I did it again today. Said yes when inside i was pleading no. Its one of those things you learn as a child, to be polite, and not offend someone. But is it offensive, when it makes you uncomfortable? I watched a few minutes of the Oxygen reality with Winona Judd and her mother and during their life time of therapy they learned that you should ask a child or adult for that matter if you can give them a hug. Seems a bit melodramatic but the overall message i do think is sound. Its always a joke about having to kiss an elderly relative, some sit com with a nerdy 13 year old boy getting lipstick stained by a great aunt. But there is some merit in learning early on that you don't have to do things that personally make you uncomfortable.
So here was my self imposed awkward moment today. Today was a good day, after the last four days of primarily lying in bed or the sofa, besides eating and doctor appointments - my one goal was to make it to the pool. Just make it there, and then even if you just get into the pool, that's a bonus. So, I made it to the pool, and there was an extremely obese man doing laps. I got in and began doing my laps also, very slowly. Its hard not to make eye contact when you keep passing each other, and when he got out he sat on a chair right near the edge where i was swimming.
So, to break the ice, I engaged in a polite conversation admiring his water iPod - I didn't know they made those. He enthusiastically told me the brand, and reached over and handed them to me. We continued exchanging polite conversation, "oh you can buy it on Amazon..." or "Sports Authority" - its about 100 bucks, that's not bad...now wait for it, her it comes..."You can try them out" Sidebar - I don't really even want to wear my sister's or best friends' ear buds, let alone a complete stranger's- the whole thing just made me cringe - I politely decline, then the "no - no, really you should hear how they work, if you don't mind show tunes" - Here was my way out - why didn't I exclaim I can't stand the mere mention of show tunes, but no, I "accidentally" dropped the buds in the salt water pool, hoping it was as effective as chlorine and gingerly set them in my ears..."No, you really have to put them in all the way so you block the barrier when you go under water" Would he not give up, doesn't this at all seem weird....So I did what any "polite germaphobe hypochondriac would do" I shoved the damn ear plugs in, did a quick lap to John Mayer and handed them back with a big smile.
When I got out of the water my ears of course itched and my boyfriend laughed, why would you put in someone else's ear buds? Thanks a lot, couldn't you have come over and said, let me see that...no just let me sink.
I know why I did it, if it was some buff 20 year old hottie, I would have not put the buds in, because I wouldn't have been worried that he would have been offended. But because this man was so obese, I took that on myself, he may be the most confident person in the world, who I am to say- so instead of doing what I wanted, I did what I thought wouldn't hurt his feelings.
I have always struggled with being a yes person, and only recently when it became too difficult to say yes to things that I just couldn't anymore have I gotten use to saying no, or doing what is best for myself - but clearly I have a ways to go - I'll let you know if I get swimmer's ear tomorrow.