A little clarity
You know, this just isn't going to work - this "just friends" thing with Ron. There have been a few nice moments here and there, and for awhile there I thought it might actually be a good thing. I know now that I was kidding myself.
Over the past couple of weeks, he's seemed less and less interested in keeping any sort of relationship going. Although he's called and e-mailed me on several occasions, it's almost always been me to suggest that we get together, and I can't shake the feeling that he agrees just because he hasn't got anything better to do. There's an awkwardness in our conversations now, as if we've run out of things to discuss. He doesn't seem to want to meet me halfway, and I refuse to be the one flogging a dead relationship yet again. When being with someone feels more like work than fun, maybe I shouldn't hang out with the person anymore. Yeah, that kind of makes sense.
I'm disappointed, sure, because I'm beginning to realize that what we had was nothing. He thought I was someone I wasn't, and all the things he said to me and the things we shared were based on a false impression. Now that I know how much his feelings have changed, I don't relish the thought of spending time with him in any capacity. It's a waste of my time, and I could be doing something much more enjoyable, like, say, washing my hair.
The ache is still there, and probably will be for some time to come, but it's for the man I knew for those first few weeks, and not for the increasingly distant person he's become.
Will I actually tell him any of this? Probably not, but I likely won't have to. This is one area where I have lots of experience. I just have to sit back and let it die, because I know he'll do the same. I'd rather not have a confrontation, because I hate confrontations and frankly, he isn't worth one.
I'm crying a little as I'm writing this, but they're not all tears of sadness. It feels so good to know what I want again, and to know that it's no longer him.
* * *
On Wednesday, our strata corporation held its annual general meeting. Basically, it's a meeting of the owners of our condominium complex, the council they've elected to represent them, and the representative of the property management company that oversees the maintenance of our building.
In a word, it was ugly. The worst of all the meetings I can recall. I don't mind it when people raise objections or have opinions who differ from ours, but it's when tempers flare and attacks start getting personal that I feel like running screaming from the room.
It was very difficult to make people understand why certain increases in spending are necessary. They saw that their maintenance fees were going up considerably (although for the first time in about three years) and understandably wanted to know why. The reasons we gave never seemed to satisfy them. Several people suggested some cuts to the budget, all of which were voted on by everyone in attendance and all of which were defeated. Yet, when it came time to vote to pass the proposed budget, the budget itself was defeated. So a new one will have to be drafted and voted on again in a separate owners' meeting.
None of this would have been so bad, except there were certain people who were just completely unreasonable in their demands. It seems pretty simple; when things cost more, essential things, we have to pay more for them and make budget adjustments accordingly. Doesn't that make sense? But we might as well have been speaking a foreign language, because nothing we said seemed to get through to them. Naturally, those people were the ones who represented multiple owners, so their opinions unfortunately carried more weight. The worst of the bunch was one woman who grew increasingly confrontational and angry during the course of the evening, and at the end delivered an envelope full of cigarette butts to our property manager as a token of her appreciation.
And the best part of the evening? Yours truly is now the chairperson of the strata council.
It's not something I wanted. But finding people who are willing to be on the council, let alone someone who's willing to be chair, is virtually impossible. Since I am now the senior council member, logic dictated that it should be me. But my personality isn't really well-suited for the position. I hate taking any kind of leadership role and I seldom have strong opinions on anything. Decision-making is also not my strong suit; granted, that won't be too much of a factor in the council, since most issues that require a decision have to be voted on by all members. On the plus side, my strengths are my ability to listen and to be open to opinions different from my own, and to be diplomatic when it's required. Not a bad place to start, but I'll have to learn to be more than that.
We only have meetings once every other month, so being on the council never took up too much of my time, but I expect it will be a little different now that I'm the chair. Certain matters that require attention in between meetings are going to be my responsibility, so I'm going to be called upon more often than I was before.
The challenge for me will be to learn to be strong, and not to shy away from the tough choices. To know that not everyone will like what I do and not to take it personally. To remember that there are four other council members and to learn to rely on them, and to know that the burden of reponsibility is not mine alone.
The thing I look least forward to is the next AGM, which won't happen for another whole year. But if it's anything like the one we just had on Wednesday, I'm already shuddering at the prospect.
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