Just Tell People How You Feel, Stupid

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by steve319, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. steve319

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    OK, batten down the hatches, sailors. Those of you, like me, who have an involuntary gag response to sappy, Hallmark sentiments should probably turn back now. It’s about to get ugly. ;)

    This is probably something more suited to the realm of blogs (if I kept one), but, with so many topics right now about distant dads, busted up friendships, and strained relationships, I think it fits. I find myself wanting to go ahead and post these thoughts for mass consumption. There’s an important message here.

    I just got back from a funeral for an old friend tonight. Such a tragic situation and one from which I’m bound to learn a lesson, I think.

    Tony and I had been best buddies when we were just ten or eleven years old--hanging out at school, sleeping over at one another’s homes, talking on the phone for hours, the whole deal. His little sister was my first “girlfriend” in that silly, brief, looking-at-each-other-across-the-cafeteria kind of way. Writing “do you love me? check yes or no” notes. You get the picture. As years passed and we ended up in separate classes, we grew apart and didn’t really have anything much in common anymore. Still friendly, just not good friends. A normal part of growing up, I think--graduating, moving away, and developing lives and careers and other grown up things.

    Fast forward several years to sometime last month when I found that the cute, shy new student in one of my high-school equivalency classes is Tony’s niece (imagine how old I felt at that moment!). We spoke about it a bit and I discovered that, as was the case for me, the path of Tony’s life had led him back to our hometown after years away as well. The thought occurred to me that I should try to call him sometime and catch up. And then that thought promptly left my head.

    You see where this is going, right?

    Found out Tuesday morning at work that he’d been killed in a terrible accident at his home over the weekend, leaving behind his wife and two daughters, eleven and three. After going by the family visitation last night, I was dreading the funeral today; I knew I’d see those devastated little girls. This is a man who was just born to be a daddy, you know? Always spending time with everyone else’s kids--playing, talking, whatever. Shy but with big integrity and a real dedication to his family and his word. And now he’s gone at the tragically young age of 36; moreover, his youngest daughter probably won’t even remember him.

    I’m not looking for sympathy, so no need to offer it, really. Tony and I hadn’t even seen one another in well over a decade (which, somehow, doesn’t seem like as long a period as it used to) and hadn’t been close in much longer than that. I certainly shed my share (and more) of tears, but any loss that I might be feeling pales in comparison to that of his family, friends, and coworkers. This post isn’t about my sadness.

    The message I’m trying to convey with this tragic tale is to communicate with the people in your life. At the beginning of this year, I resolved to myself to do a better job of keeping up my friendships and making time to invest in other people—something at which I’ve never excelled, let me say. (It’s tougher for guys a lot of times, anyway, don’t you think?) And while I’ve made a few phone calls and kept up with e-mails and paper correspondence a bit better, I’ve not really made wholesale changes in my patterns. And now it’s just too damned late in this case, you know?

    So hey, if you can stand some unsolicited advice, why not go ahead, take the risk, and just say it, you know? If not in words, at least though action and effort try to connect with the good people in your life—those who mean something to you. Call up your buddy and offer to buy him a beer and catch up some night. Tell your significant other that you’re glad to be sharing your life with her/him. Tell your dad that you love him, even if he’s too emotionally frozen to be able to respond. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

    *end greeting card mode* :)
     
  2. Altairion

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    *Calls steve up and takes him out for a beer

    My heart goes out to you and Tony's family Steve. He sounded like a really good guy who had to leave us before his time. If you just want to talk sometime Steve, you know how to get ahold of me.
     
  3. Dr Rock

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    I like to avoid the potential for situations like this by never giving a flying crap about anyone except myself.
     
  4. B_UNKNOWN321

    B_UNKNOWN321 New Member

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    You learned a very valuable lesson, one that most men could learn from since most men aren't worth shit when it comes to extending kind words, acknowledging grief of others or giving solace or support in any other than a cursory way. If you ever step forward and do what you thought of doing and should have, you will feel a sense of peace and pride in yourself that nothing else can compare to. I felt compelled years ago to visit an aunt in Modesto, CA that I had not seen in 35 years (when 5 so remembered her not at all) and couldn't get that thought out of my head so crossed the US to visit her (she had lived alone there for the previous 20 years). She was funny as hell, looked just like me, had my same wry sense of humor and I felt I had so cheated myself not getting together with her much earlier. She cried almost uncontrollably as I left telling me that I would never know what that visit meant. Three months later she was dead of brain cancer that she knew she had when i visited, but I didn't. It probably would not have bothered me much if I had not visited her and found out she had died, but my life I know is richer for this simple little gesture. My mother died in February after years suffering from Alzheimer's and not one single one of my male acquaintances said a word to me about it other than the perfunctory "sorry your mother died". Your story should tell you, never, ever delay or postpone an opportunity to reacquaint yourself with your loved ones. I had delayed writing or calling my best buddy from grad school who lived in Seattle and kept thinking I will call or visit him next year then I got a call to say he had suffered massive heart attack and died. I cried like a school girl as much for my shallow behavior as for loss of that friendship and will never totally forgive myself. Motto: when you feel the urge to do something nice for someone, DAMNATION, do it this minute.
     
  5. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Doc, you'd make a unique stand-up comic.

    Nightclub Manager: "So, Mr. Rock, what's your act?"

    Rock: "Fuck you!"

    Nightclub Manager: "When can you start?"
     
  6. db03

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    You must lead a very lonely life
     
  7. B_RoysToy

    B_RoysToy New Member

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    Unpleasant.
     
  8. naughty

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    Actually Folks,
    I am going to hip you to the good Doctor. We have been talking through IM recently and he is positively delightful! Such a wonderful man. I am so glad he allows me to be on his IM list. Now dont inundate him but he has some really good oldfashioned mother wit that many of us could benefit from here on board.

    Naughty K.
     
  9. Alley Blue

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    I would of never thought of "old fashioned mother" and "Dr. Rock" in the same sentence.

    I'm looking forward to seeing this in the future from Dr.Rock!
     
  10. Knight

    Knight New Member

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    I agree with telling people how you feel. Recently I bumped into an old friend I hadn't seen for a while, we used to be the best of friends, then got in with different people at (secondary) school.

    Of course I went the academic route, he went the drug and odd-job route. Anyway it turns out he, a very good person, I mean we were both the same good, quiet boys when we were younger, is going to be in prison for three years (he's 20 this November 5th). He's being convicted of GBH (I think thats it...section 18). When he was drunk or high, he swung a metal pole to hit this guy but hit his girlfriend instead.

    It was pretty sobering, revealing to see how different our two lives had become, when we were near enough the same person, into all the same things when we were younger...And so my problems with the girlfriend (which I then had, don't anymore) and with not knowing what I wanted to do seem insignificant.

    Anyway he got off the bus first and I just said see ya but I doubt I'll see him again for a while. I wish I would have said something more. Now though I'm more confident and dont think about things so much (INTJ lol).

    All I have to do now is decide what to do - English or business :D

    It's funny how things turn out is all.
     
  11. db03

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    Do Business....You can always do an English postgrad, and business is something to fall back on!

    Thats what i've done
     
  12. Dr Rock

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    You must lead a very lonely life
    [post=317282]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/b][/quote]
    not really; in fact I often get pissed off with the number of claims on my time. given the choice though, I'd sure LIKE to lead a "lonelier" life.
     
  13. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    I saw a "King of the Hill" like this once. The little boy went around treating all the little girls like shit, and they couldn't keep their hands off the kid. Moral of story: Be an utter and complete asshole and you STILL score.

    ::nuzzles and hugs the Rock::

    I give you permission to be a contemptuous shit. No matter how hard you want to push people away or come off as abrasive and harsh, evidently, some part of you is still really cool and nice enough to let it be an act.

    "Old fashioned mother wit," eh? Oh, Rock. You might want to shave your legs. After all, if you're going to let your hair down and prance about in a calico dress, you gotta keep the forest maintained a bit better. :D
     
  14. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Rock, in dirty white apron behind the counter at "Mom's Diner"...

    "Yeah, the sign says 'ALL YOU CAN EAT!' and I'm tellin' you you've had all you can eat!"
     
  15. Dr Rock

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    nnnggghhh ... it's not true at all. I'm never nice to anyone, EVER, and NOBODY likes me. OKAY??
     
  16. KinkGuy

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    Bullshit, Dr. We're gonna' love ya' whether you like it or not!!! So FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE! We like you, get over it.
     
  17. txquis

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    I am more open and vocal in ways i never was before
    losing several important people.
    Such things tend to make you live for today.
     
  18. madame_zora

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    I only like you for your dick, OKAY???



    I have two views on the subject, first- several of my high-school friends died in unrelated car accidents the year I graduated. Seemed like someone was dying every month or so for a while, the result was that I've never had the luxury of ignoring the tenuousness of life.

    Second, for the very same reason, I find it easy to cut ties to those with whom I have a relationship that I don't want. Yes, it seems horrible, but life is just too short and too precious to waste my time being miserable if there is another option (and there always is).

    Actually I guess I have a third thought as well. When I have drifted apart from someone unintentionally, I try not to indulge in too deep a sense of loss about it, even if they leave this life in a seemingly abrupt manner. I think it shows respect for the time we did know each other to remember that for what it was rather than to grieve a loss of something that never was. We probably drifted apart because we were going in different directions, but the value of who they were to me at that particualr time was something to treasure on its' own merit.

    Of course, I do sympathise with the family he left behind who were expecting to share more time with him than they got, especially the little child who will only remember her father in shadows of memory, I know personally how this can affect a person's development. Hopefully some other male family members and freinds will step up to the plate and fill in where they can, as well as tell the children what their father was like when they are old enough to understand.
     
  19. Dr Rock

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    oh yeah, that's perfectly acceptable. just as long as nobody goes trying to value me as a PERSON *shudder*
     
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