18
   

Why is it so hard being a human and living amongst the other humans?

 
 
dlowan
 
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 05:26 pm
I had a socially fraught weekend.

Weirdly so, if you look at it logically.

First thing: I kind of chose the restaurant for lunch on Sunday.

Now, I love yum cha (USians call it dim sum, I think? Where they bring around little offerings of steamed (the ones I love) and fried Chinese stuff?)

My friend is almost impossible to please. Won't eat flour, gluten, dairy, most flesh (is now extending to seafood a bit) and on and on.

BUT she will eat good Chinese vegetarian! So...yum cha and that is do-able. Our favourite places were closed, sop we went to somewhere I know as ok, and it was overflowing with Chinese people, always a good sign.

So, we are about to be sat by the tanks full of crabs and crayfish that customers can select.

I can see my friend quail (can't bear to see them waiting for execution, though eats seafood...)..I get them to change table. I feel bad.

Next...gets upset by some of the dishes...like chooks' feet. I feel bad.

Then her eggplant (aubergine?) takes a while to come....I am beginning to get angsty.

It comes....she doesn't like it. It tastes metallic....after massive investigation she decides it is the RICE that tastes metallic...I sniff it...it is in a perfectly normal rice container, but it DOES smell metallic. What's with this?

I feel worse...I offer her some of the things I have that I know she eats...no, won't eat seafood unless she knows it is local...does eat some of my broccoli.

Then...disaster....a waiter spills a whole mess of brothy stuff when removing a steamer, all over her little rain jacket.

Panic ensues. Friend desperately tries to mop stuff off the jacket....waiters offer napkins (paper), she, of course wants a wet cloth. I attempt to convey this to staff. More wet napkins come. Finally, someone arrives with one of those miracle fibre cloths that clean up grease and dirt with just water. Friend is so panicked and hyped she rejects this excellent device because she doesn't realise what it is. I attempt to explain it is likely a Good Thing, but give up quickly because she is too fraught to cope with any information. We get a wet normal cloth. She frantically cleans and cleans and cleans...this goes on for 25 minutes.

By now I feel awful!!! I can't eat anything. I quietly get the boss to agree to pay for dry-cleaning and attempt to offer this as a calming device. No good...she is fearful it will not dry clean. Boss agrees to replace it if this is so.

Eventually, I dare to suggest that she has done all she can, the place is taking responsibility, and she might perhaps try to let it go a bit. Predictable result from panicked human so worked up she cannot come down.

Now...this is a good friend and a reasonable woman. She over-freaked a bit and all, but certainly wasn't blaming me or anything....but there was an undertone of resentment, and I think that is just human!

BUT...I felt responsible because I kind of chose the place.

What's WITH that? Why do we DO that? It's the same with films and other entertainments and choices.

DO we do that? Are there rational creatures out there who DON'T do that?

What's WITH humans?







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Type: Discussion • Score: 18 • Views: 3,883 • Replies: 53

 
hamburgboy
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 05:40 pm
@dlowan,
Quote:
Are there rational creatures out there who DON'T do that?



urgent message
..........................
pls advise as soon as one rational creature found .
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 05:43 pm
@dlowan,
Deb, we blame ourselves for a lot of things that are NOT our fault.

Day before yesterday, I went to a local filling station to get gas and pulled up behind a car that I thought was doing the same.

I went inside to prepay for the gas and pick up a few little extra things. Suddenly a short fat guy with long hair appeared in the doorway and said in an angry tone:

You've got me blocked. I said that I was sorry, and he shot back: Well, you should be.

I went outside to fill my car and suddenly this weird fellow got up in my face and called me a bitch (among other things) for not allowing him to back out.

I did NOT flinch. (he was shorter than I) Some woman told him to back off and get in his car. I remarked to her I wondered where a cop was when one needed him. The guy was acting really crazy. She then said to him: I don't think that this is a good day for you to spend in jail.

I should have stayed exactly where I was as there was another truck in front of him that was filling up, but I didn't. I backed out and let that lunatic drive off.

It was one of those fight/flight syndrome things.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 05:45 pm
I can relate to all that. I never found a way to keep such situations from developing.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 05:58 pm
Deb, rational friend is getting tied in knots, this dim sum/nam cha(did you say?) was just a symptom of some ramping up going on. (She says wisely, or weisenheimerly).

0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 06:23 pm
@dlowan,
Omigosh I get this.

I so get this.

I just wrote to a friend that I was feeling like a misanthrope today, that sort of thing is why.

But need to go, more later.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 06:42 pm
D:
Sorry about the bad weekend. Totally not your fault.

Some people seem to draw towards themselves the most mischievous portions of the Universe. (Why else would they have placed her next to the tank?)

We had a friend, for awhile,who was like your friend, but she, at least,was wondrously funny, until that is, we would go out to eat.

On a menu the size of a bathroom door, she would be able to find one thing that she might be able to eat, usually some kind of salad. When it arrived she would invariably ask the server if this was, in fact, what she had ordered. There would always be confusion. The waiter would be brought over, asked the same question, asked to point out, for example, where the hearts of palm were and when shown would remark that she has never seen any that looked like that before. .... Meanwhile, we would wait not wanting to begin until she was set.

"Would Madam like to order something else?"
"Oh, no, I'll try to eat some of this."
Waiters love to hear this, they know they are being set up for the four bite refund.
(sigh)
After three or four times, we just gave up waiting. Our food came, we ate. She would fuss, try to tell us stories about some horrible food she had once eaten (I told her not to tell us any bad food stories while we were eating, we'd love to hear them later.) then eat just about half of anything that was brought to her.

I learned early to order last and take note of exactly what she had ordered, so that I could have her share of the check figured out to the nearest dime. (Yes. She did ask to have the menu brought back to the table once to check to see if the Argula Salad was really $11.99 and not $10.99 as she remembered it.)

Finally, we started to tell her that we would meet her for drinks. That we were not going to dinner anywhere, weight reduction plan, blah blah blah. We would have two glasses of something and then head off by ourselves.

We are all crazy, us humans, crazy in ten thousand thousand different ways, the hard part is finding the humans who have a craziness which matches your own. Once you do, life is good.

Joe(let her pick the restaurant next time, and the next)Nation
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 07:00 pm
@Joe Nation,
Oh, my friend isn't like that. She is (in my view) ridiculously over-pernickety re what she will eat (and she recognizes this in a way)...but lots of people think I am over-pernickety...it's all a matter of relativity.

She's had two different breast cancers, though, and has some very nasty after-effects from the absolutely revolting chemo she has had, so I really understand the dramas of what she will and won't eat.

She takes a lot of responsibility for it, too, and sometimes brings her own food to dinners and such because she says it's just too much to expect the host to deal with it all.

My point was not that I have a nasty friend (she's like all of us, nuts in parts, nasty in parts and absolutely blindingly wonderful in all the rest), but how crazy it is that we take responsibility for this sort of stuff when it's not our fault!

The rest of our afternoon was great.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 07:03 pm
@hamburgboy,
hamburgboy wrote:

Quote:
Are there rational creatures out there who DON'T do that?



urgent message
..........................
pls advise as soon as one rational creature found .


Phew.

So...I am not actually insane with this responsibility thing?
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  4  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 07:03 pm
You're a professional counselor, and you're asking ME?

What do I know? I work with teenagers.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 07:07 pm
@Eva,
Eva wrote:

You're a professional counselor, and you're asking ME?

What do I know? I work with teenagers.


Lol!!! I don't see the worried well, so i don't have much experience in "I feel bad because my friend didn't like the restaurant/film/art exhibition/book etc I recommended am I crazy?" sort of stuff!!!!!
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  4  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 07:16 pm
I used to feel that way at times.

Then I stopped doing it and just enjoy my meal.

I'm just not important enough to be responsible for someone elses failure to enjoy themselves.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 07:52 pm
@chai2,
I agree with Chai here. I am too old to feel guilty about other peoples idiosyncrasies.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 07:55 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan, re-reading your story, I'm really really surprised at you.

dlowan wrote:

I had a socially fraught weekend.

Weirdly so, if you look at it logically.

First thing: I kind of chose the restaurant for lunch on Sunday.

Did you "kind" of choose, or did you choose? Did she agree? If she did, well then, end of story.


My friend is almost impossible to please.

Is it your job to please her? I'm sure better people than you have tried and failed.

I can see my friend quail (can't bear to see them waiting for execution, though eats seafood...)..I get them to change table. I feel bad.

She couldn't open her mouth and ask for a different table, since she was the one upset?

It comes....she doesn't like it. It tastes metallic....after massive investigation she decides it is the RICE that tastes metallic...I sniff it...it is in a perfectly normal rice container, but it DOES smell metallic. What's with this?

Did she, oh, I don't know, ask for different rice? Did she just decide not to eat the rice? I'm beginning to be surprised you didn't ask the waiter to bring her a new serving.

I feel worse...I offer her some of the things I have that I know she eats...no, won't eat seafood unless she knows it is local....

Did she ask anyone? Maybe it was.

Then...disaster....a waiter spills a whole mess of brothy stuff when removing a steamer, all over her little rain jacket.

Panic ensues. Friend desperately tries to mop stuff off the jacket....waiters offer napkins (paper), she, of course wants a wet cloth. I attempt to convey this to staff.

Were they speaking a different language than she could speak?

More wet napkins come. Finally, someone arrives with one of those miracle fibre cloths that clean up grease and dirt with just water. Friend is so panicked and hyped she rejects this excellent device because she doesn't realise what it is. I attempt to explain it is likely a Good Thing, but give up quickly because she is too fraught to cope with any information. We get a wet normal cloth. She frantically cleans and cleans and cleans...this goes on for 25 minutes.

Jesus wept.

By now I feel awful!!! I can't eat anything. I quietly get the boss to agree to pay for dry-cleaning and attempt to offer this as a calming device. No good...she is fearful it will not dry clean. Boss agrees to replace it if this is so.

I guess this was your job to negotiate this too?



I know you see all this, maybe it will help to have it pointed out to you, from an outside party.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 08:13 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

Next...gets upset by some of the dishes...like chooks' feet.



Just me again.

That has got to be the funniest thing I've heard all day.
I love it.

"I was upset by the fact I saw that they were serving chicken feet"

Maybe it's just me, that cracks me up.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 08:21 pm
Chai does have a point, deb.

The only way I survive being surrounded by teenage angst everyday is to learn to blithely ignore it. It's their problem, I let them deal with it. I have other things to do.

Like Jonathan, I tend to avoid neurotic friends, too.
Roberta
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 11:36 pm
We all have our own realms of nutsiness, deb. I'd have been in a semimurderous state if I had to have a meal with someone like that. You should be commended for your patience and tolerance. For your understanding and sympathy.

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 11:48 pm
I see I edited my flame-o. Just as well, and covered by others.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 12:24 am
@chai2,
I think you might need to re-read the post re some of the reasons why she is so hyper-sensitive re food...some of it is because her digestion is permanently damaged by the chemo. her anxiety levels are also permanently affected, I think...and I ALWAYS understand anxiety!!!

I think some of her stuff is nutty...but hey, we all have our nuttinesses. Lots of people would think I am nutty for generally refusing to eat anything that has been raised cruelly. (I make exceptions for restaurants...but lots of places here now offer only decently raised animals.)

I spoke and arranged for her because:

1. She was so upset and I was calm (at least externally.)

2. I have worked with Chinese people for a long time, and I am better at communicating with those who have little English...I also know the deal if you damage someone's clothing by being careless in a restaurant and what to negotiate for.

3. When people are really agitated it is kind to do what you can for them to help them settle, even if you are dumb enough to feel responsible. She would do the same for me if I had a spaz attack. I am also generally more assertive in restaurants because I worked in the business for years. Re the seafood in the tanks...I could see she was reluctant, but knew she might hesitate to say anything, and I knew it could be fixed in 30 seconds.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 12:42 am
@dlowan,
Actually, I am used to people going all funny when they see real Chinese food! Lots of people react with horror to stuff like chooks' feet staring up at you.

My friend is a strong animal rights person, and I admire her for it.

I likely wouldn't have wanted to sit and eat with crabs and crays who were about to be dinner staring at me. I mean, I would have loved to watch them, because they are fascinating, but I would find it a bit ooky, too.

And, as I said, this responsibility thing isn't RATIONAL, that's the point of the whole thread, not to bash a kind and wonderful friend...she just got to conniption point.

The wonder is it seems to be pretty normal to FEEL responsible, even though we know we're not!


For example, I can remember a good friend, A, having a terrible fight with another good friend's ( B's) husband at a dinner party of mine....I felt awful, and it actually made the friendship with B finish, because he and I already had problems and he went nutso at me after that night (though I wasn't even in the room when it happened) and it made it just too hard.

A feels responsible for that, but the husband was a nasty piece of work, and they were both fairly plastered, so I don't think any blame attaches to her at all. I had always wanted to give him what for too, but restrained myself for the sake of my friendship with B.
 

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