Monday, 4 April 2011

People are strange....

Still here, just not been feeling in a very blogtastic mood of late. All this parenting malarkey has turned my brain to mush and I spend most days feeling like I've rediscovered skunk, or am suffering from a permanent hangover or something. Normally I could vent, sorry, blog, at least twice a day on some nonsense or other - but lately I've just been amblin' along - taking in the view, more of an observer than participator - not that inclined to talk about anything much. There's no major angst, no earth shattering highs, just day in day out life ticking along...

But I'll tell you something I have recently noticed - people are odd. Fucking odd. The day to day politics of friendships, acquaintances, even folk at your local supermarket - is mind boggling.

What happened to people smiling at each other in the street eh? Now a days it is all eyes down, must not make eye contact, clenched smiles, hastily passing by careful not to brush shoulders. Not just on London tubes either - where at least there it always makes sense to avoid catching any one's eye as more often than not they be a nutter - a nutter who needs a new best friend - EXACTLY LIKE YOU. No, tubes aside - people these days just want to get on with their day - avoiding people.

Then there are your acquaintances - folk maybe you worked with. Now last week I popped into my old place of work - I was there was the guts of 3 years - and my god it was odd. One woman utterly blanked me as I waved at her as I drove into the carpark. Walked past her desk every day for 3 years - morning and night - and yet she looked through me. She arrived back from her lunch just as I was leaving and carefully avoided meeting my baby. Another looked at me, smiled stiffly and then dashed on - desperate not to stop and speak - as if I had some infectious disease. One guy - who may I add sobbed so much he couldn't actually speak, on the day left my job (for the first time) - barely gave me two mins because he had to hurry out for lunch with folk - folk he sees every day. At one point I checked that I was in fact still holding little Sproglette and not a rabid dog - as I seemed to have some sort of plague.

Meanwhile I told a really good friend of years recently how happy I was - how life for once felt good in the here and now - something I have struggled with all my life (as I constantly move those goal posts the minute I get to them) and she said..... nothing. Nothing. She ignored it and moved on. Because, I have realised - that it is ok to be miserable - folk know what to say to you when you have been dumped, or lost your job, or have zit, or had a bad date, or got crabs or whatever - but if you are *whispers* happy - then no soul wants to know. Take your goddamn smiley chirpy face and hide it until the mundanity of life grinds you down again - then they'll be all ears. People don't want to hear about your new home/fab job/ pregnancy/ hot sex with your new man/ successful weight loss/ lottery win etc unless they are in a good place themselves. As Gore Vidal said 'Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.'

Admit it - how do you feel when a work chum gets a promotion - the one you went for but never told anyone? Or your once 'cuddly but she has a great personality' best friend climbs into her size 8 jeans for the first time in a decade? Or your neighbours get an extension you'd fantasised about for years? Or your old uni buddy is taking a sabbatical to whizz the family round the world for 4 months on the vacation of a lifetime? People don't want others to win, do they? Because that makes them feel that little bit uneasy, that bit less satisfied with their lot, that bit more inferior. Even though whatever happens to Sammy, Dicky or Joe - has no baring on your life whatsoever - won't change a little thing - it still bothers you even though you would never in your life admit it.

No, we smile that tad too widely, we make blustering noises and offer up our congratulations, our 'joy' at our friend/colleague/neighbour/relative's good news/fortune and then go home and sink a bottle of red and bitch to anyone who will listen that 'it will never work out,' 'she'll put the weight on again in no time,' 'I wouldn't work for that company in a million years - bastards the lot of them.' 'Its not good to take the kids out of school for so long - that's just selfish - and they're bound to get sick or kidnapped or what not,' or 'money never makes anyone happy anyway,' - then we'll feel better.

Because we are delighted for people when they are in a good place, we are honestly. They deserve it.

Never lasts anyway. Bah!


Liz said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean! I called a friend to share good news and she NEVER called me back. And I know she spoke to other, mutual friends. Seriously? WTF is with people?

Chaos said...

I think Kiwis can be quite bad at this. The Tall Poppy Syndrome.