Saturday, October 07, 2006

Did I Scare You?


Celebrities often get asked the question by a reporter trying to appear sympathetic, Which question do you get asked that you hate the most? As a teacher, I get asked questions constantly so I don't really mind them. If I did, I'd lose what little sanity I have left. When you're going over when something is due for the upteenth time, you have to keep your cool or start searching the want ads for a data processing job far away from the living. But there is one question I loathe, and I get asked it a fair bit -- Did I scare you? This comes because I get wrapped up in my own world, so much so that the physical world drops away, and I forget that I'm in a public place where others might walk up and startle me. Add this to a history of violence, and you have a little bit of what we used to call shell shock. I've never blamed anyone for my overactive startle response. Like a lot of awful things, I wasn't born that way, but it's not going away anytime soon. It happened yesterday and the woman who asked it looked bemused which, I have to say, irritated me to no end. I usually apologize for my reactions, tell people that I startle easily, ha ha, isn't that the funniest thing? For the first time, I decided to do something different. I looked her straight in the eye and said yes. I didn't add any qualifications or softening, no it's all my fault. Then I smiled. Strange what forms liberation can take.

She started a conversation with me, and we got around to the fact that I wasn't from Detroit, was in fact from Texas. That's weird, she said. I would have pegged you for a Detroiter. I took it as a great compliment, although I'm not sure she meant it that way. A female friend of mine who shall remain nameless told me not to stay in Michigan for too long, that the women there were not very attractive and had a hard quality about them. You don't want to become ugly there, she said. It's true that Southern woman tend to spend a lot of time on being beautiful and that men love them. But if being a Detroiter means being unadorned, in saying things as they are, in not constantly apologizing for the very fact of your existence, I might have become one yesterday, no matter where I go.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"The house is haunted/ the ride gets rough/ You've got to learn to live with/ what you can't rise above." Bruce Springsteen, "Tunnel of Love"

Cocktail Hour

Drinking movie suggestion: Hysterical Blindness

Benedictions and Maledictions

Go Tigers!

11 comments:

JR's Thumbprints said...

I'm brutally honest in that way. Coworkers and inmates no longer ask for my opinion on certain situations. It's the only way to act in the prison system.

paul said...

Rockin' Foxy Lady, yeah! You send me outta this world Cajun Queen. Shazzam, i dig the leather rockin look R2 C2! Tigers up Yankees down sofarsogoodalongthewachtower

Donna Karan said...

You dropped your bag.

Giorgio Armani said...

How do you know she didn't just set it there?

David Yurman said...

It could be either one.

Ralph Lauren said...

Go Blue!

Van Heusen said...

Go Green!

Myth Allbum said...

Go Tigers!

JLCGULL said...

Lions SUCK!!!!

bonnie said...

Honey, I know what you mean about scary moments. Now that the boys are watching sports, we can relax and enjoy. You look so gorgeous and cute hon ;) Keep up the yoga regimen and fashion sense that become you so well and you'll look great forever. kiss kiss Bon p.s. any tag lines you prefer over others these days?

r's musings said...

Thought-provoking, M. We are liberated through those subtle, make a different choice, every day situations, aren't we? Good for you!