Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lyrics, Quotations, and Disappointments

I'm one of those people who get song lyrics and random quotations stuck in my head. Yesterday, it was The Eels' I Need Some Sleep from the Shrek 2 soundtrack. That's probably my favorite movie soundtrack of all time, and I have long been in love with the Shrek series for the simple reason that I can really identify with the characters' confusion, sense of alienation, and desire to find somewhere that they fit in. I was a little tired yesterday and had a lot on my mind, and wouldn't you know that I noticed something this morning that made The Eels even more appropriate.

One of my all-time favorite movie quotations is from When Harry Met Sally: "I am not your consolation prize." That's one I've used before, and one that I'm feeling acutely today.

All my life, I've been pulled in and out of relationships of various type and degree based on my utility. I'm the female friend everybody turns to extensively when romance hits the rocks or there's nothing better to do than talk to me. When there's a female of greater romantic interest in play, or I'm not cool enough to be acknowledged, well, there's a dusty little corner right over there in which I can hang out until my number comes up again. I've got a bad habit of liking people too much to just cut them loose when they do this to me, especially because I have a hard time making friends. I don't have a lot of margin to blow people off, although I wonder how others believe that they do. I also learned a long time ago that allowing anyone to even vaguely know I might be attracted to them would lead to humiliation of one form or another, so I'm usually more circumspect than of late. My mistake.

One of the reasons I maintain a fundamental identification with the people whom I knew growing up is that we are from a tiny enough place that we're almost too well-acquainted with one another's foibles. We drift in and out of each others' lives, but we always seem to come back to a single point: we grew up together and we can more or less trust each other. The culture in my hometown has its weak points to be sure, but we had a pretty good value base. It bred some stout character in most cases. Finding people who live up to that has been difficult at best. In that sense, I am a bit on the parochial side. Besides, if you don't let people in, they won't have an opportunity to let you down...

I trust my family, and by that I mean my extended family, absolutely. I trust my best friend absolutely. There are a number of my childhood friends whom I also trust absolutely- and I would trust Hopkins with my life. I just wish that I could find a few more people worthy of that kind of trust. I'm just so infinitely weary of such casual disregard.

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