Wednesday, January 19, 2011
These days I’m more likely to laugh, comment, or even respond in kind. I don’t know if it’s maturity, hormones (or a lack of them), wisdom, a sense of justice for the oppressed, an inability to suffer fools gladly—but let’s call it maturity. I was in the grocery store one day as a scowling middle-aged man pushing a grocery cart was followed by his obviously browbeaten wife. As soon as he saw me blocking the aisle on the far end, talking to another woman, he made an even worse face and hunched forward as if to mow us down. We had plenty of time to pull to one side before he got near, but he still looked murderous as he pushed past, mumbling about us blocking the aisle. I laughed and said, “If that’s the worst thing that’s happened to you today, you’re having a blessed day.” His wife’s eyes widened and she scuttled past like I was contagious. I hope I was.
Just this past Sunday I was in a meeting with a church group and the subject of a Mission Statement came up. “You’re a writer, Valerie! You would be good at helping us come up with a Mission Statement.”
I made one of those rude, you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me huffing noises. “Just shoot me now.”
“You don’t believe in Mission Statements?”
I said, “Oh, I believe in them. I’ll get behind whatever Mission Statement you make. Just don’t make me sit through another meeting with a group of people trying to come up with one. I hate those meetings.” A respectful silence followed my words. Or else most of the members of the group were saying a little prayer for my soul.
The filter seems to be gone, doesn’t it? Instead of my edges being rubbed smooth with age, I sometimes wonder if some of them are being honed even sharper.
What about you? Are you more open about your opinions? Do you react out loud, or have you learned to keep it to yourself? How is aging—I mean maturing—affecting your “filter”?