Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ice Planet of Hoth (or, a Break from Vacation Blogging)

You were expecting clue #2 in the ever-widening gyre of my narcissistic vaction blogging, right? After all, isn't that what this damn blog is for?

Instead, dear friends, you'll get a meditation on new colleagues and making friends. And you'll like it! (In essence, this is the brussel sprout of blog posts...)

Last night, Mr. Fluff (or, as one suggestion has name him, "Fluffernutter"--thanks Jo(e)) and I went out to dinner with one of our new colleagues and her husband. I didn't get a chance to meet her during interview time, and I've heard very good things about her from those who did meet her, so I thought I'd arrange to meet prior to the beginning of the semester (which is approaching us at about the speed of a runaway train--you should be working on your syllabi RIGHT NOW.). In addition, Mr. Fluff had met the new colleague (NC?)'s husband at a conference in very-cool-but-not-the-most-canonical field, which I also enjoy, and thus, this should be easy, right?

Let me preface this by saying--it was fine. No water was thrown, no 10 minute uncomfortable silences, no outright foot-in-mouth scenarios. But it wasn't easy--not to me, anyway. You know that awesome vertiginous feeling when you meet someone and you rather instantly fall into a fascinating conversation with him/her and you just want it to go on and on, and you feel instantly close to that person? Right. Well, it wasn't that. And for some reason, I think I continually expect that, but it soooo seldom is that. In point of fact, that's happened exactly twice in my life (give or take two or three very close approximations of that experience); yet it continues to function as my expectation for all of my relationships with the people I work with. Set yourself up for failure much, Fluff?

Thus, over a steaming bowl of pho (hooray for hot food on a the first cool night in ages!) and conversation, I learned a few things about my own expectations. Another important revelation: I think I'm ceasing my life-long habit of self-flagellation. As always, my nervous talking habit revealed itself last night. I think I held it together for a good long while, but then, inevitably, I had to make some comment about the way in which I often refer to particular kinds of pornography to make a point in class. (!!!!) Hello, too-much-information! Normally, I would be kicking myself; now, however, I just can't seem to work up the energy. I keep thinking to myself that this will perhaps save me time--if a friendship survives that kind of confession, then I suppose they've seen about the worst faux pas I have to perform. In public, anyway.

So, here's to realistic expectations for colleagues and friends. I herewith attempt to learn to accept things for what they are, not reel in disappointment when they don't approach the golden ideal of my best hopes. And hey, one more set of people I know that can trade references to the Star Wars trilogy (hence the title)? That's a boon in and of itself.


Blogger Beth said...

Isn't it interesting how, after meeting someone new, we spend the rest of our evening bopping ourselves on the head, not unlike Chris Farley when he interviewed Paul McCartney? Chances are, they were doing the same thing when they got home.

But I'm interested in your porn analogy ...........

Monday, August 07, 2006 9:26:00 AM  
Blogger kfluff said...

Farley is an entirely appropriate image, Beth--and one that I'd forgotten.

The porn analogy is worthy of it's own post, don't you think? I'll add it to the list!

Monday, August 07, 2006 11:37:00 AM  

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