So, today’s Daily Prompt asks us about the last time we flew into a rage. and what made us so mad. OK, fair enough.
About three months ago, I was sitting at the local coffee shop/bookstore that I frequent. It was Saturday afternoon, and I was content to just sit, sip my coffee, and chat with the baristas. And then, the facilitator from my meditation group walked in. Side note: We dated for a few weeks back in 2012. It ended – she ended it – but we managed to keep a distant, but cordial acquaintance afterwards. And, then at the beginning of 2013, she helped to form a meditation group for those interested. I was. I began to attend and have been going steadily since then. It’s been a great help. It’s also always been a little weird for me. I’ve always wondered if there was ever a chance that we’d give things another try, and while I haven’t made this obvious, I haven’t gone out of my way to hide it. But despite this bit of awkwardness on my part, I’ve managed to not let it interfere with what’s become an important part of my life.
So, anyway, back to the coffee shop. She walks in that Saturday afternoon by coincidence. She walks in with a date. She says hello and introduces us briefly. Ok, fair enough. He orders coffee and sits to my right, and she, she stands on my left, literally putting me in the middle of their date. Whaaaa? She then proceeds to tell this other gentlemen about my trip to Istanbul and encourages me to show him some photos I had saved on Facebook of that trip, while not moving towards her date but hovering next to me, in my personal space. I am, as you can imagine, uncomfortable. I tried to steer the conversation towards him, but he was naturally a bit standoffish. Go figure. He then gets up to peruse the stacks, and she keeps standing there, with her body facing me, and her hips swaying ever so slightly. And then, a few minutes later, she gets up to have a look around herself. I’ve never been the keenest observer of female body language, so I asked the two ladies behind the coffee bar if I was nuts or if she was acting rather, um, forwardly. They both agreed it was her, not me, and one even went so far to say something to the effect that she thought that Ms. Meditation was gonna climb on top of me.
In other words, she was playing games. She was trying to make her date jealous, and was trying to tease me because…she needed her ego to be fed? She liked the attention? She was on a power trip of some kind? A combination of these things, perhaps? Whatever the reason, it was disrespectful to both her date and to me as well as me. She was trying to manipulate us. I was not pleased.
Rather than blow up right away, as is often my wont, I waited a few days and sent her a Facebook message telling her how terribly inappropriate and disrespectful her behavior was and how disappointed I was in her. I was met with a verbal shrug as suggested that we “connect” face-to-face over tea and that she was sorry if I was hurt as that was not her intent. That’s when I snapped. I wrote back. “Short answer: Bullshit.” I went on to point out that for someone who was trying to teach others to be more be more compassionate and aware of the feelings of others (among other things) that she was being grossly hypocritical. This was met with a phone message in which she protested that she had no idea what I was talking about but, again, would be willing to meet with me over a spot of tea at that coffee shop (it’s close to where our meditation sessions are held) and talk it over. I left a terse reply that there was no need as I had said what I needed to say.
I’ve been angry since. It’s faded a bit, but, I was first manipulated, which was bad enough. I was manipulated by a 37 year-old woman, no less. This is a 37 (now 38) year-old woman who had been through some the same battles with depression I’ve been facing. I thought she had managed to come through that with a degree of maturity and insight and genuinely respected her for what she had done in helping to bring the meditation group together. Instead I found out that while she’s preaching a sound doctrine of mindfulness and loving kindness that she’s just an overgrown Mean Girl. Which brings us to the worst part of all of this. She has muddied the waters and tainted what I thought was a legitimately safe place for me to talk about some of what I going through with others. Instead of an open and honest place of trust, I now walk into what feels like a desecrated church. She shit where she ate, and I’m left to wonder what to do next. And this, more than anything else, infuriates me.
Sigh The Gospels might be sound, but Elmer Gantrys abound.