Thursday, December 14, 2006

Death and the Penguin

I'm just back from Newcastle in time to make it to Book Group. So far, so good.

A new member, who seems lovely and dives right into the discussions with interesting opinions. So far, so good.

The book, Death and a Penguin, read by all, general consensus is that it starts well but loses it's charm in the second half, but it gave plenty of material for debate. So far, so good.

And then...

There's the small matter of my growing irritation with NR, which finds new depths tonight.

From hijacking the group discussion on the book to engage an individual in an unwanted private conversation (invariably about her), to talking over people, to offering up the most mind-numbingly vacuous statements in a patronising, superior way, to the playing the little helpless girlie card (somewhat lacking in dignity at the best of times, but when you're well into your fifties?), to self-absorption that makes blog writing seem like a reticent refusal to engage in the slightest introspection, to sharing of intimate sexual information about herself that I could so happily live without.

She annoys me so much it makes my teeth hurt.

I know that this is largely irrational and it brings out a very unattractive part of my character that I really don't like.

Most of all I know that the only thing I can change in all this, is my reaction.

Endeavours in this area are proving fruitless however. I'm pretty sure my irritation leaks out in action and inaction and then I try to compensate, try to make an effort, try to be nice.

Trouble is that this means indulging to some degree all the things that annoy me so. I swear after listening to her illogical, patronisingly expressed input I feel like I'm in one of those Zombie movies and my dissolved brain matter is about to dribble down my nose.

So I try polite disengagement. Neutrality works for Switzerland apparently. I stare at my glass and try and keep my head down.

Even this is unsuccessful, she senses she's lost a member of her audience and directly addresses this "do you understand what I'm saying 1iz?"

And what do you answer to that?

The truth? That I understand what she is saying but I just can't for the life of me see any intelligible connection between that and the matter being debated and if I'm really honest I perceive it to be yet another attempt to just talk about herself again.

So I flip and flop. Nice, nasty, disengaged, indulging.

I genuinely don't want to be a complete cow. I guess if I can't find a way to be in the same space as her without turning into a nasty, evil bitch, then maybe I need to stop going to Book Group.

1 comment:

sally said...

you don't want to be a complete cow? Never worried you before....