…or pardon me, but I’m going to get down and dirty with my feelings here for just a minute.
So, I was talking to Nameless on the phone the other day. He’s someone I haven’t seen in years, but someone with whom I thought I had a nice family relationship. Over the phone, joke-telling and story-sharing and commiserations and congratulations….stuff like that.
We’ve never been super close, as I’m a girl, he’s a guy, more than 7 years separate us and other than when we were both at home and intermittent house-mates and town-mates, we’ve lived apart. He’s a conservative Baptist. I’m a liberal Pagan. He’s married and lives in the east with his conservative Baptist wife. I’m married and live in Texas with my liberal Buddhist husband, and we are activist types. Nameless watches sports and she reads. We don’t go to church. They go to church and Sunday School and have their class pray for “God’s best for me,” which is to say at one point 7 or 8 years back, they were garnering prayers for the dissolution of my relationship with my Buddhist best friend/lover/husband/soulmate.
Anyway, our conversation was about stuff that has been happening in his life and it went so far as to enter choppy waters, shall we say. Approach with caution. There be dragons. You know, one of those hairpin-curve, sharp-left-turn, ohmygods look-out-you’re-about-to-run-this-thing-off-a-freakin’-cliff kinda conversations that develop and before I could say “boyhowdy” he was asking me “Do you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior and have you confessed your sins and asked him into your heart? Because, you know you’re a filthy-rags sinner.” (Well, he left out the filthy rags, but just barely.)
Sigh. I informed him that I had not changed my theology or my beliefs along life’s way. I still felt the same, and perhaps he just hadn’t asked or been paying close enough attention. Can you say, “Not the answer he was looking for?” Well, the conversation ended with him in a huff and with me thinking, “I think this just might be the very last time I’ll ever talk to Nameless. Wow.”
Long story short, I’ve come to believe a couple of things that really should NOT have taken me a lifetime to figure out. Duhhhh….
1. When someone says you don’t really know who they are, you don’t. However, you may have been telling yourself that all the stuff other people warned you about regarding that person could be ignored. Instead of reading the handwriting on the wall, you’ve been using your Mr. Clean eraser and have been kidding yourself about it all. You’ve been ignoring the dinging bells and flashing lights thinking you knew better. FAIL.
2. When someone tells you there’s a great disconnect, just cut to the chase. Take their word for it and just never you mind. Fewer regrettable words will have been uttered and you won’t be left reeling. You won’t wake up in the night from bad dreams wondering HTH did you miss that?!! You’ll not be as sad, because you won’t have allowed Nameless to say all that rot. For crying out loud, if you stop it before it gets into the choppy waters, you won’t have allowed the words to hit you like a 2x4 up side the head and leave you wondering whattheheck was that all about?!!
3. You won’t spend the next 2 or 3 days stopping mid-thought and having to do a facepalm when something from way back when comes jumping into the mental vision field and you’re going, “Ohhhhhhhhhh……” and feeling stupid that you’ve let them get away with that thing all these years. You won’t be embarrassed all over again for being so STUPID and FORGIVING of what really shouldn’t have been allowed by people who were supposed to care about you more than that.
4. And my gods, when someone says to you, “We’re supposed to love you, but we don’t have to like you,” hang up the damn phone and call it a day. Period.
Funny. Nameless used to say this about relationships, and turns out, it applies.
“I’d rather want something I don’t have than have something I don’t want.”
(Nameless: Just somebody I’m allowing to remain anonymous, because I’m nice like that.)
My thanks to my husband, SGTex. His encouragement and editing skills gave me what I needed to write this. xoxoxo