I must be the most uninteresting person in the world.
A friend and I met recently to share our various vacation experiences. We had both taken exciting trips and were going to tell each other about them. She went first and told me about where she had been, what she had done, the people she had seen, the exciting excursions she had taken. I figured that at any minute, she would say "how was your trip?" but after about an hour or so, she said she had to leave, and so we said goodbye.
As she was walking to her car, she seemed to have a thought, turned and said, "next time we'll talk about YOUR trip--I really do want to hear about it."
OK. Well, whatever. I love visiting with her, I loved hearing about her adventures, but I had been looking forward to telling her about mine too.
Then I got a call out of the blue from a friend with whom I have lost contact. It's been about 15 years since I last saw her but she was coming through town and thought we could get together. We met at a local coffee shop and as I sat down she told me about surgery she'd recently had. Then she filled me in on every single person in her family--children, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-in-laws, cousins, and even neighbors. I learned their life history, their educational history, their health history and their extracurricular activities. I heard about her house and her business and her husband's job search.
Again, it was interesting, but the truth of the matter is that I never really knew her family at all, and it was a good hour before she mentioned a name I sort of recognized. I figured that eventually she would say "and what's new with you," but she finally said that she had to go because she was meeting someone else. I walked her to her car and she left.
She doesn't have a clue what I'm doing, that I'm a grandmother, where we've traveled, etc. I think she knows that Paul and David died, but you couldn't prove it by me.
Again, it's not that I minded listening to her long soliloquy. I enjoyed seeing her again, but it would have been nice if there had been a scintilla of interest in an update on me. Even when I mentioned that we were going to Sacramento tonight, she didn't ask "what are you doing there?" She has no idea I'm a theater critic, that I volunteer in a book store, or anything else. There was absolutely zero interest in getting caught up with me.
I hate being bothered by this because it makes me sound terribly self centered, but I can't help it...it did bother me.
I don't know what Emily Post has to say about situations like this. I just thought that when you get together to share your lives, that includes bilateral sharing.
There are some cases when people don't ask about what's new with me because they read this journal, but I'm 100% sure that person #2 doesn't even know I write a journal and 80% sure that person #1 doesn't read it--which is fine. I don't care. But if you invite me to get together to get caught up, at least ask me what's new with me! I promise not to hog the conversation.
Tonight we went to see a fascinating play called Enron, by playwright Lucy Prebble. While a play about the Enron scandal may seem like it was going to be deadly dull, this is a fast-paced, funny multimedia event with these great raptor headed business men featuring prominently.
It was interesting to get into the heart of the scandal, to get an explanation for terms like "mark-to-market trading," and realizing just how corrupt, manipulative and totally devoid of any feelings of regret for the thousands of lives they destroyed.
The script is a combination of original dialog, quotes from newspapers, interviews, e-mails, etc., and court transcripts.
When it's over you know a bit more about how this was able to happen and I have to say that in this particular version of things, Ken Lay comes across as an incompetent who didn't want to know and who walked away and let Jeffrey Skilling run the company into the ground.
Like I said, those wacky Enron guys are at it again!