Sunday, June 9, 2013

Peace, Love and Misunderstanding

In third grade I asked my friend  how babies were born.  I honestly don't know why I asked, it wasn't like I would ever want any or be in a position to possibly create one, regardless I was curious.   He told me that a woman and a man go in the bedroom and put their metals together.  I didn't ask any further questions and for the next two years I just assumed my parents were created much like the action hero Iron Man.  Later, I would have an AHA moment in realizing he was saying "middles"  and not "metals".  Thus began my life as witness to the misconceived.

A few months ago my friends Nicole, Pam and I were taking a day trip to San Antonio to a restaurant that is a favorite of mine.   I like them so much that I "liked" them on my Facebook account and they sent me a text for a free appetizer. Got that?  If you liked them on Facebook,you got a free appetizer.  Easy enough to understand for your run of the mill ten year old, complicated quantum physics like science for Nicole. 

Pam and I explained to Nicole that if she "liked" this restaurant on Facebook, she would get a free appetizer and then we would all get to share it.  When we explained this, Nicole's response was "why would we get it for free?"  "Because you liked it on Facebook" I replied.  Nicole cocked her head to the side like a bewildered Labrador retriever and we followed up on the explanation.   "They give you a free appetizer when you like them on facebook, we would all share the appetizer, after you have done this."   Still confused Nicole continued with her inquiry into this mystery "why would we all get it?" she asked.   We wouldn't all get it I explained,  I was now somewhat perplexed and losing my patience with having to say the say thing over and over.  "we would all just share the appetizer after you have liked them on Facebook.  We don't want to order three appetizers, so we will just share yours."   "It's free for me,,why?" she asked.  "GODAMMIT Nicole"  I was officially raising my voice.  "Fucking because you liked it on Facebook that is why."  She looked down for a bit, which was probably not the best thing to do, as she was the one driving us to San Antonio.  A few seconds passed and in my mind I was saying 'don't you dare ask again, Nicole, don't you do it.   To her credit she did wait a few moments and timidly responded with "I just don't see why we all are going to get the appetizer."    Pam and I looked at each other.  I began a tirade of rants and spewed threats for about 4- 5 minutes, until I just tired myself out.  Pam being the level headed and calm one in this group took over.  "Look honey,  don't be embarrassed by what I am about to do.   I am going to explain this to you like I would a second grader.  If you go onto the restaurant's Facebook page and click like, they will give you a free appetizer.  Maybe a chips and queso,  maybe sliders,,,you get the idea.   You would get that appetizer for free at the restaurant.  We would all take a bite of it, otherwise known as sharing.  sound good honey?"  Nicole nodded her head, but as I sat there steaming, I knew that crazy hippy still didn't know what the hell we were talking about.

Confusion and Misunderstanding seem to now be a normal part of my day.  I have a friend who I now know very well and we get along great, but when I first met him I was enamored.  Daniel is absolutely gorgeous and I was in awe of his physical beauty. Seriously I found myself at a loss for words.  I would stammer and trip over sentences as if I were  playing Jodi Foster's role of Nell, from the movie "Nell".

I should have said things like "It's very nice to meet you."  Instead I puked out something that sounded like "me like you face, I choke you and is good?"   I didn't really want to choke him,what was I talking about.  stupid idiot, get it together.   He's just a man.......a drop dead gorgeous God-like man,whose  eyes I could swim in for days.  I would continue this awkward fascination upon several meetings to follow.   Each time I opened my mouth to speak or stared at him like a crazed stalker it came off as if I wanted him to be a personal sex slave and live in my basement.  For the record that was not the intention, no harm ever came to Daniel and to this day he is free to come and go as he pleases without the fear of physical restraint.  Does that mean I can't have a life size doll of him , complete with hair samples and fingernail clippings?   No it does not.

A recent attempt to communicate and to understand came straight from the heart.   This attempt was filled with good intentions but fell like a stone.  A stone in a lake of awkward creepiness.

I tend to be a very emotional person.  I even watch those YouTube videos that show military reunions or unlikely animal friends that have recovered from serious injury, just for the sheer pleasure of getting a good cry on.   Feel free to try this yourself by adding in a pint of Ben and Jerry's and you will know what my Friday nights consist of.  

At work , I had recently found out that Dixie, our Administrative Assistance had lost her father.  We had all signed a card for her and I don't come into contact with Dixie on a regular basis so I assumed providing grief counseling by myself would not be needed.

We were having a potluck a week after her father died and I was looking for the meeting room in which we were to dine.  I spotted Dixie in one of the kitchens in a separate wing of our building and asked her where the room was located.  She gave quick and concise directions to our room.  I should have said thank you and continued on my way, but something inside me, definitely not common sense, said "Kyle, stay,  stay and ask about your coworkers dead daddy".   So I did.  I offered a quick condolence and explained that I was sorry for her loss. "Thank you very much." she said.  This is the part of the story, where I should now be walking away.  "NOT SO FAST" the voice in my head said.  "Really dive into this persons loss and continue with an uncomfortable situation for her.   "I just know it must have been a huge loss and wanted to say again we were sorry to hear of it."  "Yes,,,well,,thank you for that and I appreciate it." and she then intentionally broke eye contact with me.  The rational side of me said, "this is where you turn and make footsteps in the reverse direction.  Just leave while your have a tiny shred of respectability left."  The  sassy black lady inside of me said, "Back that thang up.  Get on up outta there before you make a fool outta yourself."  The menacing voice inside my head said, "Press on Kyle!  Really make sure she knows you are concerned and sorry for her loss.   Don't leave until you know she is ready to go on with her life!"   In the next five minutes I am pretty sure I attempted to bear hug Dixie while singing the gospel song "Amazing Grace."   I am now not allowed within 200 yards of Dixie, which make work tough sometimes.

I truly believe that for most people, this sea of life that we are in tends to be smooth sailing, for me it is that awkward moment when it is really quiet and your stomach sounds like a dying whale.