Monday, 30 December 2013

Haunted by "That Person"

If you've walked on this earth for any amount of time, you probably have a person you think of as that person. This is the person you hope you don't see at the supermarket, or at the movies, or school.  A glimpse of someone who looks like that person might send you scrambling for the toilet paper aisle or purposefully digging through your purse, as if you just realized you have to find something there, not look around at the people around you because that person might try to engage.

Having relocated miles away from most people who are familiar to me, I don't have awkward run-ins at the store, or at a bar the night before Thanksgiving, like I used to.  I did write about one earlier this year (see post from May 4)- and actually there were a few that weekend, but I highly suspect that the other run-ins were with dopplegangers, not the actual people:
Sorry, All Your Turns Have Been Used Up...

You want to talk about awkward encounters? Yep, there are plenty to be had, with people like that person whom you don't want to see.

What brought this to mind today was someone in a store; she looked like my version of that person and for a second, I tensed up.  That person was very judgmental of me and happened to be about 8 years older than myself.  She didn't seem able to have a peer-to-peer relationship with me. Instead, she desperately wanted to mentor me, even though our work and our goals were different and (important point coming up here!) I didn't ask her to mentor me.  Imagine how that became awkward.  Mmm hmm. I introduced her to another friend of mine, younger than me by about 7 years, and that friend assessed that person by saying, "She likes to act like she's in charge, huh?" Talk about awkward!

The pinnacle of our awkward interactions took place when she informed me of the following:
1) I was wasting my life in my current situation (working, trying to save money, going on vacations, spending time with friends, enjoying hobbies, etc.)
2) What I needed was to have a baby
3) I needed to have a baby with my ex-boyfriend or possibly a sperm donor
4) And she swore she'd help with the baby! Once or twice a year she'd drop by to play with it!
5) She'd talked over her feelings about what I should do with my life with her therapist, and they decided she really couldn't hold back anymore.  She needed to speak her peace.

I offer this as Exhibit A for the awkward moments that ensue when you reach your late thirties without a husband or potential husband.  I would have started offering exhibits earlier, as there are many to choose from, but I just got inspired today, so here's the first one.

Friends, like every other person on earth, I've had to admit that certain opportunities haven't been open to me, and I've had to adjust my life.  My first goal was to be a Rockette, but I didn't grow to be 5 foot 6 inches.  Sure, I had a great high kick back in the day, but as a short person, it did me no good.

I suppose I could have gone after every girlfriend I had over 5 foot 6 inches to nag them about becoming Rockettes, (you should do this, I'd tell them, because I NEVER HAD THE CHANCE!) but this wasn't something any of them wanted.

Likewise, perhaps that person could have had a baby when she was late 30s/ early 40s with some transient person in her life. Perhaps she regrets not being a mother now that menopause is starting.  However, she neglected to realize that 1) adoption is possible at most ages; 2) I didn't want to have a baby with my ex-boyfriend; 3) it's not really fair to swoop in and tell other people how to live their lives.

So there you go, friends.  Awkward moments with people, brought to you by Jane Q. Phoenix.

On a different note, I hope you all have a safe and wonderful new year's celebration and a FABULOUS 2014!


Monday, 23 December 2013

Dream Journal 12/23/13: Making a Boy Cry

I finally got through to someone last night.  This person was crying and upset because he finally understood how his behavior has affected others.

It was a dream, naturally. This person is so hard-headed that to explain anything to him requires the patience of a saint, which I don't happen to possess. Our relationship over the years has been difficult because he likes to be outspoken and more times than not, I didn't ask for his opinion. So, to summarize, I identify more with an introvert personality type, while he is extroverted.  Even our choices of what we do for a living are very different, and of course that's by design.

Of course, when you have a longstanding friendship with someone, you let things slide. You let bygones be bygones.  You figure out what to avoid talking about so that you can get along.

I don't remember the details of the dream, but I do recall the ending because it is freshest in my mind. He was crying.  I've never seen him cry in real life.  He cried because I told him that he was insensitive to his single friends. Several people I know act like finding someone to spend the rest of your life with is super easy, like you can get it done before breakfast in most cases.

Friends, I am engaged for the first time and 40 years old.  At a time when most people are thinking about how to spend their midlife crises, I am blooming later than average.  I realize that for the rest of Generation X, this isn't so odd, but for the older people in my life, and for the Xers who found love in high school and college, engaged/married life is old hat, something they started 10 to 15 years ago.

I've noticed that these "smug marrieds" (as Bridget Jones named them) tend to forget the pain of rejection, the angst of meeting someone and doing all that work just to find out if that person is even available, the awkwardness of having to fly solo to weddings, class reunions, and so forth, and the judgment of people around you who wonder what's wrong with you, what prevents you from being paired off like the rest of the planet.

My subconscious hides most of the details from me, so I don't even know how I got through to him, but I did.  I woke up while the dream was still happening, and the poor boy was crying.  Crying!

Friends, be nice to single people. Don't be that smug and judgmental jerk who belittles them.  I spent many years being single and some of the closest people to me still are.

Merry Christmas too, darlings.


Jane Q. Phoenix

Monday, 16 December 2013

Work, and More Work

Friends, I am working on 2 things simultaneously:

1) finishing my book, which is co-authored by the Dancing Diva with her rapier wit and witty commentary. She's worked on the first few sections and I need to get it done so she can sprinkle her shennanigans on all of the sections. Along with that, there's researching a publisher, figuring out what deal is best, reading online reviews from other authors, finding an editor, and sheesh! There aren't enough hours in the day, even for this relatively unemployed person.
2) looking for a new job, preferably where I will be surrounded by fellow nerds. I hit the jackpot today with 2 postings that looked spot-on for me, not even 6 miles from the apartment- and since I'm in a Large Metropolitan Area now, this is a major consideration.  There are other companies that talk about "synergies" and such on their websites, that sound a bit flaky, and then there are the companies that cater to nerdlike interests like energy-efficient engineering, rocket science, and whatever.  I like the workplaces where the nerds congregate... I'm sure there are a lot of reasons for that but really it's a birds of a feather thing, and this phoenix is a bit of a nerd herself.

Oh and there's also the finding my way around a new area of the country, preparing for the holidays, and attempting to live in a relatively stress-free manner with my future husband.  Ha ha ha ha ha. That exhausts me, just reading it.

Anyway, back to the writing! My job posts are done for the day.

I hope this note finds all of you well. Happy holidays!