October 23, 2015
Filters. Or I should say, lack of filters. I have always wondered HOW there are people in this world who just say whatever they want, whenever they want , and not truly think about the other person’s feelings who are listening to them.
I guess you could call them ‘know-it-alls’ and I can bet you that everyone on this planet has encountered one or two of these folks over their lifetime. I know I have. Most times, if it is a family member or an acquaintance, you learn to tolerate their presence. And in my opinion, know-it-alls are a form of bullying, even if it’s not intentional.
Now enter a stranger. A complete stranger. I don’t know WHY, but I have this strange magnet that always attracts odd balls. It never fails, I attract these people. When I began the gym once again, I was motivated to get back muscle and strength in my decrepit left leg, along with losing all the weight that I packed on from non-stop steroid use over the last year. Walking in to a brand new class at a gym without knowing anyone is always a tad intimidating- for me anyway. You feel like the new kid at school. One thing about this Zumba class I joined at the YMCA is, compared to 24 hour fitness I went to for years, is that there are a multitude of OLD ladies. Gaggles of them. I know, I know, I am no spring chicken but these ‘hens’ are well into their 70’s. And they can be downright mean. I have witnessed them haggling and fighting over floor fans in the room and it can be ugly. But let me back up to my first day in the class.
I walked in on a Monday morning and I went to the back of the room because : A) I don’t know ANY of the instructors routines and B), I am taller than most people in the class. Just being courteous. So, as I am standing there waiting for the instructor to arrive and the music to begin, this tiny, old lady came up to me. Short is putting it mildly. Jenni is short at 4’9 and this small Asian woman was much shorter. Maybe part Hobbit? She was smiling and welcoming….. until she opened her mouth.
Words are very powerful. We use them every day, sometimes without giving it much thought. With words we can accidentally or intentionally hurt others. Well, this little lady must have a deficient frontal lobe, you know, the “Social Filters” that play a big part in human interactions and executive commands. As she is smiling at me, she said “You new? You like class.” It was hard to understand her because her accent was very strong but I could make out what she was saying. She looked me up and down and then say’s “You no eat PAWS-tuh or rice after seeks o’clock.” Um, we weren’t talking about food. In fact, I hadn’t said anything to this point. Then she said “You PREE-ty, no be fat.” Did I just hear her right? She thinks I’m pretty but a lard-ass? Ding, Ding, Ding….winner, winner- chicken dinner! At this point I wanted to melt into the floor, run out and cry and then knock her bony little ass over on the way out while running and crying. Luckily the music began and she moved to her spot up front. I was dumbfounded and thought, “Well, she’s not far off about being a bit meaty, but Good Gravy woman, who say’s this to a stranger?” I tried to avoid her as much as I could over the past two months and I have. But yesterday, there she was, front and center when I walked in. Dang it, I smiled her way…..just shoot me! Oh great, here she comes. The things spinning through my mind: Damn, not you again and I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and shit out a smarter statement than I KNOW you’re about to say to me. I wasn’t let down. She told me she hadn’t seen me lately (thank God for small miracles) and then proceeded to tell me she is 73, from Vietnam and that her husband left her. We had no conversation up to this point, at all. I was standing there putting my hair up into a pony tail and was just waiting for her to finish her spiel and say something about me. (My looks, my fat ass, maybe my hair.) She asked me “How old you are?” I told her my birthday was in a couple weeks and that I’d be 58. The woman next to me was listening and complimented me on my skin being clear and unwrinkled, which was pleasant to hear. A really nice change from Brunhilda’s diatribe. Then “Little Old Lady with No Filters” who is still smiling starts pointing to my throat and chest area and tells me to “Rub oil after SHOU-wuh, no wrinkles.” Lady, I don’t have any wrinkles there. Maybe she needs glasses? And a muzzle? When class was over, she was standing guard at the door (Oh crapballs) and as I steadfastly walked past her and out the doorway, she told me to “Eat fish, before seeks o’clock.” What ever.
I would NEVER, EVER speak to someone I did not know in such a personal way like that. Hell, even if I did know them, I wouldn’t say anything like this. I’m an open book, anyone who reads my blog knows this, but this stuff is just inappropriately rude. She really makes me uncomfortable and I have to somehow avoid the little gnome. I was mortified at first, then perturbed, now just annoyed. But it makes you wonder…………. why are people so unfiltered? It’s not just the elderly because I have run into younger people who are just as rude. You can’t change a know-it-all, just learn to deal with it.