Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hopeful Giving

I suppose this is a continuation of my giving for Friday, Day 24...

C and I wanted to meet. My hair appointment went long and cancelled our lunch option, so we were aiming for a couple of evening hours. Neither one of us wanted to be gone long; we both had gifts to buy for the birthdays our friends would celebrate the next day, and neither one of us had extra cash. We wavered between coffee and drinks. Finally, I said, Let's just meet for dinner and wine. I'll buy for you!

C didn't take much persuading. An hour later, we were tucked into a little booth in the Italian restaurant's bar. C was casual and harried looking, a compliment to me that she trusts me enough to let me see her without all her polish. I, on the other hand, had dressed up to buoy my spirits. My dress was a bit too short, and it showed too much cleavage, but I didn't care. It wasn't like I had to worry about C getting the wrong idea, and I wanted to be a bit comfortable and a bit sexy for my own spirits.

I even teased her a bit, "You know, we're just dating now right? We're seeing each other like every two days, and I got all dressed up for this."

She laughed back at me. "Oh, good!!" she exclaimed. "At least, I'm dating somebody!"

We made the Happy Hour prices by five minutes, and were quite pleased with our thrift in ordering $3 glasses of wine and sharing a $5 pizza. The food was just a back-drop though. Really, we needed to talk. Not only did C bring me up to date on her last few days, and vent about her ongoing family dynamics, but I had something to discuss with her.

"I'm trying to be friendly," I explained. "And I don't know why I'm even still trying. It really bothers me."

Like the good friend she is, C pulled me up short and completely told me off.

"Look," she said. "I love you or I wouldn't say this, but I think you're being really selfish."

I blinked, taken aback. That wasn't what I expected to hear. But I was willing to listen to her point of view.

She continued, "You Hopeful people just don't get it at all. We Hopeless people aren't like you. Things haven't worked out well for us. It hurts. And it hurts worse to get your hopes up and then have things go wrong again. After a while, they always go wrong. Misery is just easier. At least misery is predicatable. With misery, you know that tomorrow you're still going to feel the way you feel today. It's not going to change."

"But," I protested, "But! Why then? Why choose to hang out with Hopeful people? No one's making you. Why do you keep calling me up to have coffee and go out and listen to my advice?!"

"Because Hopeful people are kind. They listen to you, and they're warm. Hopeless people don't listen. They have their own pain. They're in the same place that you are. So they don't care."

"Hmmm. Really? But doesn't being Hopeful make a difference? I mean, you can make a good energy, and that MAKES your life get better! And you feel better along the way!"

"Maybe for you," C countered. "For you Hopeful people, things have worked out. Things have gone your way. That's why you still feel hopeful. I used to be one of you. And I want to get back there. But I'm not there now."

"Hmmm. Well, this sounds like an argument I've had a lot of times before. Thank you for sharing with me. It's really hard for me to see it that way so it does help to hear it from you."

As I've said before, she is a really good friend to me. It was really a pleasure to take my frustration to her and let her help me understand. I thought my gift would be the dinner, but really it was needing her to help me, and giving her an opportunity to reciprocate.

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