Dec. 30th, 2012

ambergris: (Default)
I feel genuinely sorry for extroverts.

For Christmas dinner I got this random old woman inflicted on me because my pseudostepmother is addicted to picking up waifs and strays. This, like most so-called altruism, is so she gets to feel good about herself rather than because she actually gives a shit about anyone else. If she were genuinely a compassionate or empathetic person she would realise that inflicting random strangers on three people with varying degrees of SA, without even bothering to consult them first, is pretty damn selfish. (For that matter, she wouldn't keep 'borrowing' her daughter's disabled badge either.) But anyway. Said old woman happens to be the most boring person I have ever met. Even my nan, whose short-term memory has been reduced by Alzheimers to that of a goldfish and who asks repeatedly what time it is and which members of her family are dead, is better company than this woman, who can only discourse upon her love of sprouts and her desire to make it to a hundred.

What the fuck for? I thought. What do you have to look forward to but talking at strangers? Give me a choice between spending my Christmas by myself and inflicting myself upon people I don't know and who don't even want me there, and it is a no-brainer. It is like some horrible parody of what Christmas is meant to be. Because these waifs and strays invariably do have families, who clearly want nothing to do with them, and I cannot help but wonder whether this is connected to their obnoxiousness. Apart from anything else, if you are obnoxious then your offspring will probably be too, which makes it difficult to sustain healthy relationships.

And rather than try to mend fences with her granddaughter, this woman would rather go and talk at random people whom she has no actual interest in. I am quite sure she wouldn't be able to tell you my name, let alone how old I am, or where I live, or what I do for a living, or what I was doing at that dinner table in the first place. She wouldn't even be able to tell you whether I like sprouts. She just wanted some ears to talk at, and it didn't matter that I only issued two words in reply and barely looked at her. She didn't notice. She didn't care.

I suppose it is a step up from small talk, in that at least she has given up pretending to be interested in the other person. (The insincerity of small talk is what infuriates me. It puts my teeth on edge.) And it is a relief to be able to abandon the pretence in return, and stop fretting about your own social cues. But I would rather be struck dumb for the rest of my days than be reduced to that kind of fear of being alone.

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