February 28th, 2006

cocked and loaded


Yesterday, a once-upon-a-time-good-friend cancelled a dinner date with me for the second time in 2 months. This is not the same person that upset me with the cancelling just a little while ago, but it is one more in the series of events that have added to the soul-searching, and self-evaluation I seem to be in the middle of.

I don't have the time or energy to continue making the effort any more with that particular person. If she tries to reschedule again, I think I will just say no. And if she asks me why, I will try very hard not to be the enabler and make it seem like it was no big deal and that I'm okay with it. "I can't don't want to deal anymore with your cancelling on me whenever we make plans," I'll say. "I know that you have good excuses, and that you can't always help it, but I would rather not set a date with you just now," I'll add. I will try not to sound martyred. I will try not to sound accusing. I will try not to hurt her feelings.

I am not particularly interested in hurt feelings myself. I think they are blinders and distractions.

There are 3 cancelling friends, you see. Last week one set a lunch date with me, and today she kept it, and made another. That felt good. Later today the 3rd cancelling friend called me just to talk and see how I was doing because she noticed I didn't seem quite myself yesterday. That felt good, too.

I underestimate, and overestimate, constantly. Both my ability to be there, and my friends'. It worries me that I am becoming more rigid in my ideas of what is acceptable and what is not, and that people will be scared to make plans with me, for fear that I will be angry if they have to change or cancel them. I only lop the heads off repeat offenders, though.

I got into a bit of an email discussion with someone today about how the writing in an online journal tends to be candy-coated sometimes, when it comes to people's lives. I know that I am consciously guilty of it here quite often. I tend to write about the good things, the positive things, and the funny things as much as possible, because that's where I want my focus to be. But it does give a lopsided view of my life. We're all voyeurs here, aren't we? Peering into other people's lives, watching through the windows. Learning dribs and drabs about people whose writing we admire or whose art gives us pleasure, or whose lives seem so very much more exciting or interesting or OTHER than our own.

Online writing, is, like any writing, only one facet of the author. Even though blogs and journals allow us so much instant gratification, and so much immediate knowledge and such an intense sense of relationship with other people, there is still a screen between you and me. (In fact, there are two.)

Sometimes my writing, and my life, might seem to be an open door, a beckoning gesture, a warm welcome. And sometimes it might actually be a veil, drawn carefully across the window, showing you only what I want you to see. Telling you only what I want you to know. Focusing the direction of your attention: look! over here! something shiny!

While over there, perhaps, something not so much.