Wednesday, November 4, 2009

As the studio turns

Homework: Do any or all or be inspired.
~Your best friend just called and said, through her tears, "I know you've had experience with_____. What did you do?" What would she be calling about? Answer her question in a note.

~Write about a time you made a presentation of some kind. Were you nervous? Excited? Prompt: "After I was introduced, I stood up and said_____"

~Remember someone who poured out their heart to you. How did you feel towards them after hearing their story? Were you sympathetic? Shocked? Disgusted? Understanding?

I think I must be a good listener, or at least, a sympathetic one. People's "stories" have always fascinated me, and fortunately I get to hear a lot of them.

I have always stayed and waited for my daughters during their lessons, and waiting involves a lot of sitting and knitting. Knitting needles must be the universal symbol for "Talk to me" since I have yet to sit in silence.

One woman and I were comparing divorce horror stories (not our own as we don't have any) when she decided to confide in me her own dramatic marriage. First, it made me very grateful for the wonderful man I married and second, it made me fearful that I might hear about her on the 6 o'clock news some night. And not in the hurt-her-kids-Susan-Smith sort of way but more in the her-husband-cut-her-into-tiny-pieces-ala-Lacy-Petersen sort of way.

Inside, I was aghast at the details of her dysfunctional marriage but outside I tried to remain supportive and encouraging. I suppose that's akin to telling a passenger on the Titanic that the water isn't all that cold. There are drugs, money, children with major medical issues, overwhelming debt, corporate espionage, mystery clients, theft, etc. involved. This one woman lives a life that sounds like the plot line to a daytime soap.

The funny thing is, nearly everyone there has a story that can compete.


Omgirl said...

It is a great gift to be a good listener. I like to think that when someone is in real crisis, I am a good listener and am very supportive. But one of my all-time favorite activites is also comparing stories--funny, outlandish, incredible stories. So when I and a good chatty friend get in that mode, it's more about the telling than the listening.

Mrs. Organic said...

I love the telling too. Sometimes I wish my blog was a leetle bit more anonymous so I could "share."

Travelin'Oma said...

I've thought of doing a totally anonymous blog just to write about the people who sometimes read my blog. But then, who would read it?

Millie said...

A story like that would tempt me heavily to call the police with an anonymous tip. Or several.

Poor thing...

On the other hand, hearing about a situation like that does make you grateful for the things you have, and for the relative ease of your life.

Anonymous said...

That is down right depressing. Kel

kado! said...

Ha! I loved your line about the "Knitting needles must be the universal symbol for Talk to me"!!!

...and I thought people who strike up conversations like that only lived on Long Island! ;)

unfortunatly my life could give her day time soap good competition...i think you're right, we all have crazy stories!

b. said...

Everybody has a story.
I hope hers turns out better!

And you are a good listener.

Kimberly said...

It is such a double-edged gift, being an empathetic listener. I have had some real doozies told to me...and it's fascinating and life affirming and makes me so, so grateful for my own boring life. But it's hard because it hurts to hear how others are hurting. And even the kindest words can't fix a broken life.

andrea said...


Guess it's good to know in case any of your girls want to go hang out at their house, eh?