Just not the right moment  

Choozmi 51M
746 posts
7/21/2006 11:32 am

Last Read:
7/25/2006 7:07 pm

Just not the right moment

The other night I was riding my bicycle home around 10:30 p.m. I was passing through a relatively safe neighborhood. I saw ahead of me a car stopping to let a young woman out. It was clear from the way she spoke to him that the driver was her friend.

As soon as she shut the door the driver drove away. The woman was left to cross the street and get in her car alone.

She scampered across the street and darted inside her car. Right before she closed her car door I rode past her on my bicycle and she looked up at me with fear in her eyes.

I wanted to stop and reassure her that she had nothing to worry about (and also tell her that her friend was a jerk for not waiting around to make sure she got into her car safely) but of course I did neither because it was just not the right moment. For all she knew I was a threat, not a friend. So I continued on my way.

It saddens me when people are too paralyzed by the circumstances, the moment in time, their past experiences, or their own presumptions to take the time to find out who another person is and where they're coming from.

Of course my biking encounter was a minor moment that she will most likely forget. I'm thinking of another recent instance in which someone whom I thought was a friend got an idea about who I was and what I wanted from her that was quite wrong. She took things I said and interpreted them in a way that was incorrect and actually unfair.

Unfortunately she was too prejudiced by what she was going through in her own mind -- sad memories that I knew nothing about and I certainly had nothing to do with -- to bother asking me to clarify my own words and instead chose to be insulted by me and angry at me.

By the time I realized that I had angered her and tried to apologize and rebuild a bridge between us she chose to respond to me with only silence.

Silence is an incredibly ugly and insulting way to respond because it suggests that someone is not even worth bothering with at all.

There's not much I can do about another's bad past experiences. And it's true that when meeting strangers -- whether on the Internet or on a dark street in a questionable neighborhood -- people are well-advised to be careful.

But if a person has been in friendly contact with me and they suddenly decide I am a bad person and not worth talking to based on their own prejudices... that's not only unfair.

It's cruel.

And it hurts.

rm_Ellenback 59F
966 posts
7/21/2006 3:58 pm

Silence is an incredibly ugly and insulting way to respond because it suggests that someone is not even worth bothering with at all.

GRRR I just hate silences! I'd rather fill them with music, or moans, which of course, ARE preferred...LOL But when someone just refuses to talk about an issue, or anything at all, the door is closed, and it's over with. That's a very juvenile way of sorting out one's differences, isn't it?



marathonman45202 54M
6640 posts
7/23/2006 5:21 pm

Thanks for this post. I live and work in an urban area, and I run into these situations almost daily. Check out one of my latest posts You'll call me an idiot, which is somewhat related.

Choozmi 51M

7/25/2006 7:58 am

Ellen, I do think it's juvenile.

Marathon, thanks for stopping by. I read the post on your blog and I must say there's no way in hell I'd ever let a strange man stay at my apartment but I'm glad you're happy with how it turned out.

earthShiva 61M

7/25/2006 11:44 am

Most of what motivates our actions can be distilled down to either motivated by fear or motivated by love (which includes the pursuit of all beauty, not just sex, of course), or some mix of the two.

We each develop defensive strategies to deal with our fear of being hurt. Many of us judge can only feel safe in a world that conforms to our xpectations. We judge others by how well they help us or hinder us in maintaining that personal little world order. When someone close to us suddenly contradicts that sense of order or control, we seem them as a betrayer. That is how we justify turning our back on them (which is certainly the final, ultimate "fuck you" statement one can make in a relationship.)

I had a similar problem in a relationship with the wife in a family that we were very close with. There were a few boundary violations that got crossed (nothing sexual. Some child discipline issues and a few personal disclosures. Really minor stuff.) She not only turned her back on me, she made it impossible for any of us, including our four 9 and 11 year old boys, to get together.

I still do not fully understand exactly what land mine got detonated nor who actually stepped on it, but if I had had any idea how frgile this woman was, I would have dealt with her very differently. All eight of us lost something of real value in our lives, all to protect some wound of one person's fragile past.

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