06 April 2010

What price honor?

These last few weeks have been a bit wearing. Been dealing with a lot of sick (physically ailing, that is) people. Last Friday one of the sick people had to get out of sickbay to deal with a sick elderly relative-things cascade on occasion. The silver lining is that I'm absorbing a lot of medical knowledge and am becoming something of a connoisseur of hospital emergency rooms, and one more trip should see me getting my medical degree by osmosis. Go ahead-ask me about using a butterfly needle for a phlebotomy or how to determine optimal blood oxygen or how to perform a laparascopic cholecystectomy.

Oy. I dunno. Hope things break a bit soon.

To be honest, I've got another issue weighing heavily on my tiny mind. Maybe some thoughts from the ladies and gentlemen of the jury would help. You've all got opinions-and we all know what opinions are like.

I've a person I know, who we shall call Subject L.

Before I go into detail about this, I'll readily admit that I'm better around things than people. And in many things I do try to walk in the other person's shoes a bit-it does help me to be calm, rational, and it does defuse most of the tensions that can crop up in any relationship. I also try to analyze all the possible results of any action before I do it. The Civil War general McClellan had nothing on me. However, it is possible to analyze any action to the point of not doing it.

I also have knowledge of my flaws and failings. Call them Legion, for they are many. I've never considered myself anyone special. I'm not Mr. Wonderful. On the other hand, I don't nail cats to trees or steal people's Social Security checks, either.

Well. Anyhow. Subject L, then.

I've known Subject L for a few years now. We've done a lot of communicating back and forth. I think in a moment of weakness I've grown to expect regular back-and-forth comms from Subject L, and it hasn't been there of late. It almost feels like the old familiar 'silent treatment'. I should hope not, because I feel like the only big crime I inflicted on Subject L is that of being a decent person.

One thing I do (and shouldn't, perhaps) is hold the people I know to a certain level of standards-the same standards I hold for myself when dealing with others. Those are in some ways high. For example, if someone I know asks me for something, I endeavor to do it as fast as possible. I expect others to do the same for me-and I suppose it's selfish to expect to be a priority to anyone.

Subject L has had a platter of life issues, and I suppose that enters the equation as well. How can I demand anything from someone with other priorities?

On the other hand, it feels like I have to 'crawl' when approaching Subject L. While as a rule I do try to be courteous of the precious time of other people, I don't want to 'crawl' any more-not when I did nothing wrong, or at least haven't been informed of any breaches of the armistice. No one should have to do that.

On the third hand, we can all cry about fairness or the lack of it. Put $1.60 with it and one can buy coffee. Or talk to the chaplain, who'll fill out a 'tough shit' slip.

Yes, I feel a lot of guilt as I deal with Subject L. Personal feelings and detritus from the past which I try to suppress. I always feel the need to be 'perfect' in my dealings with Subject L. It's just not possible to do.

I reckon the question to the class is this: What expectations should we have of people we know and/or hold dear to us?

After thinking this through, the options I'm coming up with are the following:

a) I have expected too much of Subject L and should back off. Lose.

b) Subject L has played a mind game with me. Possible, but to what effect? Another notch in the lipstick case? I have nothing personal, physical, or financial worth messing with. Lose.

c) I have offended Subject L in some way. But I don't know in what way, so it's hard to make amends. Lose.

d) My guilt and feelings, along with the stress of recent events, both for me and Subject L, are clouding my perception. Not necessarily a lose.

e) It's all in my head, I'm whinging like Englishmen are reported to do, and I need to harden the hell up. People come and people go. Deal with it. Probably the best endgame.

I don't enter into any kind of friendship or alliance lightly, nor do I break one lightly. I don't do casual acquaintances all that well.

Just not sure of things these days-much like many people across the land, I suppose. I do feel like the living embodiment to Leo Durocher's famous saying:

"Take a look at them. They're all nice guys, but they'll finish last. Nice guys. Finish last."

Dare I ask-your thoughts? Perhaps I'm Going Slightly Mad.

yankeedog out.


  1. Wish I had some sage advice YDog, all I can suggest is to clear the air and let them know that there is a problem (which this is a fine start) and for the sake of the friendship it needs to be dealt with. Good luck, Bangar.

  2. Where the hell can you get a coffee for a buck sixty? It's three bucks over here. Four if you want something drinkable.

    Got no actual worthwhile advice, as you've probably figured out YD. Except be true to yourself, and if people seem like they're too much hard work, then that's probably because they are too much like hard work, so screw 'em.

  3. I know exactly what you mean. You may have noticed that I myself get a little paranoid about perceived slights from people I enjoy interacting with.

    The problem is, real or imagined, those slights hurt. I have recently decided I am WAYYY too sensitive, I need to relax and just roll with it. There's either a problem or there's not, and chances are if there's a problem, and I don't know what it is, it's probably not MY problem, and I can't deal with it anyway.

    Of course in my case, 99 times out of a hundred, there's no problem, I'm just paranoid.

  4. Mayhem paranoia is greatly underrated as long as you use it and it doesn't use you.
    YDog I'm being my usual usefull self aren't I? apologies. Take solace in that you are one the few gentlemen around the place.

  5. Bangar-Sometimes the most sage advice comes from those who claim to have none.

    Doc-Caribou Coffee. Good for a chain. #1.60/cup. And the 'screw 'em' option is a last resort, but definitely on the table.

    Mayhem-That may also be correct. You and I may share a flaw. Lucky us.