"Before you sue me for defamation, in my defence, teasing or joking is one of the ways I show my affection. It's only with my friends that I joke about their mothers, so the fact that I just joked about yours, and written about you twice in the past 2 weeks, goes to show how much I like you."
And those were my last words before dial-up girl - tired of being misrepresented in my blog - killed me with her cold hard stare. Yup, I'm blogging from the afterlife which, oddly enough, looks a lot like work, so I must be in hell.
So what do you do when you're in a temporarily ethereal state? I dunno about you, but I start thinking about the hard questions: Why are we here? If you were given the opportunity to travel back in time and talk to yourself when you were much younger, could you go through with it? What would you say? OK, so I never really thought about that stuff, but instead I thought about how I've slipped under the radar.
All this reflecting was started by a dream I had a few nights ago about my dance classes.
Come the end of May I'll have attended ceroc lessons for a year. In the dream, everybody whose name I know and is still attending classes (which isn't a lot) is going to some private dance party that I didn't know about. When I went to ceroc last night, several things hinted that my dream might actually be true; a couple of people asked me if I was going to some dance party that I had never heard of. I intended to ask my ceroc friends about it, but just forgot. So when I got home I did a bit of Facebook stalking and it turned-out that yes, my ceroc friends were going to this previously-unheard-of dance party.
I didn't really feel surprised - not getting blindsided by surprises is a skill that comes with age - but I did kinda feel left out. It also reinforced a slight 'on the outside looking in' feeling I've had when I see some of the groups at ceroc.
My 2 ceroc friends have managed to make a big impression with many of the others there and so are very much a part of those groups. I guess it helps when you have some redeeming or memorable traits: one of those 2 is the ever cheerful hug nazi, the other looks like the spitting image of Edward Cullen from Twilight. As for me, I don't exactly do anything to draw attention to myself: I dance well enough, I don't look like any actors, and I don't grope my dance partners or stare at their chest all day (I've been told of some creepy guys who do).
That's not to say I haven't been a total social failure: I've made another 2 solid friends through dancing (one of whom is amazing baking girl), and maybe twice that number in acquaintances who'd I'd stop to talk to if we ran into each other on the street. But the rest of the time, I'm just another familiar face.
I'm not really complaining here - just stating facts - as I do bring this upon myself: I don't go to every event on my calendar, I tend to stick with the people I know, and I do enjoy a quiet night at home. I'm more of a 'go where I'm needed' type.
I think I do this because I focus so much on the few friends that I do have. It's this core bunch that I will travel long distances for, re-organize my schedule to meet with, or go to a movie or exhibit again despite having seen it myself so that they have company when they go. Sometimes it requires a lot of effort, which is probably why I keep the number of friends I do have to a low number lest I get gray hairs or other sign of aging from trying to make too many people feel like they're worth their weight in gold.
So yeah, I think about them a lot. I try not to give them too much to worry about when they think of me, but I can't really stop that when it comes to it. The last time I ever think I worried them was several years ago when I had a seizure. My friends were organizing some get-together, and when they were unable to reach me, one of them tried ringing my house:
My dad: Hello?
Friend: Hi. Is Em there?
Dad: Uh, no. He's in the hospital.
The thing was, my dad never elaborated on why I was in the hospital, letting my friends' imaginations come up with all sorts of possibilities. The truth of it was that in my flu-induced state, my temperature reached an almighty high (40C / 104F) to which my body responded by shutting-down and resetting itself, a by-product of which was the seizure.
I tended to downplay the seizure because, well, it wasn't that bad. Before the seizure: my head hurt, I felt warm, colours and lights were swirling in my vision, and I couldn't even guide a spoonful of food into my mouth properly (the seizure occured over breakfast). Afterwards: my head was clear, my body felt cool, my vision was restored, and I could tie my shoes - the seizure was the best thing that happened to me during my flu!
I'm not suggesting everybody who's sick go out and have a seizure. A few years after that incident, I witnessed what a seizure looked like from the outside when a lady at my favourite bakery (which I have dubbed 'The Pie Shop' for having won a Best Pie In NZ award) collapsed and seized-up while making an order. It didn't look pretty - it was actually quite frightening - so it's not the sort of thing I'd be encouraging people to go out and experience.
I like to show I care by making jokes and sharing a laugh - I basically live by the motto "the day your friends stop making fun of you, is the day they stop caring about you." But to prevent myself from imploding, I only extend this philosophy to a close-knit bunch of people.
So I'm one of those quality over quantity freaks; sue me.