Month: June 2007

like nobody’s watching

On Saturday I was driving and singing, as I often do. Stopped at a traffic light, as often is the case, from the corner of my eye I could tell that I had an observer. Still singing, I looked over and some pre-teenish girl was looking back. From the way she was fully turned toward me, I got the impression that she wanted me to know she was watching, as if she’s trying to shame me for acting so foolishly, or something. Oh, I’m sorry. Is my joie de vivre making you uncomfortable there in your must-act-this-way world? :shrug: I get that all the time.

And I understand why my antics beg an audience. I, too, watch people in their cars while I’m driving, and typically – pitiably – face after face shows a whole lot of nothing. No energy, no light in their eyes, no zest for life. In that sea of people just going through the motions, a spirited rendition of “I Will Survive” really stands out.

So, watcher kid in the teal blue Pontiac, be warned. If you see me out driving again, there’s a very good chance that you’ll find me singing. Heck, I might even be dancing, so you’ll want to have your disapproving little looks ready. Then, while you’re looking, consider how much fun I’m having. Maybe next time you’ll dare to be more than a spectator.

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I really must go

I could write about the absolute boatload of stuff I’ve accomplished toward website work this week. Or I could write about the stressful encounters I’ve endured lately as my boss has decided to help by nitpicking my work and talking to me as if I’m completely devoid of functioning brain cells. Or I could detail my adventures in acquiring apartment maintenance.

But all of that will have to wait for another day, because remember the website work? The boatload? Yeah, well, now I’ve redeveloped that painful left shoulder that I get when I sit at a computer for too long on too many days. So, I’m off to some therapy: vegging on the couch and watching DVDs.

you know what I think I’m sayin’??

Last week, my OfficeMate was getting frustrated again. Yes, again, and no, I’m not really surprised by this. This time, it was about having to type up a long list of questions to answer about a project. I suggested that he ask the secretary or the file clerk if they have time to help him with that. He immediately dismissed that as saying that he doesn’t have the authority to ask them that. I replied by asking what he’s got to lose by asking if they can do it.

As luck would have it, minutes later the file clerk arrived at our door to talk about the upcoming company picnic. OfficeMate says in a joking way, “Anne says you need to help me type this stuff.” Understandably, the clerk is not at all clear what he’s talking about, and he continues to skirt around the real issue by rambling that he has to answer all these questions about a job. But he never actually asks her to help type them.

The subject changes to the picnic, and she leaves. He grumbles to me, “What did I tell you? THAT went over well.” I said, “The way you said it, she thought you were kidding, like you tend to do about things.”

It’s hardly fair – not to mention pretty pointless – to get angry with people for not reading your mind, yes?

Along that line, I did write to my boyfriend about the falling-asleep-looking-at-pictures thing that I mentioned in the previous entry. As planned, I admitted to him that I guess I kept bringing it up because it hurt my feelings. He wrote back that he wished he was “less tired more often.”

My big gripe before was that, to me, his falling asleep while I was talking tells me that he’s truly not interested in what I say. Him trying to joke and blame his job for it before only made it worse to me (although I didn’t tell him that part) because it shows that he truly just doesn’t get it.

Then it occurred to me that this must be one of those common occurrences where two people simply see things a different way. I mean, I’m thinking, “How am I supposed to interpret his actions as anything but a lack of interest?!” On the other hand, his interest (or lack of) may never have even entered his mind as a reason for the sleep. He just thinks, “I was tired because of the weird hours I work. Therefore, I fell asleep.”

Um, what was that about anger due to not reading your mind? Um, yeah. In my defense, I don’t think I was expecting him to read my mind … well, not completely. I did venture to say before that I found his falling sleeping rude, and that’s when he said that he blamed his job. In any event, thinking of his attitude as merely a different way of seeing the situation – and not an attempt to slight me – makes me feel a bit better about the whole incident.

I plan to share this revelation with him when I next see him. I would only hesitate to do so because I feel that whenever I say something that could be taken to mean that I was irrational, he thinks I’m admitting I was wrong and therefore dismisses all my concern, and thus the vicious cycle of miscommunication continues. I’m not saying I was wrong, because I still think that lack of interest *did* contribute to the falling asleep. I’m just recognizing that two people saw a situation two different ways. Hopefully, if we can both see that – and keep it in mind for when it happens again.

the cost of a cheap shot

Yesterday, Jeff and I were doing a bit of shopping. (I was the one doing most of the looking and buying, but he was there too, hence it is valid to say that Jeff and I were shopping.) At one point, I squat down to compare the merits of some ninety-nine cent bamboo placemats. I’m rambling about some decorating “vision” that I’ve had, and I glance over at Jeff. He has also knelt down, but I notice that his face has that glazing-over, on-the-verge-of-sleep look that it so often bears.

I quip, “Oh, are you sleepy already? Hey, I don’t even have my pictures from Nebraska…” I’d just mentioned the Nebraska picture fiasco in an email last week, after he seemed surprised to find that he could fall asleep sitting in a chair. He’s done this no less than three times while around me, and yet he’s surprised at this??

I said, “Yeah, I took that cheap shot,” yet my tone was hardly apologetic. If anything, I recall feeling quite pleased with myself. Then he replied, not meanly just quietly honest, “I could take cheap shots at you too…”

Oooch. Suddenly I was less pleased with myself and more ashamed for being so childish. The topic quickly changed, but this morning I found myself thinking about the exchange again. I had just told my sister after I took the cheap shot in the email that doing so was, as the self-help books say, avoiding the real issue. I’m still pretty raw about him falling asleep while I’m showing him pictures of my trip. Given the way I think he doesn’t really listen to me as it is, that incident was the supreme example of him absolutely not caring what I have to say, and I think about it every time I see him getting sleepy when we’re out. After it happened, I tried to bring it up (in an email), and I even wrote that it was pretty rude. He pretty much dismissed it with, “I blame the screwy hours at my job.”

It occurred to me that maybe I keep bringing it up because I’m hoping it’ll somehow be resolved to my satisfaction. As if I’ll mention it just one more time and he’ll suddenly realize, “Oh, you’re RIGHT! I’m a thoughtless, sleepy JERK! PLEASE FORGIVE ME!”

Right.

Instead, to his honest remark yesterday, I should’ve replied honestly that I guess I keep bringing it up because it really hurt my feelings. I should’ve briefly – not accusingly, just sharing feelings – said my piece about it and then let it go.

Hmm, I still haven’t replied to his email, so maybe I can clear the air then. But at some point, I should probably learn to *talk* to him.