“Some people like you, some people don’t. In the end you just have to be yourself.”
Last fall I told you about a crazy week where I met so many interesting people. I even found my long lost Indian mother. Alright, she wasn’t lost and she is not really my mother, but that is beside the point.
The bottom line is I am a people person. I love nothing more than connecting with friends. The problem is not everyone feels the same. And truth be told, not everyone wants to be friends with me. It’s true. I am not everyone’s cup of tea and that is okay. In fact, I have a few people that I don’t necessarily click with either. It takes all kinds to make the world go ’round and we can’t expect that we are going to be friends with everyone. Right? This is what I tell my kids anyway.
On a logical level I understand this. The problem is that it doesn’t feel good to be rejected and I want to fix it – fix what is wrong with me. I want people to like me. Now, I care much less about this now that I am well into my 40s, but sometimes it still inadvertently rears its ugly head. When I run across people that I “know” don’t love me I can’t help myself…I want to talk to them. It’s an illness, I am sure of it. Maybe there is a group or twelve-step program that I could attend that would help me like FFA (Fast Friends Anonymous).
Let me give you an example. This week I was at the grocery store and on my way out I walked past a woman that I have been acquainted with for over a year. We have met several times because our kids went to school together. The first time I met this woman I couldn’t quite “connect” with her. I chalked it up to our first time meeting and the circumstances in which we were introduced. The next couple of times we ran into each other I awkwardly tried to make conversation to no avail. For a mere mortal, these interactions may have been enough to curtail any further attempts at friendship. I, however, am persistent and slow when it comes to being snubbed.
As I was saying, I walked past her as I was leaving the store and instinctively waved and said hello before I could stop myself. She smiled and looked as if she might wave, but then she looked confused. She leaned toward me and then took a couple steps forward. I didn’t know what was happening and stood frozen as she said, “I am sorry, I don’t recognize you.” You are probably wondering where my dignity was at this point and all I can tell you was that I was on autopilot. I stammered that I was so and so’s mother. Still nothing. I said my last name, my daughter’s full name and social security number, no, just kidding I just repeated my full name again. Then she “remembered” who I was and asked about my daughter. She told me she didn’t recognize me with my hat on. Ohhhhhhh, okay, I feel so much better! She really just didn’t recognize me, it’s not that she doesn’t want to be friends. COME ON, it’s feasible, movie stars go incognito with just a baseball hat all of the time!
As we said goodbye I pulled my hat down a little further and did the friendship walk of shame to my car. My youngest daughter was walking beside me laughing hysterically. Upon sitting in the car she looked at me and said, “you know she doesn’t like you, right?”
I burst out laughing at the absurdity of the entire situation.
For the record, I have received the message loud and clear now and have bowed out of the race for her friendship. Besides, she is crazy and I don’t think I really want to be friends with her anyway…
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G