Part Deux

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Part Deux

People fascinate me. My favorite thing to do is peoplewatch. Stick me in a Walmart in Kosciusko, Mississippi and I would be content for hours. Anyone who has had a conversation with me about an upcoming concert or trip has more than likely heard me say: "the people watching factor ALONE is well worth it". It's too bad I can't earn a living doing it. Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life. It brings me great joy.

It's the stupid that makes it so enjoyable. Stupid crosses all races, ages, and social classes. I feel it is my duty to point it out whenever I see it. There are mediums that speak with the dead, horse whisperers, dog whisperers, etc. I ended up being a vessel that communicates with the stupid. I attract it. It's almost as if they know I can translate stupid into normal human thought patterns. Actually I am really hoping it's just that and not that I look like one of their kind.

Dennis can attest to the fact that I tend to bring out the stupid in people. People do stupid things around me, almost like some sort of offering. For the most part it tends to be hilarious but I think I would have rather have the ability to talk to the dead.

Drama- I want no part of it. I have come to the conclusion that like forest fires it is a necessary part of life. I think people fall into one of four categories when it comes to drama.

Feeders- These people need drama in their lives just as much as they need oxygen. They draw energy from it and seek it out wherever they go.

Avoiders- At the other end of the spectrum you have those that will go to all possible lengths to avoid drama. I think this one has many different levels. To truly avoid all drama isn't possible.

Inserters- (OK, as I typed that I realized it doesn't sound quite right)
These people will swear up and down they don't like drama, yet you somehow always find them smack dab in the middle of it.

Attracters- These people really don't gain any pleasure from drama, they are just unlucky enough to always have it follow them.

I know that I tend to move between the last three categories and it constantly changes. We all no people who love causing drama. It's probably become most obvious with Facebook. I am sure we all have those friends that post some cryptic foreboding status message, never to elaborate on the details. Meanwhile there are 54 comments asking what happened? Are you OK? Is this about me? Or there are the friends that hang all the details of last night's fight with their spouse, children, pet out there for all to see. People like attention. It's normal. I think it is just easy for people to take the immediate action to get the attention, not realizing that the rest of us are out there trying to process it.

My mom gave me the best piece of advice years ago that I completely ignored at the time but now use on a regular basis. I am sure the scenario will be familiar to all of you: Annoying six-year-old Steven Ramirez is using a Hot Wheel/GI Joe combination to launch a full scale attack on the Strawberry Shortcake spa/vacation home his sister Lori just spent two hours building. "MOM! MOM! MOOOOOMMMM....Steven is bothering MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!".

My mom would inevitably turn to me and say: "Ignore him. Don't let him know that it's bothering you and he'll stop". My brother's annoyance skills were finely honed so I was never able to implement that advice at the time. I find myself doing it all the time now (not so much in dealing with my brother, but with those current day annoyance factors that have taken his place).

I don't have time for stupid, but I do have a weakness for its comedic value. Drama is addicting and its so hilarious when it's someone else and not you. Some families are totally built on drama. Others save it for the holidays. The bottom line is that its everywhere and hard to escape.

Although I am an introvert of epic proportions, I somehow tend to do fairly well in dealing with dramatic situations. Actually I should say that I appear to do well in dramatic situations. The actually happenings on the inside are most like the fleeing scenes in a Godzilla movie. Social situations on their own without the drama are difficult for me and very draining. Even with people I know. Over the years it has been interpreted as being snobbish and stand-offish, but in reality it's just tough on me. I am extremely shy. It used to be so bad that I would break out in hives at the even the thought of mingling at a social event. Since I really hate wearing turtle necks, I decided the best thing to do would be to come up with some better ways to handle the anxiety. So now I have this fashionable roman era chest plate that's way more comfortable than those constricting turtle necks. And vodka, lots of vodka.

The reason I started on this rant about drama is that a light bulb came on for me the other day. I realized why I seemed to automatically handle this cancer diagnosis in the manner that I did. I didn't know it then, but I was fixing to become the cast and crew of my own full scale drama. It may be on the public access channel, but it's mine. I want to control it.

It's not in my nature to deal with something of this nature head on, let alone document and share it with anyone who will listen. My style is usually to keep it myself, retreat, avoid, and then deal with everything at the last possible minute. I don't share feelings. I'm not good at it. I would go so far as to say I don't even admit that I have feelings. I am stoic. Nothing bothers me, except Nancy Grace. Nancy Grace bothers me. But that is for another day...

I realize now that by owning this cancer battle right off the bat, I have inadvertently rendered all those feeders, attracters, and inserters of drama totally useless.

I see a lot of people that latch on to that cancer drama. I don't mean with me personally, but just in watching people in the waiting room at the cancer center. I overhear it in conversations and just see it in the personal interactions. It's almost as if the brain went feeble once the cancer diagnosis was received. It might have to do with the fact that I am one of the younger patients. Everyone else I see while I am waiting is typically 60 and up. It's almost as if this was an expected part of the plan, so we sit back for the ride and accept it. No! I'm 38 years old dammit! I do not knit. I do not do puzzles. And I most certainly do not watch "The View".

Now please don't think I am judging or that I think I am better than anyone else. I am sure if you fast forwarded 30 years you would find me at that puzzle table with a cup of coffee in my hand, discussing the puzzle putting together strategy that works best when I do my 1000 piece cat puzzles at home. Cancer and how someone handles it is personal and unique. It just makes me sad to see people wear their cancer diagnosis like an ill-fitting mu-mu. I choose to wear mine like a fluorescent zebra print thong on Honey Boo Boo's mom. Yes, it is horrific and uncomfortable, but I'll be damned if she isn't wearing the hell out of it! I hate attention, but I can't avoid it. If I am going to do it, I'm going all in.

I could go on and on discussing drama, but I do have to go back to work tomorrow.

There was a second light bulb that finally fully came on this week. It had been on the whole time but must not have been totally screwed in. I am lucky. I have a very extensive list of family and friends that are letting me run this show. I have people who I have never actually met in person that I truly consider my friends. You guys are letting me decide how I need to run this show, and you tune in because you care.

And that is why I can get up every morning with a smile on my face and go to bed without taking it off.


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