Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lean on Me

I people watched yesterday. A trip into my favorite small town, and one of America's favorite small towns, Mt. Airy, or more favorably, Mayberry, NC. I love the good will there, where I found two sharp winter skirts and nothing for summer...but that's usually how it goes with hand me downs. I meandered yesterday, which I don't normally do...but other than this weekend, I will have one more full weekend off until about my life is ready to go into overdrive and I felt like meandering, so I did. At the mall, I was sitting outside and watched an elderly couple walk out and up to the curb and as they neared this treacherous passage (from sidewalk to parking lot) they took each other's hand and leaned into one another for support to step down. And they held that pose all the way to their car. At Walmart, I saw two elderly women doing the same thing. And later on Main street, I noticed several elderly folks supporting one another carefully.

I had a conversation last week with my friend/co-worker about my inability to be emotional. The other event coordinator at the winery (she does weddings, I DO NOT - thank GOD!) kinda screwed me last week by booking two weddings on an event weekend and leaving me in a pickle as to where to put my outdoor movie this coming weekend. She so sincerely cried and asked my forgiveness. She went to the president of the company and cried and asked his forgiveness. And of course, none of us could be angry - she is lovely and humble and true. But, had I of made this type of colossal error and booked something when I was told not to, and affected my co-worker in such a big way, I would have probably set myself for going. The responsibility of it would crush me, but I wouldnt' cry or be able to, and I would just set the wheels in motion to find a new job or something. This is not to say that I don't make mistakes, because I do. But, I cannot go to that emotional place and so I plan to flee the premises and make folks not have to deal with my incompetence. This is not what I think my co-worker should have done by the way. My example is not the lead I want to give. I would like another example for me! BUt, as sincere as I might feel in my apology, I couldn't do it, I couldn't cry to my peers or my boss. And this isn't necessarily my point, because I don't believe in expressing tears at work for me. But, I don't express myself this way personally and that is what truly bothers me. I can't go there, I stay in the safe parts of life. My friend/co-worker said that she was the same way as me, she grew up in a place where her family was not expressive. Then, she married an expressive man, so she has to really discipline herself to be expressive with him. But, she is farther than me in that she did get married. That's not everyone's answer, I do realize that.

BUt, looking at all those elderly couples I thought how we spend our lives not being sure of one another for one reason or the next. We question motives and feelings and sincerity. But at the end, we are left with no choice but to lean into another human and take harshness of the world by two. It's funny isn't it? And it makes me wonder why it takes us so long to understand that point. WE have to be crippled by age to get that we need one another, that we should just decide to love one another because the world is so much bigger than any one of us can handle alone.

And I believe this. I saw it with my own eyes yesterday. But, changing, even by baby steps, can be excruciatingly slow. I am impatient, as usual, with my process.


Michael said...


I kind of feel the same way, at times. I can get emotional, sure-about important stuff like sports. :-)

But I can't afford getting emotional about anything serious-my future, my wife's health, my son's prospects in life, my dissatisfaction-I can't even begin to seriously tackle these issues, because the yawning chasm of emotions too heavy to handle is right there beneath the floorboards.

Kind of like drinking. I don't drink because I don't like it, primarily. But really, I don't drink because I am afraid I will like it and not be able to stop.

k said...

It's interesting right, the things that we don't trust ourselves to control. And I am a control freak when it comes to what I will express. I've been drunk once in my life, and that was pretty much a mistake (not realizing how quickly peach moonshine will hit your system). You've added an element that I don't think I had attached yet. Goes back to control, and that intriques me. Thanks.