November 30, 2005

Tell Me What You REALLY Think.

I went running yesterday, and pulled all the little muscles in my legs. Cranky.
I ate my lunch, and then another whole lunch, plus a cookie. Sleepy.
I was going to work out today, but I think I’ll just read my book. Lazy.

Today is not a high self-esteem day. My diet has sort of fallen off, I’m crazy tired this week, and I haven’t had a chance to unpack my espresso machine. I don’t believe I mentioned my espresso machine—it rules. I assume, since I haven’t taken it out of the box yet. But I got it on super-sale, and that in itself makes it awesome. That and the pump-driven technology, the match-my-kitchen black casing, and the fact that I can now steam everything from milk to cider to keep me warm in the insidiously cold winter. I am so excited about cracking this thing open; I even bought the milk-foamy pitcher, and a thermometer so my homemade drinks don’t burn anyone’s tongue. I am so considerate. I think that’s what I shall do tonight instead of running, since my quads are in some screaming mad pain.

I have a problem expressing myself. I imagine myself to be like Anne of Green Gables; a smart, capable girl who wends her way into the hearts of all by changing their lives for the better (that sounds a bit more like Sam Beckett, actually, but ‘benevolent,’ is the point I’m trying to make here) but I always come off as a henpecking shrew. I want people to be happy, so I try to help them make positive decisions. I guess I need to re-watch some of those videos and analyze Anne’s technique, because every time I try to be helpful, somebody gets pissed at me. Here’s an example, maybe you can help me figure out where I’m going wrong.

Time: this morning. Place: Cafeteria.

ME: Um, didn’t you already have breakfast?

MY SISTER: (loading plate with pancakes) Yeah, so?

ME: Well, it’s only, like, ten-thirty…

MY SISTER: I’m hungry again.

ME: Okay… but, you know, lunch is in two hours…

MY SISTER: I can’t wait that long. I’m hungry now.

ME: Yeah, but, all I’m saying is, maybe you can just get something small.

MY SISTER: I’m hungry.

ME: To, you know, tide you over…

MY SISTER: I’ll just have a small lunch.

ME: Did you bring lunch?

MY SISTER: Noooo, I have to buy it.

ME: Why don’t you bring it? Then you can tell exactly how bad it is for you—

MY SISTER: What is your problem?!

ME: What? I’m just curious, since we’re supposed to be on this diet—

MY SISTER: You are on a crazy diet. I’m just supposed to work out.

ME: Yeah, about that…

MY SISTER: Jesus H. Christ.

ME: You, well, haven’t been working out at all.

MY SISTER: How do you know? Are you watching me every minute of the day? I could be working out at night.

ME: Are you?

MY SISTER: Maybe I am. How would you know?

ME: You so totally aren’t.

MY SISTER: But you wouldn’t know if I was, is my point.

ME: My point is, YOU AREN’T DOING IT.

MY SISTER: What the fuck do you care? It’s none of your business!

ME: Fine. Do whatever. Have a stroke before you’re thirty. I don’t care.

MY SISTER: Good.

ME: Whatever.

Hmm… seems less artful and well-crafted than it was in my head. My problem is that I’m not very articulate. Also, I have no patience. I lack the eloquence necessary to get my point across accurately, and I lack the patience to deal with someone else’s whining for more than thirty seconds before I want to shake them by the ears for being so damn annoying. I really hate when people kvetch about the same damn problems over and over again, and all they really want is for you to listen. I’m a bad listener. I have shit to do. If you call me and start talking about your problems, I will suggest ways to deal with them. If you dismiss my suggestions, then I assume you just wanted to vent to someone, in which case, I will give you exactly five minutes to do so. If you need more, call someone else. This is not to say I am not sympathetic; if someone has died, if you have just broken up with a significant other, then yeah—I will listen to your crying and wailing, because it’s the least I can do, and since you called me, chances are you would do the same for me. (This actually sparks a whole new problem, since I am horribly bad with grieving people. My humor self-defenses take over manically, and I go all Jerry Seinfeld on speed trying to cheer you up, so you laugh because I am so unfunny, and then cry, and then choke, and sometimes, barf. Maybe what I’m saying is, don’t call me. Unless you’re in a really, really good mood.)

I just don’t see the point in wailing about a problem if you have no intention of fixing it. Do you just crave the drama? Are you trying to figure out your feelings by running it by someone else? Do you need a second opinion? Am I supposed to unconditionally back you up, or contradict you when I feel it necessary? This is why people think I’m an uncaring person, I bet. I’m not a big whiner, I’m a problem solver; I get it done. All the time spent complaining about a problem is just more time that could be spent getting it taken care of—and I hate wasted time like I can’t even tell ya. Five minutes waiting for the bus is five more minutes I could have slept. Is that an efficiency thing? An obsessive compulsive thing? Am I crazy? What do you think? Can I call you and complain about it for several hours? What? What do you mean you’re busy? GOD, you are such a bitch!

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