Obliviousness – The Art of Self Delusion

Yesterday, Christmas Day, was relatively non-eventful. My sister was here and the two of us watched free Netflix Christmas movies most of the day. We crocheted blankets for others. I cooked a brisket and some garlic mashed potatoes for dinner and waited for BF to show up so we could all eat it together.

BF had opened presents with us in the morning (we each had 1-2 from various people) and then he left to go have Christmas with his best friends family and a group of his friends. A tradition that they’ve had for quite some time. He told me he was going to be gone for a few hours, two at the most, then be back.

Five hours later I texted him to let him know the food would be ready in an hour. Six and a half hours later I called him to remind him the food was ready. He was at home (which surprised me) and had lost track of time.

Midway through dinner the comment came out “sorry, Christmas time depresses me”. I didn’t pursue it further at this time because my sister was sitting with us and whatever it was that depressed him about Christmas I’m sure wasn’t for her ears to hear.

But really – I have spent the last 10 years in a state of depression about Christmas. My entire family growing up is, well to be blunt, dead. All dead. If that isn’t a big slap in the Christmas spirit every year I don’t know what is. And my goal this year was to create a nice Christmas. Nothing special, but just a simple good time of everyone together. And I couldn’t keep BF around to enjoy it. No one could.

Why was BF depressed? Because he couldn’t afford to buy his friend’s presents. So he felt shitty about receiving them.

Which brought me to two points when we discussed it later that night:

  1. Your friends care about you. They are giving you gifts because they enjoying giving them to you.  You aren’t obligated to be anything else but their friend. They know your financial situation and they have known for years that you don’t return gifts and that you feel bad about it – but they still keep giving to you. That’s because they’re your friends and they love you.
  2. If you don’t want the same thing to happen next year DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Take $10 a paycheck, you won’t miss it. Save it. Wait for Christmas. BOOM. You have $240 to spend on gifts, enough to get something for everyone.

He started crying (why does money so often bring people to tears?) and then saying I was right.

I don’t know if that means he’ll take my suggestion. I have offered a lot of good financial solutions to him for problems… we’ll see if he takes this advice…

Between this and the incident with his teeth, I’ve begun to realize that BF lives in a state of obliviousness. A conscious choice to not think about things that cause him pain, cost him money, can hurt others – until they reach a tipping point.

And my friends, obliviousness always reaches a tipping point.

I don’t think that BF is alone in this, I think most people do this. Until 3 years ago I was living in a state of financial obliviousness. Credit for anything, maxed cards, uncontrolled spending, a belief that my future self would magically work all of this debt out.

Self delusion is  a powerful thing. It allows us to go about our happy, merry, ignorant way until the walls crash down around us and we’re crying in to a pillow (or worse) because we can’t afford the situation we find ourselves in.

I’ll be thinking a lot of about my own self delusions as I start to think about setting New Year’s Resolutions. What am I intentionally ignoring? What do I hope will go away but give no effort to making that actually happen? What am I oblivious to?

And… what means do I have in my life to distract myself from the reality of my situation?

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7 Responses to Obliviousness – The Art of Self Delusion

  1. Stephanie says:

    I suppose I ignore a lot of things, or at least assume there’s nothing I can do about it. I know I need to eat healthier, and exercise more. But I act as if that will happen all on its own, even when I buy unhealthy lunches at work, or buy prepackaged meals at the grocery store. And if I never go to the gym, it makes it a lot harder to exercise!
    I think I let a lot of things go by the wayside, because I don’t want to think about them. Ignoring things seems to work for a while, until I freak out because I realize I really need to deal with the uncomfortable things I’m ignoring.

    • SS4BC says:

      Sometimes ignoring things can be easier in the short run, but I’m definitely beginning to see that in the long run it is always more uncomfortable.

  2. I worry about this obliviousness and your relationship. Take good care of yourself, K SS4BC?

    • SS4BC says:

      Oh don’t worry, I am fully confident in this relationship. We sat down and talked about all of this before I even wrote this post. We have a very open and communicative relationship and he treats me better than anyone I have ever met.

      We’re all oblivious to things, it is good to be in a relationship where he and I can both be open about each other’s downfalls and bring each other up. =)

  3. Pingback: Tipping Points | What I Wanted to Say…

  4. Alice says:

    Good that you talked about it! Maybe once you help him with some goal setting and financial planning he’ll be better. I’m totally hoping he doesn’t buy a new car! 🙂

    And I totally understand his fear of the dentist… I go to a “phobia” specialist dentist because I have a horrible fear of it as well. Hard to explain to others but a real phobia.

  5. Serendipity says:

    I live in a state of obliviousness as well. My health in general is something I ignore, my finances aren’t always where their suppose to go and I waste time on a lot of people that don’t necessarily matter. I can and will admit it. I’m hoping in 2011 I can change it or at least start too. Thanks for this post.

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