Posted by: Tricia | Sunday, June 17, 2007


A very bizarre thing just happened a little while ago out in my garage. Given that this is the first time anything like this has happened, I don’t quite know what to make of it.

First, the backstory: We have another neighbor that lives down the block who has a really awesome swingset in her backyard. Last night we were all hanging out, and the topic got around to how her next door neighbor lets her kids play on their swingset without asking first, and often when they’re not even around. This brings up all kinds of liability issues, and she doesn’t know exactly how to handle this. We’ve made suggestions about diplomatically asking this woman to not let her kids play on it without them being around, but she’s so afraid of starting something that will make it even more intolerable to live next to these people. Another suggestion of posting a “Play at your own risk” sign was made. We even have a neighborhood blog, and I think it would be a great idea for her to post something on there about this issue….again, very diplomatically. But she just doesn’t want to come across as being the neighborhood bitch for raising such an issue. Frankly, I’d rather be known as the bitch than to let this go and find myself being slapped with a big ol’ lawsuit over it someday.

OK…so this evening, SH comes over to chat for a little while in my garage. We start out with pretty mundane stuff…watering, cleaning, blah, blah, blah. Then I made the big mistake of bringing up this issue that I just described. We get into a debate. She doesn’t think posting on the blog would be a good idea, because she thinks that would indeed make our friend into the neighborhood bitch, and I just don’t agree. She said something to the nature of because she has a swingset, it would make her look bad to be the one to post. So then I asked why anyone who doesn’t own a swingset would have a reason to post about this? That just didn’t make any sense to me. And it’s about at this point that she abruptly stands up, says she’s gotta go, and starts walking home. I asked her if she was mad, she said no, she wasn’t mad, and as she kept walking, I muttered some sort of apology to her. And that’s how it ends.

Now SH has a very strong personality, and definitely has strong opinions. I’m the same way, but I totally respect others’ differences from my own opinion. I don’t ‘argue’ per se about issues I disagree with; I just state what I believe, why I believe it, and then attentively give the other person the chance to do the same. So far, I think I’ve done pretty good at getting into mature, level-headed debates with SH over the things we disagree on. And I’ve enjoyed it. She has never reacted like this before, and I wonder if it’s something that’s been festering inside her for a while when it comes to talking with me.

And I actually thought it was quite rude of her to just get up and walk off. Why couldn’t she have just asked to change the subject? What’s so hard about that? I feel like shit now, because I’m so afraid she’s been getting to the point she doesn’t want to hang out with me anymore.

I have been offering my advice to her as she’s been having marital issues over the past weeks and months, but I guess she just doesn’t like what I have to say. We have very different views on marriage. Even after all I’ve been through, I still honestly believe with all my heart that true happiness can be had between a husband and a wife, if both are willing to do whatever it takes to find it. She doesn’t think this is attainable. She believes that the differences between her and her husband will always come in the way of the two of them being sincerely happy together. She doesn’t believe in romance. Her view on the whole thing is very cynical, and in my humble opinion, she’s dooming herself to never finding genuine happiness in her marriage as long as she feels this way. And I think she and I also have very different ideas of what the definition of ‘happiness’ is. With her definition, she’s really selling herself short.

I’m so sad for her, really. And I hope she understands that whatever I say to her, I say out of love, and that even if she decides to leave my advice sitting on the table, that’s fine with me. But watching them go through these very serious issues really hurts me, because I’ve grown to care so much for her.

The more I look back on the last couple of weeks or so, she has been keeping her distance a little more than usual. I’m so worried now.

I’ll let y’all know how this turns out.


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