No one ever admits that they are a purveyor of a predilection. I can see how I would be wrong every once in awhile, but they tell me that I am always wrong. People have a tough time admitting that they are typical. Either that or they do not take a moment to examine their predilections to see if they commit any of them.
Dad was missing a vital piece of his physiological makeup that needed completion, but he never found the cure for the subtle vagaries that plagued him. He searched for them in the 12 oz cans of mental distortion, but that solution chipped away at the core, until there was little left to save. He discovered too late how much of his life he missed, yet he may not have been able to make it that far without the solutions that he drank.
Those that spend all their time trying to make others think they have no frailties, expose themselves as individuals that have more than any other. Teens love to mock those with open wounds to gain favorable comparative analysis. As we age, we learn that mocking the weak, only makes us appear weak, so we transfer that mockery to the strong. Everyone enjoys mocking the strong.
I have one friend who is really engaged in stories when they involve other’s frailties… My frailties. She joins in and adds little quips to the stories, and she laughs as hard as anyone. When the subject matter turns back to her, she clams up. She doesn’t laugh. She doesn’t even participate in the conversation. She’s psychologically damaged. The compassion, in the strong, forces us to turn the subject matter back to us, where she’s laughing, and adding in her tidbits, and more comfortable.
Another friend’s stories are delusional. The guy speaks of himself in a manner Stan Lee would consider noteworthy. In this guy’s mind, there is a silent parade in everyone’s mind the minute he decides to walk down an aisle. I consider it my job to provide a reaction to everyone’s story, just like I consider it everyone’s job to react to one of my stories. After he finished one particular story, I made it a point to provide no reaction. Doing this was prominent to both of us. After a careful space of time elapsed I said: “It would be nice to hear a story from you in which you weren’t such an incredible person.”
This may have been a little harsh. I don’t think it was. I think it was appropriate to the situation, but I have to leave the perception up to you. I realize that with raging insecurities being what they are, we find it difficult to tell stories about ourselves that reveal our failings, but it makes it so much more enjoyable for the listener to hear someone reveal themselves as a well-rounded creature.
I don’t know how alcoholics do it. I go out one night a week. I drink about five to six beers, and I am a mess for the next three days. Don’t get me wrong, I am out there and doing things. I play with my nephews, associate with my brother, my Dad and my friends, but I am exhausted and dehydrated for the next three days. I work out, and I drink what I consider a lot of water and juices, but when Friday rolls around I drink some alcohol. This last Saturday was a bad one.
The thing of it is, I work my butt off, and when that week is done I want to go out with my friends and socialize. Alcohol serves as a social lubricant for me. It sounds sad, but I can’t think of a better reason to sit with friends and enjoy a long-term evening together. When you’re sitting with a movie, everyone is quiet and attentive with the movie on. A sporting event is a little better, because you have breaks, but your primary focus is on the sporting event, and your stories get clipped by the action on the screen. A dinner requires attention to the menu, the waiter, the food, and then the exit. If the timeframe between the food and the exit is too long, things get a little awkward. At cookouts, everyone is so spread out on different events it’s hard to get a group together long enough for a good conversation. Drinking at a bar is, unfortunately, the best way to sit and socialize for me. I wish something would come along and take it’s place, because this three day recovery time thing is becoming too much for me.