Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That…

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A day of travel, and then conference Day One is over.  I’m already worn out, and I have three more days of this ahead of me.  Tomorrow, I’m going to be kind to myself mentally and not feel like I have to socialize quite as much…or at all if I don’t feel like it.

The conference is fantastic, and I get re-energized to be around so many people who care about all of this as much as I do.  I read “Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing” over my solitary breakfast, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Before dinner, I headed down to the bar for a drink before meeting up with everyone, and I read, “The Case For Business Investment in High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail.”  It was gripping!  The United States ranks 8th worldwide in high speed rail investment.  That is shameful.  As you can see, I’m having a WILD time!!!

Tonight I had dinner with four other women.  Three of them were lesbians.  “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”  It was strange, though, and although I am most definitely NOT attracted to women, as I sat there, I thought about the merit of not having to deal with men!  (Just kidding, my male friends!)

After dinner, my one non-lesbian friend and I had a nightcap in the hotel bar.  She was upset.  Her boyfriend was on a business trip and had not called or emailed the entire time he had been gone.  As we sat there, she opened up her iPad and looked at Facebook.  Of course, he had been on Facebook.  He’d uploaded pictures, updated his status, and checked into restaurants.  There was something else, a woman he had “mentioned” several times  was commenting and LIKE-ing almost everything on this guy’s page.  My friend asked for my advice, and I said, “DITCH HIM.”  I told her not to even give it a second thought.  She didn’t want to rule the guy, all she really wanted was to be treated with decency and common courtesy.  If he couldn’t manage that, then get rid of the loser!

My friend had sent him a brief email from the airport as she set out on her own trip.  “Have a great time in DC.”  He hadn’t called.  He hadn’t emailed back.  He hadn’t even sent a text.  Is it really asking too much for someone you care about to acknowledge your existence?  She and I sat and discussed it.  We live almost 200 miles apart, and communicate often.  If she emails me, I respond.  She responds to me as well.  I asked her if it would hurt her feelings if I didn’t reply to her.  What if I ignored her if she sent me an email or a text?  What would she think?  She said, “I’d think you were a bitch!”  We laughed about it, but it made us both pause.  Why then, would she even consider continuing a relationship with this man?  Why try to keep him as a friend, let alone sleep with him?  Why do we hang onto toxic relationships?  Why do we try to “teach” or “help” those around us be who or what we need them to be?  If the guy is a jerk, then he is a jerk.  My friend agonizing over it is not going to change a thing.  She is fun, intelligent, and extremely successful.  She would not allow anyone in her life to step all over her, yet when it comes to her “love relationship,” she is vulnerable.  She doesn’t apply the same criteria to that part of her life as she does to all other areas.  Too many of us are guilty of doing that same thing.  I know I am, have been.  We value ourselves less than those around us, and it needs to stop.  Expecting to be treated decently and fairly by those we allow into our heart and our lives is NOT expecting too much.  I reminded my friend that she was not expecting one thing from him that she was not willing to give in return.  She would never treat someone she cared for in such a callous manner.  She should expect no less in return.

I’ve spent a great deal of time lately in quiet observation of those around me.  Common themes, behaviors, and actions are beginning to surface.  I am learning, or I am trying to learn.  I am attempting to concentrate on peace, inner peace.  What I am trying to avoid is becoming brittle or self-righteous.  I want to trust.  I want to love.  I want to continue to have high expectations of those around me.  I want to treat people with care, respect, and love, and I want to receive those same things in return.

Today I stepped outside during lunch and wandered around the area.  I discovered a meditation garden behind the chapel across the street from my hotel.  It was lush, green, and beautiful.  There was a sign that read, “Shhhh…  Peaceful Meditation Area.”  Just seeing those words allowed me to take a deep breath.  I wished to enter the garden, sit, and cry.  I’m not sure why, but that is what I imagined myself doing.  I didn’t have time to indulge in a good cry at that moment.  I had another conference session to attend.  In the morning, though, I am going to take some time for myself and visit the little garden.  I don’t want to cry, but probably though,  I will.  Even if I do, I hope that peace, even a little tiny fraction of peace, awaits me.

 

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10 thoughts on “Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That…

  1. Hi Pam,

    Yes, I also think that your friend should ditch her boyfriend, I can see all the wrong signs there. And, speaking of common themes and behaviours, here is what happened to me only yesterday / today. An ex-colleague of mine (guy) who I worked with in the past very recently found a job in a neighbouring country and relocated there and we’ve recently been in touch. He called me a week or so ago, said he would like to see me again, to meet and catch up on what’s going on in our lives. He had heard that I recently got divorced. On the other hand, he has recently got married to his long standing girlfriend with whom he has a beautiful 5 year old daughter. On the phone he mentioned that he would anyway be in this country this week-end because he has some things he needs to resolve here and he suggested we meet. As I don’t really have much of a social life these days and as I have always liked this guy (not in a sexual way at all, I just like him as a person and because, in many respects, he is very much like me), it seemed like a good idea to me. He drove to my city yesterday and arrived at around 5pm and we went to have early dinner at a nice restaurant. Nothing romantic, no sexual tension or anything like that, at least I didn’t perceive anything otherwise I would have been on my guard. When we finished I invited him to see my flat and we sat down to watch a comedy series. At some point down the line, as we were sitting and watching, he suddenly turned to me and said ‘would you mind if I held you in my arms, or I held your hand’? I was so shocked and I said ‘yes, I do mind, actually’. And then a long discussion ensued, he stood up putting a safe distance between him and me, and told me that he’s very much attracted to me, he has always been and he cannot just ‘be’ here with me, just sitting and watching a movie, when he would, in fact, want to do something totally different. I asked him about his wife, if he loved her (I had known from past discussions that he was not in love with her and the relationship was not a great one). He said he had been bullied into marrying her and that, if it hadn’t been for their daughter, he and his wife would not have been together. It also emerged that he had actually no need to be in my country and he had only driven here to see me (which was about 6 hour drive). And he said he wanted to leave because he couldn’t be in the same room /house with me without doing what he would want to do and I’d better let him leave. I said ‘hey, can we be adults about this? It’s very late (it was about 1am) and you have driven for 6 hours today, you are tired and I’m not letting you do another 6 hours drive back without a few hours sleep’. I told him that I’d make his bed in the spare bedroom and we would sleep (in separate bedrooms) and in the morning I would make b’fast and then he could leave. He was very stubborn and said that for him this was a big problem and he felt as though he would explode and insisted on leaving. He insisted so much that, in the end I got a bit bored with the whole situation and told him that it’s OK if that what he wanted, I obviously couldn’t keep him here by force. He left, after he hugged me and tried to kiss me on the lips (which I found in bad taste after the conversation we had just had) which I didn’t allow.
    I am very sad and very hurt actually and I ask you – are men and women really unable to be just friends? Why do such things happen? And – did I do anything wrong in all this? Should I have seen this coming, have I just been very daft about it? And, finally, what chances do you think this guy’s marriage has to survive? They got married last December …. So sad.

    • That dude’s on the prowl….and like any man who’s appetite for a lil’ side dish needs to be filled–he’ll sneak around till he gets some and—he’ll get caught eventually. Some married men just have no class and think they can waltz in and out without a care—makes me sick. I feel for his wife—what a loser and not a true friend. I’ve had a male friend for the last 27 years and he’s NEVER done a thing to make me uncomfortable, ever—I consider him one of my best friends actually—and my husband knows him and knows when we talk or text…..his friendship has been a huge blessing to me.

      And Pam—oh, those RED FLAGS are waving for that poor girl!! I hope she takes your advice and ditches the s.o.b.!!!!!

      • Morgan, I couldn’t agree more about this guy! YUCK. I have a couple of male friends, too. They have been pillars of strength to me during some really horrible times. One of my best friends is a 72 year old man. He has mentored me, encouraged me, and rallied me on time after time in so many ways, for so many years. Best thing of all is that he and T like each other, too. My kids love him. He is like family. AND…he is a single guy, confirmed bachelor after three (YES!) failed marriages. My other male friends are guys from my former band. I love their wives, too, but it is the guys that I call. There has NEVER, EVER been a moment of anything other than friendship. No guilt, no fears.

        As for my friend and the red flags. So sad…. I got a text from her while I was traveling home yesterday. She said, “All is right with my world.” She went on to say that they had talked. He listened. He understood that he had hurt her. He took her out for dinner. They had a great night together. I wanted to text back, “blah, blah, blah, ” but I didn’t. As far as I am concerned, the patterns of bad, uncaring behavior are established early. She went on and on about how attentive he once was, and now….no contact for days at a time. No, I don’t think all is right with her world. Time will tell. At least they are both single!!! 🙂

    • Manon,

      What an unfortunate visit from your “friend.” UGH…men can be so slimy sometimes!!! What a player. Maybe the guy is unhappy in his marriage. Maybe he really and truly has feelings for you. Maybe this….maybe that, but we all know how that old story turns out! He would run back to his wife and his unhappiness if he were forced to make a real choice.

      I laughed out loud when you said that you got bored with the whole thing! SO FUNNY. And then the next morning he tried to kiss you on the mouth!??! YUCK. What a sad scenario. I’m sure you feel bad even though you didn’t do one thing wrong. It is difficult to lose someone that you thought of as a friend I’m sure…

      About his marriage? Who knows. She will stay. He will stay. He will probably find someone else who will “feel sorry for him.” It makes me shiver to think about it. Thank goodness you know that it isn’t YOUR job to save him from his unhappiness. Oh….what dishonorable behavior that guy had!!! Good job and kudos to YOU for being so upstanding, reasonable, and strong. I love this story and your strength!!!

      Pam

      • Hi Pam,

        I’m indeed feeling bad about it – first because our ‘friendship’ (or what I believed was our friendship) has now become weird and I feel that we will probably never meet again. I will obviously need to be very careful about how I meet this guy in the future – I don’t want to ever find myself in a flat or even a hotel with him ever again.

        Just to be precise, he did not stay the night – when it became obvious that he would not be getting what he wanted and was very keen on, he insisted on leaving and I was totally relieved when he did. What a stupid happening. Yes, I don’t think he’s a real friend either. A real friend wouldn’t have put me through that.

        The saddest thing about it all is that he didn’t learn anything from it. He started to send me emails and texts saying that he misses me and that we have to meet (again!) and, (how extraordinary!) that I was the one who made a mistake (by not sleeping with him!), blah blah blah …. Can you believe it!

        Anyway, enough said. I hope you’ll have a wonderful week-end with your son. Make the most of it, enjoy!

  2. I know that exact meditation garden – I stopped there when in Charlotte for my brother’s wedding, when I was staying downtown years ago. I’m there with you in spirit. Nice to know your feet are where mine have been.

    • Thank you, my friend. I spent almost all day Monday wandering around that garden area. I sat on benches, ate some french fries, drank sweet tea, and contemplated so many things. I felt peaceful, the sun was shining. It was warm and humid. Strange, but I am spending so much time lately in quiet observation and thought. I’m just going with it. It feels like what i am supposed to be doing right now. How all is WELL with you!

    • Pam, I’ve just bought the Kindle version of the book on Amazon and will also start reading it. It looks very interesting, thank you for pointing it out!

      • Interesting that we are both beginning that same book! 🙂 I seriously can’t wait to start reading. I’m hoping it will arrive in time for lunch tomorrow.

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