by Dave Early
Take this example: a man, on that particular day, at that particular time, can’t abide be offered a drink.
Not something you’d ever suffer from. (she jests)
Absolutely, I’d be offended if I wasn’t.
You’d die of thirst.
Quite, no wait, you’re missing the point. I’m deliberately choosing something I don’t experience so it’s less biased.
(her lips quiver. silence at her end resumes)
He’s watching the game, gets chatting with some stranger, charms him and then in comes the generous offer. He, the idiosyncratic guy, through clenched teeth, trying to fight the frustration, ungraciously declines, much to the generous guy’s understandable consternation. Right? So the idiosyncratic guy suffers five-fold:
1 he suffers from the ridiculousness, the caging of the idiosyncrasy
2 he suffers from the worry and expectation of events
3 he suffers from trying desperately to hold the reaction, the pain in
4 he suffers from failing to do so
5 he suffers at the hands of the other
I see your point.
There’s more. So the one making the offer feels offended, of course; aggrieved, annoyed, confused, then placates himself within minutes by sharing his feelings loudly with all and sundry, and settling on the comfortable conclusion that he’s great and generous and perfectly lovely and the other guy’s just an ungracious knob.
(she maintains silence in the wake of his escalating pitch. she listens, though she’s heard it all before)
Idiosyncratic guy is perpetually in the wrong, purely because a self-gratifying act (which all naturally are) is ill-equipped to deal with what a straight brain perceives as irrational behaviour, particularly when directed toward it, even though it’s not about him personally but the situation. See?
Receiving cards – Christmas, birthday, whatever – it makes me feel sick. Crazy as it sounds, that’s the case. Full stop. And I’m the bad guy!? It’s insulting in so many ways. Firstly that these senders show no other sign of caring for my well-being throughout the rest of the year and secondly… well, it’s shut up, sweat, suffer and avoid upsetting them and increasing my torment… and all for something meaningless, a piece of card… and it’s not as if it pains them not to send one when asked, it’s not idiosyncratic behaviour for them, so if there were two people you’d hope would put you and your feelings first, no matter how unusual (specially when unusual) it’d be your own parents. I’d think it was a deliberate torment if I didn’t know what they’re like. It was down to my ‘abnormal’ behaviours that they distanced themselves in the first place…
So you don’t want me to send this then? (she queries, confusedly)
(he kicks at the chair, sensing her confusion)
What was that?
Oh, just walked into the chair. I’m trying to fill the kettle. (he lies)
Was I really that bad a girlfriend?
As a person, you were perfect. Girlfriend? Nah, not so good.
Oh thanks a lot.
I’m only kidding (he purrs)… you were a terrible person.
(they share a laugh)
Can I call you tomorrow?
Of course. But if I don’t answer it’s because, well, you know.
(he draws a soothing breath)
Get some rest and don’t beat yourself up. And hey, I like your weirdness.
It’s not me I have to worry about. But thanks.
Hmm. Speak to you next week?
Sure. See ya.
Dave Early cannot be summed up in one sentence; one word perhaps, but not one sentence.