Acting class was the best thing that has happened to me in recent memory. It has been gone now since early March. I don’t know if my retirement income will continue to support it.

I have met people who share my love of the Noir genre of filmmaking. Even my love of anime. Everyone has been kind and encouraging, supportive, and accepting. Nonjudgemental – approving even. (Except for the instructor, Allen. As a person, he is kind but in class, he’s into tough love.) Classmates have approached me instead of my cautiously reaching out to them. It is a situation I’ve never before experienced.

Last night another student and I were assigned a scene from the movie, “Adaptation.”  Alan said we were perfect for the parts.

The protagonist gets excited because he misreads a waitress’ behavior as an interest in his subject matter, orchids. She’s really just being polite. She couldn’t care less. He askes her to an orchid show and it is a total fail. He hates himself for it. It is a comedy but the scene by itself feels like a tragedy to me. Hit me hard.

I am the hole in my own doughnut.

It hit me on many levels. It felt like the story of my adolescence. Because the character is older it felt like my own life, right now. I am married but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to make friends and have a social life. I have to bite my tongue else I will start to go on about subjects that excite me but nobody gives a shit about. I will mistake politeness for actual interest. It is such a regular theme in my life I have come to hold my own perception of any apparently positive response as being suspect. False negatives hurt less than false positives.

Politeness is not a “bad” response. It is better than being poked in the eye. Politeness is also known as a “white lie.” Assuming the truth of a white lie leads to disaster.

It is less painful to damp any enthusiasm I might feel than it is to enjoy it – only to have it turn out terribly wrong. Repeatedly. Some people can handle that kind of rejection but I’m not one of them. It is not the fault of any other person. It is a fault within me.


  1. Martha Kennedy

    Oh dear. I suppose it’s the Aspergers and the challenge of reading other’s reactions/responses, but I shall now share a secret of the universe. People pay much less attention to you than you might think (fear?) they do. You seriously need to figure out how to care less. Easier said than done, maybe, but… You don’t have to be so careful. The person you are is really OK. Nothing turns out “wrong,” and the REAL rejection in life is when you have to be someone else. Then you are rejecting yourself.

    Don’t assume that everyone but you is comfortable with themselves. They’re not. They are equally (possibly more!) self-absorbed and insecure. The best stragedy is 1) show authentic interest in others, 2) compassion for the foibles of other people. We’re old enough now. We can do that. It’s the “noblesse oblige” of maturity. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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