Thursday, September 23, 2010

Advice and An Awkward Encounter

I have been doing a lot of walking lately. I listened to a song yesterday and today that advised me to say to myself several times a day, "Always be calm, cheerful and confident." "Let go." I wish it were that easy.

Last Tuesday, I walked about a mile from my house to run an errand, and another mile or two to find some unmarked trails not far from where I live, that I had heard about recently. On the way, a property developer/landlord/senior citizen drove by and asked me for a ride from his luxury SUV-mobile. I recognized the car and the man because he had driven my co-worker and I for a tour of some property that he was leasing about five months ago, and my neighbor is his employee. Of course, he didn't remember me. He simply wanted to know if I wanted a ride. I told him which way I was going instead of accepting. A few minutes later, I was in dangerous walking territory because I was looking for the trail, cars were going by very fast, and there was no walkway -- just steep slopes, high grass, and a cornfield. He drove by again and asked if I wanted a ride, and I accepted to get out of the way of the fast-moving cars. I told him I was looking for a trail. I think I was almost there, but he drove me far past it and around too far. About five minutes later, I found the trail and he dropped me off. I walked on the trail for about an hour, and as I was walking back on the dangerous road, he drove by again and offered another ride to me. I accepted, as I was in the same fast-paced no-sidewalk situation. He told me he wanted to show me his house, and it was right on the main road. I know I should have said no, but I had met him before, knew he owned most of the neighborhood (all of the neighborhood at one time), and was curious about the sort of home he would have in our small area. It turned out to be one of the nicest of the houses. He had albino deer that had been taxidermitized and were sitting on an overlook over the kitchen. He offered me rum raisin ice cream and venison balogna, which seemed to me to be a new and disturbing concept. I thought to myself, if someone could just be kind to me without me being afraid I was being hit on, life would be sweeter, and sweet ... maybe it could be this guy. He's at least 70, and I'm young enough to be his daughter ... I think. So, after a tour of this beautiful and interesting house and several of the balconies, I was ready to go home. I said I could walk, but he offered to drive again. I had already been gone for quite some time, and had some delicious pot roast ready for me at home. I should have said no. Actually, I think I did say no. So, when he dropped me off, he asked for my phone number, touched my arm twice, and said he'd like to take me out to dinner. Foiled again. My belief that strange men who are super friendly will only be looking for an impersonal date was further solidified and I felt disturbed that I was open to the possibility that his intentions were any different. He wrote my number on a birthday card his grandson had mailed to him. It said "Grandpa" in giant red letters. I should have said no. I should have said no.

The good news is that I have received no such phone call inviting me to the previously suggested "dinner," to which I would most definitely protest.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The inner/outer critic

When we're living closely with someone else, it becomes easy to blame our annoyances on the other person and find incredible fault with him. When we don't have another person in our lives with such one-on-one closeness, that fault-finding is then directed inward. I think.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sometimes Re-Framing is a Struggle

When will I ever see empty promises, unfulfilled offers, and consistent indifference to me as rude and offensive, rather than unconsciously internalizing all the blame? I need to see that it's not all about me! Now I suddenly see, the problem is self-absorption. Wait, now I'm blaming myself again! It happens so easily!