Disliked While Waiting In The Doctor’s Office

I dunno. This is a weird one…

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• • •

LATE LAST WEEK I WAS sitting in my PCP’s waiting room.  I was there for my annual check-up.

I had on my basic summer look: v-neck short sleeve t-shirt, bermuda shorts, leather sandals.  Curly hair pulled back with two barrettes. Hoop earrings. Recent pedicure. Nice purse. Rimless glasses.

And I was reading a book, a mystery.

Another patient, a conservatively dressed 40-something woman, checked-in at the reception desk, then walked by me to sit directly across from me.

As she went by I moved my feet under my seat so that she wouldn’t trip.  This movement, which people generally acknowledge with a tip of their head or a thank you, earned me a glare.

• • •

BUT IT DIDN’T END THERE.

After this woman, who had long straight hair and was wearing a long skirt, long-sleeved cotton blouse buttoned up to her neck and ballet flats got settled into her seat, she continued to glare at me, looking me up and down.

I began to wonder what she was seeing when she looked at me:

  • A wanton harlot with bright red toenail polish?
  • A stoned hippy wearing Birkenstocks?
  • A liberal feminist reading, of all things, a novel? 

I smiled back at her, as polite people do, then went back to reading my book.

• • •

SHORTLY THEREAFTER HER NAME WAS called, and because of the waiting room chair configuration, she had to walk by me again.

This time she glared + snorted derisively as she walked by me;  she needed for me to know that she didn’t approve of me.

For some reason. Nonspecific.

[Another patient across the way, a woman dressed about like I was, rolled her eyes and grinned at me as it happened.]

• • •

NOW OBVIOUSLY I’M NOT LOOKING for validation from strangers who I encounter in my daily life, but the fact that something about me really irritated this conservative woman fascinated me.

And truth be told, I was equally fascinated by the fact that I rather enjoyed the sense of power it gave me over her.

I mean, if I can bother someone by merely existing in their view, imagine what I can do when I decide to speak. 😉

• • •

Question of the Day: 

Have you ever found yourself on the receiving end of a stranger’s hateful stare for reasons you could not figure out? And if so, how did it make you feel?  

• • •

Living The Dream, Going Through The Car Wash

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They say “dream big,” but I’m a bit of a contrarian on this point.

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You see, I’m blessed with a temperament that enjoys silliness…

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and tends to focus on the details of life.

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As a result, many of my dreams are small…

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like sitting in the car as the car goes through the car wash and taking photos of the process.

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And do you know what’s the best part of this small dream?

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The fact that it came true.

In Which I Politely Turn The Tables On The Holy Rollers

THE SETTING:

Late summer in a midwest suburb. Saturday afternoon. Beautiful clear blue sky with white clouds. Green lawn, well-tended. Leafy trees aplenty. Pink roses blooming along sidewalk up to front door. Daisies giving it their last hurrah near front door.

THE CAST:

Me, free spirit & lapsed Presbyterian

Holy Roller #1, Amy Winehouse wannabe, brandishing iPad

Holy Roller #2, Olivia Walton doppelgänger, carrying Bible

THE STORY:

When the doorbell rang I was sitting in our home study, which is on the first floor of the house, with the window open.  The women who had walked up the sidewalk could see me in the study, so I couldn’t hide from them.

I answered the door.  Reluctantly.

Amy said “hello.”  She introduced herself and her sidekick, Olivia.  They were from Jehovah’s Witnesses, dressed in black: Amy opting for the H&M cool vibe, Olivia going with the tried & true Salvation Army look.

Amy explained that they were bringing the word of God to the heathens people on my street, and could she ask me a question?

“Sure,” says I.

To which she said: “what gives you comfort?”

Without a moment’s hesitation I answered: “nature.”  Then I pointed out toward our front yard with flowers + trees– and the sky above.

My answer, immediate and honest as it was, stopped Amy.  She didn’t know what to say.

But Olivia, consummate holy roller professional, jumped right in and agreed with me: “Yes, God surrounds us all with His majesty.”

I nodded my head to show that we were on the same page here and smiled.

Nothing happened.  Neither one said a word to me.  They just stood there staring at me.

So I asked them: “Is this a poll?  Are there more questions?”

They chuckled and quickly assured me that: “Oh no.  This isn’t a poll.  There are no more questions.”

Thus giving me the opportunity to bring this unwanted conversation to a conclusion: “Well then, we’re finished here, aren’t we?  Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your mission.”

At which point I slowly shut the front door, leaving them confused by what had happened.

I mean, from their perspective they’d brought the word of God to a presumed heathen who had just got rid of them by turning the conversation around to where they admitted they had nothing more to say.

From my perspective, it was a conversation that would make Jesus and Emily Post proud.

Can I get a hallelujah?

~ ~ • ~ ~

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~ ~ • ~ ~

The One About The Friend Who Doesn’t Like Wine

dscn7498Don’t you love a friend who is on a good rant?

Not a close-minded whiner who is spewing hate and prejudice.  No, I’m talking about someone who feels strongly about something.

Someone who has researched the topic and has lots of facts, and opinions, on this particular topic.

Someone with the ability to talk in a nuanced, yet entertaining way, about said offensive topic, which he takes personally while it does not bother you at all.

But, because you are a loyal friend, you let this someone, who we shall call Edward, go on & on about his hatred of… WINE.

Yes, my gentle readers, I have a friend who despises wine.

He’s not against alcohol consumption, nor is he being a snob about quality.  Edward just hates everything about wine and the culture + history around it.

He thinks it’s a scam to believe wine is healthy. “Drink a beer, eat some grapes.”

He thinks it’s a scam to buy expensive huge glasses from which to drink the wine. “Buy the happy couple a toaster.”

He thinks that wine is a way for pretentious insecure people to lord their “knowledge” over the rest of us. “Go take a long walk off a short pier.” 

And he thinks that there is no tasty wine anywhere on earth. “It’s just vinegar with good PR.” 

I’d never try to convince Edward that he is wrong about wine.

Partially because he is a grown-up and it’s his choice to cut the substance out of his life. And partly because when he goes off on this rant I know that there’ll be more wine in this world for me.  ;-)  

Like I said above, don’t you just love a friend who is on a good rant!

TGIF, everyone.  Have a good weekend.  See you next week.

The Iceberg Illusion: Reflections Upon The Occasion Of My Return To The Blogosphere

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WELL… I’m back.

August turned out to be every bit as hot and humid and hateful as I anticipated it would be.  Just a miserable excuse of a month during which I did not do much of anything except think about what I will be doing in the future.

Planning?  Or procrastinating?  You decide.

Whatevs.

Bottom line?  I’m here now with a renewed sense of purpose.

To wit, I’ve decided that blogging gives my weeks a bit of much-needed structure, provides me with a way to process the details of my life, and overall it’s fun.

Plus I’ve concluded that I’m doing something right and helpful here, considering how many people follow me and make the effort to comment.  Thank you.

So I’m going to keep on keeping a blog.

~ ~

BUT… I’ve also realized that writing a quirky personal blog, such as The Spectacled Bean, has morphed from a hobby into an unpaid part-time job that has a certain work-y-ness to it that you, my gentle readers, don’t see.

Rather like an iceberg.  Much going on below the water line to make this blog engrossing and twaddle-y, so to speak.

I’m not complaining, mind you.  Just explaining that if I disappear from the blogosphere from time-to-time, it’s not that I don’t love you all to pieces.  I do.

It’s just that I’m an introvert who occasionally doesn’t know what to say.  About anything.  Here.

Or in real life.

~ ~ ~ ~

Anything Could Happen August: Taking A Break From Blogging

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{ From 25 Proven Ways To Relax }

I don’t like August.

It’s too hot outside.  Too humid outside.  Too pollen-y.  And there’s not one holiday to celebrate during all 31 days of it.

It is boring.

So instead of straining my brain to have something to say here during a dull time of year, I’ve decided to take a break from blogging until September.

Why not do something different?

In other words, my gentle readers, I’ll be around the blogosphere from time-to-time, but I plan on spending most of my free time lollygagging and frittering my days away like a non-blogger.

Just to see how the other half lives.

Later, kids.  Catch you on the flip side.

A Study In Arrogance: When Coleus Becomes Political

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Trying to rid myself of the RNC’s frenetic vibes this week, I turned my attention to doing something productive.

I researched COLEUS.

I wanted to find out the names of the three varieties that are growing profusely in pots on our deck.

At the beginning of the summer I planted six different types of coleus in pots, but three died within weeks of planting.  So I thought that next year I’d plant more of the ones that grew, if I could figure out/remember the name of each type.

But, of course, in the process of my research I found more information about coleus than I’d anticipated.  Coleus has a long history.

# # #

For instance, did you know:

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DSCN7638But my research, inspired by a desire to rise above politics, ended when I discovered the most ridiculously depressing fact about coleus.  You see, in the language of flowers coleus means: “How dare you address me that way?!”

That is, the plant means ARROGANCE.

And it was upon learning this that I found myself circling back to my thoughts about the Tangerine Tornado + the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity.  I couldn’t believe that I was researching a plant whose meaning embodied all that The Donald represents, when my goal was to avoid thinking or hearing on the news about his nonsense.

DSCN7639Yet here I was doing something good, trying to make the world a better place through learning, only to find myself tripped up by arrogance.

Now how defeating, and oddly metaphorical, is that?