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By ana (Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 05:32:46 PM EST) (all tags)
 Or, well, just self-editing.


 So the other day in the carpool coming home, D remarked that my windshield wiper mount was not latched, a fact of which I was aware, having tried unsuccessfully to get the little plastic lever to go down and latch. I pointed out to his interest that apparently the oil change place had fitted the next larger size as well, since for reasons known only to GM engineers, most of whom have probably been fired, Saturn vehicles require larger wiper blades on the driver's side than they do on the passenger's.

What followed was a description of his last visit to his favorite auto parts store, for windshield wiper blades. The clerk had insisted on following him out to the parking lot and installing them. This place is in the next town over, the business district of which is arrayed linearly for 3 miles or so along Main Street. And of course there are two auto parts stores, the one we had used in the past, and the one D prefers. So he was trying to tell me how to find his.

And I allowed as how I hadn't actually been to S-ham in a couple years, but that toxicfur and I used to drive the length of their Main Street regularly, going to a family-style chain restaurant at the far end for dinner. There was a time we did this more or less every week.

There was an embarrassed silence.

And it occurred to me that I had made them uncomfortable by the changing number of the first-person pronouns in my utterances, which accurately reflected the number of people in my household at various times during the story (plural, and then singular).

So in the interests of civil discourse, and their desire to never say the wrong thing (except when they do D does)... Is it incumbent upon me, being a person of somewhat convoluted history, to edit said history to make it more comfortable for my hearers? So that they can avoid making the conversation more comfortable for me, ultimately. Should they choose to do so.


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Revisionism | 27 comments (27 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
editing by aphrael (4.00 / 2) #1 Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 05:35:17 PM EST
> Is it incumbent upon me, being a person of somewhat convoluted history, to edit said history to make it more comfortable for my hearers?

No.

Well, a qualified no. It's hard for me to say, because given your description of your social milieu, it's different enough from mine that I can't reasonably predict the way people will behave.

But ... I don't think it's generally incumbent on anyone to hide bits of their personal history, just because those bits make someone else uncomfortable.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

counterpoint: by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 11:14:32 PM EST
it is generally incumbent on everyone to hide bits of their personal history, especially if those bits make someone else uncomfortable. 

[ Parent ]
Feh. by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #16 Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 11:51:27 AM EST
In a professional context, ok - your goal at work is to be working, and to the degree openness about your personal life and personal history interferes with that, then maybe you need to hide things.

But outside of your professional life? Fie on that. Editing your personal history, hiding bits of yourself, helps create a world in which we're all false fronts, fake identities used to create an illusion which prevents us from understanding each other, from truly experiencing the joy of camaraderie. It tends towards the creation of a world in which we're all suffering because we can't actually connect with one another, because we're all wearing this shroud of an illusory personality.

In my mind, that's hell.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
uh huh... by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #17 Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:46:09 PM EST
well, maybe ana was carpooling with his best buds home from the bowling alley. he's a little vague on that point.

even so, if people are uncomfortable, they're uncomfortable. it doesn't matter what the context is and no matter who your buddies are, there are going to be ways to create awkward situations with them. the level of connection people are looking for in a the different kinds of relationships they have, e.g. the guys they carpool with, varies quite a lot and it's not wrong or cold or mean that people are like that. when you use words like "false" and "fake" to describe the basics of human interaction, you're vilifying people who are just carrying on normal relationships and who aren't looking for a heavy discussion every time they get in a car -- which is to say basically everyone.

sounds to me like you're rushing to compare a mundane situation of talking about an ex from two years ago (a situation that is often uncomfortable for a variety of mundane reasons) with something more profound when you bring in "an illusory personality." i can assure you, though, refraining from talking about painful memories and such with the guys you carpool with is not hell.


[ Parent ]
maybe this is generational, maybe it's cultural by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #18 Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:17:59 AM EST
i don't know which - but the world you're describing, in which you're expected to not talk about your past life because it might make the people around you uncomfortable. sounds miserable to me.

it's a world where you can't express yourself - where you can't talk about what you are feeling for fear that people around you might be uncomfortable, while meanwhile they're too afraid to talk about what they're feeling for fear that you might be uncomfortable.

a world where you and they build walls around each other that prevent communication and empathy.

i'm glad i don't live in that world.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
uh... okay... by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #21 Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:37:18 PM EST
actually, i kind of like not having people's baggage out on the table every time i meet them and i like that no one expects mine to be out for inspection either. most people prefer privacy to oversharing. (except on facebook, where oversharing is frequently hilarious.)

anyway, i'm not sure what kind of new age shangri-la you're living in, but i'm pretty sure that people in every country i've ever been to had a sense that there's some people you talk to about personal matters and most that you don't and in those countries transgressing boundaries is generally frowned upon. never thought of it as particularly sinister.


[ Parent ]
Uh... by ana (2.00 / 0) #19 Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:17:47 PM EST
 sounds to me like you're rushing to compare a mundane situation of talking about an ex from two years ago (a situation that is often uncomfortable for a variety of mundane reasons) with something more profound when you bring in "an illusory personality." i can assure you, though, refraining from talking about painful memories and such with the guys you carpool with is not hell.

So you're saying I should write the one joyful part of my life out, to avoid momentary embarrassment of a couple of co-workers, with whom I happen to carpool since they live near me? That sounds like constructing an illusory personality to me. The thing I'm trying to come to terms with is the loss of the love of my life.

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
it's weird how you guys manage to make by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #20 Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:33:46 PM EST
perfectly normal things sound horrible.

yes, when you're riding in a car with guys who aren't your therapist or your spouse or parents or siblings or best friend or whatever, you can expect that there will be topics that will lead to awkwardness and you shouldn't reproach them for that being the case. hell, even your therapist might feel a little trapped in a car. you know, it's rough you broke up with "the love of your life" -- a phrase with an odd finality, considering -- but it's a thing that happens to people. it's generally understood that people who'll talk to you about it are doing you a favor. much of the discomfort around bringing things like this up is from other people not wanting to have to explicitly decline to talk about it. people hate saying "no."

anyway, your response is baffling: "So you're saying I should write the one joyful part of my life out, to avoid momentary embarrassment of a couple of co-workers, with whom I happen to carpool since they live near me?" -- if this were edited to reflect what i actually said, viz. that you can't just talk two year old relationships with random people and expect support and affirmation, the answer would be a very obvious "yes." in fact, it is precisely because they are coworkers you carpool with simply because they happen to live near you that you have to "edit" what you say.  

there's a period of a week or two during which ordinary acquaintances are usually willing to indulge references to breakups and exes and lend some support. you're way past that statute of limitations, though, and you can't be surprised that people act that way. 



[ Parent ]
well... by gzt (2.00 / 0) #22 Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:18:18 AM EST
...I think with a divorce the statute of limitations is a bit longer.

[ Parent ]
-1 by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #23 Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:20:13 PM EST
> you know, it's rough you broke up with "the love of your life"

i think this deserves a -1, not following the plot.

> it's generally understood that people who'll talk to you about it are doing you a favor.

see, that's where you and i are parting company.

i have friends. if those friends are going through shit that's making them miserable, i want to know about it. sure, i don't want it dominating every conversation, but i want them to be able to tell me, to share what they're feeling - because what good is it to share my happiness and joy if the people i'm with aren't sharing back?

that's what friendship is, in my book. or at least, part of it.

and the notion that listening to my friends talk about the trouble in their lives is somehow doing them a favor? it's an absurd and insulting notion.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Quote: by ana (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:54:16 AM EST
"I aim to always troll."

I think this is an example of this principle, and unworthy of serious attention.


I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
retractions: by the mariner (4.00 / 2) #25 Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 04:55:11 AM EST
hi ana. sorry for some of the remarks above: in particular, it was flippant of me to use the phrases "break-up" and "statute of limitations." i was under the mistaken impression, based on a prior diary in which you referred to the disparity in the way couples are treated in your church and the way single people are, that you hadn't been married and that the events surrounding your marriage had transpired within a window of about three or four years when i hadn't been reading the site. seeing that i had the wrong idea about your situation, i see your points about the things you mention in your recently diaries much more clearly. given that i haven't been reading the site for some years and even then i didn't particularly follow your posts, it was sloppy of me to comment, especially given the amount of background material available. 

i'm really not out to troll you or give you a hard time. it seemed to me that you expect too much from people to whom you don't seem particularly close, but given the back story, my conclusion was overdrawn. for example, i think you're right on about your church. so again, sorry.


[ Parent ]
No one dressed up for the Halloween party by lm (4.00 / 1) #27 Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:52:52 AM EST
... this year at my work. Well, three women did. We had one hippie, one cat, and one binder full of women. One of my cow-orkers asked if I ever dressed up for Halloween. Cow-Orker, I said, I put on a costume every day of the year.

To greater or lesser extent, we all have have illusory personalities. We put on different faces for different people, sometimes without even realizing it. Some of those faces are not genuine. Or maybe they are all genuine and the illusion is that we think some of them are not genuine. It's an ever shifting game.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
It's funny by yankeehack (4.00 / 2) #2 Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 07:29:07 PM EST
When I go on dates with divorced guys, I always listen for the use of we and I.

Basically if I hear a story of "we did this" it pretty closely correlates to them not being complete.

If I hear an "I did this" knowing that they were with someone at the time or "My ex and I" it's a totally different meaning.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB

Er.... wow. by notafurry (3.00 / 4) #3 Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 03:42:54 AM EST
That's incredibly fucked up reasoning you have there, chief.

[ Parent ]
or... by bobdole (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 07:18:46 AM EST
...the words we choose (and use) tells you a lot about the person. Consciously or not - we choose our words.

However, basing the whole judgement on the choice of words I agree, is risky business.
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
Obviously by yankeehack (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 12:09:25 PM EST
it's a pattern of speech...

On more than one occasion, I've been on a first date with someone, hearing their stories and I'll stop the conversation with "So you're newly single?"

Every time I receive the "How did you know that?" reply.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB

[ Parent ]
That said by bobdole (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 06:00:17 PM EST
Asking someone who has agreed to go out on a date (or even actively pursued getting one) whether or not they are newly single is pretty much a 50-50 bet...
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
Note the consultant weasel words by marvin (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 11:55:03 AM EST
Her phrase "pretty closely correlates" is conditional, not an absolute. You have to admit, yh has a data set that is more than large enough to allow her to make that statement, based just on her own personal observations in dating over the past decade.

The "4" was just to undo the "0", btw.

[ Parent ]
Oh it hurts...not really by yankeehack (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 12:03:15 PM EST
You have to admit, yh has a data set that is more than large enough to allow her to make that statement, based just on her own personal observations in dating over the past decade.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
[ Parent ]
Why I couldn't argue with your statement by marvin (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 12:27:00 PM EST
Experience speaks for itself.

[ Parent ]
My point by yankeehack (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 12:00:11 PM EST
wasn't specifically a judgement or denying someone the right to talk about their life experiences. Quite contrary to that, in fact.

This was a point of how people (quite unconsciously) speak of their past relationships and what it reveals.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB

[ Parent ]
I'll just say... by ana (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 08:41:41 PM EST
I am soooo glad I'm not dating again. Ever. Life is too short to drink bad wine. 

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Bad wine? by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #15 Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:27:50 AM EST
You should choose more carefully off the wine list   

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
don't worry about it. by misslake (4.00 / 3) #10 Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 05:00:41 PM EST
they are probably just feeling embarrassed or something, not sure if they have accidentally brought up "THE EX" and if that is going to make you feel sad/bad/mad.

i still have people stumble occasionally and fumble when they casually mention 256, or realize that they were referencing something that happened when we were together. i just act like it's ok, because it is for me. still hurts, but it's ok.

if you are fine talking about your life with and without toxicfur, just carry on pleasantly. they will get the hint that mention of your past is ok.

if it's not ok for them to mention your past, then  edit your self as required until you feel better about it.

exactly this by R343L (4.00 / 1) #26 Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 02:27:31 PM EST
I sometimes talk about my ex or rather things that happened when we were together. For a while I didn't thru a combination of pain or embarassment or whatever. But I've tried to more consciously include that context now that it doesn't hurt so much because it is my past and I don't want to forget it or pretend it was different. But if you still hurt too much? Do what you need to do. If that includes editing, then who cares?

As an aside about them feeling embarassed, one of the most important things I try to remind myself whenever I think I've committed a social error (that no one seems to be noticing or are responding ambiguously but not really negatively to) is that most people are far more worried about their own behavior and how they are being perceived than they care about my behavior. 

HUGS!! (to ana and misslake. why not everyone! we all need hugs.)

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
Should people edit? by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 05:23:11 AM EST
Yes.

Is a change from single to couple to single something that needs an edit? Probaby not. If you can say it, they should not feel uncomfortable for you.

Revisionism | 27 comments (27 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback