Have you ever drawn up a conclusion of someone you have never met based on what others have said about them? I’m sure you have… everyone has at some point in their lives. Especially in grade school. “Ugh! That new girl is such a slut! I heard blah blah blah blah about her!” Gossip and rumors.. childish shit. Yet first impressions are always such an important thing it can really distort your view of someone whether you mean to or not.
In the 7th grade a new girl arrived at our school. Her name was Shannon. I remember she had a mouth full of metal, wore bright red lipstick , her hair curly and pulled back in a barrette . Almost to the day that Shannon started there the rumor mill (aka the henhouse of popular girls that didn’t have anything else better to do than start up drama) started in on her. There was rumors flying everywhere as to WHY she had started at her school (she was pregnant? Runaway? She was kicked out of her old school? She had MONO?) every single possibility flowed from lips to ear of the kids in my class. Whether it was true or not, her ‘reputation’ at my school was ruined before she got to say hello to anyone. Kids whispered behind her back while she walked around with a bright smile just as friendly as she could be to everyone. Eventually she must have caught wind of what people were saying about her, but back when I was growing up there wasn’t any Jerry Springer style smack downs out on the playground, so she held her tongue. She had a small group of friends that she hung out with (the ‘outcasts’ as dubbed by the henhouse) Now that I look back on it, Shannon didn’t last at my school for very long… I wonder what happened to her.
Once you graduate and leave school that same hen house mentality follows you out into the adult world. In work places people tend to form cliques and that can either make or break YOUR future in that company if you don’t measure up. I’m sure everyone has been given the run down on the employees to watch out for on a first day of a new job. “So and so is trouble! He/she lies! don’t trust so and so!” I started one job and felt so threatened by a fellow employee that I hadn’t even met yet because of my co workers who wanted to warn me about how awful they were. Funny thing is, after I did meet this person we became quite close friends with over time. They weren’t as evil as everyone made them out to be… it was just that typical drama llama bullshit Gossip, rumors. I’ve been on all sides of the spectrum with that. I’ve lead, followed and been ‘voted off the island’ because I just wasn’t good enough.
Through the years I’ve become more reserved around people. I used to be very outgoing and social, wanting to join in on team building events, social gatherings, etc. Nowadays I’d rather just do my job and go home, distancing myself from the drama. Many mistake it for being angry or aloof when I sit quietly. I’ve lost count of the times people judge the look on my face as something bad when all I am doing is trying to stay in the background (“Geez! Look at your face! *horrified look*). I used to try to explain to people that’s just how I am but I’ve since given up. Those that care enough to get to know me KNOW the real me. It’s like most people would rather just rely on their own opinions of you rather than trying to get to know who you are. It’s that which is making this world a very very unhappy place.. 😦
This topic came to mind lately when someone new arrived where I work. This person has had daggers for me from day one and I have no idea why. I know gossip (especially amongst an office full of females) runs rampant everywhere and I’m sure since I have developed the title of ‘angry aloof’ that conclusions are being assumed that I’m not a nice person. I’ve overheard everyone talking about everyone so that doesn’t surprise me.. what bothers me is it feels like I was the topic in a ‘watch out for this person’ discussion. Part of me wanted to take this person aside in the beginning to try to find out why I’m being treated like I have a horn growing out of the center of my forehead. Getting all of this out of my brain and onto these pages though, I’ve decided that it’s not worth my time. People nowadays are going to think exactly what they want to. You can’t please everyone in this life and so it’s more important to focus on those that DO appreciate you for who you are.
Bottom line.. to hell with them, it’s their loss.
Now that everything is said and done I can finally breathe a sigh of relief and share… Recently I had an abnormal mammogram that was concerning to my doctors so I was referred to a hospital setting for more in depth testing. So, this morning I had a hot date with one of the PCRMC state of the art ‘squishing’ machines. In one of their hospital plush pink robes I was kneaded like a ball of pizza dough. “Stand here, lean in this way, hold your breath, etc etc etc” ( On… the big screens on the wall I definitely saw the areas that they were trying to get a closer look at! ) but thankfully after one of their specialists was able to take a look at the new views they determined that there isn’t anything to be concerned about for now. To say it’s been a hellish couple of weeks has been an understatement but thankfully this has a happy ending. So thankful this has a positive ending for now, and also so thankful that I have friends who are supportive and put up with my rollercoaster o’ emotions during this whole ordeal. (and a man who isn’t ashamed to sit in the ‘Breast Center” waiting room while I had all of this testing done. In the back testing area between scans I met an older lady who told me about the ‘fella’ who was sitting by himself in the waiting room. I got to say “That’s my husband!” She replied with “aww, how sweet of him!”
Fears were confirmed (to a degree) My doctor wants to refer me to a specialist for more testing. Doesn’t necessarily mean that’s a bad thing, but for the time being my mortality is being questioned more than ever.
Not going to say much more about this for now. Don’t want to jinx anything, but now it’s a waiting game on when I can get into that specialist for the further testing.
Received a message yesterday on my voice mail from the doctor’s to return their call regarding my routine mammogram I had last week. They had told me when I was leaving that day that if they were concerned about anything I would get a phone call back almost immediately. Otherwise I would get a letter in the mail, so basically ‘no news would be good news’. So they have news. NEWS. The first word that came to mind was “FUCK” Any normal person would react the same way I have… fear of what they are going to say The unknown. ugh. WHY did they have to be closed when I tried to call them back? Oh yeah, because even breast center employees even have to go home to their families every now and then. Instantly my stomach started doing backflips and I wanted to throw up. It brought back memories of when my mom called me at my apartment in Auburn and told me she was FINALLY going to the doctor after years and years of not having insurance coverage. “I’m finally going to go have a total lookover!” she told me excitedly. Years after her divorce from my dad she had finally gotten her life together to move on. Then a month or so later came her cancer diagnosis. Once I heard her tell me that all I wanted to do was fly to her side and hug her until all the strength had left my body.
I’m not saying I’m jumping straight to the assumption that what they are going to tell me is a bad thing. Maybe it’s all the memories of my experience with her paired with the unknown that has absolutely rendered me emotionally crippled. How can someone NOT feel alone and scared when you get a message like that? I spent all last night cuddled up with my dachshunds crying myself to sleep over and over again. Daisy, my little girl found a comfortable little spot under my cheek and would lift her head to give me supportive kisses on my face. Gads I love that little dog!
So now I get to go off to work and try to get into an automatic pilot mode in order to get through the day. I think I can do it, as long as I focus hard enough. I guess I wanted to jot down these thoughts live from the abyss of the unknown so tonight when I look back on this after I get the ‘you’re just fine!” message from my doctor I can look back on it with a chuckle. Because it will be funny…
My parents were avid smokers growing up. In fact, that’s what ultimately did my mother in. She had lung cancer which had progressed into her brain before she was able to get to the doctor and have herself checked. Back when my mom was growing up smoking was considered glamorous and socially acceptable. Even on TV programs like one of my favorites “I Love Lucy” they showed smoking nonchalantly.
so to have my parents grow up the way they did was totally ‘normal’, I guess. Smoking was never my thing though, I mean I tried it of course (what kid doesn’t?) back when I was in middle school, but it made me vomit and I never did it again.
One Mother’s day I remember calling my mom to wish her a happy day and she said something I’ll obviously never forget. She said “You know, I was just sitting here thinking about something that’s so interesting. When I was pregnant with your brother and sister I didn’t smoke one time…and they smoke. Then when I was pregnant with you I smoked the entire pregnancy and you don’t smoke. Isn’t that funny?”
Uh… define the word ‘funny’ mom.. although maybe that is the reason why I never had the desire to take up the habit. It also could be the reason why I fell behind so much in school, had an awful stutter and lisp as a child and still have a hard time focusing. But anyways, as usual I’ve gotten way way WAY off track.
Back in the day when smoking was more socially acceptable you could collect ‘points’ on every carton of cigarette to earn prizes. My mom could have probably purchased a car with all the points she collected (sarcasm of course but not too far off from the truth) She would give me some of the gifts occasionally such as calendars, address books, wearing apparel. Nicely made items but still little commercials for their products. Mom meant well giving me these so I would never slight her for it. She would also accumulate points for breakfast cereals and drink mixes to also get prizes in the mail so cigarettes weren’t the only thing she collected points for. Well in the records I was going through it looks like “Lucky Strike” also had something to offer for purchasing a certain amount of their product. Imagine, lighting up a cigarette, kicking back and listening to these tunes on a midsummer’s night.
I don’t think you can get these types of things anymore since the tobacco companies are under constant scrutiny. Not that that’s a bad thing at all….
Just unearthed a box of my old records from growing up. I have no idea what I am going to do with them so I figured i’d take a picture of each before I discard them. I have lots and lots of hours of fond memories sitting indian style on the floor in front of my record player playing each of these records over and over and over again. Records were THE thing back in the day. I would go to GEMCO with my mother with my allowance and while she shopped for groceries I would loiter in the record album area and buy the latest Disney read along record/book that had come out. Then I would hide in those circular garment racks and look at my new purchase eagerly awaiting to go home so I could play it for the first time.
This first one I chose to photograph and share wasn’t one I bought from GEMCO, but rather it was a door to door salesman that was selling them. What a coincidence too, since I was currently going to a private Lutheran school and every year this would be the annual play for us kids to do. I loved the play, I loved the songs, I loved that record. I think even now 38 years later I could probably recite each word from the play and sing each song as well. This play/musical made a huge impact on my little life back in the 70’s.. I loved the land of Agape! You could play this record and turn page to page following all of the songs as they played. Back then private school was fun. It didn’t start to really suck until later on when all of the ‘cliques’ amongst the kids started to form. That was when I developed a skill of looking down at my feet and sitting off away from the other kids as much as I could. But.. that’s another story for another time. Back to Agapeland!
Thanks for checking this out! 🙂
Growing older means you have to endure occasional uncomfortable appointments with your doctor in order to ensure you’re healthy. What also comes with age is feeling every ache and pain in your body and instantly resisting the urge to go to WebMD.com to try to diagnose what it could be. Yep, growing older and becoming a hypochondriac goes hand in hand, sadly… All we can do is take a good hard long look at our health and try to do the best we can.
So tomorrow I get to go to an appointment for a certain exam that women especially despise.
What is a bit concerning is when I called to make an appointment they are usually booked out for at least a month, however when I told them my age they got me an appointment almost right away. I know I’m in the ‘higher’ risk due to my age, so that’s great they got me in so quick… but how can I NOT feel a little unnerved over that? Of course now that I know I have this appointment all of those phantom aches and pains are making themselves known ten fold. It’s been very difficult to concentrate all weekend on anything but this appointment. Thankfully my co workers and my supervisor are very supportive so I’ll have enough time to run home, get a shower (“show up at your appointment wearing NO scents”) and then head there for what will hopefully be an uneventful procedure.
Just gotta put out there though… I’m pretty damn scared right now, I mean that’s normal, right? I think I’ll stop for pie afterwards… pie always makes everything better.