I'm writing this because this morning my husband realized something about me that I thought was apparent. After he learned this, he couldn't help but stare at me throughout breakfast.
People don't care. Specifically, people don't care about me.
Do you remember this? Today's post may sound like a repeat of that post. Being forgotten at school, parents not present at events, not being asked about my day. I learned early that people don't care about me or about my interests.
Now, before you go arguing how that's not true and so forth, know that I'm sharing what the running background "truth" is in my head even though I know (or, at least, strongly suspect) it is a lie.
When I was 20 years old, I got married to someone else who is not David. When I was planning the wedding for that marriage, my dad's reaction was one of how-dare-you-subject-our-family-to-such-expense. (Even so, I was expected to invite everyone we knew, so as not to be rude.) I felt horrible for bringing such burden to my family, so I got the cheapest everything I could for the wedding and reception. I had a cleaned-out yogurt bucket where I would put any extra money I could find or earn to offset wedding costs. (The only sweet memory I have of that time is finding out my kindergartener brother had gone door-to-door selling his stickers so he could put money in my bucket.) I tried to stay as invisible as I could because I knew my wedding was not important. It is no wonder that I married someone who did not think my values were important. The wedding came to $3,000 for over 200 guests.
A little later in my adult life and in a much healthier marriage (yes, to David) (Did you know that wedding was $300? And $100 of that was for fabric my mom wanted anyway for her living room?), I went to Sunday dinners at my parents' home and would listen to what everyone was up to or excited about, but when I would mention something I was excited about, the reception was lukewarm and the topic quickly changed. I will never forget listening to my mother talk and talk and talk about a variety of things. I thought things were going well, and I began to share something that was important to me. I was in my second or third sentence and literally in mid-sentence when she interrupted and said, "Well, I've gotta go and do some stuff" and she left the room. I was left sitting in her living room, alone and dumbfounded.
People don't care about my life.
I share this because my husband didn't know I believe that. If he didn't know, then maybe you didn't either. When it came to light for him this morning, I wasn't depressed or arguing nor revealing this out of desperation. We were simply talking about the direction I should go next in helping people with their finances. He had suggested I ask some people in the neighborhood for their opinions when I nonchalantly said, "Well, people don't care about what I'm doing."
He stared at me for a few seconds, then said, "Ohhh, I finally get why you don't have friends."
Don't hate him; it's true. It's hard for me to stay connected with people because I don't really believe they care about me or my life. So, really, I'm doing them a favor. I fully accept that this is not everyone's experience, but it is part of mine.
I've been married to my husband for 10 years and his family still doesn't care about me, not really. I listen to their stories and ask how their work/school/life is going, but no one ever asks me how I am doing or what I am up to. My husband knows this, so he occasionally starts conversations about me to get them to ask. He's not a dentist, but he's definitely pulling teeth.
"Adhis just helped some families pay off $53,000 of debt in 3 months!"
"Oh." "Huh." "That's nice."
Sometimes, I'll take my husband's lead and add a statement or two, but it doesn't make a difference. They usually become quiet or turn their eyes to something interesting on their laps or change the topic and ask someone else a random question.
People don't care about me. But, you know, I could still change my mind about that.