Careful: You Are What You Read :P
by, 02-11-2011 at 04:33 PM (465 Views)
and now my sense of humor (to be sure I scare away any potential 'friends' before they waste too much time)...this is in no way meant to poke fun at Southerners (I Am one), mentally challenged (I Am one), or other oddities of nature. It is simply my perspective on what I call "lunch with the folks":
*sigh*...It was Sunday, again. Time to make the Monumental Trek to the Land of Sanity, in which I interact with well-meaning SPs (Sane People) who wander through my life through accident or design.
The Folks are part of this group. I routinely lay aside my Bipolar Disorder and Play Nice with Others, to help them feel that I am making progress and that they are not failures as parents.
(It is important to note that I am bipolar. It is a Permanent Condition and, while able to be cotrolled to a degree, can never actually be 'lain aside'. It is NOT to be confused with Stupidity, which runs Rampant in the streets)
Went to a local restaurant for the wealthy and Unburdened. Placed standard Face on, and prepared to deal with the onslaught of the curious. First up was a Dear Woman from my childhood and a former Sunday school teacher, whom I really appreciate to this day as being a Real Person (hereafter referred to as RPs). I gave her an Honest hug, and repeated what I felt would be an acceptable comment: I'm fine! SO nice to see you! How are the children? etc, etc.
And Meant it, for her sake.
Her hug lasted through the salad, strengthening me for the Main Course.
On my way back from the buffet table, I passed a family I thought I recognized, but couldn't place; the Father greeted me, and I responded in kind, with a smile, before returning to my own table. But I knew it couldn't end there. My Folks immediately let me know Who the others were (whom I had honestly forgotten), and two of the daughters got up and came to our table to further the conversation.
HI!!!!!!!(overly enthusiastic, I noticed)....How ARE you? Good to SEE you!! (loud enough for others to stop eating and take notice)...BLAH, blah, blah....of course, I remembered them at that point.
Maintaining a Healthy Conversation with former acquaintances who Tortured you as a child (not literally, people; just the typical antics of Cruel Children) is a Necessary Evil one must endure in adulthood. I am sorry to say I did not return their enthusiasm to the same degree, but it's hard to feel Excited to see someone who once locked you in a camp outhouse overnight and danced around it, chanting "retard! retard!"
THESE are the people who are so-o-o glad to see me? Their training is Complete. Two more families followed suit, and thus ended the Main Course. I was mentally sobbing in the cabbage at this point, with efforts to keep a Pleased Smile and waves of Fake Enjoyment emanating from my whole being.
...Now, I don't have a Clue what it would be like to live elsewhere, but here in the South, this is Acceptable Behavior in action. And no matter how I feel, we Folks have to maintain the standards of acceptable behavior.
I wonder if their social appetites are not actually whetted for me to swing from the chandeliers, or engage in other Unholy Behavior when threatened in public places. But even if I were so inclined, I would Not give them the satisfaction. At some point, they all retreated to their respective meals and left me Alone with the Folks.
Then I saw her - Melanie! (names have been changed to protect the Truly Innocent) The girl I had spent several high school years defending from the taunts of others. The girl who went to camp with me as a child, having never been away from home before, and who was so much bigger than the others that I was kept from physical harm. Someone I really Cared about in the past, and with whom I had simply lost touch over the years.
She was sitting on one side of the restaurant with her parents, and had not yet seen me. I proceeded to her table and greeted her as a Pastor would the Dead Sea Scrolls. Her folks were delighted to see me, as well, and we had a Fine Time catching up. MUCH to the chagrin of my own Folks, who would rather see me with the Successful People! (laughs wickedly)
But that took me through dessert, and we all went home fairly satisfied. I had maintained my dignity. (NOTE: some children have the entire alphabet left in their soup bowls as children. I had only the letter D, which stood for Dignity, Discretion and Diplomacy).
6 more days 'til next Sunday....*sigh*