Why do people TELL me things? People that I’m not particularly close to and things I don’t want to know, I mean. WHY do they do that to me? Do I LOOK like I can fix whatever it is? Do I LOOK like I care? Do I LOOK like Mother Teresa?
This past week alone, I was privy to no less than three intimate revelations from three different women. Was I just in the wrong place at the wrong time and they needed to talk? I don’t know. I suppose I know how to make appropriate eye contact and listening noises when people talk to me – not that I’m always paying close attention to what they say, but I appear to be doing so. (This is a useful trick that I picked up very young – probably during some boring elementary school class.) If people are looking for it, perhaps I give sage advice, being of the advanced age that I am. Maybe I just look approachable and so people seek me out when they feel the need to talk things through with someone neutral. Possibly I am simply acquainted with lots of people who overshare.
All of that is fine when I am actually good friends with the person who wants to do the sharing. I certainly don’t mind that. That’s what you do for your friends – well, that and go out for drinks and laugh yourself silly with them, of course. My point is that discussing personal information with a trusted good friend is one of the ways you bond with that person, one way to demonstrate how much you care for each other.
And quite honestly, I don’t care overly much for any of the three women who shared way-too-personal stuff with me this week.
It doesn’t matter a great deal to me that Woman #1 has a husband who generally seems to treat her like shit, who hasn’t taken on any of the cooking or cleaning even though she is 8 months pregnant, who refused to miss his golf game so that he could attend their five-year-old’s Kindergarten “graduation”. She can’t decide whether or not to leave him, because her mother thinks he’s wonderful, since he takes care of the yard so well.
I don’t care that Woman #2 has a mother-in-law who lives in Halifax and who is currently visiting. For three weeks. And she is talking about staying permanantly. With them. Apparently the last time the mother-in-law visited, it got so bad that Woman #2 phoned a friend and started packing her bags to go stay with the friend. Her husband stopped her as she was finishing up, begged her to stay, and sent his mother back to Halifax as soon as possible.
It doesn’t really concern me at all that Woman #3 has been dating a man for two years, but all she can say about him is that he’s good-looking and he’s very helpful. Plus he doesn’t have a job and doesn’t seem to plan to get one, and she doesn’t know where his money comes from. And he never wants to go out and do anything other than the occasional restaurant meal. Oh – and he never wants to have sex. Woman #3 says she loves him, but these things bother her. So she has gotten back in contact with the man she was seeing before this one, the man who dumped her so that he could get back with his ex, because he realized how much he still loved her. This other guy has since broken up with that ex – again – and he and Woman #3 are going out for dinner tonight. But she hasn’t yet broken it off with the guy she is (supposedly) currently dating.
No. I do not.
But I sure feel better for sharing it with YOU!