Please, Don’t You Know Better?

So, if you have been following my blog consistently or we have a face to face relationship than you know that this is a rough time of year for me.

I am all up in my feelings. I am irritable and tearful and mad and sad and pretty fucking nuts. So knowing that you may allow me a little leeway.

Maybe I should have a special shirt made up. I’ll wear it like the Scarlet A. Then people will steer clear of me during this week. Strangers won’t have unrealistic expectations of my ability to interact with the public at large.

Maybe I could even market this kind of product. Like those thunder vests for dogs. A bright red vest with big bold letters exclaiming “Don’t Fuck With Me Please- I am _____” And a little area where you can pin on your emotional distress that renders you crippled to dealing in rational ways with the rest of the world. Watch for me on Shark Tank.

Anyway, I can vividly recall the type of weird scenarios where myself, as a hot mess is forced to deal with the public at large in their finest. Here are some super fun moments:

  • I am out pretending to be normal about a week after my mom died. I have a huge stash of shit to return to American Eagle and I have made it to our local outlet mall. Boom! My mom’s HR department calls me and informs me about some life insurance policy issues. This is the first I learn of such a thing. I am shaken. I am befuddled. I am trying to locate this fucking store that I have been to 10 plus times that seems to have been swallowed up by the earth. A stranger looks at me and says to me as I am trying to right myself. ” Smile, it can’t be that bad!” Firstly, under totally normal emotional circumstances I absolutely abhor this statement. Which, if I may add usually comes from a man. However, on this day it came from some poor unknowing woman who just opened up a can of whoop ass on her own self. So I say to her “Oh! Really! Well, it actually can be that bad because my mom just died 5 days ago!” I shamed her so badly she asked if I needed a hug!

The Take Away: Never assume to know or understand what is going on in someone else’s world. And Never, Ever tell a bitch to smile! Never! Instant death stare from me.

  •  Countless friends and acquaintances said the following to both myself and my mom after my stepfather, brother and then mother died. This type of statement would make my mouth tense up and I would literally press all the blood flow from my lips so that they would turn a pale whitish pink. It was as if I was willing my mouth to stay closed because absolutely nothing nice was going to come out of it. Do not ever, not in a million years, ever, tell someone hurting from some sort of catastrophic loss that everything happens for a reason. Or some derivative. Even if you believe it. Do not say that out loud! If you fail to heed this warning you may wind up with the shit knocked out of you and you will deserve it. Well, why is that? Do not assume that the loss of someone’s person (whoever that person may be) can be nicely summed up in a reason or God’s plan. People experiencing grief and loss and tragedy do not want to hear this horse shit. Do not say it! Instead, you can say things like: I love you, I am sorry, I am here for you, feel whatever you need to feel. Do not think that you can wrap that story up in a nice little after school special or a Hallmark movie “the more you know” type cliche. You will look like an asshole.
  • One month after my mom died Mr. Reinvention and I took our daughter away to Clearwater for her birthday. I had rescheduled the original trip date because my mom was having surgery. We arrive at the hotel and Wow! We have no reservation and they are fully booked. I am losing my shit and the manager is literally saying that he can do nothing to help me. My explosion is magnified because uuummmm isn’t that your job Mr. Manager with the bad skater meets Justin Bieber haircut? I need something easy and nice and it’s my kid’s birthday and she just lost a very important person. So here I am yelling and snotting and crying and cursing in the hotel lobby. I am the literal definition of Hot Mess Express in that damn lobby. And no one helped me. People passed through the lobby and sideways glanced me like I had escaped from a mental health facility but not one person stopped to help.

Moral of the story: People aren’t we in this shit together?! If I saw someone carrying on like that I would ask them if they need help. I would help them! I would not say it is beyond my job description to help them. Nor would I walk by and pretend they didn’t exist. Compassion and empathy are actions words!

  • Last week at our local grocery store the eve of Thanksgiving this person who was about 4 million years old persistently was up my ass with their shopping cart. Now, it was crowded and I do live in God’s waiting room so people move slower and maybe obstruct an aisle with their grocery carts but whatever, it’s no big deal. So, this person rams me in the ass with the cart and is about to run over a lady with a puppy sitting on her walker. I, losing my patience push his cart back gentle but firm and tell them to relax. It’s crowded and you cannot be in a hurry. To which I get a scathing response and an indignant “Get your hands off my cart!” followed by some nasty comments about my tattoos and manners. Amazingly, I did not yell but I did assertively tell them to find and use their kindness.  So who cares? Well my Baby Reinvention was mortified that I am engaging in this argument. Hhmmm, does my kid even know me? And she ventures to tell me on the ice cream isle how I should not have argued. I am huffing and puffing and all fake niceties until we hit the car. Then, I lay into Baby Reinvention about the importance of standing up for yourself and others and what you believe in and don’t take any shit. So, not only did I suck at practicing what I preach but I flunked a parenting lesson opportunity. How did I know what was going on in that person’s life? Does that give him or her the right to bump me in the ass with a shopping cart? Well, no but I could have been more empathetic toward the stranger and my daughter. I could have asked cart rammer to please stop bumping me with a big crazy smile. I could have rewound back into my own childhood when my parents would practice assertiveness, although with them it bordered on aggressiveness and remembered that uncertainty I felt.

Sigh…..lessons are constantly being revealed in life. If I open my eyes and heart to them. Constant opportunities are available for me to grow. Sometimes I am the teacher but more often I am the student. These little random occurrences have allowed me to see where I can be a better human. How I need to strive to view others with kindness and compassion. And view myself in that light too.

Share your own interesting or terrible scenarios below. Or share if you have comments about my prescribed takes aways.

xxx-

Melissa

1 thought on “Please, Don’t You Know Better?

  1. Compassion and empathy are two of my favorite words and actions. I don’t pretend that I am perfect at being empathetic or compassionate to my fellows, but I have had a lot of experience of the opposite toward myself. But, I’m also really good at letting the words and thoughts come out sideways & speak before I think. Much like you, it’s like claws on a chalkboard when it was said to me, “God needed him/her more than we did”, or “they are better off”, etc. What the hell? I’ve heard it all, and it doesn’t matter what your beliefs are or aren’t, those aren’t words I want to hear. There are holes in my heart no words are going to fill. Yes, I am still learning, all the time. Thank you for your post. XO

    Liked by 1 person

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