Monday, March 13, 2017

Not Your Normal, Everyday Snarkiness

   If you only come to this blog looking for amusing little stories or anecdotes, you might want to skip this one. It's okay.

   A customer asked me how I was doing today. I said, "Not bad. How are you?" She replied, " You're just 'Not bad'?" (Not quite sure on my punctuation there, but whatever) So instead, I gave her a nice smile and said, "I'm doing very well, thanks for asking," which was very much a lie, but I didn't want to converse. I just wanted her to leave me alone. What I truly wanted to say was something more like, "Lady, I'm at work, it's a Monday morning, it's rainy and dreary outside, I'm tired, and I'd rather be sitting poolside somewhere warm right now. I'm not in prison, drug rehab, or digging a ditch, which are all good things, but 'Not bad' is about as good as you're gonna get from me. Thanks for asking!"

    I also didn't want to tell her what I was really feeling. I'm an empath. I always have been. If you aren't an empath, you should consider yourself lucky. It's hard. Mr. Snarky's first wife was a nurse. She thought I was squeamish because I couldn't handle her stories. Although I didn't really like the gross things she said at dinnertime, that wasn't what truly bothered me. No, it was the pain and suffering of her patients that made my insides hurt. Over the years I've learned to turn that down a bit, but it's still there.

    Two of my customers, an elderly man and woman, were in this morning chatting within earshot of me. The man, one of my absolute favorite customers, said something to the woman about how ill his wife has been. He's 82 years old, and walks more upright than I do. His mind seems to be just fine, thank you very much, and he will talk with me about anything and everything. His brother and sister-in-law both died recently, and I feel fairly certain that his wife won't be with us much longer. Now this man could be grumpy. He could be a complainer. He could be tired of it all and nobody would blame him. But what does he do every time he comes in? He smiles at me. Says hello. Talks with me if I'm not too busy, and then goes on with his day after having slightly brightened mine.

    Today, my heart hurt for him. Today I thought about how he told the lady customer about his wife's poor health so matter-of-factly, so lacking feeling that I could tell he was shutting off the pain. I know he loves her; this isn't just two people that have stayed together out of habit. He's either hurting so badly inside that he doesn't want to show it in public, or he's given up hope that they'll be together much longer. Either one of these makes me hurt for this kind gentleman. Hearing this kind of thing makes me not really want to live to a very old age. I don't want to outlive my family and friends... I don't know if I can bear it. The only thing that bothers me about that kind of thinking is that my not living to old age would cause others pain.

    Don't get me wrong; I'm not remotely suicidal. I get mildly depressed about things, but I'm fine. No... I just wanted to tell this little story about a kind old gentleman who makes me smile quite often, and I'm not one for excessive smiling. And I wanted to say to the world that I see him, I care about him, and I hurt for him.

Thanks for reading this. I really love you guys.


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