Michigan Mike's most recent Facebook status update:
"I've come to the conclusion that diplomacy is inefficient."Which I read shortly after a lunch with my sage Justin who, after parsing my now-infamous state 'o lethargy, pointed out a quality he and I share:
Too deferential. Too quick to compromise to make someone else happy ... in and of itself not a bad thing, but when done repeatedly in the service of subverting our own opinions.
He does it sometimes in conversations with his wife, creating problems by being deferential rather than truthful. I do it in trying to hold onto friends, to lovers, or to situations long after their shelf lives, not speaking up if and when I'm disappointed at the time I'm disappointed, leading to lack of resolution and squandering of opportunities and f***ing, chronic insomnia.
Wow. All this time I thought I was just trying to be nice.
But it is a habit of mine -- not stating what it is I want out of something or someone out of fear of being too pushy. Like not contacting men I've dated, waiting for them to go first. Not telling a guy friend that I have romantic feelings for him and then getting angry when he doesn't ever ask me on a date. Not explaining to a friend that I've lost touch with that I'm sad we've lost touch because I think she's probably too busy to stay in touch and me contacting her would just make her more busy and me less likely to be able to stay in touch. Not that I've ever said any of this to her. And not that we're in touch.
It reminds me something from college, when my girlfriends and I would cruise around West Fargo on Friday nights for an hour of purgatory, because no one in the car would be the one to make a decision about which restaurant to stop at, because no one wanted to offend anyone by giving an honest opinion. By which point we'd all be chewing Kleenex out of sheer hunger. And mad at each other for wasting each others' time.
It's a good thing, I think, this having an opinion and stating it -- if I could just figure out how to incorporate it into my daily diet.