Wednesday, February 15, 2012

But Why..

Every one of us has been rejected. Not just by lovers, but by employers, credit cards, banks, friends, some people are rejected by their families or kids. My point is, no one is immune to rejection. Our first thought upon being turned away is.. "But why?"

Most of the time, you never get an answer to that question. True, the bank or credit card company can and will give you an iron clad reason that you have not been accepted, but not so much when you are dealing with actual people face to face.

Human beings tend to color the actual truth with their own biases and experiences. Each of us sees things a little differently than the rest of the world. This is not a new concept, it has been dissected and analyzed by better minds than mine, but it is still a valid and ongoing observation. For instance:

When my relationship ended, rather abruptly I might add, I asked "But why?" I got an answer. Well, I got the answer he wanted me to have anyway. He had, in his mind, created this scenario in which I was the villain and he was my unwitting victim. He tossed out accusations that I knew to be untrue because they were things I know I didn't physically do, such as cheating, as well as theories that I couldn't absolutely refute because they were more abstract and dealt with feelings or tone, such as mocking him. I know what I meant when I said something, yet he heard something completely different. In my opinion, he heard what he wanted to hear, but the fact remains that what I said was not what he perceived. His version of the truth was tailor made by him to put me in a bad light, therefore allowing him to leave me for another woman with no guilt or remorse. Was it the actual truth? Not exactly. However, my version of how things happened was totally skewed the other way, with me being the long-suffering martyr and him being the lying douche bag. Anyone watching from the outside had their own view of what the truth was as well, depending on which of us they were loyal to. So the "But why?" became a moot point, because there was no concrete reason or absolute proof for the decision.


My best friend and I recently had a falling out. We are no longer friends. When I saw things were going wrong, I asked "But why?" Her response was, naturally, completely out of sync with my view of our friendship. Again, her accusations and statements of fact were laced with untruths, but because she felt the need to justify her behavior, these lies had to become truths. I saw myself as her secret keeper and head cheerleader, never judging her or calling her to task for the stupid things she did, being her shoulder to cry on and her sympathetic ear. She viewed those same actions as conniving and manipulative, and convinced herself that I was not a friend but someone that used her. The "But why?" was again not answered satisfactorily because it was not based on fact but on perception and appearances. 


I interviewed for a job recently. I was qualified, my resume said so. My "girl suit" was clean and ironed, my hair professional and my nails french tipped. I went in feeling on top of my game, personable and knowledgeable, smart and approachable. I believed the interview went well, we chatted, we smiled, we even laughed. I left the interview feeling confident that the job was mine. It wasn't. As with most failed interviews, there was no reason given for not being chosen, just a thank you for your interest but we have gone with someone else. So, when I ran into a friend of the woman I interviewed with, I asked "But why?" The reasons (according to her friend) she did not recommend me for a position in the company were all personal. I wore a red top under my brown suit, a color combination she is not fond of. I spoke using "big words" so she assumed I was talking down to her. Finally, because I was well dressed, she didn't think I really needed the job. Yep, I didn't get the job because she didn't like my color choices, was able to talk about the job using common industry lingo, and appeared too well dressed to need a job. In this instance, my "But why?" was answered with stupidity.

All these examples show how people can see the exact same relationships and interactions in completely different ways. My rejection was based on personal bias and a desire to show a different face to the world. 

Everyone wants to be seen as a good and decent person. That's why we all create our own truths, our own answers to the "But why?" We must find the things we value most, and then build our version of the truth to fit the person we want the world to see. No guy goes around telling people he dumped his live in girlfriend because he was cheating, no friend says they threw away a friendship because she wanted to cause drama, no employer is going to tell anyone that they didn't get the job because that person wasn't a slob. Everyone is going to present an answer that benefits them, and in reality, one that puts the rejected person in a position of  undesirability. 

Asking "But why?" in the context of human interaction is a useless and discouraging endeavor, you will not get the closure you are seeking. In fact, you will most likely walk away with more questions. As difficult as it may be, because we are curious by nature, your best option is to accept the rejection and walk away. The answer to the "But why?" is never going to mesh with your truth anyway.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Coffee for one..

As I was thinking about this blog, I realized that although I have several topics in the works, I haven't actually posted anything in a few months. Where does the time go? Ah well.

Today being Valentine's Day, I have noticed the huge number of single people out there over 30 (many of us pushing 40 if we are gonna be honest). It wasn't always like this people. I remember growing up with a single parent, thinking our little family was so different from my friends families. Even my best friend's gay mom had a life partner. My mom was the only grown up I knew that went on dates, went to the gym, and wore stiletto heels. Every other adult I had any contact with was married, most of them since their early 20s.

 I didn't want to be a single anything, so I got married and had a baby. That's all I wanted to do. Then, I got divorced and have been more single than not ever since. I did try though, I tried to be a couple, tried to be the little suzy housewife I saw all around me as a child. I didn't want my kids to grow up without two parents. Single life, to me, was not "normal".

 We all paired up, but so many of us are walking the single path today. Out of the 100+ people I know, roughly 75 are single right this second.

Maybe divorce was too easy, or we got married for the wrong reasons. Maybe we just make BAD choices in who we chose to marry. It's a proven statistical fact that there are more single people today over the age of 35 than there have ever been. EVER!

We are single. Why? My mom was single because she preferred to be. My dad died and the two other love affairs she had ended badly, so she stayed out of relationships. She raised my brother and I, and that was that. Mom dated, and had an active social life, but there was no man in her life for any length of time. That was then.

 Today the biggest hurdle we face as single adults is unrealistic expectations about the person we want to share our lives. Men want (insert name of 20 yr old famous girl here) with boobies. Women want (insert name 40 yr old famous guy here) but ten years younger.We are single because we have become so focused on the superficial that we don't take the time to find the substance. Everyone wants someone young, rich, and hot. No 21yr old heiress/heir is gonna show up at Antique's or Gasoline Alley and beg you to whisk them away in your 2008 Honda to your two bedroom apartment off Powers.They aren't going to offer to take you in their concept model sports car to their condo in Aspen either, it doesn't work that way.

I don't really enjoy being single. I don't want to get married, or even live with someone, but I am good at relationships and I miss that connection with another adult. Ok.. I miss sex too. I really miss sex. My point is, I prefer to be a part of a couple, I am happiest that way. The men in my age range however, are looking for my daughter (she is 20) not for me, and I just don't think I could be a successful cougar. 

Until we all start looking for that someone who really exists, the guy or girl that will happily do laundry with you or bring you soup when you are sick, we are doomed to remain single. Let's face it, no one really wants to be alone when they are 80.