Sunday, December 21, 2008
A Cup of Joe and a Teaspoon of Jibber-Jabber
My morning started out practically the same as every morning starts. I got up, took my two golden retrievers, Jack and Emma, out to do their business, and then headed to Starbucks, conveniently located less than 5 minutes from my house, for my usual coffee order--a Venti half-caf Pike's Place coffee with 4 pumps of gingerbread syrup (sugar-free cinnamon dolce when it's not the holiday season).
After I got my coffee, put in a shot of cream, as well as an insane amount of Equal (the number isn't relevant), I decided that I wanted to pay the equally insane $5.35 for the NY Times today. So back in line I went.
To preface, it should be noted that random people--anywhere I go--talk to me. I guess that's why I'm meant to be a therapist.
So...In line now for the second time, I find myself sandwiched between two men. The man behind me, a white-haired, pony-tail-sporting (is that really necessary?) sixty-something looks at this toddler, then turns to me and says, "Ah, isn't that a cute dress?"
I don't know if it's because I'm a social worker, but my automatic thought is, possible sexual predator. Five seconds after his comment, the man in front of me, another blue-collar sixty-something, reaches into his back pocket for his wallet, then turns to me and flashes an out-of-focus picture of his granddaughter.
"What a hit she was last night when grandma and me took her out for a showing at another coffee shop!" he says.
"Oh, what a cute girl she is." This was the only response I could muster. She wasn't cute. I couldn't even tell she was a girl.
Just when I thought our conversation had ended, he decides to speak again.
"Yeah, I'm just a Southern Baptist boy from the Bayou. I work in Tampa and Detroit in the automotive business, have two houses, and teach at the college in Detroit."
"Oh, you teach?"
"Yes, automotive class at the two highest levels."
Just as I'm thinking about asking him if he knows the definition of narcissism, he continues.
"Yeah, my wife gets so mad at me. She says,'I hate you! You do everything right!' Yep, I not only have one master-technician degree, but I'm a double master-technician. I excel at everything I do."
Clearly, he isn't aware of the definition of, or his own, narcissism.
After I stopped thinking about how it was too early in the morning for this type of insignificant discourse, and after I stopped wondering if the possible sexual predator behind me thought as I did, or was I just a rude bitch, a realization came to mind.
I'm not much different than the braggart from the Bayou. I, too, want to tell everyone what I've accomplished and how special I am. While my MO may be less overt than Bayou Boy, I have my ways of getting people to ask about my accomplishments. Of course,I hate when I do this. I guess that I, and perhaps Bayou Boy, need to hear the reinforcements so that maybe one day we won't need to hear how great we are from others. Internally, we will know it ourselves.
Cliche for the day: To know, is to believe.