh why do you pretend like it's just been some horrific oversight? Just be polite and move on. I get it. You don't really want to engage with me in any meaningful way - for whatever reason - that's fine - just stop pretending otherwise. It makes you look like a fool.

I decided that the key will be for me to respond differently the next time it happens. The next time I'm approached with this fake BS I'm just going to be polite but very non-committal. There's no point in me wasting any breath/time to respond beyond that, and it's making me look like a fool, too.

Then Trish, as she so often does, made the wise comment of the day. She is a sage, that one.

"It can't be meaningful if our entire relationship depends on chance encounters." --- Trish Rose

That is friendship in a nutshell. Those chance encounters may be that you're showing up at the same workplace or church, or that you bump into each other at a concert, or that you run into each other at the grocery store. It's not that those can't be fun, but if those are the only interactions we have, the relationship is not likely to grow and survive long term. It isn't meaningful and it's not going to be at that rate.

Trish and I also talked about how alcohol is such a driving force for so many people when they're gathering - that it is the big attraction. I do not serve alcohol in my home. I do not want the ethical or legal obligations to make sure people get home safely. And I just don't like to be around drunk people. Of course, not everyone gets drunk just because there is alcohol around, but in a group of 10 there will be one that's obnoxious in no time. I don't want to deal with that person, so, I just avoid the whole issue. Trish suggested that probably keeps some people from attending my open house. I suppose that may be true, but so it goes. I'm just going to proceed as normal and assume there are still some folks in the world who are interested in things other than alcohol.
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