Monday, October 7, 2013

Please, handle with care.

There is a small part of me that wishes I had a sign around my neck saying, "Please.  Handle with Care.  Fragile."  In my funnier moments, I'd hang a phone or a tablet around my neck and play the "Fragile" Scene from "A Christmas Story" over and over again.  Because that is how I feel right now.... FRAH-GEE-LAY.

I've struggled with what to write for over a week now. I recently posted  about the changes going on in the Cheese and Beer Home.  Like anyone wants to read that...everyone has problems, and no one wants to read about them.  Our relationship is no longer and it happened in a terrible way; I'm hurting and will hurt for a long time.

That being said, the rest of the world feels so abrasive right now.  Every social action feels like a move while wearing overly tight, flame retardant pajamas.  The slightest bit of perceived attitude from a stranger via social media feels like a slap in the face.  Inappropriate jokes made by a coworker feels like a harsh and wicked personal attack, instead of just a rude comment by a socially retarded buffoon with a history of insulting me.  Today, I'm feeling like an exposed, raw nerve. 

I'm fortunate to have friends both in my daily life and those that have really come out of the woodwork to support me; People I've known for years, people I haven't been close to in a long time and people I only really know well via Facebook.  Moments like this will truly show you who cares for you, who is attracted to drama, and who is going to leave you lying wet and soggy in your own tears and snot.  I've been lucky to have so many people message me, call me, wish me well, invite me out...and quite frankly, handle me with kid gloves as if they know how shattered I'm feeling.   And thanks to those people, I'm able to hold it together. 

While my situation right now is taking a toll on me, I am managing.  I'm in one piece.  I am working.  I am functioning.  And I am actually doing all of these things.  I'm not the girl who came to work during a break-up who tears up every 45 minutes and runs from the room.  I'm not sniffling in the corner all day.  I don't think I look like I should be in a commercial for extended-release anti-depressants.

But...I broke down last week.  Because someone I've been open with openly attacked me about the very sensitive situation I find myself in.  I have no other words for a when someone comes and rubs things in your face to purposely hurt you in a situation that has precious little to do with them other than knowing you from work.  And while that was awful and hurtful, it made me think about how what he said to me really hurt...but how I might have handled it better if maybe, just maybe, other people had been kinder to me that day.

And that is my message.

Handle with Care

And it applies to the waitress, the cashier, the man holding open the door, the person who hands you your coffee at the coffee shop.  In your every day interactions with people...just be nice.  To look at me, people might not know what is going on, but being treated like a human being, even in the most casual way, means the world right now.  The Dalai Lama said it best:

"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them."

And that is what we should strive for in our casual interactions with others, especially strangers.  We have no idea the struggles the strangers around us face every day.  I recall one Christmas when I was working as a cashier at a popular retail chain.  A woman came through my line and as I was checking her out she mentioned that one of the wreaths she purchasing was for her father in the nursing home.  I asked her if she would like me to put that in a separate bag for her, and she asked me why I would do that.  I told her that it was to make it easier for her so she didn't have to dig through the bags, and then I asked her what other items needed to go with it to be taken to him.  After I finished checking her out, she stopped and touched my arm and thanked me.  She started tearing up, and told me that no one else would have done that and she really appreciated it. 

It was a small thing for me to do.  Really...it is nothing for a cashier to use an extra bag or double bag something, but to that lady just being courteous seemed to make a little bit of difference.  And I can't help but think that when the world is kind of shitty, at the very least it would be a nice thing if the strangers we encounter are kind or at the very least...neutral to us. 

Be kind to each other.  Handle each other with care.  We do not know the struggles of the people around us, the least we can do is be decent.


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