Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not Helpful

I am turning into my mother’s best friend as I age. Which is just fine, since even as a teenager, I wanted to be just like this nutty woman when I grew older. She was the sort of woman who looked everywhere for her eyeglasses as they sat atop her head. The sort of woman who had a “Co-cola” with an aspirin before retiring. The sort of woman who shamelessly flaunted her idiosyncrasies. There was something not quite sane about her. The thing that made her so wonderful is that she had one of the most powerful intellects I have ever run into, then or now. It was as though she willingly decided to sacrifice her competence in the realm of everyday activities and normalcy instead of losing her intellectual cookies. I’m hoping that’s me, too.

So, today I had one of those days when I was channeling her. I forgot what day it was, showed up to my therapy appointment a day early with my shirt inside out.

As I’m walking out the door, a woman says to me, “Your shirt is inside-out.” She says this in a drive-by fashion, loudly and publicly. This is how I came to know I’d put the shirt on incorrectly and if I hadn’t been told, I would have gone about my day, harming no one and being blissfully unaware of my faux pas. And honestly, after I knew about it, I wasn’t that concerned. I am the sort of woman who wears mismatched socks and no lipstick anyway.

The point being—this was not helpful. She pointed it out in the middle of a busy waiting room as I was leaving so I’m quite sure she didn’t expect me to shuck off the shirt right then and there—though that could have been amusing and might have been an option if it hadn’t been—well—my therapist’s office full of chock full ‘o nutcases anyway. Maybe she wanted me to go to the restroom or go home and change my shirt. Really, there wasn’t much I could do about it that wouldn’t inconvenience me.

There’s a gulf of difference between this sort of person and the sort of person who fondly tucks your shirt label in or brushes lint from your lapel. She’s the sort of person, I suspect, who goes about looking for bra straps that show, slips peeking out indecently and unzipped zippers. She (because it’s almost always a woman) has made it her personal mission to seek such things out and snidely point them out. The shirt-label-tucker-inner seems to always do so in a proactive yet loving way—it’s the contact that says, “I care”. They usually do this with a self-effacing smile, too—unlike the smirking drive-by commentator on your personal appearance.

As I said—not helpful.

For my part, I reached a hand up to confirm the tag was out and replied, “No it’s not, the tag is on the wrong side.”


  1. KimSetser said...
    I enjoy your posts, even thought you may not hear from me often (I follow via Google Reader and it's an extra click to actually get to the site to comment) which means you can chalk me up to "lazy." Keep it coming. By the way, love the comment about the tag being on the wrong side.
    Gary Carden said...
    Just read about Fat Buddy and loved the pictures. That one hurt..mainly because I have an ailing Jack Russell who is breaking my heart by slowly ailing ... terrible rashes, one eye that has lost its tear ducts and an inability to jump in the bed at night.
    A friend gave me one of sets of steps but he won't go near it since he thinks most attempts to help him are really assassination attempts. I don't want to let him go.

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