Being The Bigger Person (Looking Back)

Only now can I find a solution to every problem. Only now can I turn every scenario around. Isn't that how things always wind up? You have an altercation, make a mistake or take the low road and then find an alternative to avoid whatever just happened. In our case - bitchiness, immaturity, excessive travel and money issues just heightened everything. There was no time to settle, own up to things and properly react. Well, no one decided to be the bigger person and make the time. I expected for us to "quarrel" for lack of better words. I knew being in close quarters and under the stress of travel would create disagreements. I was ready for that. I was also open to discussions and compromise but that never happened. My biggest mistake was taking my feelings elsewhere than to her. Her biggest mistake was resenting me up front for merely being there.

Theres the saying of treating others how you would like to be treated. Theres also the saying of treating others how you really feel. Some women feel like they don't deserve honest love so they always pick the bad guy to treat them "accordingly". Well I felt alienated, so I stopped communicating and checked out. I believe she felt intruded upon, so she began to criminalize me for everything I did or didn't do. At first, I was thankful for the invite and optimistic about everything to come. She made an effort to include me and hear me out on things I wanted to do. However, we shared the same interests and I wasn't trying to infringe on anything outside of those. So I didn't bring a lot to the table and expected her to be okay with that. Soon she wasn't open to anything I had to say but was also overly interested in how I was contributing. If I didn't help her with something as simple as a direction to go in she acted like I was using her as a tour guide. Sadly, we'd worked together but in separate areas. We only did things outside of work we mutually agreed upon. We had never really stood at a crossroad and relied upon each other to figure out what was next. Now we were making decisions like that with absolutely no trust. She never trusted my opinion unless it benefited her and I lost all trust in her after her personality 180. So traveling to a new place every three to five days and having money issues just made things catastrophic.

Again, only now I can pinpoint what caused problems and relate. That saying about treating others how you feel wasn't brand new to either one of us. I don't care for authority but I also don't like being the leader. I prefer to sit back and only provide what is dire. So yes I allowed her to control a lot and made excuses about it. I let more and more control go as the trip went on. However, she never asked what my strengths were and kept trying to compete with me on things that were weaknesses. I can't navigate a digital map or a GPS for the life of me. I can work a standard paper map and get from point a to b without technology. In fact, I navigated just fine when I was alone and had no phone or a map. So it really bothered me to be somewhere utterly confusing with her demanding for me to help her with a phone map. When she struggled with it she became so bitchy trying to just manage without saying anything to me. Then I was following her, ten steps behind like a duckling that just gave her even more room. I remember us going on a leisurely stroll one evening; we were attempting to go in a circle nearest to our hotel. In my opinion making right turns would get us straight back to the vicinity of it. I made that third right turn and she flipped her shit. I had to remind her of what she asked to do and now she was being extremely rude because she was fearful of getting lost. I wasn't even going to explain the Boy Scouts rule to her and we walked back the way we originally came in total silence. 

Despite the constant pull there was always this conveyed relief when I was there for her problems. Thank goodness I didn't mind crowds so she could covet her precious camera and get the shot. I was BFF whenever a decent wine list came along. It was perfect for me to get on the train first and figure our seats out while she steamed over people taking up luggage compartments. We both brought things to the table. We could have been a great duo for international travel. But no one planned for that and no one accessed each others strengths. Instead, everything we struggled with couldn't be divvied to the best person for the job. Picking a direction to walk in, choosing a meal or deciding which exhibit to view first - all became some sort of battle of wits. The ratio of unwarranted bitchdom to pleasant leverage was through the roof. Any points where someone ordered something they clearly didn't want, accidentally fell or showed ambivalence - it was a match point. It took enough of the crap to realize I wasn't traveling with anyone to be considered a friend. She was worst than an acquaintance. At least a stranger would assist someone who needed it. I had always tried to be sensitive to her needs. After a while, I could care less about her. I was merely reciprocating. I didn't even have a desire to kill her with kindness. 

Sadly, women can be very catty. We also have these deep competitive attitudes with each other. We tend to repress them for the sake of relationships with each other. Then boom we disagree - the pageantry begins and the claws come out. I always have a delayed reaction when this happens. She pretty much has no female friends. So we both claimed not to be "those" type of women but we always were. One would think being friends and representing ourselves as such on this adventure, someone would be like this shit is for the birds. Trust we both apologized to each other a few times but nothing ever stuck. I can't say things could have been prevented entirely. However, I see that if one of us just kept that uglier side repressed we could have moved past a lot. I did try to remedy situations with a reminder that we were both jobless and childless and quite free. So missing a site or turning down the wrong street wasn't the end of the world. We just never aligned on the same freedom or attitude about it. So for her there was never anything decent or honorable about being the bigger girl. She wasn't that enthused with being on a vacation with a "friend". For me I was just so damn tired of trying to be. I should have just spoke my mind. She may have liked me better for it. Claws out and round whatever at least the cat would have been out of bag for the remainder of the trip. For anyone else embarking on a accompanied journey, try to lay out everything on the table while planning and/or get de-clawed. If someone can't be nice just be the bigger person and call them on it and offer a solution. If all else fails, have a contingency plan (including a versatile airline ticket) to leave them pissed off and sweaty all by their damn selves. 

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