Saturday, November 23, 2019

Sunday-ish Smatterings

I ran into an old friend after I gave a talk last night. He would call me a friend, I know that. And I used to call him a friend until I realized that it was all fairly one-sided. And I also realized that most women I know (myself included) fill in those awkward gaps with a few of our male friends. It's hard to explain this in writing but I'll try. I remember sharing with this guy a few years back about a terrible time I was having with far too many losses in my life and he never responded but immediately plunged into a new job or some-such that his son-in-law now had. And I thought whoa Nelly, off the share list with this guy as I felt immediately worse, as if he didn't give a flying.

So as I was saying I ran into him. And since I saw him last, about a year ago, I have changed. I now ride on a stick (George, my walking cane). I mean if the situation were reversed I would immediately ask him how things were, what's with the stick? But him? No, he just looked at me and gave me a hug and waited for me to ask him how he was, and I didn't and he didn't and then he walked away, as I didn't bail him out of the conversational well. It was most interesting. I'm going to do that again with others who only broadcast at me and never, ever ask how I am or show concern, etc., but launch into some kind of monologue after I ask how they are. Life's too short to put up with self-centredness like this or narcissism or whatever we call it.

In the mail:

A postcard of Adelaide from a blogmate with her own vignettes on the back.

A postcard from my 18 year old friend, now on full scholarship in Halifax (she's brilliant)
and here's a taste:
About 145 light-years in diameter, M13 is composed of several hundred thousand stars, the brightest of which is a red giant, the variable star V11, with an apparent visual magnitude of 11.95. M13 is 22,200-25,000 light-years away from Earth.
If you'd like more read all about it here.

And last but not least, I was hunting for a copy of this book for a long time and it finally arrived from Australia a few days ago. It was written by one of my high school teachers, the first nun in Ireland to gain a PhD. We're talking the fifties here folks.

28 comments:

  1. I felt the same this week when we had someone in for dinner. Nothing, nada asked about how we were, what are we up to, wow place looks great...Nope but I know way more than I ever cared to about them.

    That book looks really interesting.

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  2. Interesting interaction with the "friend".
    I don't ask folks how they are, I have had to listen to too many "woe is me" stories that I have actually heard before and they aren't doing anything to help themselves, just complain.

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    1. Good move Gemma, it is difficult sometimes to engage with people who are so uninterested in others. I try to think of conversational gambits that would make it more equally transactional but it doesn't work. I did that yesterday in the hall here but no, she went on and on about her 99 yo mother, her only topic of conversation. I was just about crying in boredom.

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  3. "I know way more than I ever cared to about them". Exactly, that's how I always felt about him. And so effing boring too. A drone.

    But walking away from the woman with a cane that wasn't part of her EVER in the past. Some kind of award for that surely? :D

    Kind of a slimed feeling - briefly - that I shook off.

    XO
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  4. 25,000 light years away? I guess we'd have to pack a lunch to visit that one. The book looks interesting. I have one much read falling apart book in diary style, written by one of the Australian nurses in a Japanese POW camp during WW2. How she kept the notes hidden I don't remember, she mentions how somewhere in the book. I might see if I can find a copy of the one you have pictured here. A library might have one.

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    1. I was surprised my copy came from Oz through Abe but the person who had sent it was an individual not a company. It looks like a library or a church might have had it. It truly is unimaginable how far these stars are. How absolutely mind-bogglingly vast the universe is. And we, merely dust.

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  5. I had a similar friend. She only contacted me when things had gone pear-shaped for her. Any difficulties I might be having were not worth her time. I am ashamed about how long it took me to realise it was a one-sided friendship.
    Love the treats you received in the mail. I will hunt out a postcard for you next time I am in town.

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    1. Yes, it does take a while to come to our senses as we can't truly believe that people can care so little, right? I only want to be around people who make me feel a little better and not worse.

      I must hunt some PCs down too, they are getting more difficult to find. Daughter, who is a mad PC woman, makes her own. :D

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  6. I've heard of the book but not read it. I don't judge too harshly if people seem uncaring. Who knows what they are dealing with in their head. At the bottom of River's postcard is one of the pig sculptures in Rundle Mall. The pig sculptures are brill!

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    1. Yes, she mentioned the kids play on those pigs. And you should know I've known this guy since I moved here a long time ago and its only in the past couple of years I woke up. I bet you he couldn't tell you one thing about me. Enough already.

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  7. Good for you not indulging this man's self-centred behaviour and forcing him to retreat. Why put up with someone who makes you feel worse about yourself and not better?

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    1. Exactly Nick, it took me a while though Daughter had commented on his behaviour about 6 years ago when we were at dinner in his house. He broadcasted constantly and never once asked Daughter a question even though it was the first time he'd met her.

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  8. That is a fantastic way to treat such inconsiderate fellows. You have inspired me. I know a few to whom such a treatment will be a treatment to watch.

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    1. It takes a bit of courage, Ramana, but so worth it. I'll do the same thing if I run into him again. A nod and a smile is of great assistance when one does it. No hostility just this bemused tolerance. Let me know how it works out for you :)

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  9. I know what you mean about people who don't seem to care much about you. They are more concerned about themselves. There's a barrier between you. Such people are worthless. Don't waste time on them.

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    1. I agree Gigi, they are energy vampires of the highest order and shouldn't be allowed out without a minder. :D Just kidding but you'd think they'd wonder why they are pretty friendless.

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    1. It's a good technique and is a great solution.

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  11. I know people like that too. It usually takes a few encounters before one realizes the pattern and that can be very disappointing when one was hoping for more. I currently have a couple of friends in that category, I don't write them off but I don't invest in them either. Sometimes such people actually are interesting to listen to and so are worth keeping as acquaintances. But if they are not even interesting then they are certainly not worth encouraging.

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    1. He's not remotely interesting. He's all about running and races he's done and the times and must know (clue:cane) that I don't road race anymore so it would be doubly cruel to have to listen to him drone at me.

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  12. Sometimes its self-centeredness, sometimes a lack of social skills. Or both. But you're right - no need to bail them out.

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    1. Could be a lack of social skills perhaps, I really don't care. He's not a good listener well actually he's a non-listener.

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  13. I charitably chalk up the behavior to lack of social skills. On the other hand, I'm not their mother, and by our age, good behavior should have rubbed off to some degree. So, hasta la vista.

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    1. Right on Joanne, I'm also too old to put up with this shyte :)

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  14. Reminds me of the old joke about the loudmouth narcissist who talks forever about himself and his family and all the things he's been doing, and then finally says, "Well, enough about me. What do you think ... about ME?"

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    1. I'd forgotten that old chestnut but how true those jokes are. I'm aware that sometimes friendships can be one sided from time to time and I don't mind that at all, I spent a couple of hours a few days ago with a friend in need but all the time takes some brass.

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  15. I notice my dad does a LOT of that broadcasting thing but I know he is interested in people. I have come to the conclusion he is covering some nervousness or awkwardness but watching it makes me cringe, not least because I know he is better than that.

    Is your cane pretty? I fancy the idea of a wardrobe of them. One for every mood

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  16. It could be nerves or also the fear of intimacy but we all have to work on our own personal development, right? I was married to a man with a complete lack of self awareness and it was disturbing only later do I see it could be a mild form of Asperger's.

    George is my main cane, handcarved and I bought it from the maker in the Spring. It is a perfect fit but I do look for others that enchant me equally. :D

    XO
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