A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

14 August 2008

The "Dating Game" (Conclusion)

Now don't get me wrong, we aren't ALL hypocrites...but I've spoken with a lot of people about a lot of things and what people say to one person of one sex isn't necessarily the thing they tell the person of the other. I've actually been quite surprised by the number of people who contacted me, privately, via message, and posted on my blog about what I've been writing. And it goes with what I've been learning, and yes, I say 'learning', over the course of my life. Ironic it's the "course" of my life...because it has been a sort of education...it's a "course" I'm in...and it's not an elective. It's mandatory. And I can't opt out. Well, I could...but I'm not going to.

And I know I whine. Many times I feel so alone since my parents died, so wronged and so cornered with no way out...and then I look around and see what other people are going through, all around the world - and I can't help but think of how fortunate I really am. I honestly don't know how some people can go through what they do...and how many even rise above everything and persevere under such adversity.

But most of the comments I received were from people who felt as I did and felt like so many people I talk to. Regardless of whether you are male or female - if you've devoted a portion of your life to another and it goes wrong, or you had to take out a zillion loans to pay off your bills...and now you are only working to pay off those loans, or you lost your job and you find yourself looking for another one when you are in (or fast approaching) your 50s...and you know you are competing against people who are younger than your own kids...or you're now tasked with taking care of one or both of your parents, or had health issues of your own...it's hard. I think you'll be hard pressed to find someone from the above list who would disagree.

I have to admit - I had a different road I was going to take this story down...but, I don't jot down notes...and when I write one of these blogumns, I sit down at the computer (sometimes on a notepad) and basically run with it. It always turns out differently than what I envisioned...and this time is also no exception.

What I've found out is that people are resilient, remarkable, and also very easily hurt. That guy you see where you work each day who you think has it all together? Probably doesn't. And that woman who brightens up everyone's day...well, she might have been through a lot - but covers it well. Many times I start talking to people, and trust me, when I start talking...chances are we're going to be at it a while...and for some inexplicable reason, they do something I'm not sure they do with everyone. They start to confide in me...and most times very intimate details of their lives. Yes, I am a complete stranger to them...but for some reason they feel compelled to unburden themselves and vent...or, what I'd rather think...they sense I have compassion, empathy and I'm easy to talk to. I'd like to go on thinking that.

Case in point...I ran into a lady the other day at a store here in town...she's from another country and new to the area - and, rather apologetically and reluctantly she asked me a question regarding finding school supplies for her child. I answered, walked away, got in line, and then saw her again while I stood there...and I debated in my head, "Should I just walk up after I'm done here and start up a conversation with her? Maybe she's new here (she DID have an accent afterall) and could use some help finding her way around? Should I even bother?" Well, I'm an extrovert, so the extrovert part of me took over and after I made my purchase - walked over to her and offered up my aid, if she needed it. I think she was appreciative...she started telling me some details of her life...and even a story from her country (yes, I'm respecting her anonymity) about someone who lived there essentially her entire LONG life...and when she died, the cliquey townspeople came up with their "less than welcoming" epitaph for her: "She wasn't from around here." Now, I don't know how true this story is...but it's a story she shared...maybe because I cared enough to lend a hand to show her around town. Sure, I made it known I would also love to have a friend...as you see, I'm also "not from around here"...and altho I've lived here for 18 years and not 99 like the lady in her story...I always feel I'm just an outsider looking in. I've got my nose pressed up against the proverbial glass outside the shop...but they just won't open the door to let me in. And just like that dog that's been kicked so many times...you learn to stop trying to gain anyone's affection...and you go sit back down in the corner licking your wounds.

And there are a lot of wounded people out there. My theory is - as people get older they don't necessarily let new people and new situations into their lives because life IS scary. The longer you live...the more you might have seen it...especially if it seems to happen to you over and over. But familiarity is safe. So some people stay within the confines of their "safe zones"...and their circle of friends...and their dead-end jobs and equally dead-end lives. It IS scary to trust another person...it's hard to not think about rejection (especially when you're not a stranger to it)...be it in a job, a relationship, or even, sometimes...something as simple as talking to a stranger in a shop.

But I'm trying.

1 comment:

  1. You inspired me to BLOG.

    Here it is: