Thursday, 3 November 2011

If you lose the ability to tell who is crazy, does that make you the crazy one?

Lots has happened since I have moved to Hamilton and am trying to adjust to small city living.  My Mother, who has lived in Niagara most of her life, has been giving me lots of good tips, things like: smile at strangers, when someone says hi to you don't immediately hold your purse closer and back away from them, actually respond by saying hello, no seriously - say hello to strangers, don't buy your giant scary dog a spikey collar to try and make people more afraid of him.  You know, things like that.  Things that do not come naturally to me anymore.  I assume, growing up in Niagara, that at one time I knew how to interact politely with the general public, but I just can't seem to remember.  I am trying to follow these new rules, but feel they have interfered with my ability to discern dangerous strangers from friendly ones.  I have a few examples for you.

Example #1 - At the mall, for my new cool dude mall job, I was sitting on a bench switching shoes because I biked to work but didn't work in my biking shoes.  I feel like I am being watched.  Out of the corner of my eye I see an old lady lurking closer and closer.  Then, suddenly, she is all up in my face, right in front of me.  I panic, I don't know what to do.  My instinct is to grab my belongings and run outside barefoot and figure out a plan from there.  But NO I am following new rules here.  I stay where I am.  Warily I watch her.  She says, "those look like comfortable shoes".  Okay, I can play this game.  I smile and say, "Yes, they are."  She responds, "Where did you get them?"  In my head I think, 'dear sweet baby Jesus, is this conversation still happening?  Do I have to sit here for the entire day?  Do you want my S.I.N too?' but small city, Hamilton living Karen says, "They are Reebok."  She continues blathering away about something, "blah blah I'm old and my feet hurt blah blah".  This is enough.  I have contributed to society in a positive manner.  I leave her there feeling I have helped humanity enough for one day.

Example #2 - Leaving the mall, on my bike.  A guy sees me and yells out, "Nice bike."  I reach for my phone to dial 9-1....  just in case and then go to give him the finger.  But wait, I stop and consider what my Mom would have me do in this situation.  I almost miss the moment, it takes me so long to come up with the answer, but I get it (at least I hope I got it....) and I shout back, "Thank you."  I mean it is a pretty nice bike, worthy of screaming at a stranger?  Probably not.  But it does have flowers on it and that is rather adorable so who even knows?  Then, as I ride off into the distance the guy says, "You're welcome."  Really Sir, was that necessary?  Seriously?  I am confused.  Why don't these people have a natural filter for when a conversation is over?  I guess because when you are willing to talk to random strangers without being paid for it then how can you filter out when to stop?

Now, you see my dilemma.  Unprovoked attacks from random people.  Is this normal?  How am I supposed to react?  Which one of the two people above were crazy?  My vote is both of them!  Except as I was typing out my story I realized quite possibly the crazy one is me.  Like that saying, one out of four people suffer from mental illness, look at your three closest friends, if it isn't one of them.......  Is that a saying?  Do other people ever really say that?  Or do people just say it to me a lot?  I believed for the first 25 years of my life 'handsome as a horse' was a saying commonly used....  apparently not....


I have another, unrelated story of success and daring, of great acheivement.  That's right folks, I finally squeezed my ass into my jeans!!  Woot Woot!!  I even have a belt on with them to pretend they might fall off, but let me confide in you it is going to take some serious work to get these off.  They are Olivia Newton John sewn into her outfit in Grease tight on me right now.  But I did it and I am proud of myself.

Enough observations on life.  Enjoy the rest of your Thursday.

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