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Yesterday, or maybe it was the day before, I wrote a self introduction in a group I belong to where I am a practically invisible member, surfacing only at intervals to post pictures for prompts. In the intro I mentioned how it was that people thought I was sarcastic and/or blunt based on some of my Facebook updates and/or blogs and that it was just a matter of opinion as I thought of myself as witty. *wink*

This reminded me of what happened a couple or more years back. A blog friend, who was also a Facebook friend, and someone I barely knew other than as a fellow blogger who commented on my posts, sent me a message. She was going to be in my hometown and would like to meet. I wasn’t really keen, as we hadn’t interacted that much and also I wasn’t at a good place at the time, certainly not in a mood to meet anyone. But I did not have the heart to deny her and so agreed to the request.

She signed off saying she’d let me know (she took my phone number) when she reached the city in about a week’s time and we’d decide on a venue.

A week went by and then a fortnight, and then three (or more I have no idea). I had other things on my mind and did not really notice the days passing by. One day it dawned on me that it was quite some time since this ‘friend’ had requested a meeting. Perhaps she had cancelled her trip. But then why hadn’t she messaged to let me know? I sent her a message to find out and this is what I was told. Oh yes, she had come down to my state, but thought better of meeting me. You see, she was ‘afraid’ of meeting me face to face.

I looked in the mirror and saw a human face, not that of a man-eating tigress or an ogre or a flesh eating parasite or any of those things. I checked my teeth. No fangs. Eyes not bloodshot, no long nails to maul with. My breath too was normal, no fire emerged when I blew hard. But, why was I checking myself thus and ticking off points? She hadn’t met me as yet! And the photo on Facebook and on my blog page showed me at my baa-lamb best.

Apparently, she had let my ‘witty’ updates and no-nonsense blogs where I called a spade a spade (What else can you call it?! A rose or lily or lotus? Excuse me, I certainly don’t belong to THAT camp of self delusion and toxic positivity and am actually proud of the fact!) decide that I was this fearful monster who would swallow her alive if/when we met. She decided this in the one week she was supposed to come down to my city and did not have the common courtesy to inform me she had opted out.

No, I was not hurt. I actually let out a sigh of relief. For one I was not up to the meeting in the first place and should have said so at the outset. My bad. More importantly I was saved from meeting someone who judged me without ever giving me a chance. Imagine sitting across someone like that and trying to make a conversation while they tried to see YOUR words in THEIR light! In fact I consider what happened a ‘great escape’!

© Shail Mohan 2022