So, I have this friend. She’s really cool, but a little lacking when it comes to understanding social niceties. She says what she means and means what she says; if you have a problem (or what she perceives as a problem – important disctinction there, for the purpose of this post) and you mention it to her, she’ll help you fix it (whether or not you asked for her help). Good intentions, awkward-to-the-point-of-uncomfortable execution. Make sense?
A few days ago I got an email from Friend. Her brother-in-law got a Wii for Christmas and wanted to have people over to play. It seemed a little weird that she was organizing this; didn’t he have friends of his own, I wondered? (Uncharitable, I know.) I responded that I would cheer them on, though I can’t play myself (the color saturation in video games gives me migraines). I didn’t hear anything else after that (which was just as well, since I’m not that crazy about her brother-in-law – not for any particular reason – he’s a nice guy, we just don’t mesh well.).
Then, a day or two after that, I got an email from Friend asking if I bowled. I responded that if by bowl she meant throw-the-ball-randomly-down-the-lane-and-laugh-when-I-couldn’t-hit-a-damn-thing, then yes, I did. But that otherwise, not so much. She responded that she and her wife were trying to get some people together to hang out, but that their house was too small, so they were thinking bowling. (Makes sense. I’ve been to their house and it’s REALLY small.) So she asked me what dates I’d be available.
For one reason and another, my weekends are pretty full until early February, and then it’s my mom’s b-day. So I said that I MIGHT be able to do the 7th, but only if we do Mom’s b-day the week before. The next day I got another email, saying, “Ok, we’re all set for hte 7th! Save the date!” I sent ANOTHER email saying basically, “I’ll be there if I can, but I can’t commit until I know about Mom’s b-day.”
Ten minutes later I got a phone call.
Friend: “Well . . . I was going to invite you and Friend 2 and Friend 3, since you’re all single, and my wife has 3 single guy friends that she was going to invite, so I really want you to be there. But I didn’t want to say anything in advance, because I thought it would be less pressure that way.”
WHAT. THE. FUCK.
SERIOUSLY?? First off, I don’t have anything against being set up, but I WANT TO KNOW I’M BEING SET UP. I would have been seriously pissed to arrive at the bowling alley (especially if I showed up in jeans and no makeup with my hair in a ponytail, because hey – IT’S JUST BOWLING) and find that I was being set up. Also, 3 single guys, 3 single girls, plus Friend and her wife? Not subtle, you know? And rife with possibilities for awkwardness, if two people like the same person, or one person in particular is a BAD FIT with the whole group. At least if you know you’re getting set up going in, you can mentally prepare yourself for that kind of possibility.
Also, I was really upset because Friend is someone who keeps saying, “We have to find you a man,” even though I keep telling her I’m good. I LIKE being single. I date when I want to, but honestly, it’s not that often because I DON’T LIKE DATING. But when I do date, I don’t have trouble meeting men. So I felt like she was saying that I needed “fixing,” because I’m not living the life SHE thinks I should be, and it pissed me off. (I know she probably wasn’t saying that; it just FELT that way.)
So I got home last night ENRAGED. (That’s the irrational part.) This is just something that hits a nerve with me, partly because I feel like MY LOVE LIFE IS NO ONE’S BUSINESS. That’s unusual in our society, so I recognize that it’s MY issue, and I don’t go flying off the handle at people who inadvertently pushed one of my “buttons.” THEY didn’t know it was a button, you know? Likewise about blind set-ups. They make me so angry that I see red. I was shaking when I got home last night, I was so pissed. Again, I KNOW that’s not normal, so I didn’t take it out on Friend in the moment, but there it is.
I think it’s that blind set-ups make me feel like a) I need “fixing,” as I mentioned, and also b) like the other person is somehow saying, “Since you’re not living your life the way *I* think you should be living it, I’m going to arrange it so that you’re pushed into living it more like I think you should.” And any time I feel like someone is doing that, I get all, “Screw you! You are not the boss of me!!” Does that make sense?
ANYWAY. I talked with a more rational friend about it, and got some good advice. So I’m going to talk to Friend today and just say that *I* personally don’t want to be blindly set up, and that I would have been MORE uncomfortable if I had shown up (in jeans and no makeup) and realized that I should have mentally prepared for a different evening than I had. (I might point out that for that last reason, she should probably give Friends 2 and 3 a heads-up; especially since I know at least one of them is also highly likely to do the jeans, no-makeup thing.)
*sigh* I hate traumatic events that are only traumatic in my head. Although I guess it’s better than traumatic events that are LEGITIMATELY traumatic. If this is the worst thing that happens this week, I’ve had a pretty good week. *wry smile*