Friday, Nov. 04, 2011
I met a woman I know and don't much like at the grocery store yesterday. She made a big show of sympathy for the loss of my sister, insisted on hugging me.
As I said, I don't much like her. I don't much like being spontaneously hugged by someone I don't like. I would guess my end of the hug felt like hugging an inanimate object, something in the range of a slightly squishy tree. And of course she had to ask me that question, the one that's simultaneously intensely personal and not personal at all,
“How are you?”
“I'm doing okay, all things considered,” I told her opaquely.
I don't like her. I'm not going to open my heart to this person I don't like, let her rummage around a place I've never opened to her before.
Not a satisfactory answer.
I could see that my grief was being calibrated and I was coming up short on the Right Way to Grieve Index. She eyed me critically. “You haven't lost any weight,” she noted.
Clearly the right way to grieve involves weight loss.
“If I lost one of my sisters, I'd be in tears all the time,” she informed me.
Clearly the right way to grieve involves copious public tears. Duly noted.
Do I need this when I'm desperately fighting not to slide into a depression? I can feel the warning signs, the fatigue, the inability to focus on even simple tasks. I'm trying to control it by upping my exercise, using endorphins to try to beat the black dog back.
If I can't, I'll see my doctor and go on anti-depressants. I will do what I need to. But none of this is the business of the woman I don't like. I desperately wanted to tell her that we're not close enough for anything that matters to me to be any of her business, but what's the point of randomly hurting someone who is oblivious to your feelings about them?
When I was growing up my mom, like mothers everywhere, used to insist, “If you don't have something good to say, don't say anything at all.” So I didn't say anything.
It's easy to forget how powerful a thing silence is.
She twitched for a tiny bit and then said something about how she hoped to see me at her place this weekend. She's throwing a party for someone who's very dear to me. I confirmed that the spousal unit and I would be there, thanked her for her invitation, and then mumbled something about needing to meet the spousal unit shortly. I started to push my cart down the aisle, in the opposite direction to hers.
My feet felt as if they were encased in cement. Pushing that cart felt like pushing a giant rock uphill. Even mundane tasks seem impossibly hard right now.
But that's none of her business.
Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -
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