How I Am
I have this acquaintance---note that I am careful not to use the word friend here---who at times wonders why I don't tell her "how I am" in great detail. Not that I ever really have told her, because I realized early on in knowing her that in replying to anything I said she would make too much of it. So when she asks, "How are you really?" I just tell her I'm fine, thanks.
For instance, once I told her that I had a headache, and the next three times she wrote it was mentioned. Never mind that it was over and done with long before note one came.
And this sort of hovering annoys the hell out of me. It leaves me with the same sort of feeling that I used to get when my mother would put her hand on my forehead to check for a fever if she thought I didn't feel well---never mind how I said I was feeling.
It's not the act of hovering; it's the type. And while I would put up with it from my mother (who finally did stop when I hit pre-teen years), I don't need to put up with it from my correspondent. So I don't give her the chance, often, to know what's going on in my life.
I really do appreciate it when people are nurturing toward me. It's nice when someone passes on a bit of advice, or a helpful hint. That makes me feel much less alone in the world.
There are times I want to be hovered over---and that's tricky to accomplish, considering I live alone. It's hard to imagine calling a friend and saying, "Come take care of me." Oh, occasionally I wind up doing just that, when there's a real crisis, but on the whole I muddle through whatever on my own. I've never been good at asking for help if it required the other person to do anything much more complicated than passing food at the dinner table.
I know exactly how self-pitying this sounds, thanks! I've had a bad week, beginning with the air conditioner drip and ending with an allergy-related earache. But in the grand scheme of things, I'm all right. Neither is more than a nuisance.
And no, the acquaintance hasn't heard about either one. She would be jumping all over the notion that maintenance didn't show up the minute I called, and calling them incompetent---which they aren't; they were just busy with things higher in priority. And she would go way overboard about the ear thing as well. Best to keep her from knowing. For my own good, not hers.
Will she find out reading this? I doubt it. But I won't really know, unless she decides to empathize with me, and I get a note telling me she knows exactly how I feel.
Which, trust me, she doesn't!