Wednesday, March 01, 2006

not an open book, but certainly a page-turner

To say I'm not an open book is an understatement.
I'm a page-tuner, but not an open book.
People think I'm an open book and people like to think they have me pegged down fairly well.
They'd be wrong, but that's their assumption.
If people ask me a direct question, they will always, without fail get a direct honest answer. Too many people don't take the time to ask, therefore I don't feel the need to answer. All of this comes back to the lost art of conversation that I've ranted on before, so I'll spare all of you from ranting on again.

This week with the winning of the writing contest has been interesting.
If you weren't standing right by me when I received the news, you weren't told about it. The exception would be that I told my boss and two fellow co-workers. Of course I told my parents and a few close friends. Otherwise, mum was the word.
Believe it or not, mum was the word.

Well my boss, God love 'er, was so excited for me she sent a department wide email to everyone telling them of the good news. Which is fantastic, it is a pretty huge deal and it was a writing contest that took place here at work so yeah, pretty big deal.
Yah me!

Anyway, the thing is, that brought people up wanting to read the piece.
Okay. If people asked I would let them read it, but I wasn't going to push it onto people.
Not my style.

I've had a few requests from people. My disclaimer when I hand it to them is; it is not a feel good piece and I am not reflected in any kind of postive light in the essay.
Everyone who has read it(about four people in all) hands the essay back with tears streaming down their face and without much more than a, "It is an incredibly powerful piece."
...and that's pretty much all they can muster.
Excellent review as far as I'm concerned.

The essay is about the fact that I went out drinking with friends for 12 hours last St. Patrick's Day and the next day my dad was in the hospital and almost died. It's about me dealing with all the emotions of the day spent up at the hospital with family that I don't get along and about a dad that I'm not close to, all while facing guilt and a hang-over. Basically its a resolution piece that would be universally understood.
For me to share this with anyone, let alone people I know? It would be easier for me to be on national television, naked, singing the, "National Anthem."
Total soul baring. Raw, soul baring.
For me to send it to publishers who don't know me? Who the hell cares, they don't know me. Nothing to lose.

So, my point.

I showed the essay to a co-worker who I am work friends with. He has read some of my less soul baring essays and he really liked them and he knows my dream of wanting to be published. He constructively criticizes pieces, that's fine. You can constructively tear me up one side and down the other and I don't care. Tear me apart just to tear me apart for fun and games? Um, no.

I told him my big news, he was ecstatic. Wanted to read it. Sure. I was a tad timid about it, but thought it would be safe.

He sat right outside my office to read the essay.
"Is this true?"
"Yep. Every painful word of it."
Several pages of silence.
"All of this really happened?"
"Yep. Every painful word of it."
Several more pages of silence.
When he's finished he hands it back to me.

He really, really liked it. Has a suggestion. Sure. He tells me the suggestion. I listen. Tell him why I wouldn't make that change. He understands, but doesn't think I need the last page and half. Okay, I can see why you would think that, but here's why I think it's important.
He listens, doesn't agree, but obviously is doesn't matter because I won the contest based on what I have.

That was Monday.

Yesterday morning he and I are talking about nothing in particular and somehow the conversation comes around to fate and destiny.
I kind of believe in it, but I don't think that if I choose the wrong path that my life is going to be completely messed up, it's simply going to be different, and it's all good.
He doesn't believe in it at all and he thinks the world is total chaos.
We spend the next 40 minutes discussing this. Tit for tat, back and forth, agreeing to disagree. Then he starts to get flippant with me and he seems more concerned with coming up with his next come back to disagree with me more than he is concerned with listening to me.
So, I let the conversation drift off. He senses this, but thinks it's because he has "won" the conversation and I've therefore given up.
He leaves feeling all cocky and I am a bit hurt.

Whatever, no big deal. I think about it for the next five minutes in terms of my disappointment because I hadn't seen that side of him, but then think nothing more of it.

Six or so hours later he comes into my office and asks me what my come back was for the conversation he had to leave.

"Ah yeah, can't say as I really remember." (I honestly have no idea where we left the conversation)
He says something cocky.
I tell him that frankly I didn't think he was listening and I go into what I just said above. Now, to clarify, I never raise my voice unless it's in excitement. I hate to fight and I don't yell. Am I afraid of confrontation? No. So all of it was said calmly.
He looks like I ran over his puppy. Ran it over a few times. Backed up and kicked him the shin while I was at it.
He turns around and leaves my office as I'm still talking.
I ask him to come back.
He does.
He says he finds this interesting and it's a side of me he hasn't seen before.
"What does that mean?"
"Just interesting and a side I didn't know was there."
Now, this isn't said in a complimentary way. It's sad in a very mean-spirited way.
I try to finish the conversation and find out what he meant by that.
I get nowhere and I leave it alone. Not worth my time.
I tell him I'll see him tomorrow and I look forward to our next discussion.
He walks out the door and says, "Never gonna happen."
He said itt as he was walking down the hall and I was clearly out of earshot to say anything back without having to yell, so I left it.

Haven't seen boo of him today.

OK, whatever.

However, my whole point to this incredibly long diatribe is this: I am always perpetually perky. That's how I'm known around here and around my friends. I am the confidant and the go to gal for whatever it is you need. By him reading the essay, which does not portray me in a postive light and is completely raw and emotional and then to see my confrontational side, I think it was too much. He made assumptions about me and I completely blew the lid off of it.

Where I'm at with the whole thing and the conclusion I came to after he left, no way in hell anyone else is going to see the essay or anything else I write. I'll refer them to the publication when it comes out. In fact a couple people have heard about my "big news," but they don't know what it is in regards to. My new response? "Oh, just something big that happened to me earlier this week."
No need to open the door, I say.
Take the time to get to know me and don't mistake my kindness for weakness. Turn all the pages, don't open up to the middle of the book and assume you know things. Turn all the pages.


Mikey said...

Wow great post. I am the sameway in that I am a care giver for people. The person people come to when they need help or need to talk. I always gave into my ex Matthew when we had an arguement to keep the peace, but put me up against the wall and I will make you hurt in some way.

I also didn't have a great relationship with my dad. He was kinda cold to all his children so it wasn't a gay thing. Mom said he was the kindest person when they were alone when I asked her about him. M

Party Girl said...

The people person, that is so very me. Which is awesome, I LOVE being that person. Being the person people can trust. I hate it that the people who are entrusting themselves in me can't themselves be trusted.

Yeah, dad's are a funny thing in a not so hilarious way.
One or two moms are as well.

THE DUKE said...

Sounds to me kind of like your work friend has a crush on you. Kind of like kids do on the playground when "girls have cooties". I wouldn't take it too personally. I'd like to read your story.

Party Girl said...

The Duke: I would guess you're right. However, if that is how he handles a mild confrontation, no thanks.

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