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And like a cornered animal, Patricia Barber responded with her teeth barred.

Dear Kim:

Your response to my previous posting was so sweet andbothso true and so offbase, that I needed to respond to it before I broach another topic.

(Kim: I identify with your My Friend . . . because I do the same thing sometimes as she did. Some people are socially adept, others are clutzes. I think I improve with age, but still don't have the knack that comes so naturally to others.)

I know you can feel socially awkward sometimes. So can I. So can we all. I think you can be quite shy with people you don't know. Me, as well.

The pertinent issue here is that my friend was operating from a place of ego instead of compassion, in approaching Patricia Barber. She came at her, instead of with her. And like a cornered animal, Patricia Barber responded with her teeth barred.

Interestingly, my friend is an extrovert for a living. That is to say, she is in sales at a national level. So her income and ability to provide for herself is dependent upon quickly sizing up situations and people. She knows very well how to do that.

I think this was a question of her feeling intimidated by the surroundings, maybe by Patricia Barber's independence and artistry and trying to find a way to hook into it. I also think my friend is a frustrated artist who probably regrets some aspects of a life she didn't choose.

(Kim: Does your friend realize how she came off? Does she want help? I can tell you that she tries just as hard as others to say/do the right thing. She, like myself, just doesn't have the knack.)

If she is honest with herself, she will know how she came off. Some place,she was very upset with herself because her voicebecame high pitched and shrill on the way home. I don't agree with your assessment that she was trying. I think her ego got in the way and she was imposing. Big difference.

I also do not think she wants help and that is why I didn't offer it. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that I don't think she was feeling strong enough in that instance to hear help, even if it was offered in the most loving way possible.

(Kim: Sounds like you friend is a formalist and the singer was not.)

She is not a formalist. Under different circumstances, she probably would have loved what Patricia Barber did. But since she felt humiliated, a way to level the playing field was to tell me that she didn't sing correctly.

That is a fascinating thing to think about. Because it suggests that often we may say we don't like something or that it is inferior when that is not at all the case. Maybe we like it so much, we don't know how to deal with how that makes us feel.

Amazing to think about how much a two minute exchange—if that long—can yield.

I am ready to move on to another topic. Are you?

Later,

Joan

Monday, March 13, 2006

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