Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Considering the Inconsiderate
Earlier today, I left a scathing note on some one's windshield. It wasn't pretty. The crime: daring to park their car smack in the middle of the right hand lane on the service road to the Van Wyck. There it rested, nonchalantly with its student driver bumper sticker on the rear fender and a For Sale sign in the window taunting me as I contemplated the traffic jam that was ensuing as a result. Okay, fine, I never actually left the note, but, oh, how I wanted to. I spent the remainder of my drive composing one and imagining how I'd hand deliver it directly to the owner's right eye. Which is weird, because I'm not a violent person. I generally go out of my way to avoid a confrontation.
And I wonder. Why does a little inconvenience like that get me so incensed? I don't have an anger problem-far from it. I let much bigger things roll right off on a regular basis. It's just that the insensitivity of others really makes me go crazy; double parking, talking at someone else's chupah, blocking a driveway, leaving a full cart in the front of a line while you go shop for twenty more items, anything that inconveniences others for the sole purpose of making the life of the one doing it a little easier.
I don't like to think about it too much, because if I do, I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll end up coming to the obvious, if unpleasant conclusion. Perhaps, it bothers me to such an irrational extent because it's a flaw I unconsciously recognize in myself. I pride myself on being open and honest and Ive been prizing it, for the most part, above the sensitivities and feelings of others. That's so wrong. How quickly I've forgotten my dislike and disgust when I used to come face to face with a 'blunt' person. Blunt is just another way of saying open and honest at the expense of others.
It all got me thinking about a conversation I recently had with a friend. I confidently declared it unnecessary to hold back or hide anything from a friend even if it might hurt or inconvenience. "Isn't that what friends are for?", I (stupidly) queried. I can't believe I said that now. I can't believe I've become that person. Someone who alienates other people, because she doesn't know when to let it out, and when to keep it to herself. Not every thought has to be shared. Not every opinion has to be told. It's a lesson I'm trying to learn, and I hope I do so, quickly. And so, to my friend, I know we agreed to disagree, but I'm going to have to break our agreement and side with you.