This Stays With Me

Unfriendliness or hostility in person bothers me so much that it stays with me for months and sometimes years. Does that happen to you?

For some reason I was thinking this morning about my meeting with some of the Quartzsite Roadrunners at their booth at Quartzsite in January.

I had long promoted them on the web because they were and are a large group with a large shop and they always seem to be doing good things. Like leading field trips during the PowWow.

With a big smile I approached the booth and asked about membership. I would be renewing.

“Who are you? Do you live in Quartzsite? Where are you from?”

“Uh, Pahrump, Nevada.”

“Why do you want to join? Oh, you’re a member? Do you have your card?”

I said I didn’t but would it be too difficult to join?

Instead, I got a lot of questions on, again, why I wanted to join.

I figured out later that they were thinking there was no point in me joining if I couldn’t use any of their resources in town since I was from out of state. But I was so flustered with this aggressive questioning that I couldn’t come up with my usual reasons.

I join out of area clubs to support them financially, to get their newsletters, and to be allowed on their field trips.

Instead, I mumbled that I had long promoted them (where is their attitude coming from?) and I opened up my first shirt to show them I was wearing one of their club shirts with their nice roadrunner logo.

That caused a slight smile but the questioning continued. I also told them that I was a contributor at large for Rock&Gem magazine and that seemed to make them a little more friendly. Obviously they were not on the web and had never read what I had written about them.

They then said if I wanted to help the club that I should buy some raffle tickets. Fine. I pulled out twenty dollars and they suddenly became much happier. Later on I found I won a small prize which was nice.

I had a recent hostile experience in Goldfield with a guy who turned out to be an ex biker who declared both Sharon Artlip and Bryan Smalley to be dishonest people. What a jerk. He actually said this, “I am warning you, don’t ever use the names of dishonest people in a small town.” He was giving me a warning! At eight o’clock on a Sunday morning.

I offered him some fresh chocolate chip muffins as an apology, although I had no idea how I had offended him. “I don’t eat sugar.”

Anyway, these sort of memories stay with me for the longest of times. I do not try to remember them, they are instead like a shadow that dogs and dogs me. I am about the friendliest person you will meet and to have hostility returned is completely life defeating.

I remember how terrible it was to enter junior high school and then high school where meanness and aggression and terror and anxiety and bullying were the ever-present pulse of those wretched institutions. It makes me furious to this day that I couldn’t be kind there and that I had to hide in fear.

I was raised around kind folk, older people, mostly my Dad’s colleagues. Gentle adults who were doctors who got into medicine to help people. And then school was all about kids and adult teachers who wanted to hurt.

I’m so mad about this right now I’m going to quit writing for the day. Damn them all!

 

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer specializing in outdoor subjects, particularly rocks, gems and minerals.
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