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the importance of eye contact


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i had terrible, horrifying dreams last night, and tossed and turned and generally didn't get a lot of sleep; still somehow when my alarm clock went off, i felt more rested than i have felt in weeks after "a night's sleep", a phrase i use in the loosest form.
i actually surprised myself by being in such a good mood this morning, even before the requisite two cups of coffee before showering. the morning ticked on without incident, and at around 8:50am, i was driving to starbucks, as i do every single morning of every single workday. there was an unusually long line in the drivethrough, my normal m.o. for starbucks, so i parked and went inside.
i was greeted by the happy, caffeinated faces i'm accustomed to, and didn't even have to verbalize my order, just greet everyone and answer "yes! thank you!" to the question "quad espresso & pumpkin loaf?" and within about 2 minutes, they were handing me my white paper cup full of nectar of the gods and a little slice of pumpkin loaf heaven. i thanked my favorite morning people and turned to go, accidently bumping the arm of a lady passing in the opposite direction.
since she was already behind me, i said "oh, pardon me." and kept walking when i heard her say "excuse you, bitch!"
it didn't take but a second or two to deduce that she probably hadn't heard me say "pardon me" at all, beause she was deaf. i would hate for this to come across as a generalization, so if it does, i apologize ahead of time: i could tell she was deaf by her speech.
instantly, after realizing that she hadn't heard me, i felt horrible. she must have thought that i hadn't cared enough to apologize after bumping into her. i turned around after having heard what she said and for a brief moment we made eye contact, but it was after the fact, and didn't matter any more. my expression must have been befuddled confusion, and hers was certainly anger. it was an accident. still, i felt horrible.
driving to work, the good mood i'd been fostering so preciously all morning was all but wrecked. thank god i had some espresso. still, something was eating at me: just as i had assumed she must have heard me, she had assumed that i hadn't said anything in apology.
in fairness, i suppose i shouldn't assume that my apologies never fall on, pardon the pun, deaf ears. in the same vain, wouldn't it be prudent for a hearing-impaired individual not to make the assumption that just because they hadn't heard an acknowledgement of some sort that said acknowledgement never occurred? does that even make sense?
sure, i'm totally over-thinking the entire thing. maybe she's forgotten about it completely by now. maybe she didn't give it another thought after she cast "bitch" at me like she did. maybe she's accustomed to being pushed around and had finally had enough. maybe i was her breaking point.
whatever the situation was that caused her reaction, i did learn a valuable lesson today: a little eye contact never hurt anybody. i'll definitely make eye contact next time, no matter how big a hurry i think i might be in.
and now for something completely different: this is hilarious! i did it over and over and over - and it always got my songs right! you tap your spacebar to the beat of a song, and if you have any kind of rythym, the results are amazing - it gets it right every time! save it for a pleasant work diversion...


2 Responses to “the importance of eye contact”

  1. Anonymous sayra 

    stumped it twice! woot!


    it's unnerving to me when people respond so violently to what is obviously an accident. i totally would have said something, but then it would have gotten even uglier, and what good would come of that. hate it when your day gets shot down by someone else's vitriol. she probably misses a lot of people sayng excuse me; what's wrong with giving people the benefit of the doubt?

  2. Anonymous melissa mcgee 

    YEAH!!! thank you for understanding. and for using the word "vitriol". i love that word, and i never think to use it in the appropriate situation.

    that was perfect!

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  • From Temple, Texas, United States
  • photographer. singer. soapcrafter. herbalist. dogmom. godmother. fantastic cook. i kiss better than i cook. [all photographs on this blog copyright melissa mcgee unless otherwise noted.]
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