Monday, May 07, 2012

Why doesn't my virtue make me happier?

I am such a grown up! And it's left me feeling a little miserable.

One of my coworkers, Tom, offered me the FREE ticket next to him at tonight's Cub game! But, alas, I turned it down, and here's why:

•  While it was in the mid-60's when I left for work this morning, it's going to be rainy and cold in the ballpark tonight. I'm just wearing sandals, a little boatneck t-shirt and my denim jacket. That's simply not enough to keep you warm when it's raining within The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.

•  My first impulse was, "Let's go to Macy's!" It's connected to our office building by a pedway and I could pick up all manner of new Cubbie blue gear to keep me warm. But considering that even the cheapest MLB sweatshirt is more than $30, and I'd need many layers, that's just a waste of money that I don't have.

• And then there's the cab ride from the park to the train station after the game. That would be at least $20, probably more. I could save money and take the "el" home, but the game won't be over until 9:00 at the earliest -- later with the predicted rain delays -- and I just don't believe the el is safe that time of night.

•  "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack," as the song goes. Well, whose gonna take me up on that? Nobody. So that would be even more money. I bet by the end of the evening, that free ticket could end up costing me more than $100 I can't afford to spend.

Sigh. Being an adult so sucks.

Image: Ambro /

Now that I'm fat I'm harder to flip

I completely adore my best friend. No one who reads this humble blog with any regularity can doubt that. But there are times that I forget he is what he is -- a straight male -- and that this congenital defect causes him to be irrational at times.

For example, he is incapable of apologizing.

Last summer, when his beloved old dog died, I made a contribution in her name to the American Humane Association and asked the organization to send the acknowledgment to my friend's family. My friend never mentioned it.

So, after the charge came through on my credit card, I asked him about it. Then several weeks later I asked him again. He never responded. Now emails and texts fly back and forth between us a lot, so I suppose it's possible that those two honestly got overlooked. So I asked again. Nothing.

It's always sort of nagged at me. Now that I'm packing up the office for our big move, I found a receipt for American Humane that confirmed my memorial to his dog. So I asked again.

He simply said he didn't remember. 

This really hurt my feelings. So naturally I wrote: "This hurt my feelings. First the gift I gave your family made no impression on you whatsoever at the time and then nowhere in this stream of emails did you bother to thank me. I know you're busy with work and dances and recitals and I'm sorry to hassle you. But what I did was thoughtful. And if you recall, last summer I had a thing or two on my own mind. Like doctor's appt's and the run up to my surgery, which was a very big deal in my own life, but I managed to try to be thoughtful about your loss. I believe I deserve better and you're nicer than this. (But I did take the tax deduction.)"

How does he respond? "I am sorry if this hurt your feeling but I am being honest. I truly can’t remember if we received a note. Do you want me to lie? Sometimes I feel like you just want to beat me down, I don’t get it. Sorry!"

Nice jujitsu, Bud! Only I didn't and don't accept it. I told him that if someone cared about me as much as I do him, I wouldn't feel "beaten down." And then (both because it's true and because I'm not above fighting dirty), I reminded him that I've already inquired more often about his new dog's recovery than he has about my mother.

He sarcastically responded that he's sorry he doesn't do more for me. I told him I am also sorry he doesn't do more for me. And that's where it sits.

I'm sad and angry but I'm not backing down. He's almost 46 years old. He can accept responsibility for ignoring my emails and thank me for the gift. Like I said, I deserve it.


This week's challenge: Using between 33 and 333 words, write a response including the third definition of the word: 
enig·ma noun \i-ˈnig-mə, e-\
3: an inscrutable or mysterious person


Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Audrey Hepburn. Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace.

Sherry not only admired these women, she fixated on them. Her “girl crushes,” she called them. They were all considerably older than she, from an earlier generation when it was more common to keep your own counsel.

Not for her was Princess Diana, who willingly shared her feelings about Charles and Camilla with Martin Bashir … and a worldwide TV audience. Or Britney Spears, who in a sad display of manic-depression or rebellion gave the paparazzi a peek at her genitalia as she got out of a car. Or the Kardashians, who seemed to evaporate if they weren’t on camera.

It wasn’t just that Jackie, Audrey and Grace were beautiful and dressed and behaved, as Grandma would say, “like ladies.” It’s that each was an enigma, unwilling to share too much of herself with a voracious public. By holding back, they held us in their thrall.

Sherry was just the opposite. She was as complex as a glass of tap water. As mysterious as white bread. As sophisticated as a kitten. She suspected this was why she was chronically unlucky in love, and was certain that if she studied Audrey, Jackie and Grace closely enough, she would learn how to enchant men with her own aura of glamorous, inscrutable self-containment.

What Sherry never understood is how like "her girls” she already was. For while these icons may have enjoyed the enduring adulation of the masses, they – like Sherry – somehow never enjoyed the fidelity of the men who mattered most. If only they could respond, the women she admired so might just tell her that the heart is the greatest enigma of all.