Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trying To Be Sympathetic

Occasionally...okay, frequently, I put my foot in my mouth. The other day I had a friend coming over to ride with me after work. I got there early, saddled the horses, and was riding when she got there.

This friend, I’ll call her Em, is a teacher at a continuation high school for troubled teens. These are kids who have trouble fitting in at “regular” high schools for various reasons...some which I think are valid, some are not. The point here is not to get into whether I think that a number of kids these days are raised to think “everybody’s a winner” and that they are entitled to everything their little hearts desire without having to work for anything. The point is made only to show that I’m a little less sympathetic to the plight of Em’s “kids” than she is.

So anyway, Em gets there and brings the horse she’s gonna ride out where I’m riding. I can tell something’s wrong so I ask the dreaded question...

Me: “Is something wrong?”

Em: “I think I’m gonna cry.”

Me: “Why?”

I’m thinking to myself WTF am I gonna do now??? I hate it when people cry...I never know what to say or do to make them feel better. AND even more selfishly, I think...now I’m not gonna get to finish riding my horse...how friggin’ selfish is that??? I’m scum...I know it.

The problem is I’m not big on public displays of emotion. It makes me nervous. I’m sure there’s something screwed up in my psyche that makes me feel this way but like I said before, I never know what to say or do to...and as you’re about to see...it shows. Plus, every time I get nervous, I tend to laugh. It’s really hard to keep a straight face when someone’s crying because they usually look soooo ugly with their face all screwed up and snot coming out their nose, eyes all puffy and red. Personally, I look like a salamander when I cry so I know whereof I speak.

Em: “One of my kids killed himself”

Me: “Oh no” (Yes, it was the best I could do on short notice.)

Em: “I was fine at school and held it together all day but now it’s...” and the tears start

Me: crickets.....I don’t know what to say...I do however, think to my self...selfishly I admit, I wish you’d gotten it all out at school...

Em: “He hung himself” Then she tells me about the kid...he’s the kind of kind you love and hate...took care of his grandma, parents left him...really sad.

Please note, I realize the tragedy this is and that she’s really feeling bad so I, being the eternal Pollyanna (hard to believe, I know...but it’s true), try to find a bright side.

Me: “Maybe he wasn’t really trying to kill himself, maybe he was doing that auto erotic thing and just accidentally hung himself."

I’m thinking at least it would be better if he died accidentally while having a little freaky fun than that he was so despondent he felt there was nothing to live for at such a young age. Looking back I may have chosen poorly. Hindsight is always 20/20...

Em looked up for a second and then said “nah, I don’t think so”. She had stopped crying...probably in shock that I would suggest something like that...

It didn’t even really occur to me that it may have been a little inappropriate until I was retelling the story the next day at work and the Princess looked at me horrified and said “You really said that?????”.

Geeesh...try to make someone feel better and you’re scum...don’t try to make someone feel better and you’re scum...either way, I end up being scum. My apologies to anyone I have offended in the past, present and future.

On a lighter note, I went into the bathroom at work the other day to pee and accidentally farted...audibly...OMG, I was mortified. Being a mature adult, I stayed in the stall until everyone else had left, then I rushed out and washed my hands and left before anyone else came in. I had to wait a long time in that stall...I think the lady next to me was a sneak a pooper...it's the stoopidist thing.