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!