The Coping Mechanisms of a Thirtysomething

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The Karaoke King wanted to see me before I went out of town for July 4th weekend so we made plans for lunch on Thursday. During the conversation about when/where to go he insisted on being extremely flexible. I get it, he’s super laid back in general and was only working part time since finishing up his MBA. I, however, was busy and was therefore forced to make all the decisions (which I didn’t have time for). I had to mention it, which led to him asking me what my sanity reclamation activities were, given that he’d forgotten his since he hadn’t been in the real world for so long.

Overlooking the obnoxiousness of someone who is so relaxed he can’t even remember being stressed, I genuinely answered his questions. The condensed version went like this:
  1. Running. Regular running usually takes care of any general stress I may have accumulated during the day. And when I'm running regularly, I often don't get to the point where I need to escalate my stress handling. If it does, though, we go to (2).

  2. Toss up between alcohol and good friends. Usually one or the other helps, or often I find the combination especially useful in at least offloading (if not finding solutions to) extra negative energy.

    The trick to me is, sometimes I don't want to be consoled. I just want to vent and yell and be fussy. Usually when I am in that mode I opt for alone time, see below, because my well meaning friends want to tell me things will be fine and I won't have it.

  3. Alone time. I need a decent amount of alone time in general, I have a tendency to start to feel smothered when I am constantly surrounded by people, so when I'm really stressed I usually need a break and I hide out a bit. Sometimes canceling plans and just doing whatever I feel like doing completely re-sets me.

  4. Cleaning. When my house is clean my life is in order.

  5. Food. Usually in combination with alone time, ordered directly to my casa. This is not a preferred coping mechanism as it negatively affects my waistline while only marginally making me feel better.

  6. And finally Crying. When I have not appropriately handled stress over a period of time I usually end up crying.

Here’s what he wrote back: Well I hope to be part of the solution whether you're venting down the phone or in person, need a running mate, a dinner date or just a snuggle bear.

Did he just write snuggle bear?! What about the above list could he possibly have taken as an indication that I wanted to be smothered? Did I not, in fact, explicitly indicate I have a tendency to feel smothered? And I’m pretty sure I was clear that alone time was key. Why would I want him to go with me on my runs? And what about actually responding to my coping mechanisms? I took time to write actual personal insights and he just wants to be part of the solution. But he's clearly going to be a problem.

I’m starting to get a bad feeling about him. Especially since I have to leave to meet him for lunch. Right now.


Lifebeginsat30ty said...

He sounds sweet actually :) But one thing I've learned about guys is they want to provide solutions. We women just want a listener. Men want to break out the tools and fix something.

But yeah, he sounds like the me me me type. If not for you, is not for you.

Dater at Large said...

I think he's actually a lot more "you, you, you", which I super hate. But yes, probably not for me!

Nicole said...

You left out the all-important combo... alcohol+cleaning :)