Sunday, February 04, 2018

Creepy Weird Me

So.

Yeah.

We had a busy day planned. First up, after breakfast, off to the pool, for Joe and the kids, and the gym for me. After that was home for 45 minutes for lunch and then off to see The Greatest Showman. Because of the timeline we had to cut our visit at the Centre from 2 hours to an hour and a half. We agreed to meet in the lobby.

My workout was hard because it was the day that I decided to up the weights on the cable machine and increase the distance on the ergonometer. I finished up about 10 minutes before the meet up time. I knew that we were going home for lunch, and but I also knew that the girls really liked the chocolate chip muffins made at the snack kiosk there. I got in line and picked up 2 chocolate chips and one cranberry lemon, for Joe. As I was about to pay, one of the fellows, a middle aged guy, popped his head around the corner and spoke to the woman working there. I heard him say 'cup' and 'I'll pay you when I leave.'

Now, I had a moment.

I thought this a perfect opportunity to pay it forward and I said, indicating that I already had my money out, "I'll pay for you coffee, no problem." He looked startled, and said, "No, it's okay." Violating everything I know from being disabled, I said, "I don't mind." He looked embarrassed and said "Thanks." Then he left.

As this was happening I realized that he was just taking a cup to get some water in, not buying a coffee, and then he was going to return to get a coffee. I had just been a bit creepy weird. Anyway, I was in this and so I said to the woman, "Go ahead and add his coffee." She said, "No you don't have too." I told her that I wanted to, I had said I would and I would.

She said that he shouldn't have stepped in to speak to her when she was serving me. That it took her concentration away from me and I was her customer. I realized she was a bit upset. I thought to myself, "Don't be offended for me." I actually said, "I didn't mind at all." She said that she did.

I asked her again to pay for his coffee because if I didn't now I'd just look like an asshole. I mean creepy weird is one thing, and asshole who is creepy weird is scary. But she refused and that was the end of that.

I tried being nice.

I tried to pay it forward.

But instead I messed it all up.

The next time I get that feeling, I'm going to make sure I understand exactly what's going on and I'm going to listen to 'no' if it's said, and I am not going to be creepy weird.

Who knew that being nice could be so fucking difficult?

3 comments:

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

My sympathies. It's hard to be awkward in public.

But the alternative is never trying anything, especially anything new.

If we all waited until we were 100% sure of what we were doing, the world would come to an abrupt halt.

It'll be better next time. And I know you already carry cards to give to the homeless - was that awkward when you first started?

Rachel S said...

My concern is that she would have said "no" no matter what - because obviously you should have coffee bought for you, not the other way around, right? *sigh*

Awkward, yes, but you didn't do anything wrong. Heck, if I am ever in your neck of the woods, we can buy each other's coffee. :)

clairesmum said...

We all miss social cues some of the time, and your writing exquisitely describes what that can feel like. Some people are often intentionally mean to others while justifying it in some way - instead of taking responsibility for the words that came out of their mouths. Some people are really clueless about the biases of low expectations and stereotyping in their attitudes/beliefs. And sometimes it is just misreading a situation or missing the bit that changes the picture completely. And sometimes people just want to be "hidden in plain view" and not draw attention to themselves.

You know you are an astute observer and choose your words more carefully that most.
Letting go and forgiving yourself for the blunder is all you can do.