Losing my marbles

Feeling a bit down this afternoon and as usual it’s a combination of things. Firstly, I had my interview for the military today and although it went pretty well, I was left with disappointment that I had to hide my true feelings in order to get the job.

The interview was successful and I was recommended for employment at the end of it. But the mere fact of going to an interview got me on edge and I hated the fact that I had to say that I was positive about going on deployment. Deployment is the biggie – if you’re willing to go they’ll have you. If you’re at all unwilling to be deployed for three months to an African country then they could well not recommend you. So I did what I had to do. I said I was in favour of it. I also said I was cool about wearing a uniform and going on an Officer’s Course. Argh, no wonder I felt like a bit of a fraud when it was over.

The interview panel was small and included two people whom I know well. V and H asked nice questions and it was good to have coffee with V afterwards and chat about this and that. I hardly ever get to see him and when I do, it always feels as though we’re not quite friends and will probably never be. Maybe I just need to make more of an effort.

Then I went to gym to work off the coffee and cake and the adrenalin from the interview. That was OK but to get free parking I spent over R100 on things I didn’t really need such as mouthwash, a fineliner, paper and so on. When I got home I thought that I’d left my blue top at the gym so I went all the way back to the gym and looked in locker 79 (no top) and then went to ask at the front desk (no top). In the car on the way home I was approached by the usual vendors desperate to sell their Big Issue and I just didn’t have it in me to buy this week’s edition. I felt small-hearted and mean. And I also couldn’t help reflecting that in Toronto I left my digital camera on a train and it was handed in at the next station whereas in Cape Town people in the gym would take a measly Gap top. When I got home I found the top was in my bag after all and I realised that I’d lost my marbles instead.

Perhaps there’s just too much going on in my head right now. The weekend started pretty well with D’s birthday party. The Saturday dinner party was also a good one and there was yummy food, quality singing and some funny conversation. I didn’t know the people at my table but we managed to strike up a lively conversation. C was in particularly good form and told some hilarious stories. The guy next to me was a bit annoying and kept peppering me with personal questions about what it’s like to be a psychologist. I put it down to curiosity and thought no more about it. Until Monday when I get a call from the guy asking me on a date. He knows that I have a girlfriend but he managed to misconstrue a light-hearted comment to the effect that P and I were having issues. I really did nothing to encourage the guy so I was quite astounded that he would call me out of the blue like that.

Of course I was a bit flattered and I felt sorry for the guy (since he was way off the mark) and I also thought that it must be difficult being gay and having to ask other men out. So I thanked him for the call and said it was nice to meet him and C and then called P to tell her the funny story. Unfortunately P didn’t see the funny side of it and proceeded to have an emotional meltdown. She was worried that perhaps I was gay and that she had just missed the signs. (At 39 I think I would know.) Or that I had somehow flirted with the guy or given him some tacit encouragement. She pointed out that at one point I had swopped places with her, which meant that I was sitting next to the guy. Whatever. I couldn’t believe she was so upset about it. At least she apologised today for being a bit irrational but she said it just hurt her very much that someone she knows (although not that well) would try and take her boyfriend away from her.

So that’s what up with Gilbert Grape today, dear bloggers. Time for some more tea I reckon and some blog therapy.


9 Responses to Losing my marbles

  1. doctordi says:

    Don’t beat yourself up about the occasional mean-spirited or small mood, Pete, we all have them, and sometimes a small thing can set us off, like thinking you’ve lost something that hasn’t been returned. I had the same reaction when I thought I left my wallet behind in a store. Turned out I got it home and put it in a rarely-used bag, god knows why, and then proceeded to rail against the breakdown of society for the days it took to find out it wasn’t society having a short circuit after all… embarrassing.

    YIKES about the call and P’s reaction. Being asked out is very flattering, of course, but given you were there with P, not super cool of him to initiate an alternate offer… And I can understand P flipping out about that. It’s pretty audacious. As for being 39 and old enough to know, well, only you can know your own desires, Pete, but I think perhaps it’s important for your relationship that you and P examine why P was so quick to react on issues other than the guy’s poor form. As a general aside, I don’t think there’s a time limit on these things, plenty of people come out late/r in life.

  2. I can understand how a series of events combine to make a not-great day. Hope the tea was restorative and that today is much, much better. Would you take the military job if they offered it?

  3. Signing back in to say that phoning anyone up for a date after they’ve mentioned they’re having issues with their partner is outrageous! Surely it’s polite to wait till the couple have resolved their issues one way or the other and then make a move?

  4. Pete says:

    Di – Very wise advice and thank you. As for coming out later in life, you’re absolutely right. The funny thing here is that as an “emotionally sensitive” South African male psychologist, it’s easy to pass as gay. But the guy read the situation completely wrong and in retrospect showed very poor form.

    Charlotte – Yes, have agreed to stay on for a year or so to get some good experience (I was temporary until now). And you’re right about that behaviour being outrageous. I think he got a kick out of being a predator and tracking down my number but he should at least have made a call to a mutual friend to find out more information before blundering in. And the comment about our having issues was only in response to his saying “Take these two for example. On the surface they look absolutely fine but underneath they’re probably having problems”. I laughed and said, “too true!”

  5. doctordi says:

    Oh yes, Pete, I’m sure. Emoting men here suffer similar misunderstandings, believe me. But there’s a swaggering kind of arrogance to his attitude that is off-putting, perhaps because it was so dismissive of P. That’s just plain disrespectful.

    Great about the job, though, even if the process did leave you feeling a little unclean!!

  6. sandyphd says:

    No wonder you feel you’re losing your marbles, Pete. (although, if misplacing a shirt is your definition of losing it, no telling what you’d think of my scatter brained doings)…. You’ve had a busy, draining, crazy kinda week.

    First you have to hide your true identity in order to get the job (military interview) and then you have to defend your true identity in order to turn down a date and calm down your girlfriend. Whew. Hope you have a weekend of relaxing fun lined up. You need it.

  7. Pete says:

    Di – Thanks, it helped to talk it over as well. P and I are going away for a mini-weekend break so that will help to get more in tune I think.

    Sandy – Thanks for understanding. Weekend should be good. We certainly need it!

  8. doctordi says:

    Hope you had a great weekend together, Pete, and that you are both feeling tuned in and topped up!

  9. Pete says:

    Thanks, Di. We had a good weekend and are now much more in-tune. I have to go away in a weeks’s time though for work so busy week before that trying to finish things and organise the trip.

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