Photo credit: Stephen Miracle

I've been described by those closest to me as being “not so good with the feelings.” I have feelings, I just tend to ignore them as much as possible. My real problem, however, is other people's feelings. I never know how to respond when someone pours their heart out to me, and I get it wrong more often than not.

The issue, I've concluded, is one of the following: A) I can't relate, B) I CAN relate, but have no idea how to communicate verbally so please get me a piece of paper to express my thoughts clearly STAT, C) I have zero interest in what you're saying or D) Oooh look…a butterfly!

Really, I'm more of a doer than a sayer. As a child, I'd have friends spout out declarations like, “We're BFFs, we'll be together forever and nothing will come between us.” And I'd think, “No shit, Sherlock.” If someone I care about needs me, I'm there. No question. Why are some compelled to proclamize about it? In college it was the frat boys with their, “Bros before hos” chants. Why do you need to chant about your dedication to one another? (When in fact, you plan to sleep with your “bro's” girlfriend the first drunken opportunity that comes up…) And don't even get me started on the whole “I love you” thing. I'm no good at that. Do we really need to discuss my affection for you? Why on earth would I still BE here if I didn't love you? Logic, people. Logic.

One thing I've struggled to understand is the family loyalty showoff thing. I know family is important. I love my family; They're my favorite people on the planet. But what baffles me is these clans who make a big display about it like, “Ehh, you don't talk about my momma (or sister, or cousin, or distant uncle) like that! Throwdown!” If someone else has a problem with my family, I usually ignore them. Or to be honest, I don't particularly care. It doesn't affect us, and we don't need the drama of it all.

So the other day, I took myself completely by surprise when someone said something unkind about a family member of mine. This family member was nowhere near and couldn't hear what was being said. In no way, shape, or form would this virtual stranger's comments ever affect my family member. But something in me, suddenly, just was NOT HAVING IT. The family honor throwdown that ensued looked a little something like this:

So. Yes, I have feelings. They're in there…and they will emerge as they deem appropriate.

You've all been fairly warned.