Saturday, June 08, 2013

What Did and What Didn't Happen

Here's what happened:

Joe and I are waiting for the WheelTrans bus to take us down to the Art Gallery of Ontario's Exhibit ,"The Early Renaissance" . The bus was a few minutes late so we were just chatting when a woman came in, about our age, and sat a rested on one of the couches in the lobby. She had a small dog with her, wearing a camo parka, and we all greeted each other and talked a bit about the weather. Then, suddenly, she said, "What did you do to get so big?" I said, "I don't wish to talk to you any longer," She said, "It's just so sad to see you like you are," I said, "I think it's horribly sad that you've made it to your age without learning any of the social graces," Then the bus arrived and we left.

We talked a bit about it on the bus, Joe was as shocked as I was at her ugly intrusion into our day. I said to him, "Why does this stuff constantly happen to me, is God sitting up there with a checklist, did he just check off, 'Give Dave a blog experience'?" Joe agreed that I seemed to be a magnet for odd and distasteful experiences. Then, we entered the building and went to the exhibit. It didn't take long for us to become engrossed in what we were looking at.

Here's what happened next:

We wandered around, each finding things to point out to the others, some beautiful, some odd, some startlingly peculiar. After the show we shopped in the store that was attached to the exhibit - I bought a few cool things, gifts mostly, and then we headed out.

We wandered over to Yonge Street and decided, instead of taking the subway, to mosey along the street and do some window shopping. We talked about the show and marvelled at the fact that there weren't a lot of people there so we could both easily get around. We talked about the shops that we were looking into and returned to the subject of maybe buying a new vehicle.

Finally we arrived at the Panasonic Theatre where we picked up tickets for Cats, our seating choice is the subject of tomorrow's blog so I'll leave that alone for now. We got a glimpse of the stage and it looked wonderful. We were pocketed the tickets and then went off for lunch with a friend.

Here's what didn't happen:

The conversation in the morning lingered around, like a smelly fart, for only a few minutes. Then, with a fresh breeze, it was gone. There was a time where, if that had happened, my day would have been spent very differently. I would have had to constantly pull myself up and out of a mishmash of unpleasant emotions, I would have had to constantly put a stop to that horrible internal voice that loves to call me names, I would have had to force myself to focus on the world outside of me.

None of that happened.

My day just went on, her comments had landed a blow but didn't leave a bruise. I don't know if it's because I've grown used to this kind of thing happening or if it's because I've become strong enough, mature enough, confident enough not to let someone else determine the course of my day - not to rob me of the ability to enjoy myself - not to control how I think about myself.

If fact, this morning, when I sat down to write this blog, I began to think of subjects to write about, and then I remembered, "Oh, yeah, the woman with the cute dog and the ugly manners."

I truly hope that I am arriving at the point where random strangers have exactly the control that random strangers should have - very little.


John R. said...

I totally identify. I have spent days brooding and stewing following my bruisings over the comments or the behavior of rude and yucky people. As I have grown older, it seems to "stick" less when that smelly stuff flies at me from others. Perhaps, it is maturity and wisdom. Maybe, I realized no one should have that type of power over me anymore and ruin my days. Whatever it is, I am glad that your day wasn't ruined by the yucky lady with the little dog.

theknapper said... really feel solid.....often we know this stuff but whe we feel the kerchunt in our body it feels so good...

Belinda said...

I've been there with you when astonishing conversations and breaches of social etiquette have taken place on the part of others in the vicinity.

I have shaken my head in disbelief at what certain people do or say.

I'm very happy to know that for you, it is not about you or how the rest of your day will be, but about their astounding lack of good manners and sense.

Going on with the day takes great good sense and skill. On with the day, I say!! :)

Anonymous said...

How did you get to that point? As someone who is not at that point, I'm wondering if you did something intentional or just got there over time.

wheeliecrone said...

Well done, you.
I'm guessing that it has probably taken a fair bit of work on your part to be able to call intrusive, insulting behaviour what it is - and then to roll on with your day, without the need to recycle the insult internally, over and over.
I hope that one day I will be able to do that.
I will keep on working on my issues until i can hear it, call it, leave it.

Rachel in Idaho said...

I am not there yet! I do have moments where I stand up for myself as I should, but I can't just let it go afterwards without being upset for awhile first.

It has gotten better, but it could be better yet. At least I am often able to say, "Don't DO that!" which is something that I didn't or couldn't for years, since it made no difference when I DID as a kid. Now? It does. And a mean part of me likes seeing people who are HORRIFIED when I do. I might be little and cute (aaaaargh) but I'll be damned if I never bite when provoked!

Laura said...

It's not just you Dave it happens to me all the time. What I always find myself wondering do people who say or do rude things like that feel it's okay to do that to me because I have a disability or are the equal opportunity offensive? There is a neighbor here in my complex who from the moment I moved in has found me a source of gossip and entertainment. Every thing I do in my daily life is something to talk about. How I walk my dog to how I pay my bills my visitors. I started out thinking I would ignore her but in 7 years she's only gotten worse. I really believe that if someone is talking about me it's none of my business unless of course they are doing it in front of me so last week as she was gossiping about me I said this " You know I can hear everything you are saying. My mobility is the only thing affected by my CP. SO if you want to you know just ask. She turned around and called me rude and lacking in manners........ bhahahahahahaha What is that about :D She didn't even look embarrassed but I enjoyed the exchange and so did the person who she was making uncomfortable by trying to engage them in gossip!

Anonymous said...

I no longer hide my head in shame, apologize, or just let it go. Acknowledging that the person lacks social graces is mandatory for me to be able to move on from the experience. I do refuse to let someone show their ass without pointing out that if someone had loved them they would have taught them how to behave with caring, consideration, and respect for everyone they encounter. (and I do rather enjoy their looks of dismay when I point out that they are showing their ass.)

Rickismom said...

LOL, look at who reached HER age "without learning any of the social graces"...
You have grown in spirit, Dave. To be able to drop it is an accomplishment!