Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Don't be nasty and noxious

This is a story about the kind of old lady I do NOT want to be.

This is a story about the kind of present day lady I do NOT want to be.

This is a story about an old lady who needs some serious love in her life.

Recently there was an event around town where people were allowed to chalk up the sidewalks with beautiful drawings.  We were walking around town and one of our stops was at the coffee shop so I could get a drink.  :)  Do you know what happens to chalk? It makes lots of dust.  While we were walking around town, as much as I tried to avoid the drawings, they're on the freakin' sidewalk and some of my stroller wheels went over them and got chalk dust on the wheels. 

I ordered my drink at the coffee place and was waiting for them to call my name, when Austin ran over to get a straw for me.  An older lady ("nasty noxious nagger") was knitting and said something to me.  She muttered something about the floor, and I thought she was saying that Austin picked up my straw from the floor.  No, with her evil grimace she said something to the effect that "all those marks all over the floor are from your stroller!" I looked and indeed, there was a little track my wheels had made from the door to the register and then to where I was standing.  With disappointment in my eyes and face I said "Oh, no!  It must be because of all the chalk on the sidewalk!"  She just looked at me and rolled her eyes.  If stares could get you covered in mud, this one was the dirtiest look I'd seen in a long time.  What an evil old spiteful lady!  I did feel bad, especially because I am usually very sensitive about cleaning up after myself.  But... guess what??  They mop those floors every day!  It was as if she wanted me to get down on my hands and knees and scrub the tracks up myself.  I bet you, in fact, if I had gone back there a few hours later they would be all gone from people simply walking over them. As we were leaving I gave her my sweetest "Bye, have a good day!" and boy did that make her unhappy!! 

I feel two ways about this.  First, she really got under my skin and made me so mad.  What right does she have to be so nasty to me?  Then (although I was still annoyed), I felt bad for her.  What horrible things have happened in her life that she has to be so uptight and nasty about something like that, to someone she doesn't even know?  Finally, I thought, I will NEVER be like that.  (I hope!!) 

How about you?  When you are mistreated, can you see both sides of the coin?  My husband, after dealing with "the scum of the earth" day in and day out, has a really really hard time seeing that flip side of the coin.  I always go back to the "they were someone's child" ... at one time they actually *weren't* "scum of the earth" but now.....?  And I'm certainly NOT saying I can see both sides every time, but any which way you look at it, it should be sad.

As a LEO wife I do my best to bring balance to my husband's life.  Just like I get enmeshed and overwhelmed with the kid-life of three kids five years old and younger, my husband gets completely wrapped up in his "you are all scum" job outlook.  I'm obviously being extremely black and white here but it's generally true.  I do my best to battle against that and encourage him to do the same.  Do you?


911 and the Randomness.. said...

Yes!! you are not alone! Bear usually tends to be generally negative as to where i'm the positive.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

There is a mean old lady in our extended family. We try hard to love her and do the right thing by her whenever we can, but it sure goes against the grain. I guess that's the true measure of love: doing what is best for the other regardless of how you feel about it. I remind myself often that it's not up to me how other people act towards me. It is my responsibility as to how I respond.


Story Lady said...

My husband gets pretty cynical sometimes as well, and when he first started his job he asked me to be his "mirror" and let him know when he got too negative about things. The funny thing is, when I see a car speed past us on the highway, I say, "There must be a woman IN LABOR in that car" while he says, "Those jerks need to slow the heck down."

It is a good balance -one I think every cop/spouse relationship needs (not that I know much).

When I'm mistreated, I feel like you do. I'm hurt. Then I'm angry. Then I phone a friend and talk it out. Then I think about it for a day or two and decide that the person who hurt me must have issues of their own. In the end I think I wish them well. At least, I like to think I do but I don't know that that's always true. ;)

MJ said...

I think generally it is easier to be negative when you are around such awful things day in and day out. But like you, I have always tried to find the reason in people. Luckily, with only 3 years on, my husband hasn't given in to the cynicism quite yet. He has always been quite the optimist, and I hope he will always be that way.