At Woodrow's last night, probably the last hang out at Woodrow's with my intern buddies, I came out about 10pm, and immediately had someone say, HEY!
At first I didn't recognize him. But it was Mike from work, who I met once at a dinner with some PMO folks. I recall a great conversation about the oil/gas industry in regards to the BP oil spill.
I had such a great time meeting him and his friend Lindsey from Florida.
I eventually came back to my intern group after about 25 minutes, and said hello to all. Hugged them all, but got some pushback from one of the boys who always gives me a hard time when he said, "You've been here for like 20 minutes, and I'm just now getting a hello?" I smiled, and hugged him aggressively to apologize.
Here's a vignette I want to highlight.
I'm having a really great time - being loud - laughing - and really getting into the music and being kinesthetic.
The song, Best of You by the Foo Fighters came on the speakers. An AMAZING song that I absolutely love. I was so enthusiastic about it, and was so happy that Jeff sang along with me to it. I said I love this song. And we talked about the Foo Fighters and the topic of karaoke came up. Mr. Gives me a Hard Time mentioned my idea of going to Spotlight Karaoke. I said that he mentioned it the night at the Flying Saucer, a few days ago. He said, no I don't remember that. I corrected him and said, I indeed brought it up at the Saucer, and that he must not have been paying attention (I promise - I was saying this in a very very teasing way. Definitely was misinterpreted. :/) Then, he stops talking, and with the most serious look on his face, says okay. He looks away. I'm continuing to laugh and sing along to Best of You and that particular boy asks "How much have you been drinking?" as a truth in jest. I said, "I've only had one - and I'm ... still working on half of it still."
I looked at him as if to say, "Do you have any idea who I am and what I'm about? Are you really asking this?" And Jeff chimed in, "Yeah, this is Charlene. She's pretty happy and amped most of the time." [Those words meant a lot to me.] And I added on, "Yeah! I'm always like this. Do I really seem different to you today? I'm just really happy." And he said, you're... what's the word for it. And as I waited, every second stretched on forever. So I gestured to my wrist and feigned annoyance that I was waiting on him. He said, "I'm done" and looked away from me, and talked to someone else, and then got up to go to the bar.
I was confused by the overreaction. What I did triggered something beyond the interaction that took place. I asked Jeff, if I seriously hurt his feelings, because I can fix this. Jeff said, No, what you did was nothing wrong. You keep being you, being Charlene. He's just being him. He gets like this sometimes. Don't make anything about it. And the song 'Best of You' was still going on, and I said, "That's right. No one's getting THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST OF ME!"
As the night closed out, I hugged everyone goodbye, and when it got to the particular boy that always gives me cathartic grief, I asked him, "Are we cool?" and he says, "Yeah we're cool. I'm not really mad." I say, "Really? Cause you looked genuinely upset." He said, "I know you didn't mean it. But I'm not going to lie, some of those things you said, I didn't like."
I was satisfied with 75% of the answer and the hug I got. The 25% - although knowing I didn't mean it, and taking it with a seriousness that was offensive to him made me a bit confused. This is another discussion and dissection on its own but I know for a fact that we don't know each other well enough to be grating on each other's nerves. Where this energy is coming from - I don't know - and it's actually... not my job to know or correct. So all I can do is make a judgment call about the friendship.
Time will tell. But there's no way I'm going to be held hostage to the emotional sways of someone that reacts to the emotion related to the content of my words and not the actual context and friendship that he and I have constructed.