Over-Reacting

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Over-Reacting

Postby 011010110 on Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:33 am

I notice that a lot of the responses to this latest story arc are so ... mature. Even the ones who are recalling similar instances from their own lives seem to have the benefit of perspective now. It makes for a very different telling than the one that went into the diary the night the whole thing went down.

I'm trying to think how I would have handled this in HS--as either Tilde or CS.

**NOTE: I am not writing the following as a joke or a parody, but as a serious attempt to convey the way I (as a HS student) would have reacted to the let-down CS is experiencing in this storyline--as gentle and patient as Tilde was, and as supportive as CS's friends have been.

"Dear Diary,

Tonight I finally told E--- how I feel, and what do I get? The same let's-be-friends-and-never-talk-to-each-other speech I could have gotten from the prom queen. I think he thought it was a joke at first. He started apologizing for I-don't-know-what, and I don't think I heard a word he was saying, because I could see him planning the lynchings and humiliations he and his new buddies will be visiting upon me for the rest of the school year. I bet he's on the phone with R--- right now, laughing his ass off about this. I swear, if I see him tomorrow hanging out with B---- or S----, dangling his wrist or telling some gay joke, I'm going to smash his tiny head into a locker and just walk right out of school.

And then I come home crying and what does my mom say? True-friends-stick-by-you-through-anything-blah-blah-blah... Yeah, well, I guess we found out what kind of friend E--- is, didn't we? You know what? Screw him. Tomorrow, the first thing I'm going to do is just walk past and punch him in the gut. Make sure he knows where we stand. That asshole. I hope he enjoys playing grab-ass with his wrestling buddies, pretending he doesn't enjoy it. Yeah, well, if he opens his mouth about any of this to his new friends, I'll just go tell his coach that he tried to make out with me. We'll see how long he lasts on that team.

Fuck E---."

Irrational, paranoid, defensive, angry, humiliated, lonely, and frightened, lashing out at the people closest to me. That's how I would have handled it.

I wouldn't judge CS too harshly if she stopped talking to Tilde for a year--or went back and punched QB in the nose--or took a long, hard look at a bottle of pills. The ocean of my emotions has calmed considerably since HS but I remember some violent reactions to petty things.

Just sayin'.
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Re: Over-Reacting

Postby Cromm on Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:49 pm

011010110 wrote:Irrational, paranoid, defensive, angry, humiliated, lonely, and frightened, lashing out at the people closest to me. That's how I would have handled it.
You sound like you were a very angry young man. .... Or a typical teenager depending on personal perspective, I suppose. Though in my experience, teenagers who follow through with the rage you describe are few and far between.


Regardless, I disagree strongly with your opinion that these reactions are mature. (For middle school perhaps, but not high school.) Cyn appears to be clinging to false hope simply because Tilde has admitted some bi-curiosity - which she seems to have done in an attempt to 'soften the blow', as it were. Both these reactions seem quite immature to me, though perfectly believable.

“I’ve thought about it”, ‘it’ in this case referring to sexual relations with another female - not ‘being your girlfriend’, as Cyn hopes. Tilde goes on to say if she’d ever try that she’d want it to be with someone she trusted, like Cyn. It sounds like a teenage reaction to me since, after all, “I wouldn’t mind using you to experiment with my sexuality, but I’m totally not gay” isn’t exactly a nice, mature thing to say, no matter how you dress it up.

Seems like Tilde is trying really hard not to hurt Cyn, but going about it in a clumsy, hap-hazard way. Again, sounds like a typical teenager to me.

In so far as your fictional diary entry, turn it around. How would you have seen it as the straight friend who’s best friend confessed a romantic love? Alternatively, how could that straight friend have rejected the writer without hurting him? If the answers are ‘with anger’, and ‘he couldn’t have’, respectively, then I submit your perspective may be skewed somewhat.

Speaking of perspective, how does that come by, anyway? Is it with age, or experiences? I believe the latter. One can live a long live without the experiences necessary to gain perspective on certain issues. Conversely, one can accumulate a great deal of experiences in a short time, affording them perspective on those things with which they have experience.

Having said that, I’m certainly no authority. I wall-flowered most of my high school life.
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Re: Over-Reacting

Postby 011010110 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:01 am

You sound like you were a very angry young man. .... Or a typical teenager depending on personal perspective, I suppose. Though in my experience, teenagers who follow through with the rage you describe are few and far between.


I don't know that I would call it rage. I've gotten mad enough at a couple of my friends to punch them in the gut and still been good friends afterward. Also, I never said the kid in question would actually follow through with it: most journal entries are consciously written with the intent to vent the spleen without actually getting it on someone else.

Tilde goes on to say if she’d ever try that she’d want it to be with someone she trusted, like Cyn. It sounds like a teenage reaction to me since, after all, “I wouldn’t mind using you to experiment with my sexuality, but I’m totally not gay” isn’t exactly a nice, mature thing to say, no matter how you dress it up.


Sometimes people say this, as you say, to soften the blow; but I believe sometimes they mean just what they say. I can't speak for the artist, but either interpretation is a more mature response to the situation than, say: a) running away; b) laughing because she thinks she's being punked, and then regretting that; c) telegraphing her shock and embarrassment, trying to cover it up, and ending up alienating her best friend; or d) a straight-faced homophobic rejection.

In so far as your fictional diary entry, turn it around. How would you have seen it as the straight friend who’s best friend confessed a romantic love? Alternatively, how could that straight friend have rejected the writer without hurting him? If the answers are ‘with anger’, and ‘he couldn’t have’, respectively, then I submit your perspective may be skewed somewhat.


I imagine the parallel diary entry might go as follows:

"Holy shit. I don't know what just happened. D--- and I hit the strip last night (you know, raiding the arcade and buzzing girls on our skateboards) and then on the drive home he suddenly tells me he loves me. I was all, Yeah-man-I-love-you-too, but he kept going. He said he'd 'felt this way' for a long time, and he starts talking about some night a few years ago when he tried to tell me--and right there I cut him off. I didn't know what to do. I said, 'Dude, I'm not gay' and then you could have heard a pin drop. He tried to tell me to just drop him off somewhere, but I didn't want to do that, so I kept driving to his house. I was trying to say something like, I'm sorry, I'm just not gay, can't we be friends anyway? but he was pretty upset. Oh man, I don't know what to do. I don't even know who to talk to about this. Who knew D--- was gay? If I didn't know, maybe no one else does--which means I can't exactly talk to any of our friends, can I? Shit, shit, shit."

Speaking of perspective, how does that come by, anyway? Is it with age, or experiences? I believe the latter. One can live a long live without the experiences necessary to gain perspective on certain issues. Conversely, one can accumulate a great deal of experiences in a short time, affording them perspective on those things with which they have experience.


I agree; I'm just saying that maturity comes after the experience, and Cyn and Tilde are acting pretty mature about it already. Of course, as some have pointed out, they are girls, and therefore more likely to behave maturely than boys.

I don't know; I haven't been in this particular situation.
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