Rules of engagement

I don’t know her well, but FOF M doesn’t seem to be a happy woman. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her smile and she generally comes up with snide or negative comments when I attempt to chat with her. “Congratulations on becoming a grandmother,” I said to her the other day. “It’s not what I wanted.” she snapped back. “I was hoping I’d have all my children out of the house before welcoming new ones.” She was referring to another son who still lives at home and doesn’t yet have a direction (he’s only 18.)

Scarlett (played by Vivien Leigh) was as self-centered as you can get in "Gone With The Wind."


“How’s your business?” I then asked, figuring there wasn’t much more to say on the grandchild front. “I’m still figuring out what I want to do when I grow up,” she answered, although she’s had the same business for years.

Since M never asks about me, my kids, FOF, or anything else, I made my exit from the conversation and moved on to talk to others at the gathering. I no longer try to engage people like her. It’s a struggle to even attempt small talk. Their complete lack of self-awareness intrigues me. They’re interested only in themselves. If only they were interesting.

Engaging others can be fun, but only when they engage us back. No matter how different we might be from the next gal or guy, we can usually discover commonality if we dig deep enough. We don’t have to be BFF with everyone we meet. Being friendly is another thing altogether.



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3 Responses to “Rules of engagement”

  1. Archer75 says:

    Were you talking to my mother? lol

    REPLY
  2. Duchesse says:

    My sentiments echo Toby’s- the disappointment, such lack. I was struck by the words “when I grow up”. Even if uttered as a cliché, it’s revealing. Part of growing up is learning that a negative stance does not attract friendship or love.

    REPLY
  3. Toby Wollin says:

    Geri – I think there are a lot of FOF who look in the mirror every morning and ask themselves where did the last 30 years go? And for some, there is a great sense of disappointment and resentment, which they then pass on.

    REPLY

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