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Dropping the weight

I don't understand why people have to be mean. It's so exhausting. I was thinking about this even before I went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince yesterday. (It was great, really liked it, they changed a couple things but overall it was the best yet. Are you surprised? I thought not.)

My Mother paid for all the grandchildren to go. Plus Angie and I. All seven grandchildren, even the 3 and 4 year old. We took up one full row. (All the other siblings were working. Well, I'm not sure about the sibling in California but I'd wager she was working too.) After the movie we walked down the hall to take Carly to the restroom. She 'really had to gooooooo' again. On my way in, Carly's small hand folded into mine, two lovely oldish ladies had this conversation. Quite loudly.

Old lady 1: I can't believe someone would bring small children to this movie!
Old lady 2: I know! Stupid, stupid, stupid!

In shock, 3 or 4 stalls down, I helped Carly onto the toilet to do her business. All the while my heart was pounding, thick in my chest. I wanted to say, nice and loud, "You know, I can hear you!" but I think they did know. And then I thought I should say "I might be stupid but at least I'm not mean and rude" but I didn't have the nerve. Plus, it would make me mean and rude.

Have you noticed that society - we people, us - has this idea that we have to stand up for ourselves all the time. When a girl gives someone the 'what for' we say

"You go girl!"

And cheer her on. We honor indignation. And I've been thinking about the kind of person that creates. Over time.

It makes a person confrontational. When we should be peacemakers.

It makes a person entitled to special treatment. When we should be generous givers, not takers.

It makes a person callous. When we should be sympathetic.

It makes a person selfish, rude, self centered, loud, unkind, unthinking, superior. When we should be charitable, gentle, focused on helping others, soft spoken, sweet, wise, humble.

It makes us defensive. When we should give people the benefit of the doubt.

I don't want to be that mean person. It really drains your energy, takes away from all the good things, casts shadows over good deeds, shuts us off from God. It takes relationships that could be good, sweet, loving, fulfilling bonds and turns them into bitter battles for dominance.

It's not worth it.

So today, I'm going to let it go. I'm going to convince myself that perhaps those women were just having a bad day. On another day, maybe we'd be friends. Maybe they were doing the best they could with what they had. Maybe their past was riddled with mean people and they don't know any better.

Maybe...just maybe - it's not my job to decide what kind of women they are.


Heather said…
I have the same inner conflict all the time. I just try to remember people have different opinions than mine, and it's ok. Breath, breath (me not you).
Love it... You go girl by NOT going there! It's the example you set that your kids will remember, not the old crabby ladies comments.
Anonymous said…
Alas, people to the west were indeed working...

I have a few alternate explanations for the words:
- They were re-enacting part of the movie they just finished watching and you simply took the lines out of context.
- They thought you just came out of the theater down the hall that was showing "The Oregon Chainsaw Massacre" (sequel #42 of the Texas one).
- Words are a lot easier to deal with than the accident that may have occurred had you not responded to the desperate call for relief.
- They knew you are a famous writer and were willing to do ANYTHING to get mentioned by someone of your stellar power.

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