My (former) life as the crab

Musings about life after Crabby Office Lady

Budding creative writers: Do I disappoint them? June 17, 2012

Filed under: Annik,Family time — Annik @ 11:34 pm
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Met this very cool  11-1/2-year-old girl today whose family (she’s an only kiddo, like my own) moved next door—a few months ago— to my folks’ house (where there’s a pool and where  I  lived since I was 7) house in Denver.

Apparently this lovely, friendly, (&, just my take on it) aware young  lady “auditioned” and got into the esteemed  <City Name> School of the Arts (middle and high school)  here in our Fair City in the Creative Writing program (NOT an easy feat, from what I hear).

.I spoke to both her parents about writing for a living, and after 14+ years at MSFT, I hope I didn’t scare them. (Frankly, I scared myself, considering the waste of time, energy, and skill I’ve had to SUCK UP to the past 18 months). This lovely child’s dream is  to write fantasy novels and do travel writing (yeah—what writer”s dream isn’t?) and when I told her what I have been doing these many years, her slightly and beautifully slanted chocolate brown eyes (she’s half Micronesian) eyes glazed over and I could see she thought I wasn’t a *real* writer.

It gave  me pause.

But I wanted to tell her (& did tell her archeologist parents) that if you can  WRITE, you can get any job—even if it’s temporary. But 11-year-olds cannot see further than 3 or so months into the future.

Lucky them.

Bian and G got along like peas and carrots. Maybe it was the intellectual connection. Maybe they both love playing in water? Maybe it’s the writing thing (B wants to be a food critic) . Maybe it’s an Asian thing (doubt it). I was simply casually there —@ a poolside table struggling through the Sunday NY Times puzzle with them—and none of that came up. It was just friend-to-friend connection.

Love that simplicity of connection. Miss it. Miss being able to just trust it.

I love to see that because you know what? That “let’s-just-see-if-we-can-play-together is such risk that kids take naturally; they instinctively know that to make friends, they have   to simply put themselves out there —even if just for a limited amount of,time and even in a controlled environment–and…just go for it

That’s my goal for,the week: just go for it. (Gee, what a great slogan for sports equipments, eh? Only 25 years behind the times….)

—annik

 

The death of the orange sweater May 10, 2012

Filed under: Annik — Annik @ 10:54 am
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orange sweater (though not THE orange sweater)I have (had) these two friends–a couple–that I’d known for about 6 years. We’d become pretty close and they’d become close with my kid. We’d been there for each other through some rough times: family deaths, job losses, illness, pet deaths, childlessness issues.

Then, all of a sudden, last December, they stopped talking to me. Both of them. The last time I saw them was at one of their birthday parties. I brought wine, a gift, and even took off my the sweater I’d worn and gave it to the hostess when I was leaving because she loved it so much. (Needless to say, I said it wasn’t a favorite of mine anyway–which was completely untrue–but I figured that after what she’d been through this year, it was just a simple  token of my love and friendship for her.

I’m an idiot.

Then one day, I send an email inviting the two of them to a glass blowing experience–on me, of course–as well as updates on the family, asking about the now orange-sweatered gal and her grieving process (her dad just died and boy did we try to be there for her and her partner…AND their dog). I immediately received this curt reply:

“Thanks for the invite, but no can do.  Super busy right now.”

(I keep these sorts of things in case I forget who these people are or forget why it is we dropped out of each others’ lives.)

I wrote back and asked if that was all I was worth, a 12-word response without even signing her name.

No response. From her or her partner–who isn’t much of a writer/speller/reader anyway and yet still makes whopping boatloads of money doing…not quite sure, actually, but makes sure that YOU know that SHE makes the sort of money she does. You know, a typical come-from-no-money to now having money story and behavior that I’ve always let slide. (MEEEEOWWWW! Annik!)

And it’s 6 months later. Not even a call on my birthday.

Here’s the irony of this — and it is thick: My daughter is going through, with many of the 4th and 5th grade girls, daily dramas about who is friends with whom and who is being mean and who is gossiping and how the younger friends from last year’s class just don’t understand that when you’re in a different grade and a different class  you still love them but can’t always be or play with them because you’re trying to cultivate new friends too, people with whom you spend all day…and so on and so forth. Bian and I have many sit-down chats about how it’s important to TALK about what is going on so that it doesn’t fester and you don’t lose friends over things that maybe aren’t weren’t losing them over. That sometimes it’s scary to confront someone because maybe they’d said something hurtful. I try to teach Bian to not say a lot of “you”s when talking to this person; make it more about how SHE is feeling and not what the other person did or did not do.

And yet two 40-something women can’t even do that. And even if they tried now, it’s too late. I mean 6 months? Really? What could I possibly have done between the time we had a great birthday party to that weak response to my generous offer?

Of course I’ll always be somewhat curious, but I’ve let it go because life is short and people are weird and insecure (insecure is the key word here with that one) and I need to let my daughter understand that things like this happen. Even when we never find out why.

So it’s like mourning a death of two friends.

But more than that…

I want my orange sweater back!