Fact is, anytime we are out in the world, we have the possibility to encounter people. People who can be as wonderful as they are annoying. A chance to be misunderstood and misunderstand one another. A chance to experience the joy of human gifts of compassion as well as the same chance to create conflict.
I had two negative experiences in this world recently. But it was also pointed out to me that I am a knee jerk to feelings kinda person instead of considering the facts and circumstances and then deciding kinda person. Mostly, what happens in the world, especially with random strangers, isn’t about you. It only reflects the fears you may have about what people are thinking about you.
The first occurrence was at the grocery store. I had 27 items and entered the 12 items or less line with no one in the line or behind me. And as I’m unloading the cart , Fiona takes over, and I see a man with a basket behind us, and I begin to pack my own bags. I am the only customer who does this at this store. As the last item goes in, the teller who I’ve never seen before says, “For future reference, this aisle is for 12 items or less. People are in a hurry.” And I just smiled and told her the card reader hadn’t read my card when I’d swiped it.
It was shame attack. She was calling me rude and inconsiderate. I should have turned to the line behind me and apologized for the inconvenience and turned the thing around. But my daughter started to whine for candy. And I was done.
The next time I was there, I told Eamon to stare a hole through checker number 244 in the 12 item line again. I then let the gentlemen behind me in line play through as they had a beverage and were getting a bag of ice. I packed my own bags again. I felt I’d paid it forward. Who knows what her deal was but it was one of those moments that you continue to replay because you want it to un-happen. I know how many times I let people in front of me. And I always ask the checker if it’s OK if I have over a dozen items, except this once. Bad timing and I’m not rude.
The next situation was the other day when I got my last round of shots in my SI joints. The nurse needed to take my blood pressure before and after the procedure. I had not requested Valium this time for the procedure. I was already vulnerable, perhaps PMS, and then I had lots needles stuck into my backside. When I left the procedure room, I was so happy to be done. Until I sat back into the chair.
My blood pressure had raised. I assured her I didn’t need a blood pressure cuff at home. She pushed, “Well this is really high”. I said I had been to the doctors multiple times and I never had a problem. And we waited for a few minutes and then she took it again and insisted that I take my blood pressure when I’m just in my regular life, go into the Rite Aid she said. Surely she just meant well. When I got into the car, I cried. And over lunch, I read their release instructions. Seems steroid shots can elevate your blood pressure. No shit.
Again, she knows that the leading cause of women dying at my age is from stroking out, from high blood pressure. But after a dozen doctor’s appointments in the last three months, my husband agreed that I am usually 134/85. I felt vulnerable and what I chose was to go with feeling attacked. I was not giving her the benefit of being a nurse, even though her chair side manner had a bit to be desired. Again, I could have said,”I’m sure you are not trying to be condescending to me and you do realize I just had multiple needles stuck in my bum. But, just like the other situation, I just wanted out of there. I was held hostage in the last yucky procedure I plan to have this year.
It’s hard to separate ourselves from our circumstances and the people in them sometimes. We shade these occurrences, what’s happening with how we’re feeling. We see through those feelings and make a decision about what has happened. Or maybe that’s just me.Thanks for letting me rant. Because it is my blog.
That’s a few bad stories from my life recently but I promise there are way better stories happening now. I’ll be writing those next.
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