Funny how you can start the day in a sunny mood, and end it under a cloud… due to nothing more than a few dashed expectations. Someone I knew (the one who called me ‘rebel without a cause’) said people always have ‘expectations’ of each other, which were the rocks upon which many a relationship foundered.
Isn’t that a bit like saying, “people have a tendency to breathe (and it’s the oxygen that ages them?)” Actually, he probably said ‘high expectations’, but some expectations are perfectly reasonable, and we founder upon them anyway.
A bit of advice I picked up from somewhere is that we should not attempt to change people. We shouldn’t say “I’m going to tell him/her not to do that… it’s for his/her own good.” Just leave it alone. What was meant by that was that we shouldn’t nag, or complain about the little things.
That’s hard when you wish people were more aware, and more chatty when you would like a chat… not sort of dashing off saying “yes, very interesting,” (or, worse), “that’s not very good.” It’s hard to write about this without sounding like a moaner, which is probably why we’re advised to keep quiet and not nag. It doesn’t come across well – but it still has a lot to do with why people end the day under a cloud.
I’m from quite an undemonstrative family. No gushing, no hugging, no kissing. I never understood cousins who wanted to kiss me after not having seen me for months or years, and I never knew how to react. They didn’t kiss me as children, so why did they start when they were in their late teens? The boys were the worst! I was embarrassed having to kiss one cousin’s little boy goodnight when he toddled round all the adults at bedtime… I hadn’t been brought up that way. Trouble is, I think being undemonstrative can be taken too far… it can get a little cold, a little supercilious.
When I was nineteen, I thought people had to keep their emotions in a little box… whether anger, sadness, or great enthusiasm. It would be awful to let anyone know you were actually feeling something! When I discovered that the world didn’t stop spinning if you expressed how you actually felt, it was a huge relief in a way… but it still wasn’t something that came naturally. I think growing up deaf (at any rate, deaf in a mainstream community) also does a lot to destroy natural expressiveness (but not the emotions). But that’s a whole other ballgame and not what I meant to discuss here.
I got all excited when I read over that last paragraph and realized I had written about boxes! Oh, boxes! Last night I was appreciating another blogger’s post, which was about people themselves being put in boxes. Other people put us in boxes, such as ‘Rebel Without a Cause‘. We either accept them or kick them away and climb into other boxes of our own. I’m not sure I ever labelled any of mine? Oh, I suppose I do… ‘agoraphobic’, ‘dreamer’, as well as others that I’m not sure I want to talk about — sad, grey boxes; large, black angry boxes; furry talking boxes; damp, cold cardboard boxes tucked in the draughty bit behind the shed. (I was wondering why ‘draughty’ had a red line under it, and looked it up, and it said ‘British spelling of ‘drafty’. Also ‘labelled’ is British way of saying labeled. Sigh).
When I read that post, I thought, “why don’t I blog about stuff like that? Instead I ramble about mundanities.”
Well, I did blog about boxes, and I didn’t have to think about it… it just happened!
Aren’t you proud of me?
Anyway, I remember a friend who understood that I came from a ‘no huggy, no kissy’ family, unlike hers. One day she was seeing me off on a train… she helped me settle in with my bags, gave me a note to read when the train was on the move, then suddenly gave me a squeeze, and a peck on the cheek. While she grinned at me from the platform, I read the note… it said “I know you don’t like emotional goodbyes, so I thought I would give you a hug at the last minute before getting off the train.”
Funny, I had no objection to that one at all.