At the dog park, a tall man stood next to me dressed in fatigues. Because the dog park is such a friendly place, we chatted and I learned about his dog- name, breed, age, rescue. He told me how he was a supply officer for the army- things like that come up when dogs are prancing on you with muddy paws and we talk about what we wear to the dog park. We exchanged tricks we were working on with our pooches.
He was laughing a bit one time when I scolded my pup “Muppet, off!” I shouted as she jumped excitedly on a new human arrival to the park.
“I love that name Muppet! it suits her.” he chuckled.
“Sure does, ” I replied.
“I have a 17 month old at home and she just is getting into the Muppets. WE put them on the tv and her face just lights up.” He laughs at the image in his head and tries to imitate her expression.
I gave a weak smile. I’m not proud of not really faking it then, but I just wasn’t in the mood. Being at the dog park, I feel a little like a parent. THat’s how we refer to each other- Muppet’s mom, Rosie’s dad, etc. We don’t actually learn each others names. We talk in ways I imagine parents of living children talking. So we he brought a real live child into the conversation, reminding me that my bay was a furbaby, not the toddler kind she would have been, I kind of shut down. I hope I didn’t seem rude
I was at the lunch table at work, happily chatting away with my staff. I don’t always get a lunch break- let alone a lunch break that I can enjoy with my coworkers. I’m often sitting at my desk eating as I chart or grabbing bites between patients and phone calls if it was a really busy day. As I ate we small talked, I heard a secretary give a little squeal outside the lunch room.
“Look who I found in the lobby!” she sang.
Behind her was a man holding a 8 month old baby. The son and husband of a coworker who was pregnant when I was and had her baby a few months after me. She got to bring her baby home.
She has been very tactful around me- as most of my staff has. I’m very grateful for that. They also didn’t come into the lunchroom. Those who wanted to see the baby got up and went out. I sat and finished my lunch and scrolled through facebook.
Again, not proud of not faking it.
I know in both these circumstances I didn’t do or say anything especially rude, but it was my lack of response that was a response in itself. I hope I didn’t seem rude.
Have you had any situations like this, where you felt your inaction made a statement?
Oh Meghan I’ve had loads of situations like this, too many to count. I think we need to do what we need to do. It’s natural to worry about others’ feelings, and to not seem rude. But we have so much to deal with, we have to respond – or not – in the way that is best for us xx
I totally get the not wanting to fake it moments. I think they happen and that’s okay. If people understand that’s great and if they don’t that’s okay too, because you did what you needed to do for you. And that matters!