I hung out with a guy named Dave a lot after school was out. I spent the majority of my time in his backyard hanging out and playing games with he and his family. At that time in my life, I didn’t realize that my personality can be abrasive to some people. Other people have a problem being honest with me because of my wheelchair. Dave probably wanted to do other things than hang out with me all the time, but how could he tell a guy in a wheelchair that he had other things to do, or that I was cramping his style? When we graduated from High School, Dave went off to Texas Tech, which was pretty far from my house. At that time, there weren’t the technological advances that allow for easy communication between people who are far apart. I went from hanging out with Dave every day to not seeing him at all, ever. He came by a few times, and I see him every few years, but we aren’t best buddies anymore.
I tend to be overbearing at times. The story about Dave is a good example of that. I was in his life and business all the time. I have one of those personalities that never tires of people. I don’t like to be alone. I’m not afraid of being alone, but I don’t like to be. I enjoy being in constant contact with my friends, and always being available. I’m one of those people that doesn’t “smother” easily. You know what I’m talking about, especially those of you of the female variety. You’re spending a lot of time talking with someone, and suddenly they start calling you more than you like, sending you more emails than you prefer, and always saying “hello” if they see you online. Meanwhile, you run off and text your friends that you are being “smothered” by this other person, right? I AM THAT PERSON! Luckily, I’m more aware of other people’s feelings now than I was when I was in high school. I still don’t understand how a person can feel smothered by basic friendliness or desire for conversation. I still don’t read signals well. I prefer that people just tell me openly if they need more or less of me. I don’t take hints well. I suck at hints. Women LOVE to hint at things. Let me repeat: I suck at hints! Just be honest! Even though I’m in a chair, you can be honest with me. I’m a big boy and I can handle the truth, if I only knew what that truth was.
When I met people in college, it was very hard for me to know what the social rules were. You never know what the “threshold” is until you’ve broken through it, and communicated too often or too much. My grating personality has been an ongoing source of difficulty. I’m a devoted friend. Perhaps some people perceive that as smothering.