I didn’t like him and he didn’t like me. That much we understood. But in order to allow life to run smoothly and not to upset the apple-cart, we pretended that we did like each other. False smiles, false conversation. Empty words and empty laughter. He’d been visiting for a while and I thought she could’ve done better for herself. Where on earth had she found him? I called him “The Vampire”. He only appeared at night after 12.00. What did he do during daylight hours? He was very busy I was told. His busy-ness left me cold. Sounds to me like a tale of old: she wasn’t that important, but during the night when he was less busy, he could accommodate her. Not good enough I’m afraid.
And so the story unfolds. I liked him no better and he liked me no better but things came to a head one night when at a quarter to one he decided to visit. “Hiyoualright?” As he slinked upstairs and caught me in the light on the landing. I think it was meant to be “Hi., how are you?” But it was a quarter to one and I hadn’t set my vampire clock and was not pleased at all. No answer came from me, caught as I was in my unsociable attire, where do you think you are going at this time of night, outraged sensibility.
Vexation all around and hurt feelings abound. Hasty exits and another deposit in the bank of “what’s her problem?”. And when I’ve calmed down, I try to make amends. Try to bring it back to false smiles, false conversation, empty words and empty laughter. The conversation does not go well. “About the other night … I don’t really like you to visit at unsociable hours… this upset me … would prefer it if you didn’t do that”. Back came the reply: “You’re unsociable”. “You’ve never made me feel welcome in your home”. “Whose fault is it that I’ve been coming here for over one year and you have never tried to get to know me better?” Followed by: “I don’t care what you think. You called me, I never called you, so get off the ‘phone”. Could it have got worse? Clearly it did. Now, no false smiles, false conversation, empty words and empty laughter.
Have respect for others. Respect their lives and how they choose to live. Do not presume that because you are on a 24/7 schedule, they are too and if they are not, they are unsociable and unwelcoming. Try to meet somewhere in the middle and never ever try to justify bad behaviour by blaming the other person for your own bad behaviour.