Are you OK is a phrase that is kind of bandied about there, and a lot of time it has no real meaning. Like when you burst into tears and someone asks you “are you ok?” for the most of the time they want you to just say yes, you have something in your eye.
I’m not very good at reading these signals (as I’m not very good at reading a lot of signals!!) so I normally just say “yesthankyou I am FINE!” in a far too chipper kind of way, and pretend that actually some wind/dust got in my eye and there is nothing to concern yourself with.
Even after a fairly stressful and sad weekend after working myself up so much that I was sick, when I came out of the bathroom to my closest friends sitting in the lounge peering at me in a concerned way, my standard response was “yes thankyou, fine. Just over tired”. No one believed that clanger. But they all looked at me in a concerned way and went back to distract-Laura-with-camping-plans talk, as if nothing had happened. And that’s why they’re are my nearest and dearest.
I am not a person that shows many other emotions than not particularly bothered, or slightly bothered and a bit interested, or understanding to someone else feeling rubbish. Anything that involves me being teary is normally done in the comfort of my own solitude because I believe that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and like a phoenix from the flames, I don’t really relish people seeing the not killing but making stronger stage. Because normally it just makes you feel a little on the dead side for a while. As a kindred spirit from across the world tweeted this weekend “I’m mature enough to forgive you, but I’m not dumb enough to trust you again” which is something we should all adopt when sad. But when someone dies there is a different kind of sadness, a regret that you didn’t or weren’t able to do more. In my case this time it’s not just the loss of the person but more the inability to be able to make my Mum any less sad. Dealing with that is a pain that never goes away, just lessens.
But my friends, knowing how much I hate camping distracted me, and we reached a happy medium with me advising that if it rained/was cold I would moan, and them assuring me that they were prepared for this and would do their best to ensure I was housed in the comfort I required. Hahaha. And then we went off for Wagamama’s.
But sincerity and honesty are really interesting emotions, aren’t they? A lot of people feel socially compelled to ask you things, like how your day went, or how you actually are, but I bet you can count on one hand the amount of people who actually listen to the answer and aren’t just waiting for you to pause speaking so they can start again. Words are thrown about like snowballs in a storm, and it’s very rare that people actually listen to you, or watch your eyes to make sure that the words and the emotions really match up.
When you find people who are honestly watching you and doing the maths, hold onto them. People like this are few and far between, and if their interest in what you are feeling is real then they are worth grabbing with both hands. Most people feel awkward around emotion and therefore feel uncomfortable letting you tell them really how your day was. I find it better to just pretend life is marvellous at all times and that my days are tinged with glitter and sparkles.
On a positive note, look forward to an amusing post about more camping issues in the next few weeks. As disastrous as my camping career is, im sure there will be something unfortunate that happens!
“You’re in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here”