grace: (lipses)
([personal profile] grace Feb. 27th, 2010 03:20 am)

Several years ago I was walking down the street to the club with a friend. He had to stop partway to put eyedrops in and explained briefly this was because of a chronic thing he was having to continually treat.

My response? "Cool!"

He looked a bit stricken, perhaps even disappointed. "Uh, not 'cool'..." he said, along with something explanatory my embarrassment blanked away.

For years, I've wished I could go back to that moment and say, "Yes! Cool! I know a couple of other people with a similar thing and now I know they're even less alone and I feel like I understand you a tiny bit better because you have to put up with this crap all the time and probably wish you didn't have to explain it to people but I really do think it's an interesting fact about you, my friend, all of which is the longform of 'cool!'" and then smile winsomely and sincerely. Science refuses to cooperate with this wish, however, so it creeps up on me from time to time and that embarrassed, frustrated lockjaw fills my head again.

One time I was at work at the deli, standing near the opening of our little island in the store, doing something for some customer. The softly familiar scent of a particular perfume & toiletry combination drifted to me and a picture of the girl my best friend/assistant manager loved before all others resolved. Moments later, the young lady in question appeared at the counter.

My response? "I thought I smelled you!"

She looked horrified and then very angry, asking me to go get said friend. Friend told me later the girl now hated my guts and never wanted anything to do with me again.

I've always wanted to go back to that moment and tell her I was sorry she misunderstood, that I only meant she had a very particular combination of fine scents...and then I realised recently I'd really rather just be able to tell her to get over herself.

Someone once insulted a friend of mine as I was hanging outside the front of a fabric store and she was checking out, still inside. He was intensely rude and thoughtless, somehow believing anyone would want to hear his ignorant claptrap, not realising I was there with this friend. I wheeled on him and gave him an earful, producing a look of shock and anger on his face as he tried desperately to come up with some reason his hate was valid. He couldn't, so he sputtered then walked off.

My friend asked what had happened and I told her. She seemed happy I'd done this, even touched. I felt it was a normal thing to do but felt glad this had given her a good feeling.

Many times since then I wish I hadn't told her what he'd said and how I'd responded. I don't know precisely why, but it has seemed to me the better part of that moment was being anonymous in resisting ugliness, and going over it removed that layer.

From: [identity profile]

i thought you might ;]

i realised when reading this over (especially with the tags) that the light heart i'd written it with didn't come across at all and it seemed very...gravity-stricken. too serious.

so, i'm just saying this was more light-hearted than it seems on first blush.

From: [identity profile]

I completely get this head space.

There are times when a situation will remind me of an event from long, long ago. And my stomach will clench and I'll feel regret for failing to do, say or react in some way other than what actually took place.

I try to console myself that if I knew then what I know now, I WOULD have done, said, or reacted differently. That particular experience helped me learn to do something other than what was done.

I read your posts as lighthearted and "wow, i have learned some good shit".

From: [identity profile]

I've started feeling stupid about this eye thing that's made me feel very alone. I've started to get over myself and tell people that something's up. They always react awkwardly: there just isn't anything much to say to a body not working right.

I had bad sinus infections in my 20s. I was inspecting the rainbow of colors in my snot for signs of improvement. My best friend/housemate said "Cool!" and leaned over my shoulder for a look, much to the horror of other housemates. It's one of my favorite memories to describe how close we were.

I hear you on the anonymous goodness but my ego would never fail to jump in a circumstance like that. Perhaps virtue would be better, but "how awesome was I?" stories are way more fun to share.

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