Assumption: A Family Tree

“What do they say about assumption being the brother of all fuck ups?”

“It’s the mother of all fuck ups, stupid.”

“Brother, mother, any other sucker.  It don’t make any difference.”

I am, of course, quoting from Guy Ritchie’s 1998 film, Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels.  And the guys in question were talking about robbing their neighbours of their stolen drugs and money in order to not have fingers and toes removed by mob boss, Hatchet Harry.  But the principle is the same.

An overactive imagination and a poor maths ability, such as putting two and two together and coming up with 7  (apparently, not my lucky number) can lead you into all kinds of trouble.  Like some kind of super sleuth, I take all the clues, decipher what I believe to be the truth, and announce it in some ah-ha Cluedo-esque way, “Mr X is in Love with me because he Did this and I Overheard this!!”  Sadly, I don’t have anyone there to check the three cards in the envelope and say, “Nope. You’re wrong. Mr X doesn’t even Know who you are or Why you keep coming up with these crazy ideas!” before asking hopefully “Wouldn’t it just be easier to play Connect 4…?” knowing that all I want to do is keep guessing, albeit wrongly, at Cluedo.

Those of you who have read my blogs before will know that I do have trouble with the opposite sex (something to do with the fact that they’re men, I think).  Specifically, understanding them.  If I could get inside a man’s head, a la Mel Gibson in What Women Want, I’d be happy. Or would I?  I don’t really care about the football results…Yes, I’m stereotypicalising (yes, I know it’s a made-up word); but you catch my drift.  Without knowing exactly what men are thinking, I am left to try to fill in the blanks myself, with usually hilarious results.  Or they would be, if they weren’t so painfully heartbreaking.

This week I’ve been reminded yet again of how easy it can be to misread men.  In the last week, three of my male friends have called me “Baby”, “Sexy” and “Gorgeous”.  One is a one is a work colleague, one is an ex and the other a married friend I’ve never met.  Can you guess who said what?  Or can you tell which one bothered me the most?

It was being called “Baby”.  But not for the reasons you might expect.  Having become a bit of a feminist lately, you’d think I would hate it for that reason.  But, rather, it was because I enjoyed it so much that I had to ask him to stop calling me that.  The word “Baby” drives my heart wild, for in my dreams, it is my boyfriend who calls me that.  But not my ex, or rather a guy I had a fling with.  I knew there was nothing to his calling me Baby, but it kind of pulled my hopes up in a way I wasn’t ready for.  I assumed that perhaps things had changed now he got to know me, but I know this not to be the truth.  We are still friends, and I hope he doesn’t mind me blogging about this.  This blog is not about him, but rather about how I read situations (usually wrongly).

It was a work colleague who has called me “Sexy”, on several occasions.  Reading between the lines, I’m pretty sure he would like to go out with me (although I’m not taking anything for granted these days), but the feeling isn’t mutual.  I’m starting to feel uncomfortable now and so, I think soon, I will have to ask him to not call me that again.

The third was kind of a surprise.  It’s a friend I met on Twitter, who is, as far as I know, happily married.  Now calling someone “Gorgeous” isn’t necessarily indicative of anything, but I guess I just think about how I would feel if it were my other half calling someone that.  It’s been a one-off, so as long as it stays that way, I won’t need to add a third awkward conversation to my life.

One of my female friends said I should enjoy being called these things, because I am gorgeous and sexy.  Well, yes I know, but to be honest, I want that someone special to be calling me those things.  Perhaps that’s what hurts the most, is that I don’t have anyone to say those things to me.  Having male friends do it just gives me conflicting signals or makes me uncomfortable.

Maybe this is the truth of the matter.  I never had male friends growing up, and most of my male friends are those who I have either had some kind of “relationship” or whom I have been attracted to, but the feeling was not mutual.  I’m sure I’ve quoted this in a blog before, but Billy Crystal was right when he said, in When Harry Met Sally, that “men and women can’t be friends, sex always gets in the way.”

He’s right of course.  Many of my female friends will disagree, but to me, men are a minefield in whatever capacity they arrive in my life.

I recently wrote a blog called Friend or Foe, or Just No-No?  A guy who had given me compliments, which I had apparently misread, told me he’d better stop giving compliments to women in the future.  Are we really in a day and age where men have to think that way?  One thing I can do, now I’m in my 30s, is receive a compliment. Gone are the days when somebody might call me beautiful, and I would shake my head vigorously, and claim I’m not.  If I believe the person is serious, I will thank them for their compliment.  I just find it hard, especially where men are concerned, to see why, if a guy thinks I’m beautiful, he wouldn’t want to go out with me.  And if he doesn’t want to go out with me, why the hell is he giving me compliments in the first place?

Back to assumption.  I feel like I’ve strayed from the point a little, but really, I haven’t.  Assumption is when you have nothing to go on except what you’ve been given.  If, like me, you have trouble reading it, or misread it completely, then you are in for disappointment, heartbreak and who knows what else. The thing is, it’s not just what someone says or does that can lead to poor assumption.  If you believe, like I do, that Fate sends signs and makes things happen, then something that a ‘normal’ person might chalk up to pure coincidence, or not even notice at all, suddenly becomes the reason why this person is your soul mate.  I have a catalogue of these occurrences, the latest being very recent.  But I think Fate is having a laugh.  Either that, or she forgot that she was supposed to give the same signals to the other person.  Which is why he looks at me blankly, wondering who the hell I am and why I’m acting so crazy.


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