personal, rant

I Rarely Get Mad and It Just Happened to be in Public…

It’s a crazy Friday. I had a few mishaps earlier: I walked back to school, looking for something that turned out to be at home and I walked to the public library just to find out it is closed for the day because of an event.

anger

Then, the situation became worse when we went to shop. One guy was very disrespectful. He bumped my mother and was saying, “Look this Chine…” Then, he continued muttering. “All that shopping, chung chung chung”. So, when he came to me saying, “uh.uh.uh”, heavily implying I could not speak English and he must therefore grunt like a mute person while he pointed the product at me, I had to answer back. I got the gist of the gesture, though. It was a power play. He wanted to come before me because I am a foreigner who could not speak English. There were other counters, especially for someone who only had a couple of items. I had stepped aside for many other people before. However, my parents felt that I should not have behaved like that in public. There was no cursing involved. My “loud” voice probably would not even be considered loud by some. I was insulted, but I did not insult back.

What do you think Dominican friends? All I said was “If you had asked nicely, I would allow you to come before me, but you were rude.” Those who know me well or have at least had a talk with me a few times are aware that I am not the sort to pick a fight or make a scene. What’s worse: security at this supermarket laughed along with the rest of the crowd. Nobody came to say, “Oh I am sorry about that. The guy has some mental issues – (he certainly did not look like he had mental issues – maybe a drug problem or just had the awesome luck to be naturally rude). Well, that’s what the security said. Still, they should have at least whispered to us, “Oh he does not mean anything by that. He’s kooky” or they could have diffused the situation with a tap on the shoulder of just about anyone who was involved (me who was getting pale with anger, my husband who defended me but somehow added to the fuel, and the guy who just had to be there at that very moment and be his usual charming self).

Anyway, suffice it to say that I feel disappointment everywhere: from my calm dad, my mom who says she never makes a scene in public but who has a much hotter temper, and myself because I had to second guess myself.  I probably still would be more disappointed with myself if I had responded with, “uh, uh, uh”.

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personal, rant

A Relationship with Pain

In fifth grade, in the school lab where classmates were afraid to prick their fingers for an exercise that I now understand to be questionable, I pricked mine. Like young vampires hungry for a single drop, boys and girls flocked to get a donation. I was pleased in a strange way – strange because I was never the sort to really care if people wanted me to be part of their clique. If someone wanted to be my friend, then fine. In college, I had my share of several true friends. We were a mix of guys and girls, rich and poor, cheerful and jaded,  but we all had one thing in common: a love for the arts and computers. We were animation students.

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In high school though, when things were a little bit lonely, a prick of a finger can turn into art. Droplets of blood became a miniature painting of a rose. They asked if I was alright. I was fine, really. I discovered that physical pain is better – easier to endure, at least – than emotional pain.

As a mother giving birth, pain was glorious and necessary. It gave life to a wailing infant, alive and hungry for more about living. A shot of Vicodin was still a bonus, though.

As a mother, however, pain has become equal to fear. There is the fear of leaving somebody behind, someone precious and beautiful. Youth can make you embrace risks but experience teaches caution. Caution is boring but wise.

Life is a relationship with pain. We all have to go through not just surgeries and physical wounds but also heartbreaks and disappointments. We just have to understand when to endure pain and when to overcome it.

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