ONE. THEY TRY TO HELP.
I answered the phone. My parents are, of course, the only people who make actual phone calls anymore.
“How is your ear?” My mom asked. “Do you feel tired in general?”
“I think it’s mostly mental,” I said. “I’m just so tired of appointments.”
“Well you have to go.”
No shit. Note to self: Always say “I’m fine,” to Mom.
I was 18 when the movie White Men Can’t Jump came out. I remember exactly one thing from that movie. Rosie Perez and Woody Harrelson are in bed and Rosie says, “Billy I’m thirsty.” Billy (Woody) says he’ll get her a drink, and she gets mad because instead of offering to get a drink he should have said “I, too, have thirsted.” At 18 I thought this was ridiculous, and it kind of is, but I didn’t understand the truth behind the circumstance. Don’t get me wrong, I accept my mom’s help a lot, but people don’t always want to hear solutions. They want to hear, “That sucks.” Or in this case, “I, too, hate having eight doctor’s appointments in one month.”
I messaged a friend with my mom irritation. No reply.
TWO. THEY DON’T TRY TO HELP.
I guess there’s no pleasing me. My mom said the wrong thing, and my friend said nothing at all, leaving me to feel like I’m a needy friend who messages complaints too much. I’m a terrible friend. And I’m a terrible daughter. My mom does so much for me! She brings me food and drives my kid places and takes me clothes shopping! Why can’t I keep my mouth shut?
The next day I ditched the doctor, because no one including my mom tells me what I have to do, and also it was going to be one of the last summery days at our Northern California beach.
Someone else texted me before I left for the beach. “How are you feeling?”
“I’m going to the beach instead of the doctor, and if I die of infection, oh well.”
A minute later I received MY TEXT QUOTED BACK TO ME, followed by, “Sorry, wrong button.”
“Did you just try to send my text to my sister?”
“I’m concerned about you.”
“Well please don’t do that.”
“Well when you talk about dying…”
“Okay, I won’t say things like that to you anymore.”
THREE. THEY TELL OTHER PEOPLE.
That is not the first time I’ve found out someone told other people what I’ve said to them. I’m keeping some doozies of secrets, people. It is possible. But what I’ve realized, rather late in life, is that if you don’t want everyone to know, don’t tell anyone. Not one person. I have considered going to counseling for the secrecy aspect, but 1) they don’t keep EVERYthing a secret, and 2) I know what they’d recommend, and the things they’d recommend that I want to do, I’m doing, and the things they’d recommend that I don’t want to do, I don’t want to do.
It turns out I’m a pretty good person to tell my stuff to. I never ignore myself, and if I say the wrong thing, I just tell myself to shut up.
So how am I? I’m fine. My ear is fine, my relationships are peachy, and life is fucking great.
How are you?