Friday, December 10, 2004

Shoulder no longer available?

There must be an invisible label on my forehead saying “agony aunt”. Ever since I can remember I have been the shoulder that everyone comes to cry on. Now I don’t know what qualifies me to have this social responsibility imposed on me by no free will of my own. In fact, I’ve reached the stage where I’d prefer everyone to keep their problems to themselves instead of burdening me with them. No, I don’t have the answers. In fact, I would actually prefer not to know what your husband gets up to on Thursday night in the Sheraton, or why you’re wife is unbearable. I don’t know whether you should get a divorce, or how your kids will cope. I would have preferred not to know your uncle is having an affair and wants to marry a second wife- I actually respected him once upon a time. It’s a shame that your husband is a drunk and totally neglects you at home. I know life is lonely being single, its hard meeting a nice person, don’t worry you’ll meet them one day. I know its tough working at a difficult marriage, things didn’t turn out as you expected. Its hard when your children disappoint you, im sure drug-addiction wasn’t the career-path you’d hope your son would take. I’ve had to endure conversations of heart-spilling that have lasted so long, that on a few occasions, I end up getting locked in a building after every single person has left to go home. How can you tell someone who is having a breakdown, ‘its getting late?’. So now i'm inadvertently avoiding the moaners and groaners of the world, and have become good in picking 'happy-go-lucky' people as friends.

Its been like this since I was a teenager. Always the goody goody in class that everyone can trust. Idle-gossip? Hardly. You need a psychiatrist, a marriage counsellor, an occupational therapist and a lawyer...not me!! What makes ppl think that they can trust me? Trust me, I wouldn’t trust me, if I wasn’t me. I haven't signed any confidentiality clauses.

My school-friends, teachers, bosses, professors, relatives, family friends, actually my entire social circle. I can tell you about their private lives, their secrets, their problems, each and every one. Sometimes I’d sit there thinking to myself, ‘you’re a middle aged man/woman, why the hell are you confiding in a kid like me, I shouldn’t know this stuff’. They weren’t looking for an answer from me, I was in fact the only person they thought they could trust outside the complex adult world that’s a social web of lies and deceit-they saw the substitute for the daughter or the sister they never had. This explains the uncanny relationships I have with middle-aged men I meet all the time. At university, one of my professors would keep me in his office for 3 hours or more as he shows me every single document which serves as evidence in the war raging between him and the provost and how emotionally unstable he is because of it. At work, my bosses would call me into the office and confide in me about what they think of each and everyone of his employees, who he is thinking of sacking and who he wants to promote and somehow I’m the only one that gets invited to out of office dinner excursions, as if it’s a special treat. I would have preferred not to know who was on coke, or who was screwing who. My guy friends, would come to me as the first port of call, when they’re thinking of asking a girl out, what do I think of should he do it. My girlfriends who in a sleepover decide to disclose all their illicit escapades. Damn, I wish I hadn't known that!! Why was I perceived to be trustworthy and wise. It certainly isn’t age, as everyone is older most of the time.

Now I can conclude, that this is certainly a burden on me. I grew up a lot quicker. It shattered my own idealistic outlook on society…social problems, divorce, drugs, drink, adultery are a norm not an exception, not something you can brush under the carpet, every single family suffers. Everything has ceased to surprise me. Don’t get me wrong, I come from a household that’s the Bahraini version of the “Waltons”, and if there was a “Praire” in Bahrain our very own little house would be on it. But I realise this is unique and I actually don’t want to leave it. Being single, you grow up thinking everyone lives happily ever after when they get married, you just have to join the hunt for a decent guy. I now realise that’s when all the problems actually start. Marriage is a funny thing, liberation for some, and incarceration for others. Right now I tend to verge on the latter view- it entraps you and can hinder your free spirit, yet maybe having children, is a process that transfers your free spirit through giving birth, love is just another emotion that comes and goes. Rich or poor, young or old, I rarely look at anyone with envy anymore, as I am sure they are suffering quietly. Its just human nature. But one observation I can make is that the poorer you are the less complex life gets. Moral decadence and selfishness increases the higher up the social ladder and happiness is also inversely correlated.

My smile has turned into a fake one, my interest is no longer there. How misleading is the façade of things. I know you are suffering, just tell me how I can help you, I will do it, I don’t need to know the painful details.

Posted by BB @ 12/10/2004 02:26:00 PM

Read or Post a Comment

How cruel, and all this while i thought you were my REAL so upset now....whose shoulder can i go cry on.


p.s you do know some very wierd people though from your stories.....

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 12/10/2004 03:52:00 PM #

Aww so now you won't sit and hear about my woes, too? Don't let it get to you. You're well within your right to gently tell people it's none of your business.

Don't let it ruin your outlook on marriage. Think of it as training, you'll know what pitfalls to look for. It's always a toss up, but keeping your head out of the clouds can lessen your chances of catching a boot instead of a tuna.

Posted by Blogger sume @ 12/11/2004 07:14:00 AM #

I think it was feeling better now...:)

Posted by Blogger Bahrania @ 12/12/2004 10:05:00 PM #
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