Now I Get It, Mrs. G!

There was this customer who frequented the establishment where I worked years ago. An older woman, let’s call her Mrs. G. Mrs G had buried two husbands and worked all her life and was quite well off. She was still attractive, had an apartment on Fifth Avenue and people to take of her in her old age. She seemed to have it all. Well, except for her youth and two dead husbands. But she was perpetually cranky. Bordering on mean. I didn’t get it. She had all of the means to sail comfortably through old age, why was she so crabby? Now as those of you who know me are painfully aware, I came out of the womb cranky. I’ve never understood why some people seem to have it all, and some don’t. I’ve spent my whole life wondering why I was gypped in so many of life’s departments. I’m not thin, I’m not pretty, I have no money. I have an entry-level job, and no prospects. I’m good at a lot of things and great at nothing. And I can’t wear beautiful shoes. Seriously, couldn’t whoever was handing out the door prizes at least have given me nice feet? So, I get why I’m cranky, but Mrs. G? C’mon!! Now, let me just interject here. I know that crankiness is a self-fulfilling prophesy, a kind of what comes first, the chicken or the egg, the “I’m cranky cause I was gypped”,or the “I haven’t always gotten what I want because being cranky is just a good excuse for not getting what I want”. I’m well aware, in my head, that I wasn’t gypped. I have as much beauty, talent, and yes, even potential to make more money as the next person. The difference between me and the successful, adorable person next to me, is that she believes in her success, her adorableness, her potential for greatness, the plain and simple fact that she has every right to be happy. And I’m just not quite there yet. That’s it, folks. And perhaps, if, just for a minute, I step into Mrs. G’s expensive shoes, maybe I’ve not only outlived my husbands, but most of my friends. Maybe, my kids aren’t close by and the only person I talk to is my caregiver, and she’s getting paid. A lot. Maybe I know I’m being cranky and judgemental, but it’s a habit I’ve picked up over the years, like smoking, especially when I’m scared or frustrated, and it’s hard to quit cold turkey, or ask for help. Interestingly enough, I have a lot in common with Mrs. G. She’s no longer with us, so she doesn’t get the chance to give up the habits that we know aren’t good for us. The snarky put downs, the temper tantrums, the face that is always scowling, (my mom was right, it is gonna freeze that way!), the cranky person who pushes people away, when what she wants more than anything is for people to like her. And nice-looking feet. Is that too much to ask?

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Life, Interrupted
carynjune

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