I Have A(nother) Confession To Make

And yes, it’s also about my Bikram practice, like my last confession.  But as I thought about it, it’s really about much more – it’s about my work, my friends, my family, even my cats.

The thing is, I was in class the other day, with a teacher I really like, and who I think likes me, and she didn’t say a word to me during the practice.  Not one correction and certainly not one word of praise.  This has happened before, usually with teachers right out of training, who are so focused on the dialogue that they seem afraid to deviate, but it’s more common that if a teacher is giving corrections, pretty much everyone will get at least one.  Even when I was in a huge class with Bikram himself in LA, I got a correction.  Yes, he called me “girl in pink by the door”, but it was a good correction anyway.

So now you know.  I’m needy.  At least in this particular way.  I want to hear (constructive) criticism and yes, I want to hear compliments when I do something well.  Even if doing something well means only that I’ve made a tiny, tiny, tiny improvement.  That sixteenth of an inch means a lot to me, and when it’s noticed, it means even more.

What does this have to do with my cats, you ask?  Well, lots of people think cats are unfriendly, especially compared to the indiscriminate friendliness of dogs.  My cats, however, tend to be overly friendly, so when they aren’t… I feel criticized.  Make sense?  No, of course it doesn’t.  Whatever.

I’m not saying I’m special, except I am special.  Maybe not to the world at large, but when I’m in class, or at work, or with my friends or family, I want to hear from you.  I need to hear from you.  And believe me, you’ll hear from me.

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Stop Talking To Me. Please. Just Stop.

So, I was just on vacation in Miami, visiting family. We’ve got a lot going on right now, but since one of my sisters just had a birthday, we decided to take a break and go to a spa in Coconut Grove for massages. (We had a Groupon. Minor digression – I just LOVE all these coupon services, don’t you? I get cleaners, massages, facials, fancy meals… all at rates that fit in my budget for things I normally can’t afford! Okay, digression over.)

They couldn’t take all three of us at once, so I waited while my sisters had their massages. When we checked in, we had noticed a man, probably somewhere in the age range my sisters and I cover, who just wouldn’t leave after his massage, and who was advising the masseuse on what sounding like a really, really, screwed-up relationship in a very loud voice. Well…after I checked in, I went for a walk, and when I got back, there’s that guy…hanging out in the waiting area. For some unknown reason, the (very young) receptionist feels compelled to introduce us, and even worse, he feels compelled to talk to me.

It starts out well enough, but then he starts asking very personal questions, including trying (hard) to probe into my social life. He just could not believe I am single by choice, and made a big point of telling that he is recently single, and aren’t I looking for a man? (He also felt compelled to make sure I knew he’s a lawyer. And Jewish.) And, no, I’m not kidding.

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I looked him right in the eye and said “No. Not at all.” He was unstoppable, though, and started asking about my sisters! Are they single, what do they do, and so on. At this point, I really wanted to turn to him and say “We are engaged in a very serious incestuous three-way, and men are not invited”, but somehow, I think he would have found that titillating.

Instead, I again looked him right in the eye and said: “Enough. I just want to read my book.” Believe it or not, he kept trying. So I said again (while already acting on it): “I just want to read my book”. And, oh, I forgot…during this interrogation, the receptionist stepped out to buy her lunch!

Finally he left, but all this makes me wonder… because it happens A LOT… what am I projecting that makes people think I want to talk to them? It’s not just men, either. Once he left, the receptionist started talking to me about her recently failed relationship, and asking for advice. This included reading me the texts between her and the ex, playing phone messages, and so on.

I’m starting to think it’s a plot to drive me crazy…or somehow, in a way I don’t see, that I’m asking for it…but really, all I want is for them to stop talking to me. Please. Just stop!

My Doorman

I’m pretty sure my doorman (the day guy, at least) does not approve of me.  Perhaps I shouldn’t care, as (luckily) he’s not the gossipy doorman.  That would be the night guy.  Unlike Carlton (remember him?),  I don’t just hear my doorman over an intercom, I pass him every time I enter and exit the building.   Well, yes, I keep odd hours.  Yes, I have visitors of both genders.  And yes, I think both of those things are within my rights.  I don’t know how “boring” everyone else must be for L. (my doorman) to give me such a disdainful look when I stop by to tell him I’ll be having company, please give them my keys as I’m going out for a while.  Or the even more disdainful look when I am walking into the building just as he arrives for work.  After all, for all he knows I was out for an early-morning walk!  And in fact, if I run out on the weekend to an early yoga class, I’ll be coming home not long after he starts work… and boy, do I get “the look” then!

It’s just one of the facts of living in a big city.  People who don’t live in big cities, especially if they don’t live in apartments, think living in a big city is anonymous.  They’re wrong.   I’m pretty sure my doormen (and probably, my neighbors) know more about me than I’m actually comfortable with.  (And yes, I know, I know, I shouldn’t end my sentence with “with”.  Get over it.)   I have surrendered any expectation of privacy by living in a doorman building in the first place – it’s my trade-off for the convenience, and yes, feeling of security I get because there is someone out there most hours of the day (and night).  And when the doorman isn’t there, the security guard is.  It’s a good feeling for a woman living alone in Manhattan.

So I put up with the (not so) hidden disapproval, and the frequent disdainful looks, and in a way,  I like it.  I take it as an affirmation that I live an interesting life!

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