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Two bad experiences
Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, May 17, 2020 6:10 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17900


Recently two people from my distant past, over forty years ago, reconnected with me.  One told me about her wonderful career, her wonderful husband, her wonderful successful children and her beautiful smart grandchildren.  The other one questioned me about having a boyfriend and have I been in contact with other people we used to know from over forty years ago.  I told them I have no husband, no children, no career and I live on Social Security.  I'm not interested in delving into the past with people I have nothing in common with now.  They really upset me.  I'm still trying to calm myself.

Caregivers often complain that old friends don't keep in contact.  What for?  To dredge up old memories that might be better left buried?  That's not a good idea IMHO.


Iris


eaglemom
Posted: Sunday, May 17, 2020 11:00 PM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 2730


I'm so sorry Iris. That would be upsetting. Maybe a better word would be unnerving. Meaning they have some nerve by questioning your past.

If I were to guess the first one, the one whom was bragging on how wonderful everything is really isn't telling the whole truth. She was rambling on when I'm sure not everything in her life is so 'perfect.' As for the other one asking questions I would have to wonder why. Why were they questioning you about being in contact with someone from your past? What were they trying to figure out.

I'm sorry they upset you. If either one calls you can ignore the call, or if an email that can be ignored. They will quickly realize you don't want to talk with them again. With all of the shelter at home we're all experiencing I wonder if both of them were just thinking about the past - when you were close? 

Hopefully you can put this behind you and focus on more important things - you. We're here for you Iris.

eagle


Iris L.
Posted: Monday, May 18, 2020 10:30 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17900


Thank you for your encouraging words, eaglemom.  I know I have to put these obsessive thoughts out of my mind as best as I can.  There is so much else for me to be concerned with now.  

Iris


jfkoc
Posted: Monday, May 18, 2020 5:28 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20719


The first one is bone deep unlikable. We all know someone like that and do truly avoid them. The second I would be more flexible with. I doubt they meant any harm.

That said you were upset and that is the issue. I am sorry. I think you are splendid!!!!!


zauberflote
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 9:34 AM
Joined: 10/24/2018
Posts: 1480


Iris, I'm so sorry! Calls like that are upsetting from the git-go. I agree, the first one was probably glossing over many problems, but that sure doesn't mean she should be a braggart to cover it up. The second was maybe a little overly curious, and I hope your response gave her a lesson in good manners. Especially the boyfriend part, for heaven's sake! 

Channeling my dad here, it is possible both of them had friendly and warm motivations, and are just ignorant of diplomacy and true empathy. And yep, there's alot of that around all the time, and now people have been perhaps unwillingly trapped with only themselves for company, so they go through their old yearbooks or whatever, and go looking for the old times, which as we know, cannot be retrieved. 

I used to get upset at family Christmas letters talking about all the travels, all the accomplishments and awards... we don't travel, and our kids are the first in several generations not to have college degrees. It's hard to brag about your kid's greatest life achievement being keeping a job for a year, to people whose kids are earning Master's degrees on accelerated tracks. I have learned to let it roll off my back. As you say, there is so much else to be concerned about. 


jfkoc
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 11:31 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20719


Oh, the Christmas letter. I get one every year that is a stunner. Now a confession. One year I wrote one back and it had, shall we say, a little fabrication and a little embellishment. I know it was wrong to do .... it was truly devil inspired.
Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 11:44 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17900


I don't think they had bad intentions, but I do think they were socially tone-deaf.  Another woman called me yesterday to talk about her feral cats.  I had told her a year ago that I am overloaded on cat talk!  I can't handle anymore!  It was not a conversation but a monologue.  People don't seem to understand that a conversation involves back-and-forth about mutually agreeable topics.  Not, you listen to me tell you about myself.  I do have one friend that I can have an actual two-way conversation with.  We can talk for an hour and not bore each other.  I have a couple of other friends who want to talk about Covid-19.  I'm overloaded with Covid talk too.  I don't talk to too many people.  I don't want to be stressed out when I do talk.

  

Iris


jfkoc
Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 10:34 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20719


Understood. Some people in my life are totally absorbed in themselves.
Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020 12:52 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17900


What a week!  A friend from college whom I had not spoken to in decades, called me yesterday.  I returned her call today and we had a great time catching up and conversing!  She is a doctor and is  still active in professional work.  It can be nice sometimes to reconnect with old friends.  I'm happy now!


Iris


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020 5:50 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4250


Thats great. You never know how it will go so it is worth taking the chance.
jfkoc
Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020 10:27 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20719


Good!
zauberflote
Posted: Friday, May 22, 2020 4:03 PM
Joined: 10/24/2018
Posts: 1480


Iris, that's great about the college friend; I'm so glad that gave you a happy! If you have caller ID and/or voicemail of some sort, do like me and don't answer the phone if A) you don't know who it is and/or B) you know them and don't want to talk now ( ...or ever again....). The real folks will leave a message, and so will the computers, occasionally. But those good ones, you call back when it's good!

Jfkoc and Iris, we really have to have coffee sometime! I wrote Christmas letters intentionally and obviously full of BS some years, with an optional addendum about what was really going on. I tried very hard to make them laugh-out-loud funny, and succeeded a couple of times. We kept gerbils for NINE years, so in one letter, nouns were liberally replaced with"gerbil". Another one I used percentages on everything (including the truth on that year's increase of gerbils...) Anything to have fun in the face of the oh-so-earnest ones about international travels and children's trophy-awarded achievements. My little photos were also unlike anyone else's portrait type... I put in the dumb faces and the "fails",  the kid with his fine bowl-cut white-blond hair stuck straight up off his head by the static electricity generated from bouncing on a trampoline. Mischief all the way. 


Amor Fati
Posted: Monday, May 25, 2020 10:37 AM
Joined: 1/9/2016
Posts: 87


I know how you feel, Iris. In our experience, visiting friends leave us both upset and sad. Often they drop in on their way home from a wonderful trip or vacation, telling us all about their wonderful lives, being vibrant, healthy and full of life. These visits show us with brutal honesty how much we have lost over the years, how limited our lives have become. I am always happy when no one visits or even calls, then we can pretend everything is fine and go about our daily routine, sit in our little garden and enjoy the flowers.

There are only two exceptions. Our son comes for one weekend a month to stay with his dad while I hide out at our little cabin for some respite. The other one is a longtime friend, who meets DH where he is now physically, mentally and emotionally and chats with him about topics of interest to DH. Both visits lift us up and make us feel good.