Autodidact: self-taught


If You Don’t Come To My Party You’re a Poohead

by V. L. Craven


There are many things about human behaviour I do not understand but this is the most recent one: People who stop speaking to you forevar! if you don’t go to their party.

Really? You’re five? Because I thought you were closer to fifty (or sixty).

I do not understand the ‘normal’ human pout-response if I don’t go to their party. This has happened several times in my life and all by people I thought 1. were mature individuals 2. knew me well enough to know I can’t deal with crowds or unorganised functions. In order to be comfortable I need to know when I get to go home, have a point to being there and know everyone in the room, which must be less than three people. Five at the absolute most, if it’s for a half hour lunch.

Since all the people who have responded in this way have been mature individuals in other respects I can only be led to believe that it’s not about maturity–it’s simply considered impolite by the majority of people to not attend a function thrown by a friend. But why? Why would someone who really cared about you want you to be highly uncomfortable? Is it some sort of proof of your friendship? How can I test their friendship? Making them shut up every time I really want them to be quiet and leave? “Okay, I’ve spent an hour with you now. Bye-bye. … Don’t look at me like that–I went to that loud freakin’ party of yours and did the mindless chatter watusi with people I don’t know for AN HOUR. I now get to tell you when to go away.”

This goes right in with my belief that people lie about how they feel about one another to themselves as well as to the person they say they care about. Or perhaps it’s that I simply don’t ‘get’ the way most people communicate. (That’s probably it, actually.) Twice I’ve been told repeatedly that I was ‘like a daughter’ to two different women. One of them stopped speaking to me after I didn’t go to her party and the other one said no when I asked her to do a minor favour she would have done for one of her real kids. Both of these women had said to me on several occasions (completely sober, as well) that they truly thought of my as a daughter.

So. They’re both liars. I find this interesting, because they’re both honest, trustworthy people. What I’ve learned: When people say you’re important to them it means, ‘You’re important to me as long as you don’t ask for anything and are the person I want you to be.’

The biggest lesson I get from all this is that my company wasn’t important to them in the first place because missing a freakin’ party is nothing. If that’s all it takes to piss you off then I’m better off without you.

Perhaps people try to ‘punish’ me by taking away their friendship. This doesn’t work with me because one less person asking me to do things I don’t want to do is simply that. If you’re waiting for an apology, here it is: I’m sorry you don’t know me well enough to know I’m allergic to parties.

I do like people well enough–if I call them a friend, I mean it. I also feel that, aside from my husband, I only have two real friends (in the analog world–in the digital world I feel I have more). I’ve known one for years and the other is her partner. She knows exactly how I am and doesn’t take it personally. We get together every couple months and it’s just peachy. If she were in a crisis she knows she could come to me and I know the same thing.That is friendship, kids. Not terrorizing one another with things one of you hates. That’s what marriage is for.

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