Not So Insignificant
When someone asks about influential people in your life, you're more likely to think of a relative or good friend before you do some stranger you only met once. And how often do you think of an enemy as significant? Sometimes the most noteworthy people are the ones that will never know you intimately: authors you'll never meet, anonymous artists who spray paint feelings on walls, coworkers who only know one side of you, and blogger friends who understand so much and see so little.
Sometimes I wonder who I'd be if not for the millions of hands that have directed me.
* My father once gave me a silver dollar for "luck." It's one of the only gifts he ever gave that truly meant something. But this story isn't about him. It's about the man, the stranger I will never know, who saved it for me. I've carried the coin for ten years, seven years more than I would have. My friend and I had skipped school that day, too hungry to stay at lunch and too prideful to beg food off our friends. So we cleaned out the car for change and headed to Subway. When we reached the register we realized we were exactly $1 short of the bill. I reached into my purse and pulled out the silver dollar. "I guess I could use this. It's not like it's rare or anything."
I laid the coin out on the register and instantly regretted my decision. So we sat down and ate our food and I briefly told my friend how I'd come to have the coin. She must have known how guilty I felt, but the food was good and there was no taking it back. Suddenly a man walked toward us from the counter. I don't even remember what he looked like. Was he old? Was he fair? Who was he? What I remember is the way his hand brushed against the table as he slid me my coin. "You shouldn't give away things you care about," he said. As quick as he'd come, he was gone. Sometimes I wonder, does he remember me? Does he know how much that meant?
* I was new. She had been with the company for seven years. I was actually excited to be sharing a cube space with her. Maybe she would be my mentor? She was 60-70ish, thin, short, and lovely. She wore bright floral skirts and expensive shoes that announced her arrival with the clicking of heels. I admired her and secretly hoped that I might age as well someday. But, she was NOT as thrilled to meet me as I was to meet her. At what point did it start, I wonder? Was she determined to hate me? Or did I personally offend her that much?
She said I smelled. She claimed to be allergic to the very scent of me. I was banned from wearing perfume, lotion, and hair products. She coughed when I entered the room and continued throughout the day. She declared that I made everyone else in the office miserable because I made her suffer. She made ridiculous claims that my deodorant gave her hives. She called me indignant and disrespectful to my back and whispered "advice" to my face. It was a nightmare. She finally left, and everyone knew it was because of me. I think about her every morning as I put on lotion and perfume. It's because of her I will always take care not to tread on the people below me. Because of her I will be a kinder person. I hope she found happiness.
What seemingly "insignificant" person has influenced you?
Daily Hoop Conversation:
Tink: I wish I had ta-tas like that woman on TV.
Hoop: You know, Wal-Mart sells enhancement pills for women.
Tink: Pfft. Those don't work.
Hoop: How do you know?
Tink: Fine Hoop. I'll go out tomorrow and get some breast enhancement pills, OK? You happy now?
Hoop: I don't think you should be mad at me right now.
Tink: And why's that?
Hoop: Because you totally set me up!
Daily Hoop Conversation 2:
Hoop: I love you.
Tink: I love you more.
Hoop: If you really loved me more you'd do my homework.
Tink: Now who's setting who up?!
DOT: I've added three pictures to Twisted Tink. Can you find them? They're a bit crude. But it's the closest I could come to showing you the images in my head without help from some very expensive programs I don't have...yet. One can hope :). Let me know what you think. Don't be afraid to be critical!