Friday, August 27, 2010


The whole Mom-wants-to-go-to-Israel thing came to a head much sooner than I expected when I received a short email from her today, part of which read, "Given your reluctance to discuss travel together, I will see about making my own plans. I don't need any unnecessary rejections at this time."

Ouch and OY. Oh Mom, I do love you, but why are you so crazy? I emailed what turned out to be a satisfactory explanation, namely that I already feel pulled in several directions on my Israel visits and one more direction was going to make me feel even more unhappy due to my inability to meet everyone's expectations.

She was receptive to that explanation, and my proposals of some alternate trips, though she'd still like to meet
me in Egypt or Turkey for the before or after possible vacation part of my trip . So, no vacation for me! Hello meeting other people's expectations. Still, that's ok, it's what needs to happen, I suppose, and since the idea of a relaxed vacation is still kind of foreign to me, let's go with it. (I mean, I spent much of my time in Paris completely relaxed and doing practically nothing except knitting and watching tv, so I've had that...and I will need some of it again someday. Maybe a three-day weekend of nothing near home would be a good idea.)

Anyway, Mom wrote in her friendlier message, "
I do realize you try to please your demanding family. Why I am not sure, but that is another story. I have no interest in competing for your attention during the wedding event."

This raises some questions for me:
  1. Is she part of the demanding family or is that everyone else?
  2. Does she really not know why?
Even though it's "another story" I did address it a bit in my next email. Basically, I said that I know that everyone's happiness is not dependent on mine (natch), but that I feel like it is, a bit, especially when I feel like everyone wants a piece of me. I also said I felt vain writing that. I don't know WHY everyone wants a piece of me. What is so great about me? I am grateful, though, that they love me and like me enough to want me around. Given that, I cannot help but try and make myself available. This leads me to trying to make people happy, get along and not fight. This was my role as a little kid when my parents were fighting all the time and it's not surprising that it's the position I get in with family. It's completely impossible.

(Aside: I found the way I worked for Pele's shower completely satisfying. I was needed, they leaned on me and I loved that. I wanted that. I didn't need to have fun at the party, I needed to be part of the family. Obligation makes me feel included.)

I suspect Mom won't come on this trip in the end, since she's not much of a traveler and I haven't been terribly receptive. If she doesn't, I'll make an effort to go on some other adventure with her in the not too distant future.

On a completely different topic, I was thinking about my date on Monday and the many stories I told. The theme of many of these stories was me losing my cool. Now, I don't think of myself as a particularly collected person, but true anger is fairly rare. Yet I told him at least two stories about incidents that made me very angry, one about a boyfriend (ancient history) and another about work (relatively recent). I also told a couple more trivial frustration stories as well as some non-angry stories, but still, what was I thinking?

I've often realized in retrospect that the stories I tell on a date are directly related to my state of mind. Because I'm nervous, words pour out of me, and I don't think so carefully about what I'm saying. I do try and craft the stories themselves well. It's all about the presentation.

I have to think that these stories were a kind of cautionary tale. "Be careful, I'm not as nice as I appear," perhaps. Possibly, "don't cross me, you'll pay." Or, more likely, "don't get too close to me, you don't realize what you're signing up for." (Oh, and "by the way, my heart is not exactly available, so you may not want to bother--and see, here are a bunch of angry reasons to avoid me!") I feel like the last one (or the parenthetical?) is true. I would like to keep a healthy emotional distance between me and anyone except my dearest friends. I was pretty comfortable around this guy, for whatever reason, and I want to see him again. I just don't want to think it's something it's not. I don't want to think at all. I don't want worry and I don't want to keep track of whose turn it is to call or what impression I've made. So, I've decided I don't want anything. If you tell me otherwise, you risk my wrath.

Grateful for: walking weather! A nice long walk home is a good time to relax.

Blogging time: 30 minutes.


  1. Well, did you get in touch w/ him to make plans again?

    When I read about your selection of stories, before your analysis of why, I was remembering a first (and last) date I went on in pre-FB days and for some reason I kept using the expression "I am/am not a fan/a big fan of ..." It was so weird and I heard myself saying it but I couldn't stop. Using the expression once, fine, but using it every 3d sentence was bad. It was like "I'm not a fan of tomatoes, so I'm going to get this pasta, what were we talking about, oh, that tv show Lost, I'm such a big fan of it, normally I'm not a fan of tv in general, but that show is great, oh, this pasta has capers in it and I'm not a big fan of capers, so maybe I'll get this sandwich; I'm a big fan of sandwiches." It was so insanely weird. I mean I guess I use the expression now in FB contexts like when a friend wants me to become a fan of her business page, but it was a surreal night. I'm guessing he walked away thinking if we got married I'd want to write our vows and I'd tell him I was a big fan of true love or something. Or maybe he'd seen Misery and kept thinking about my becoming his "number one fan."

    I'm not a big fan of figuring out what impression you make on a first date of choosing your expressions or stories as you do...

  2. I'd say that what I talked about had a lot to do with my state of mind and possibly my need to talk. He just mostly smiled through it all. And, possibly, thought I was crazy (but still attractive, at least).


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