Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pros and Cons of Letting Go

There's this woman I know.  I don't come in contact with her much.  More and more, I hear less and less from her.  And when she's out of sight, she's totally out of mind, and yet, whenever we cross paths, she always dings me with some vicious back-handed compliment.  She's a master at the form.  If you overheard her at a party, or read her words as a comment on Twitter or Facebook, you wouldn't give it a second glance.  But you would feel a sudden draft, the chill that tells you that Evil is nearby.

No, not really.  She's not evil.  Really not.  She's a super-capable work-horse kind of a person.  Team-player, community-minded, responsible, and practical.  And it seems as though she's been that way from birth.  And, she's got a beef with me.  My very existence seems to offend her.

I hadn't heard from her in years, and as I was sitting and trying to come up with a post for this week, up she popped with a new message.  It's funny, I see what she's doing, and yet it doesn't register with me on an emotional level.  With her, for some reason, I don't care.  I just take whatever she says at face value, as though all she's serving up is deep-dish positivity, and I respond with nothing but smiles and good humor.

I don't wonder why she does it.  I don't wrack my brain to figure out what crime - small or large, real or imagined - she thinks I did to her.  I don't think up ways to fix it.  The only thing notable about the whole thing is how effortlessly I forget her.  (Except when I'm desperate for something to blog about).

Once upon a time, I wished it were so easy with everyone.  I used to think it would be a certain kind of freedom to not care what people thought.  But now, without much effort, I care less and less, and it's a bit terrifying.  Not in this situation, with this woman, there's nothing scary there.  It's more the larger implications for me and how I will engage with the world.  In the end, caring less about how others see me crept up on me kind of naturally, and so I don't know where it will stop.

It seems a slippery slope.  If I let the opinion of one personally unhappy bitch roll off my back, does that put me on an express route to become like my undergrad screenwriting professor who would spend our weekly meetings talking at me non-stop, while shoveling salad into her mouth, allowing the dressing to dribble down the front of her clearly slept-in sweatsuit?

Time will tell.  For now, I will enjoy not fretting over how others perceive my status, likability, intentions, and sundry traits in the same way one effortlessly exalts over absence of snot after a long and persistent head-cold.  And I will set-up a little face-time with Vanity, maybe Pride too, applaud them on their low-profile, but confirm they're on the job by way of keeping me presentable.  Salad-dressing free, at least.