Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Story Behind the Neurosis

My [Chicago] friends know that I'm extremely punctual. I'm always early to the party, such that I'm helping with cooking and decorations. I'm not ashamed of it. It's who I am.

I got stood up for a date tonight. It's the second time this has happened in two months. Getting stood up in 2014 isn't like I'm sitting at a restaurant waiting for a date and no one shows up (though that has happened. Shout out to dating. It's so fun.) Getting stood up in 2014, is like we talked on Friday and said we'd meet on Saturday at 7, then you didn't call or text to say WHERE to meet... or answer my calls or text to answer that question.

This sucks. It sucks for anyone, but it sucks for me because it opens up historical wounds. My biological father has a substance abuse problem. If you ever know anyone with that problem, you know that they make promises they can't keep and they lie a lot.

When I was a little girl, he used to say he was coming a lot and never did. He would tell me things he was going to buy me for Christmas or my birthday and he, of course, never delivered.

My mom's first husband (my "dad" who passed away when I was nine) would talk to me like an adult when I couldn't have been more than 6 or 7 and say things like "Do you really think he's coming?" I was an intelligent, precocious child, but my cognitive abilities weren't that sharp yet. OF COURSE, he's coming. He said he was coming. Why would anyone say they were going to do something they're not going to do?

So, as an adult, I work to be upfront and honest (sometimes bluntly honest, sorry, y'all.) If I say I'm coming to your birthday party, I'll be there. If I have a deadline at work, I'll meet it. And to make sure no one is ever waiting for me to show up for hours on end and feeling abandoned like I did as a toddler, I arrive to things early.

So, yes, arriving to social events is crazy. Living my life by my calendar is crazy. Expecting people to do what they say they're going to do is crazy (or is it really). And maybe cutting a guy off who could produce a perfectly good story about how/why he couldn't make an appointment that we scheduled is harsh, but one never quite heals from being lied to as a child and I would rather not deal with all of the feelings that come up each and evey time this happens to me as an adult.

So the moral of this story is, when people seem strange, odd or even crazy to you, know that they are that way for a reason and try to empathize with the fact that you don't know their story. BUT, ALSO don't stand people up. :-)