It’s Sunday. I have officially survived:
1. a week of school where I swear every day was a full moon (if you’re a teacher, you can relate)
2. a 5 year old’s Ninja themed birthday party (note- it was NOT my child, nor was it at my house)
3. not leaning over the cash register and throttling the Wal-Mart check out lady who decided forming personal relationships with every customer about EVERY item they were buying was more important than speed and efficiency.
4. watching the American Music Awards where I realized I a) don’t know anyone on the show and b) I’m old.
These are not ‘problems’ by any stretch of the imagination. But more and more I find my patience is thinning. Perhaps its age.
I find I have very little tolerance for situations I am uncomfortable in. In my 20s and 30s I put myself through what felt like torturous, awkward social situations. I’d smile, make small talk, tolerate and become a chameleon in whatever environment I was in, even if I hated it. I did it to gain acceptance, friends, and mostly out of fear I’d be missing out on something ‘good’.
Now, I could care less.
The birthday party I went to today was particularly painful for me, the introvert. The hosts were lovely. The party was nice. But making small talk with other parents whom I have virtually nothing in common with while having 10 5 year olds dressed as whooping Ninjas swirl about at our feet is not my idea of a good time. But of course, I did it for my son. What I really wanted to do was scoop him up and find a quiet place to enjoy some one on one time with him. But I stayed, plastered on a smile and graciously ate cake.
As I sit here watching the American Music Awards, I find myself seething. It’s too loud. I can’t understand half of what these morons are singing (if you call it that) and their outfits are ridiculous. Is this what my parents thought when they watched me hang off every song sung at the same award shows in the 1980s? Probably. I feel about 100 years old watching this. In fact, the only reason I’m watching it is because I’m doing a little research. I’m trying to figure out what names of performers to ‘drop’ in my fifth grade classroom so I look cool and relatable to the kids. Good luck, right?
I also find myself conflicted between looking at the bright side and being realistic. What do I mean? Today at Wal Mart, I patiently waited in line while Amy, the 60 something cashier chatted up the customer ahead of me, carefully looking over and commenting on EACH and EVERY item the lady was buying. EVERY. ITEM. I now know that Amy enjoys a lot of bacon on her BLTs and she is horrified at the current cost of bacon. I also know she likes Tide and her husband prefers Cottonelle toilet paper, because, well, you know…..
As I stood there, I tried REALLY hard to look at the bright side. At least Amy cares about her customers. At least someone is trying to exchange pleasantries. Maybe Amy is a lonely person. Maybe her only outlet is work. Maybe Amy had a horrific childhood. Maybe Amy is just a really lovely person… I don’t know. All of these thoughts went through my head as I stood there trying to be REALLY patient with Amy and her incessant need to chat up the clientele.
But really, I just wanted to lean over the register and blip all the damn items myself, speeding up the process.
Instead, I stood there, trying to find something positive to take from Amy’s effort at customer service.
It was really hard.
And now it’s Sunday. That’s a wrap. Back to the grind tomorrow.