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Posts Tagged ‘strangers’

‎”Why are you going so fast” she said, spitting the words out in such a tone that meant even I, a stranger passing her on the street, knew she wasn’t happy.

“You need to stay with the pace” he snapped back at her, running his hand through his hair in what I assumed was a sign of frustration.

I felt for her, standing there holding the hands of two young boys dressed in their baseball jerseys and matching hats. I surmised ‎that she couldn’t keep up because she was dragging the kids along behind her, only able to move as fast as their little legs and short attention spans would allow them.

I wanted to turn to him and tell him to relax, to give her a break, couldn’t he see she was trying to keep up? But of course I didn’t. They may have been having their spat on a street corner, in full view of dozens of strangers, but this was obviously just between them.

I guessed they were coming from the baseball game that just finished and then made the leap to assume they were probably tired from a day out and about, rushing to get home before the real meltdowns started, only to find themselves caught up in rush hour and‎ the mad crush of people trying to quickly exit the downtown core.

I felt for them, all of them. I immediately identified with her, having been in almost exactly her shoes on more than one occasion. I imagined that she got up this morning with high hopes and maybe even a little bit of excitement about the day ahead. A trip downtown, an afternoon at the ballpark, a day with the family. But all too soon reality probably set in.

Kids asking for this and that and the other thing. Unforeseen complications that inevitably creep up. ‎Something gets lost, something gets forgotten, someone gets tired or hungry or both. All of that and before you know it the day you’re living looks nothing like the one you imagined.

I also felt for him. I’m sure he was just trying to get everyone home quickly and safely and I’m sure his response to her words was more about frustration than anger. How many times had I been in the same situation? How many times had I been the one snapping, at hubby, at the kids, at strangers, when it really had nothing to do with them and everything to do with me? How come it’s so much easier for me to see these things in others but not in myself?

Why can I see it so clearly when it’s someone else, but not when it’s me?

When it’s me, I can’t see the looks on the kids faces when I get angry and snap and lose sight of the bigger picture.

When it’s me, I can’t hear the tone of my own voice and how it comes across because I’m to caught up in my own emotions.

When it’s me, all that seems to matter is what I’m thinking and feeling and how I’m reacting, rather than those affected by it.

I hope after I turned the corner she went up and kissed him on the cheek and suggested they grab a couple of cool drinks for the kids and sit on a bench and let the crowds pass. I hope he smiled and pushed the hair out of her face and tucked it behind her ear, agreeing that yes, that sounded like a great plan, they would catch the next train, no need to rush.

I hope their day ended with smiles and good memories instead of cold shoulders and bruised feelings.

And the next time, when it’s me, I hope I remember her and him and those two little boys and what they taught me that day.

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‎The lady sitting across from me is ticked off. I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily all that good at determining the emotions of complete strangers just by looking at their faces but this one is pretty easy.

She’s ticked off and I’m making the assumption it’s because the girl beside her is playing her music too loud. The girl has her ear buds in but you can still hear it. I’m sitting kitty-corner to her and I can still hear it.

The woman is rolling her eyes and sighing loudly. Of course, considering how loud the music is, she’s going to have to sign ten times louder to get her attention.

I reach over and grab my own ipod from my bag and put my earphones in. I catch eyes with the woman across from me and I can tell she feels validated, like I’m on her side.

Except she doesn’t know that I didn’t put my music on to drown out the other music, I did it so that if she decides to eventually say something to the girl beside her, I can hopefully stay out of it.

I fear confrontation in much the same way other people fear public speaking or small spaces. The very thought of it, the anticipation of it, makes my heart beat faster and my palms grow sweaty.

The ridiculous part is that I don’t just dread confrontation in which I am directly involved, I also loathe what I will call ‎observed confrontation. I don’t like seeing two people arguing on the street, even if I’m just walking by. I don’t like hearing one side of a tense telephone conversation, even if I don’t know either of the people speaking. I don’t like the chance that an argument may or may not happen anywhere in my proximity; not even the idea that there’s a remote chance it might happen.

I have swallowed more words than I can count, justified or not, because I don’t want to start something that may lead to something else. I have turned so many cheeks my neck aches and smoothed so many rough waters that my hands are permanently wrinkled.

I know there are times to stand up and say what needs to be said, even for no ther reason then because they need to be said. I don’t think anyone who knows me would describe me as a pushover but if strong words are being spoken you can pretty much assume I’ll be heading in the other direction or sitting in the corner with my fingers in my ears.

Sometimes I wish it this wasn’t the way I react. I wish I could be one of those people who can say what they mean, even if it means occasionally being mean. I am more than able to come up with the words that I mean, but they are only ever said under breaths or behind doors or into pillows.

Back to the present and the woman across from me is still sighing but she seems to have taken a break from the eye rolling. For my part I will stare out the window and pretend to be lost in my book.

And if we make it to our final stop with no tense words being said, I will consider it a successful journey.

At least until the next time.

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Here it is grey.

Here it is a drizzly kind of day that forces you to remember your umbrella and cram your feet into your rain boots.  It is a day that encourages inaction and leaves you dreaming of hours spent on the couch, under a soft blanket, feet tucked up under you.

Here it is a day for quiet, a day spent living in your own head.

Here it is a day that will be lived and then forgotten; washed away by all of the rain that pours down.

Here it is the most regular of the regular kind of days.

But somewhere else, this day will be magic.

When I’m having a day of nothingness, I like to think that somewhere else, someone is having a day of amazingness.

Somewhere the stick will turn pink and eyes will fill with tears of joy.

Somewhere the ring will fit perfectly.

Somewhere eyes will meet across a crowded room and a love story will begin.

Somewhere a door will open and a first step will be taken on an amazing new adventure.

Somewhere a plane will take off, and a dream will come true.

Somewhere this is a day that will be remembered forever, celebrated forever, cherished forever.

Even if that somewhere isn’t here; it still makes me happy.  It makes me happy to think that somewhere out there, today will be someone’s best day.  I have had some pretty wonderful best days, and one day it will be my turn again.

And until then I will watch the rain fall outside my window, and celebrate someone else’s day.

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