Recently I was thrown together with an older, never-married woman who was extremely difficult and whom everyone else seemed to have successfully avoided like the plague. I tried to handle her gracefully, but it was clear that not only did she have poorly-developed social skills, but she lacked empathy and was determined to have everything her way.
It was another time in my life when I longed for a partner so I could have some kind of shield. I also admit that she threatened my identity, as I couldn’t help but think that this was the other older, never-married woman in attendance.
Along the same lines, in the past year I have crossed paths with yet another older, never-married woman who, while possessing many likable personality characteristics, has proven herself to be just as difficult. She sets the agenda for everything, often ignores other’s wishes and feelings, and alienates people with her inappropriate bluntness. She has also proven to have a list of ever-escalating demands. I acquiesce to do one thing out of politeness only to have the ante upped the next time. In reality, I don’t even have a ton in common with her.
I see where it’s all going. I will participate in a one-sided “giving” until I finally give out, at which point she will end the friendship in a huff, all my former actions being for naught. Let’s just say I’ve been down this road before.
The sad things is I must admit that she is the only person who is knocking down my door in terms of trying to befriend me. I do have a few other scattered friends I quite like, but they are busy (and, admittedly, so am I) and I see them only occasionally. For the most part, though, I have been a social failure here, if I define success as becoming friends with people I consider peers– people who generally read the same books, share the same politics, have the same sense of humor, etc. This, even though they are all around me.
I have been asking myself what part I play in failing to make the connections that are appropriate to my personality and interests. I’m not sure. I have made the overtures. I think perhaps, at this time of life, most people are just too busy.
Except, of course, for the loose nuts.