While attending my cousin's wedding last summer, I spotted my grandmother's sister across the crowd and my heart skipped a beat. She looked exactly like my grandmother.
My grandmother had passed away more than 10 years ago and I miss her presence. She and I had always been close. She was special. She is on my (very) short list of people that I admire and strive to emulate.
With these emotions peaked and a lump in my throat, my heart was racing as I made my way across the room to speak with this woman who looked so much like my beloved grandma. I somehow felt like I was getting a second chance to talk to my deceased grandmother.
This is how the conversation went:
Me: "Hi _____, I don't know if you remember me. I'm Carolyn's daughter."
Her: "Oh! Yes." *somberly* "You're the one who was having a really hard time....." (referring to my short marriage and quick divorce from one of the biggest douche canoes on the planet)
Me, stunned, "Uh. I guess. That was 10 years ago. Sometimes things don't work out."
Her: *proudly* "[Her husband's name] and I will have been married 60 years this year."
Me, "Congratulations. I didn't get married until I was 30, and I married a man 10 years older than me, so we probably won't be alive to see our 60 year wedding anniversary."
Then I turned and walked away, shocked by the hideous interaction with this woman that looked so much like my sweet, precious grandmother. I felt like I needed to shower with a Brillo pad to remove the ugly conversation that had just occurred. Looking back, I wish I would have stood in front of her, downed a shot of whiskey, yelled "YEEHAW!" at the top of my lungs, did the splits, then patted her husband on the ass before I walked away. But I guess that is why they say hind sight is twenty-twenty.
I couldn't believe that this woman was defining me by referencing a 1 1/2 year ugly period of time in my otherwise pretty good 35 years of life. What. The. Fuck? I was at the wedding with my husband of five years and our 3 month old (most adorable on the planet) baby. I had already gotten enough of my figure back to look pretty good in my dress. I had an equally adorable three year old at home with a sitter. I was in a successful marriage to a nice man and a mother of two. Do you know what all that says to me? Winning! Could she not acknowledge that? It seems a bit more significant than a strange 1 1/2 year dark period of time that happened over 10 years ago. But apparently, to her, my failure defined me. Wow.
This all too special interaction made me realize two things:
1) This woman may have looked like my grandmother from across a crowded room, but this woman was NOTHING like my grandmother. NOTHING.
2) Some people really just focus on the negative, your failures and the dramatic. I like to refer to those people as assholes.
But this did get me thinking (watch out for the smoke!) What defines us? Is it our successes or our failures? Is it how we handle ourselves when things are rough, or when things are great?
Do my desires or my actions define me? Does the fact that, when my husband's fucking volume 11 snoring wakes me up and is the leading factor to my insomnia, I want to kidney punch him, what defines me? Or is it the fact that I restrain myself and rise to make him breakfast in the morning?
Does my past define my future? Because I had one failed marriage, does it mean that I will now, eternally, "have a hard time" in all relationships? Or is is possible that I will succeed?
Why do people say such rude things? Are they trying to "teach us a lesson" or just perpetually keep us down?
Okay, I'm done here.
In other news: I baked really good gluten free chocolate chip cookies the other evening which means that I have been eating cookies every morning with my coffee. The Breakfast of Champions! With those cookies, my cowboy boots and my cop sunglasses, I feel ready to take on the evils of the world. Bring. It. Except the clowns. You bastards stay the hell away from me.
What has someone said to you that stunned you?