Often, we find ourselves in crappy situations. Sometimes, I handle situations exactly the way I feel I should. But, other times, I look back and wish I had done/said something differently -- just like the ol' cliche, "hindsight is 20/20."
And, admittedly, when I hear of other people's situations/predicaments, I sometimes say things like, "Ohhh, I would have said..." or "I would have _____", like I'm some tough cookie, when in reality -- I would never have said/done those things. Because I also can be a big chicken.
So, I'm going to tell you about a few real-life situations I found myself in recently, and what I did/didn't do about them. I wonder what you would have done if you were in my size 7's.
1) I was on the phone with a customer service rep. I asked her basic information about the company she works for -- the mailing and email address for the contact person I was talking to her about. She replied with, "Ahhh, um. Ha ha...it's um, oh man I feel like such a retard." Me: silence. She couldn't see, but my jaw literally dropped. She continued, "I'm looking it up, bear with me, I'm so sorry. I have the biggest retarded moments until I have three cups of coffee."
Before I tell you what happened next, let me just tell you that the R-word drives.me.crazy. Upon hearing it, I instinctively tense up and my blood boils. Not only is it incredibly wrong, offensive and hurtful -- it's super trashy. I hate trashy. So...
"Could you not use that word?" came flying out of my mouth -- quickly, yet firmly. It was said as though she had been sticking my arm with a pin and I had to beg her to stop. The phone silence was awkward for a second, even though it felt like a year. I could sense her embarrassment -- and maybe even shame, I don't know -- and finally, she spoke.
"I'm sorry. It's just that it's also my first day..."
Um. AT LIFE?!
2) I was seated in a doctor's waiting room, next to an older man who waiting for his wife to finish her appointment. A woman walked in, checked in with the receptionist, and almost immediately, my nose began to twitch. This woman must have bathed herself in her perfume. It was heavy, and extremely chemical-y. AKA, "cheap." It wasn't but a few minutes before it was creeping into my throat -- and the throat of the man next to me -- and we were both coughing. I'm not sensitive to perfumes, usually, but I felt like every time I took a breath, I was inhaling a burning cloud. What did I do? Nothing. How the heck do you even approach a situation like that?! The man next to me and I breathed a sigh of relief (literally) when the nurse called her name.
3) In the checkout line at a supermarket, two 20-something guys were in front of me, with a cart full of chips, salsa, burgers, etc. I was focused on the guacamole in their cart when I noticed the one guy half-whisper to the other, "Don't say anything about it (motioning to the case of Stella Artois under their cart)...see if they notice", and then they both smirked and slightly chuckled. What did I do? I hoped the cashier and/or bagger would notice...because that's their job. As a woman shopping (and walking to my car) solo, I certainly didn't feel comfortable ratting out two 20-something guys -- strangers to me. As much as I would have liked to call them out, my safety comes first. The cashier did not notice, and neither did the bagger. Cheers, guys.
4) "Are you excited for Santa," I excitedly asked the little girl, who was around the age of 8, and wearing a black skull t-shirt. She gave me a funny look in response. "There's no Santa!" she exclaimed and laughed maniacally. I realized that sitting next to her mom, was Skull T-shirt's older brother, who was probably around 12 or 13. Perhaps he alerted her to the no-Santa fact, AKA "ruined her childhood." My response? Well, I could have told her that "Yes, Skull T-shirt, there is a Santa Claus", but it's not my place to completely mess with this kid's head, even if she bummed me out, in a way. So, I just put on an Oh, well ya got me! face, nodded and asked her what she was looking forward to getting for Christmas.
"NOTHING!!!!", she responded. I'm scared for our future, folks.
And, whatever. I still believe.