Tuesday, January 3, 2012

»It's their life. Don't you forget it

It's their life. Don't you forget it

Yesterday Ms R received a text from a young man of her acquaintance. He'd wanted to take her to dinner over the long weekend but something had got in the way. Was it another rung on his career ladder? No. It seemed that his friends had decided to split up and he'd spent all weekend talking to them. Learned readers know how dangerous this territory is. Frankly why not just blow yourself up and be done with it?

"But they are close friends," he told Ms R.

"Aha but the closer they are the less you should interfere,"opined Ms R. "Remember I am a Woman of Experience and this is one experience you do not want." He chose not to heed the warning, so Ms R gave him a crash helmet, a cyanide tablet and bade him farewell.

Ms R has never found herself in this situation, largely because her wise Lebanese mother told her that it is impossible to get involved without being seen as taking sides. Given that her mother comes from a war-torn country, this is good advice. Exactly what do you gain by getting involved in people's lives. Those of you less inclined towards the examined life might say, "But he's just being kind. He wants them to stay together."

Ok smarties but to what end? What is in it for him if his friends stay together?

"Why nothing Ms R. He just wants to see them happy."

But they are not happy, and experience tells us that if the sore has come to the surface now, it's been around for a while. You see while this young man may feel his intentions are good, Ms R suspects that he, like others who choose to walk amongst emotional IED's, wants his life to stay the same. His life has been a conventional one: school, university, finance job, career ladder. Same group of friends to ski with, go to the beach with and see at each other's weddings. Think about it. If these two upset the apple cart, they rupture his certainty. For some people the thought of any change is too much.

"But we always go to Bob and Kate's on Saturdays for nights in with a DVD." See what I'm saying? Because when Bob and Kate are no longer together, it kind of makes things awkward doesn't it? Who do you invite? Who do you leave out?

As Ms R has told him, it's life. And it's only life. I'm not saying it's easy. And I'm not saying it's trivial. But when people find that it's not working for them, it really has nothing to do with the rest of us. That doesn't mean not being supportive. However in situations like this what they really want you to do is listen while they make their own minds up. Not to make up their minds for them, which is what Ms R thinks this man wants to do. He wants to 'mediate' and make it better he says. He cares about them. Maybe. But perhaps he cares about knowing his place in the world even more. And right now they're messing it up.