Leaving the gym the other day, I bumped into a woman whom I have known for many years primarily through her role as being a ‘friend of a friend”. We go long stretches without seeing one another but when we find ourselves in one another’s company, we always share a pleasant exchange and chatter. During the course of our conversation talk turned to what our children were doing for the summer. I bitched, er, told her about Jessie’s less than ideal schedule and she shared what her daughters (neither of which, by the way, has a penis) are doing. It turns out both of her kids and Jessie (who vaguely know one another through the same friend) will be attending the same camp, but not at the same time.
So naturally talk turned to the camp and we bantered about how it attracts an artsy, quirky, beat-to-their-own-drum kind of kid which nicely describes both hers and mine. Carefully choosing her words (we are not close enough for her to not worry about potentially offending me) she offered, in an empathetic tone, that one of her kids is “outside the box” in a manner which, I am sure, was meant to make me feel better about my “different” kid. An oft heard description of children, I appreciated her extending an olive branch and attempting to allay any discomfort she thought I might have. (Note: I am way past discomfort…). Trying (sort of) not to appear competitive in describing my child’s off-beatness, I commented that I know all about being outside that box and that, in fact, one could argue that Jessie is so far outside the box that she is actually laughing at said box as she sees it as a distant sighting in her rearview mirror. The other mom gave me a sort of quizzical look and, a beat later, realized it was okay to smile. As quirky and different as she might consider her kid, it was pretty safe to say that mine had her beat.
Talk then turned to my blog which she proudly told me she does not read. Her reason: “It’s TMI”. Um, okay. But here’s what I don’t understand…if she hasn’t read it, how does she know how much “I” there is…perhaps it is NEI (not enough) or WMTIWI (way more than I want) or JRI (just right). And if she is so simpatico with me over the whole off-beat kid, thing, what’s with the sudden judgment? Apparently her concerns – of mere moments before – over potentially offending me had vanished.
I honestly do not care at all that she has chosen not to read the blog. (In the interest of complete honesty, there are a few people out there who are not reading which has me curious – and by curious I mean irritated – but she is not among them.) I do, however, feel puzzled over why she has drawn this conclusion seemingly in a vacuum. I don’t truthfully think it is the subject matter; in fact, one could (and many have) argue that this blog has morphed into one more about me than about my transgender child. (Oh, and I have gotten crap for that, too.) When I pressed her a little, she became all awkward and nervous and anxious and may even have developed a layer of perspiration on her upper lip. I decided that it was time to leave well enough alone and artfully changed the subject. But, as you can clearly see, it still has me wondering.
I have long ago given up the need to make my blog something that works for other people. I have similarly stopped giving a shit what other people think of Rich’s and my decision to allow our child to follow this path which we both know could be a “phase”. And I don’t care one wit that this woman is judging and commenting on something that she, by her own admission, hasn’t seen. It is driving me crazy, though, trying to understand why she chose “it’s TMI” as her default reason. As it happens, there is SO much information behind the scenes that I do not share that it is almost funny. (It would be funnier if it weren’t my life, but someone else’s, which is precisely why I am so puzzled as to why she is afraid to read.)
So, file under: people are weird and keep their “friend of a friend” status for a reason.
Note: I made no attempts to either reveal or conceal this woman’s identity. Watch — this will be the one time she decides to read my blog. Right?!?