whipping posts

by rantywoman

In addition to this recent falling-out with the roommate, I had a falling-out with one of my few NoMo friends this year that reminded me of a falling-out with another NoMo friend years ago.

In all three cases (and, I admit, in smaller types of instances), I was more or less accused of never being happy and being a broken record in terms of my complaints, specifically around dating and jobs and friendships.

So I got the message. I’m just too much for a lot of people. I started putting those thoughts and feelings in this blog instead and doing my grief work here. My other interests don’t feature here unless they relate to the theme of this blog, but I can assure you I do have them!

If anything, that is what irks me about those accusations. With all three friends, it was implied that I’m not doing anything to help myself. Yet whenever I mentioned my passions or the proactive steps I’ve been taking, none of them picked up the thread. They showed no interest in discussing the authors or podcasts I love. Unless it was something I suggested because it related directly to them, they didn’t pick up the books I recommended. They didn’t ask any questions about the shows I produced. They weren’t interested in seeing my pictures from my travels or asking questions about them. They asked zero questions about my dance classes. They showed no interest in hearing about my foreign language class. They asked no questions about my continual reevaluations and changes in direction in the face of setbacks.

I mentioned these things, but conversations never resulted. One of these friends actually suggested I take up yoga due to “never being happy,” apparently not having registered the fact that I already do yoga every day.

I have a few friends who did pick up those threads, and although I do discuss jobs and relationships with them, we talk about all those other topics as well.

These three friends were, however, happy to use me as a sounding board for their own relationship and job issues, and I always obliged even when I wasn’t particularly interested. Only when our problems coincided did they want to hear mine. Yet the thing that seems to have eventually infuriated all three– and seems to have remained a burr in their heels to the point they didn’t take notice of instances when I’d moved on– is the apparent nails-on-a-chalkboard sound of my voice discussing the difficulties inherent in the dating, social, and job markets of today.

I get it. My role is the eternal giving tree. When their job or relationship problems were momentarily resolved, mine should have been too. I’m uninteresting as a loser in the romance and job markets and an inconvenient reminder of potential loneliness and economic hardship.

And out of those fears, I become a whipping post.