operating instructions

Tonight I was out with a friend. An old one. A comfortable one. One that knows the rules.
Her phone rang and she stared at it a minute before deciding to answer. She chatted for a minute and then promised to call her back later in the evening. She hung up and quickly apologized. I laughed at her apology because it was unnecessary and told her that she should know my rules of friend phone etiquette by now ( 1. I expect you to take the call, 2. I expect you to make it quick, 3. I expect you to turn the damn thing off if it rings more than 4 times while we are hanging out). I am in transition. New job. Possibly new church soon. I hate the idea of starting over. Especially when I am in exactly the same place. But starting over with people. Making new connections. Making new friends. Being comfortable enough for them to come to my house or get in my car without feeling like I have to pick up first. We should all come with operating instructions so we can skip all that stuff. Not the fun getting to know you, finding things in common stuff. But the not as fun can I tell her she has spinach in her teeth stuff. When we meet someone that we are going to become friends with …we should just save ourselves a bit of time and just trade lists……..here is mine:

*cell phone etiquette (covered above)
*completely cell phone unreliable. Call me on my cell with a 50/50 chance of answering. But I only check the voicemail like every 3-4 days or so. Slightly better track record w/ the texts.
*I can’t tell a story and drive at the same time.
*I can’t really tell a story and make a point at the same time either, at least not without back tracking into four or five back stories.
*I think I’m funny. You may or may not agree.
*I make a mean mixed tape ( or playlist ) and will come prepared for all road trips.
*There will be road trips. ( ignore previous listings about driving skills).
*I am very considerate while being completely insensitive. I do not have a filter and do not think before I speak. I may or may not realize that I should feel bad later.
*I don’t always get subtle, except in humor and that is the best kind.
*One car is always better than two.
*I am about the fastest paced girl you will ever meet. Give me 15 free minutes and I can mow the lawn, cut my nails and take a shower. Don’t expect me to do any of it well.
*My patience is patchy.
*I am not a good secret keeper. I mean to be…but I am not.
*Put me in the same room as alcohol and I get obnoxious. Acually give me alcohol and your will probably want to take me home. Give me more than 1 glass and you will have to take me home.
*Put me in a room with anywhere between 3 -15 people and I get obnoxious ( no alcohol necessary). I am super extroverted and love people – but in really big groups I actually get quiet.
*When I am uncomfortable I try to be funny. Notice I said try.
*I am a pretty shallow conversationalist. Meaning I don’t jump right on in to the heavy stuff. I can go there. I actually like going there. I just don’t initiate it. I also don’t want to have deep meaningful conversations all the time. I can fit God and sex and donuts all into the same 5 mintue conversation.
*I am not modest in conversation. There is no filter. Very few conversations embarrass me.
*Most physical things embarrass me. I hate karaoke, dancing and even aerobics class. We have to be friends for like 5 years before I will share a dressing room with you.
*I am horribly lactose intolerant. If you eat icecream around me I get sick. Don’t be surprised if I ask you to go to coldstone with me though….just don’t plan much afterwards.
*I am incredibly disciplined but have no self control. Meaning I can train for a half marathon, but can’t say no to dessert, or another round.
*I can’t pee if someone can hear me. I get stage fright. In other words don’t follow me into the bathroom.
*I am secretly mushy. I won’t you long send you sappy cards or tell you how much I’m glad we are friends b/c it embarrasses me, but I will want to.
*I pay. You pay. We don’t keep track. It should all even out.
*I rarely say no. If you ask me to do something or go somewhere…even your stupid marykay, pampered chef, or fill in the blank sell me something party .. I will be there.
*I am usually on time.
*I am surprisingly content.
*I like to share. Especially meals. This doesn’t mean I’ll invite you over for dinner – it means I want half of your entrĂ©e.
*I occasionally cheat at games like cards or dominoes but never sports.
*I am fairly confident in who I am, but also miserably insecure that you don’t like me…….if that is possible.
*I am a freakishly fast reader.
*The occasional 4 letter word might enter my vocabulary from time to time.
*I am a much better distraction when something goes wrong than a comfort.
*I cry at movies. Even ones that aren’t really sad. Sometimes this surprises people (what is up w/ that Tina? Do you think I am made of stone?)
*I do not always feel the need to get dressed up before going out in public. Work out pants are just fine thank you. I certainly do not feel the need to wear make up. Don’t make me wait on you to do the opposite unless you have good books or mags on your coffee table.
*I have recently learned to ask for help when I think I need it. After you keep my dog for the weekend or watch my kid for an hour you might wish I hadn’t learned this new trick.
*I do not like to get icky things on my hands. It freaks me out and is not a nice joke to play on your new friend.
*I do not mind being interupted or woken up.
*I am hard to shake. If we become friends. Really friends. I am hard to break up with.

3 comments:

Kate said...

I always thought you were really good at secerts and confiding in!
Enjoyed this, you know yourself well. I wouldn't know where to start in writing my own user manual.

Kate

spaghettipie said...

I loved reading this and am glad to know that I knew just about all of it! I also think it's a fun sort of meme (the tag 8 people kind of post), and might post something similar on my blog.

onevoice said...

ditto kate and spaghettipie...I'm impressed you can put it all into words and I like the challenge - I might post something too.