#126. Verbal Cliff Diving
I do not have patience nor do I suffer fools. Never have. Naturally as a mom I have cultivated some patience for my son, but then again, he’s a genius who never really required that much patience on my part. (Luckily for him…) He always understood everything and was eerily reasonable. In fact, I think he was the one who was forced to develop patience to deal with his non-genius mother… They say you don’t get more in life then you can handle so I suppose we both got what we could deal with.
I am and always have been limited when it comes to focusing and listening. My mind moves very fast and unfortunately things fly out of my mouth just as soon as they enter my mind. I have never had a censor and tend to impulsively react, regardless of the perceived appropriateness of the situation, which has got me into a fair bit of trouble over my lifetime. (My frustrated and colourful reactions to the Theatre of the Absurd AKA The Ontario Family Courts were not well received by a system insisting that women ‘behave’ themselves. Bunch of Nazi bastards…See what I mean?)
But what am I gonna do? That’s just my personality. I have always had this persistent feeling like I’m running late for something coupled with a sense of urgency to always get quickly to the point of every situation.
Since I began Yoga a couple of years ago, I seem to have become a little more calm and sensible. Yoga has made me a more mellow and nicer person. Well, I thought I was chilled out but wonder. I still feel like shaking people that insist on telling never ending boring stories that don’t really go anywhere interesting and I can’t sit still that long without wanting to scream. Am I making any progress in my life whatsoever??? I suspect that the Yogi image I have of myself isn’t entirely accurate.
Speaking of yoga, en route to Hatha today, I had to pass the same street charity sales people that intermittently loiter near my apartment building. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, there are these sales people (I call them Salesdogs) who hold clipboards and stand on the busy street corners of downtown Toronto waiting to pounce on innocent pedestrians passing by to ‘charm’ them into donating money to their respective charities. These Salesdog people think they are really cute and spunky as they jump in front of you as you’re walking. As if suffering from rabies, these charity Salesdogs attack you as if it’s all in good fun while they invade your personal space and demand your attention. Salesdogs depend on passersbys not wanting to look like assholes by reacting negatively to their invasive and aggressive tactics as they are representing ‘charities’. Therefore these Salesdogs rely on the social norms of their prey to be politely acknowledged which they exploit to ingratiate themselves with a sales pitch for donations.
Well, I don’t give a shit what they charities they represent. I don’t care if it’s “Save the fucken Seals” or “Educate Poor Tortured Child Brides”. I would love to give money to every charity and save the world! I really would! BUT, should I choose to donate money to a charity I can do so on my own. I don’t need some White 20something Woman with dreadlocks no less, stalking me in the streets everyday to shame me into parting with the few dollars that I have left! These Salesdogs have been loitering in the downtown Toronto streets for the past two years so this is nothing new. I usually do my best to ignore them and utilize my Yoga Ujjayi breathing techniques in an attempt to remain calm and restrain myself from slapping them silly.
I’m simply a human being who would like to walk in peace from point A to B. I have tried to exercise patience with these irritants but their annoying presence impinges on my realm and disturbs my peace. So, today, as one of these charity Salesdogs jumped right into my personal space, I just told her to “Fuck Off” and kept walking. Kept it short and succinct. The obnoxious Salesdog looked all stunned and offended with her confused white girl dreadlocks. I almost felt bad. But not quite. Maybe she will think twice about ambushing the next unsuspecting pedestrian and get a job telemarketing which is unbelievably less annoying.
Ahhhh. Felt good to get that off my chest. Holding that in this long has been torture! Restraint is exhausting and highly overrated. Not sure what the point is really. No more breathing techniques like I have some kind of unfortunate pulmonary condition in order to restrain a perfectly justified reaction. I don’t feel guilty for expressing disdain towards unwelcomed strangers accosting me in the street while I’m minding my own business. I don’t owe these people an apology for not giving them my attention, nor do they deserve an explanation as to why I will not give them money!
After I told the Street Urchin to fuck off, I was chatting on the phone with a girlfriend of mine. She’s also a single mom who has been casually dating a really decent and successful guy who has expressed a genuine desire to develop a serious future with her. He really digs her. Unfortunately, she doesn’t share his enthusiasm despite her sincerest efforts and desire to find a good man for a long term relationship. She was asking me for advice on how to let him down gently.
Immediately I suggested that she responds the next time he texts with something to the effect of “INSERT NAME, It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and I think you’re a great guy but unfortunately I do not see this leading to a romantic relationship. I think it’s best that we part ways and wish you all the happiness that you so richly deserve in your future endeavors.”
Again, succinct and to the point. I sensed that my friend seemed to be taken aback by the idea of termination via text from the way that she gasped and said that she felt texting that information was completely harsh and inappropriate. “OK, an email will work too.” I suggested. She explained in a ‘what’s wrong with you’ tone that an obvious face-to-face discussion was the proper protocol in this scenario. “What discussion? You’re not negotiating peace in the middle east. I don’t understand. Why do you need to meet with him?” I asked with sincerity. She explained, like I was socially inept, that one was supposed to end courtships face-to-face as that is the respectful way that decent people treat each other.
Huh. Really? I agree that the Dumpee should be treated with the utmost respect. So isn’t it kinder to send them the news in a note when they can receive it alone in their own comfortable environment and not waste anymore of their time with a meeting? Isn’t it kind of cruel to make them shower and get all excited for a date just to reject them? That sounds brutal to me.
Having been the Dumpee, I totally prefer an email or text to end a newer and/or more casual relationship for sure! If I have any questions I can always shoot an email back. But in general, what questions do I really need answered? Does it really matter why the guy doesn’t like me? Hell no! Who cares how he arrived at the absolute certainty that I romantically repel him. Besides, I don’t want to be the pathetic reject that some guy feels painfully obligated to pitifully confront in a bid to expel me from his life once and for all. I don’t need to see the relief on some guys face when he no longer has to be burdened with my irritating existence infecting his desired state of contentment anymore thank you very much. If it’s over, it’s over. Let’s not make a production out of it. I literally do not understand this break-up face-to-face business.
Even on the other side of the coin, having been the Dumper, there is nothing worse than trying to tell someone that I’m not interested in seeing them again just to have them respond like it’s a negotiation or worse, present arguments as to why I should continue the relationship. It’s so awful and humiliating for them to grovel like that. It also makes me, the Dumper, dislike them, the Dumpee, even more than I did prior to the dumping! Let the Dumpee hold onto their dignity and send a note I say.
I don’t know how my kind and lovely friend is going to discontinue dating this guy, but my reactions were received today in a way that brought something to my attention. I suspect that I have some sort of clinical problem with patience. Is my constant impatience and blunt, yet efficient delivery the root of my life’s challenges? Am I not supposed to tell people to fuck off when it’s warranted? Am I supposed to entertain bullshit to be considered ‘nice’? Isn’t being straight up and honest a good thing?
My intentions are good and I believe that despite my arguably abrupt approach at times, I’m a very reasonable person. Should I be keeping my thoughts to myself? And if so, how often? Maybe I have Asbergers or Tourette’s. Or both! I’m going to seriously look into it as I don’t know if my ‘verbal cliff diving’ is a courageous trait or the tic of a neurological disorder.
In the meantime, I will try my best to focus and think before I speak. Unless of course it’s one of those Charity Salesdogs attacking me on the street. They can fuck off. I’m sorry but they would make Gandhi into a killer. Namaste.