Sunday, June 13, 2010

You can't hurt me

Someone flashed me. I didn’t feel a thing...

I spent a glorious day yesterday with a group of friends I do not see as frequently as I would like, but it seems we always pick up where we left off. You know those friends; the ones that you may not see for days, weeks, or years, but some ripple in time does not make it seem as long as it has.

Upon driving the hour-long trip home, I enjoyed a brilliant light show from nature warning us that it was about to christen us with a healthy rain. Soft melodic music set the ambient background as the wind burst in and out of the window with my arm “surfing” the bluster. T’was a blessed evening indeed.

The drive along the dark highway with only the soft “whish” of damp tires was eventually interrupted by civilization. Bright street lamps, glowing signs, and hustle and bustle of people getting where they have to go eventually encroached upon my serenity set to cruise control.

I approached the light; one option for left, one for straight/right. You know the one where the arrow goes forward and also veers right in the same vertical column separating our choices. I chose straight/right.

I admit I was not aware of how important the guy was behind me. Nor was I aware of his urgent schedule. I mean I did not plan to be where I was when I was there; I just arrived at that light at that time. I stopped at the red light as my choice, once narrowed from the straight/right to only desiring the straight, halted my progression momentarily. “His Highness” behind me must have desired to go right, despite his cosmic tardiness now placed him behind me. I stopped, coincidentally he did too. He flashed his brights at me. I didn’t feel a thing.

I kind of chuckled as once upon a time, the illuminated “call-to-arms” could have led to a good old fashioned redneck smack down. Not tonite. I now find the folly in what people allow to derail them. No I am not talking about any physical contact as I could see if someone punched you, pulled your hair, flicked your nose, gave you a “noogie, Indian burn, or wet-willie” which could cause a commotion if undesired, but the simple things we have allowed to become unnerving. It is quite comical actually.

“She rolled her eyes at me, can you believe it?!”

“Did you kick her ass?”

“No, but I really wanted to.”

This one I have heard and I am sure somewhere the outcome did transpire into violence.

Who also started the “I will harm you and disrupt you with a loud exhale” tactic? Ever had one of those moments in line somewhere; you cannot make up your mind between the chicken or the beef? I mean a burrito can be a commitment as they do truly stick with you for a while. You pause, you vacillate between the two. Then you hear it from behind you: “Huhhhh!” “Crap, give me the beef.”

Someone ever “raise their eyebrows at you? You know the: “Did they really just say that” with the accompaniment of the “OMG” sneer? Ouch. I mean that one is usually saved for the most severe of social indiscretions. I find it practiced frequently among pre-teen girls. At least in my home.

I find the “Slow-shaking-of-the-head-in-disapproval” is another tactic with its own venomous barb.

“What did I do? I mean I looked over and this dude was shaking his head at me!”

“Oh my gosh man, did you shake your head back?!”

“Damn! I didn’t think of it fast enough.”

“Maybe you ought to take the day off tomorrow to recover.”

All I want to know is how many people have died over time from the simple extending of a digit? Make a fist. Now, extend only your middle finger. Good. Now raise that hand at someone. What happened? I know; can you believe it? The simple extension of a digit. If this ever happens to me, I have fun now. I act as if I did not see it correctly, and nod in excitement mouthing “Thank you”, and raise my index finger as if they just told me “I am number one!” It really frustrates the “Flipper.”

I guess I find these things funny now. These gestures are just that, and have no more power than I give them. What does that say about me and my character to let these simple little movements and behaviors take me down. Funny how they can have a tendency to linger if you let them.

“Remember last week at the grocery, when I was trying to dig the change out of my purse, the lady behind me exhaled rudely?!”

“What? Uh, no.”

“Well, I would have said something if I didn’t have the kids with me.”

Now when confronted with these behaviors, I simply smile. Maybe that is my own passive aggressive retaliation subliminally, but not necessarily my intention. And to you “Mr. Brights-you-from-behind,” if you would like to email me your social and travel schedule, I will try to avoid your chosen path. If not, that will be me smiling at you through the rear view mirror.

Repost from: Artisan of the Human Spirit


Lynne Walker said...

I know the feeling--you captured it perfectly in this blog. It's a goal for me to keep trying to grow in this area.

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Hi Tony, I live in a place where people are often not in the flow of others. Everyone is either rushed, or they have all the time in the world. It makes for lots of not so subtle traffic wars...some people honk, others wave their hands, while others will go even slower just to show the traffic rushers how 'not bothered' they are by other's reactions.

I'm not saying that you meant this type of situation, just that it reminded me of another kind of disapproval dynamic.

I find I have gotten into the off-cycle flow more often now that I live in the Caribbean. I also get that panic- WE'RE GOING TO BE LATE- vib...and try not to take it out on others-with moderate success.

I enjoyed your thoughts about how others try to influence you with their disapproval. It's so true whereever you live.

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