operating instructions part II

The other day I was talking to a new friend and she started to tell me something that I needed to keep quiet, and I figured I better let her know that maybe I am not the best secret keeper. Among other things. And I joked that I would just send her a list of the rules. Which made me think of this post. That is three years old. And definitely needs some updating. So I am revamping the list a little…..

First of all these aren’t really rules. I don’t like rules. I mainly just like to break them. But the premise is this…..Some people only need a few friends. I kind of need a village. I love my husband. And my kids. But I married an introvert who only has a few hundred words to go through a day and my kids still mostly like to talk about Legos and princesses. I am always friend shopping to a degree. Not for replacements, but for more. I like people. I like their stories. And let’s face it. I like to talk. And to tell mine. And to laugh. A lot. And getting to know someone new is fun. But sometimes I wish I could jump right into the comfortable easy part. 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 type things. Or the initially awkward can I call them just to tell them something random and funny that just happened or should I actually have a reason first. What is their coffee order? Should we take one car or two? That kind of thing….
Friendship is something I value. It is something I am intentional about. In some areas I am great at it, but to be honest I have my share of disclaimers. Faults. Mistakes. Things I try to hide or not do again. But usually slip out anyways. And don’t worry. Laying out these disclaimers doesn’t excuse them. I’m working on them I assure you. But. Consider yourself fair warned.
This post is a mishmash of the two. My operating instructions and my disclaimers. And it is not by any means a complete list.

*I am a full fledged extrovert. Nothing gets processed in my little head. It all has to be processed outloud or on paper. This makes for a lot of outloud.
* I am a texting machine. Except sometimes I send things to the wrong people. This can be embarrassing.
* I can be defensive.
* I defend my friends even when they are wrong. If someone is a jerk to me I often take it. If they are a jerk to my friend I come out swinging.
* I show up. Even when it is hard or inconvienent.
* I overshare. Even on a first date.
* I am not the best secret keeper. It isn’t intentional. I’m not really into gossip. Just things come out of my mouth before I realize it. BUT. I can be trusted if you stress the importance of keeping my mouth shut.
* My yes means yes. My maybe even usually means yes. BUT I am unorganized. I occasionally double book. I don’t get mad if you need to back out. Atleast not for long, unless you start backing out more than showing up.
* My brain is always moving in about 50 directions. Try having a conversation with me. There are twists and turns and loops and I usually forget where I was trying to go.
*I’m almost never boring.
*I’m a great gift giver.
*I’ll try almost anything. oysters. zumba. eyebrow threading.
*I am not the best driver. I speed. I text. I play my music loud. If I am ever driving your kid I promise to refrain from all three. I haven’t had many wrecks or anything crazy. But. People have occasionally complained from motion sickness.
*If I’m going to tell you something important or hard or embarrassing I need to warm up a little first. I can’t just jump right in. (and nice is embarrassing to me). I do it in writing much better than outloud, but I sometimes try outloud anyways because I think it counts more.
* You can never have too much background in a story.
* I'll go first.
* Ask me anything and I’ll tell you.
*Sometimes I make up answers and directions.
*I think I’m funny. I will ruin my best jokes or punchlines by laughing through them.
* I am an awful liar. I will occasional try. And then will fess up immediately. If I am trying to hide something it will be the first thing out of my mouth.
* I don’t care who your daddy is. What your husband does or how much money you make. I mostly just care if you make me laugh and will be there if I need you.
* I am bad with space. I know it is a good healthy thing. And I try to give it, but sometimes my husband has to remind me to give people a little room to breathe.
*I make a mean mixed tape.
*I am very considerate while being completely insensitive. I do not have a filter and do not think before I speak. I don't always realize it if I am being a jerk.
*I apologize. I mean it. I still might do it again.
* I don’t receive well. Gifts or nice words. It doesn’t mean I don’t want them or am not appreciative of them. I totally do and am. I just don’t always respond appropriately.
* People often mistake my openness and brashness for a lack of embarrassment or insecurity. Let me assure you, I am plenty insecure and get embarrassed easily. Just not by talking about sex or that fact that my pants ripped and the whole school saw my blue underwear.
*One car is always better than two.
* I don’t need a lot of advance notice or prep time.
* But I do like a plan. Even if the plan changes.
* I get my feelings hurt easier than most people think. But. It isn’t a big deal. I fix easy I promise.
*I am not afraid of an awkward conversation. I’d rather hash something out or face it and be awkward for a day than let something fester.
* I am jealous. Not of your stuff or your position. But of time and attention. I try really hard to not be or at least talk myself out of it because I know it is dumb, but sometimes it slips out.
* I overthink. I underthink. I rarely think the right amount.
*If you want me to dress nice for something, you should probably tell me in advance or not be surprised when I show up in yoga pants.
*I like my kids. I like my husband. I like my job. I like my students. If all you ever want to do is whine about and one or all of the above maybe we shouldn’t be friends. That being said. Not every day is a good day. My kids sometimes drive me crazy, my husband can frustrate me and there are bad days at work. Unloading is perfectly ok. And I do more than my fair share.
*I am not too strongly attached to any of my possessions. I will gladly give or lend almost anything I have. Sometimes even if you don’t want it.
* I pay. You pay. We don’t keep track. It all evens out.
*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 minute conversation. And those are some of my favorite conversations.
*I am not modest in conversation. There is no filter. Very few conversations embarrass me. Unless we are getting mushy. And then I get really embarrassed.
*I secretly like mushy.
*I could write an entire blog post on hugs. I don’t strike people as the warm huggy type. And maybe this is true. But if I like you. I want you to hug me. That being said. I don’t like car hugs (you have to get out) or side hugs. And I rarely initiate them. Even when I want to.
*Most physical things embarrass me. I hate karaoke, dancing and even aerobics class.
*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 usually on time or at least close. But you can be late. And if you make me wait for you please have good mags on your coffee table.
*I am surprisingly content. I am a pretty positive girl. But when I get in a rut it can take over for a short while. Send me on a long run and buy me coffee and I’ll work it out eventually.
* This blog has complicated friendships more than a little. First is the trying to be friends with someone who only knows the online version of me. Online and real life might not match up. If you have a preconceived notion of who I am from this space you are probably going to be disappointed with the real life version of me. Second, if someone reads this regularly it means you know a lot about me and I know only a little about them. That’s a hard way to forge a friendship. But I assure you it can be done. And I get embarrassed talking about my writing. And finally, I think people are afraid or expectant that I’m going to write about them. I might. But it isn’t likely. Some of my favorite people get very little air time. And if I do it will usually be pretty disguised. Don’t assume something is about you. You will be wrong about that more than you will be right. Also I usually ask first before writing about someone. And they always have full veto power. Also I try to work out my issues/ problems if they are with people in person not on my blog.
*I like to share. Especially meals.
*I occasionally cheat at games like cards or dominoes but never sports.
*I am fairly confident in who I am, but also miserably insecure and can occasionally think you don’t like me. Even when I know better.
*I am a much better distraction when something goes wrong than a comfort. I don’t ever feel like I know the right thing to say. But I think mostly what matters is the trying. And I’ll bring food. But it will probably come from a drive thru.
*I cry at movies. Almost all movies. Even ones that aren’t really sad.
*But other than movies, you probably won’t see me cry. If you cry, I’m gonna hug you and say nice things. I can’t help it.
*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 am a slob. My house is messy. My car is messy. My jeans are probably dirty. This means you’ll probably want to take your car but will never stress about picking up before I get there.
*I do not mind being interrupted or woken up.
*I am hard to shake. If we become friends. Really friends. I am hard to break up with.
(and I’m totally not afraid to look ridiculous for your kids. Or just for fun.)

4 comments:

Kristin said...

I think we should hang out. I could use your personality in my life. So many things that you are, I am not and I so appreciate all those things about you.

Shutterbug said...

I totally get what you mean about being friends with someone who only knows the online version of you. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, but I'm still heavily guarded online. People can be really surprised when we finally hang out in person when all they know is my blog or FB status updates. There are a lot of holes in that personality...

samskat said...

I'm with Kristin, I wish we lived close enough to hang out in real life! Funny, some of these things are still true all these years later... ;) (Can you believe it's been 20 years?!?!)

michelle said...

kristin - let's do it.
shutterbug - I'm kind of the opposite. I'm more guarded in person.
and Kat -20 year. impossible. we are far too young for that. let's not do the math though.