Well I have a challenge for some of you. Daily we are to document our events but especially those events you believe will bring a challenge to you in the next 24 hours or this week or this month or this year. Then write how you could have handled that incident better.
The first day of my New Year, I did get out the door of my apartment without a hitch but it was after walking around a bit, well , it happened, or I must admit I happened.
I had remained in my apartment for two days prior to New Years in the hopes that this down time would give me the opportunity to recharge myself and recover some semblance of my real self before the end of the year. It was delicious; listening to silence during the day or night while everyone around me seemed to have disappeared. Maybe they too, have sought solace in their apartment, their castle.
I never opened my curtain for any noise and I noticed the noise was at a minimum. I suppose most of the working adults here are visiting friends or family or out drinking solo. In Vegas many people drink alone. I so appreciated the stillness one early morning morning. I sat up in bed and just listened -to nothing. Mmmmmm.
But after watching the explosion of the fireworks on New Year’s Eve from my balcony which gives me a view of the luxury hotels on the strip I snuck back into bed to enjoy some more of that peaceful silence because others like me had gone back to bed.
But as I was saying while out this morning I decided to go to a local market place. It was one of those dollar stores that have mostly high fat, high salt filled items but I went anyway. While walking the aisle I decided upon frozen chicken,the closest I thought to “real” food. At the counter I knew the snag would happen.
The young-under thirty female- counter person had just finished saying, Have a nice Day” to the customer directly before me. Yep, she’s going to say it. I have nothing per se about this cordial salutation but it is the origins of the reason why she says it bothers me. Bothers? Maybe that is too harsh but, anyway. This time I decided to take a look at the elephant in the store. She said good morning. I said nothing. I am different. I saw no reason to be boring just like every other battery in the US of A. Then she asked, “How are you?”insisting to engage me. I deplore pushy customer service workers or people for that matter. I know she is not stupid so when a customer is recalcitrant or just not in the mood to converse what does a smart customer service person do? Leave them alone. But no! She asked again, How are you? I refused to answer. When at the very last of my transaction she repeated the phrase , parrot like and with enough emotion and thought to fill a thimble. Oops! Poor choice of words, this audience might not know what a thimble is so let me rephrase that, “with as much emotion as an ice cicle.” Aha! I felt my eyes widen and the feeling , “here’s my chance” a gleeful , giddy feeling because I could predict her reaction to a tee. Young female, white, translates; privileged thinking or very guilt ridden thinking, or that, ” I must make up for all the sins of any culture that imprisoned other human beings for any reason, even economic survival look.” I pounced.
That is from Oakland, I blurted. The look on her face. Wasn’t expecting that was she? It was wonderful, the slackened jaw, wide eyes, bewilderment as to what to do next. She wasn’t expecting the truth of the nature of her condescending attitude towards me to be pulled from under her. the rug. I exposed the elephant. But what could she do? Descend into childish gibberish. She couldn’t talk about an issue no one is allowed to talk about because it would then render them the abuser, the bad guys. She did the only natural thing she could do, try to insult me with sentences that made no sense to me. I am not of her age group anymore . Or anywhere near the age when children don’t know what to say to an adult who has made you feel vulnerable, small or without a weapon to use for a comeback that would translate into adult response, so she: talked baby talk.
Then she did what many children do when they cannot irritate the smiling ” mother” , she repeated,the initial statement that had received my attention, ” have a nice day!”
I couldn’t help but laugh. She had descended into anger.
However, later after eating a wonderful first breakfast of my new year, I think, what could I have done better?
well, perhaps, have ignored her good bye. No, abusive people more often than not interpret no response as a submission to abuse. Ask her what does it mean to say those words to me? No, she would lie like all the rest. Ask about the elephant in the room? Do you feel to bully me about some event I had in Oakland, California with either a black man or Asian women is any of your business? No maybe that is still too harsh. What about, “Could you tell, nope,nope,nope, she’ll lie. So, Do you think that my not saying hello to a black skinned man in Berkeley, California was so terrible I deserve you and those like you to kill my mother, drive me through harassment at work out of a job, have men stalk me, have my social security my means of support taken from me? What is it that you and your group cannot accept that there are some women who blaze their own trail, live their own lives, and say no to the collective who are to me the asleep masses who only do what they are Told? Can I not also have “my” way of life? You know, I leave you alone and you leave me alone?
what do you think,is this too caustic?
First day of 2017. Now it is your turn.