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I'm not proud. Or tired. Well, kind of tired. - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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I'm not proud. Or tired. Well, kind of tired. [Apr. 29th, 2010|08:50 am]
Marissa Lingen
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A couple days ago a friend asked a question that seemed like it might have more broad application than just the social situation he was mentioning, so I thought I would put it and my answer here: what he wanted to know was whether I am okay accepting help from people outside my immediate family in order to be able to do stuff while the stupid vertigo is still around.

And the answer is yes, absolutely. I am not at all proud about accepting help. It may not be that the help you offer is workable for one reason or another, but I will not be at all upset that you offered, and I will not turn whatever offer down out of the sheer desire to avoid accepting help.

What I am not good at is soliciting help from scratch. "You know what would be fun? If you came and got me and then [actual fun thing here]," or, "If you rode the bus down and came over and then [actual fun thing here]," is very hard for me. It sounds to me like, "You know what would be fun? If you baked me a pan of brownies. Wouldn't that be awesome? You could go to the store, and buy the ingredients, and do all the work, and then I would have brownies. Doesn't that sound like fun?" Yes, I know I've baked people brownies before and will likely do it again. And in fact I do like baking brownies. But, "How about I make you a pan of brownies?" is very different from, "How about you make me a pan of brownies?"
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: careswen
2010-04-29 02:25 pm (UTC)
Not that you should always have to be the Initiator, but you are always welcome to ask me/mine to come to you. I don't find being invited over as a chore. In fact, I was raised NOT to invite myself to other people's homes, so there's that. I always like it when people appear to want to spend time with me! :)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-04-29 03:07 pm (UTC)
Inviting people over to hang out here is actually somewhat different for me than inviting people to come here in order to take me somewhere else. If I invite people over, I mostly cook or bake or at least make tea. So they're doing something (driving), but I'm doing something too. So that's all right. Whereas if I said, "Why don't you come fetch me and we will go out for coffee?", then the coffee people would be making the tea and doing any baking that was wanted. Not me. So.

I keep thinking we need to set up a time for you guys to come over and have dinner and watch Real Genius. But then, I keep thinking we need to set up a time for you guys to come over and have dinner and play Battlestar, too. I fear we're going to end up deciding to do at least one of these without markgritter, because his travel is The Crazy for awhile.
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[User Picture]From: lotusice
2010-04-29 02:31 pm (UTC)
You know, you *know* that if I lived anywhere in the vicinity I'd be over in your face bringing the fun all the time.
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[User Picture]From: lotusice
2010-04-29 02:32 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't even wait for it to come 'round on the guitar. ;p
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[User Picture]From: p_j_cleary
2010-04-29 02:39 pm (UTC)
This is just a really thinly-disguised solicitation for brownies, isn't it?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-04-29 03:08 pm (UTC)
Actually I would rather make brownies than eat brownies. So in that sense that metaphor is about knowing when I'm being ridiculous.
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[User Picture]From: moiread
2010-04-29 02:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah. On really dead days or days I just plain can't walk, I always feel like I'm being unfair if I ask someone for a ride to wherever I need to go. And unlike your scenarios, there isn't even anything fun for them in it. Just, you know, they drive me there and then I'm gone. Sometimes I have to ask anyway, whether it makes me feel shitty or not, but still. The fact remains that it makes me feel shitty.

Interestingly enough, however, "Can you pick up X for me if/while you're out already?" does not bother me at all, even if getting X involves making a detour they would not otherwise have made.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-04-29 03:09 pm (UTC)
Does "out" to you feel like a thing very separate from "in"? I will ask timprov or markgritter or my mom to run errands "on our way home" that are not by any definition on our way home, that are, in fact, directly out of our way from home. But--out already. You know? Out different from in and all.
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[User Picture]From: mamapduck
2010-04-29 04:05 pm (UTC)
Our logistics suck, but for the record, I think baking you (or anyone) a pan of brownies sounds like a smashingly good time. Baking is my bliss. :) Should the opportunity ever arise, please, please feel encouraged to say, "hey, how about you make me a pan of brownies?"

Careswan also makes a good point. I had a friend get really pissy at me a couple years back because I always invited him to my home and never came to his... and I pointed out that I had never been INVITED to his. I cannot generally invite myself to other people's houses. It's just not how I was brought up. And having lived until my mid-twenties without driving and being married to a man who will never be able to drive, I am more open about the concept of a friend who has to be picked up suggesting a plan. I'd actually get worried that I was a pest if the non-driver *never* suggested going places. It could feel one-sided.

Bottom line: People like Mris. They are probably happier than you think about being invited to come fetch you and take you places. :)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-04-29 05:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, I can't invite myself to other people's houses, either. I know that for some people, the mark of good friends or good neighbors is Just Dropping By, and that is Just Not Me (and even more Not Us). Sometimes I can be vague about where we could do something ("Do you want to get together one of these nights? or a weekend afternoon?"), or sometimes when I was independently mobile I could call and say, "I'm going to be in the neighborhood, do you want to grab a cup of coffee or something?" And then if they said, "Why don't you just come in and hang out a bit," then it was okay.

If I was more independently mobile, this might well be into the phase of a couple of friendships where my difficulties with inviting myself over would be annoying to them. Or it may be that they honestly wouldn't notice the difference in the situations I've described above. Not sure which things are important to which people.
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[User Picture]From: asciikitty
2010-04-29 04:26 pm (UTC)
But it sounds more like you're asking* "how about you bake *us both* a pan of brownies" - they get to do the fun thing with you too!

*not actually asking, but could be
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-04-29 05:16 pm (UTC)
Yes, and I have every expectation that my friends are strong enough personalities to say, "Um, I don't actually like brownies. Or any chocolate at all. How do you feel about lemon bars? Or what if it was oatmeal raisin cookies instead?"

I apparently have difficulty acting on that expectation, but I have it.
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[User Picture]From: pnkrokhockeymom
2010-04-29 05:48 pm (UTC)
We seem to have many of the same sorts of ideas, from reading the comments, about when this sort of thing is appropriate.

It took me dating Montreal for like EIGHT MONTHS before I would let him run to the store for me, and then it was only because that was when Rockgod's mom got sick and I had a houseful of people. Even now I will only very rarely let him *go* to the store, but I will call and ask him to pick something up on his way home...
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[User Picture]From: pnkrokhockeymom
2010-04-29 05:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, I should add, "appropriate" is only for ME. I never think it's inappropriate when someone else asks me to do things. How weird is THAT.
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[User Picture]From: reveritas
2010-04-30 12:07 am (UTC)
Oh yeah. We're way the same in this.
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[User Picture]From: wordswoman
2010-04-30 01:25 am (UTC)
This comment hereby represents One Sincere Offer To Do Something Fun Or Useful For/With You, redeemable anytime our scheduling planets align.

If it also involves careswen and mmerriam, and/or our dogs, all the better.

:)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-04-30 02:01 pm (UTC)
Remind me how big your dog is? Ista has played with dogs many, many times her size, but I tend to want to be careful about first meetings with the really big dogs, because there have been a couple of really sweet big dogs that just flat-out terrified her. (And on the other hand some really sweet big dogs that didn't. So.)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-04-30 02:03 pm (UTC)
It isn't, but I don't really see what there is you can do about it. I mean, aside from not killing the person, which I continue to favor, as I expect visiting you in your current accommodations is much more pleasant.

(Although if you come up with a mental trick for making yourself more able to ask for the seat, please tell me what it is so I can see if it works on me too.)

Edited at 2010-04-30 02:05 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: cissa
2010-05-02 01:12 am (UTC)
I know, and I share the feeling but- on the giving side, sometimes it's REALLY helpful to know what someone would welcome.
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