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If I enter a conversation with Duff on an emotional high, it's more than likely that I'll end up in tears. He seems to think he is doing me some kind of favor by tempering my high spirits with his version of reality. I think I bring it out in him. If I could only remember not to be happy around him, I'd get along with him better. He also gets irritated with me when I'm feeling low, so I guess the goal is perfect neutrality.
He thinks I'm not doing things right. And it's true. But I will never get things right. If I manage to get things almost right, I can never feel genuinely good about it, because that becomes the model that's held up ever after. It's the standard I'm not living up to. If I were to accuse him of living his life like a middle manager, he would say he has to, because I'm not doing things right. And somebody has to do something.