Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Danger: Radioactive Toxic Waste

The Spouse and I grumble a lot about getting older. We find ourselves saying, “It sucks getting old” a lot. And it does. The body aches, the loss of energy, the greying hair, the weight gain... *heavy sigh*

But, there are some benefits to getting old (besides cheaper car insurance). The main one, I feel, is not having to deal with “high school drama.” You remember the crap that used to go on when you were in high school and college? Fighting about who you can be friends with, what guy/girl you’re allowed to date, what clothes your social group wants you to wear, and the ever-popular two girls fighting over the same guy (or vice versa).

I was so glad when I got out of high school and was able to leave all that behind. But even in my late 30s I’m amazed at the number of people around me who are old enough to know better who still are playing these stupid games and behaving like they’re 15. And we’re talking a wide array of people: close friends, not-so-close friends, acquaintances, co-workers... *another heavy sigh*

The problem is that I sometimes get pulled into this shit. I do my best to stay away from toxic people like this but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Maybe I’m gifted in that my intuition is better than everybody else. I seem to be able to spot ‘problem people’ and can avoid any attachment to them by simply ducking out.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be flashing red lights and warning bells, but my “creep” and “bad news” radars work fanastic. I can see something wonky about someone and then consciously make the decision not to get any closer. I don’t want to reach out and help. I don’t want to be a hero and fix their problem. I don’t need closure or any kind of finality. I just smile and walk away. Quickly. I pride myself on the fact that I’ve never been in abusive relationship and have exited toxic, codependent friendships quickly with little or no damage.

In the past few months I’ve watched certain people (and ‘people’ is very plural here) do the dumbest shit and get themselves in the worst situations. I read about it in their blogs, I hear about it in their phone calls, I watch it happen at work, out in public and at various social gatherings. I feel like a parent watching their child spiral down, wanting so badly to just shake the hell out of them while shouting, “What the hell are you doing?! What are ya, STUPID?!”

How come I can see disaster coming and they can’t? *yet another heavy sigh*

I’m not perfect, nor do I have a perfect life. I have trauma and stress just like anybody. I just do my best not to drag people down into my pit of despair. And I try not to stay down there too long and have to rely on people to come to my rescue. I do not elaborate about my personal problems on the web, on late-night phone calls or to total strangers I meet in public. That’s private, it’s none of your business, so go away.

Some people seem to thrive on bad news, and they want everybody to know about it. Maybe it’s the only exciting thing in their life. But FUCK... the constant negativity gets OLD after a while. Hearing the same bad news over and over and over...

So, needless to say, I’m staying away from these people. I don’t want to get involved. I don’t want to get pulled into something that’s gonna leave me covered in the same radioactive muck that these poor boneheads keep stirring up.

Speaking of high school, I have a 20 year reunion coming up next month. Now I went to my 10th and had a good time. I didn’t go to reunite with old friends. I went to thumb my nose at them and say, “See? You DIDN’T keep me down, assholes.” The only people I graduated with that I care about are WasabiJohn and AmandaJo. The rest of them can go suck eggs. Seriously. High school was traumatic for me. Those naive bastards that always say, “These are the best years of your life” are fucking morons who didn’t live past 20.

At first I wanted to go, but I’ve been really thinking about it. Do I REALLY want to go? There isn’t anybody there I want to see. I get to see WasabiJohn and AmandaJo whenever I want. I don’t need this particular social event to do it.

Granted, all those people are 20 years older and hopefully not the same snobby little shits they were back then. But still, do I really want to see them again? For what purpose?

I think I’ll pass (unless WasabiJohn or AmandaJo talks me into it). I seem to have plenty of toxic situations I’m successfully avoiding. I don’t need any more.

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