This lady on the ride is freaking out and yelling at the employee who is just trying to do his job and all I can think is: “Calm down, lady. Take it easy. Where’s your dignity?”
But she’s not calming down, she’s just getting started because she TOLD them–did you hear me?–she TOLD them there were three kids and three adults so why–WHY–are they re-checking this and holy shit if they start fucking around with Jackson so-help-her-god-she-is-losing-her-shit!
Which made me wonder what she looks like when she loses her shit because so far this thing? This yelling thing she’s doing in front of all of us? This is Not Losing Her Shit?
I’ve been avoiding looking at her because the first time I looked at her she tried to draw me into her little meltdown and all I wanted was to just ride the ride. I didn’t want to get involved. But I can’t help it, I glance over at her and that’s when I see the huge, ugly scar that emerges from under her armpit and slices up to her back. She has another long scar on her shoulder–like she’s survived a war or maybe multiple surgeries.
And I feel really lame.
Because I had judged her.
This is a woman, I realize, who has had to fight maybe her whole life. I don’t know what she’s had to fight but something tried to take her down. Maybe more than once. And she survived. She is here now, at Disney’s California Adventure, trying to have a fun day with her kids and she feels threatened because this employee is trying to take that away.
At least, that’s the story I come up with–maybe it’s totally off. The point is, I saw her and seeing her helped me quit judging her.
So what if she has no dignity? You don’t have time for dignity when you’re fighting for your life, do you? You don’t have to CALM DOWN when you’re in a battle for your survival.
What I realized was that I judged her before I knew her story, before I really saw her. And that makes me sad. I don’t want to be that person–the one who criticizes and judges everyone.
I can tell I’m making progress with this because I’m noticing it. Like, I didn’t notice it before. But I notice now when people talk shit about other people. And I notice it when I draw negative judgments about someone based on one thin-slice of their life. And you know what? I don’t like that about myself. I’m no longer indulging it.
None of us are better than anyone else. In fact, I’m so damn aware of my failures right now that it’s all I can do to bear the weight of my own shortcomings.
What I know is that we all have back-story. Someone could look at a thin-slice of my life and write a gossipy narrative, too. Oh, yes. They could.
Eventually, the ride started up and guess what? I cried all the way through. Maybe from now on we could all give each other a little break, yes? Maybe lay off the judging, how about that?
Sometimes the happiest place on Earth is really the saddest. Or the most enlightening…