Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Honest Observation

Photo by George Cummings -  www.georgecummings.net

As someone who writes about Observation for Conversation (says it right there – ^ – up on the website banner), part of the process is being sensitive to what goes on around me. This may come as a surprise, but being sensitive means… I am sensitive.  There is a vulnerable underbelly that gets exposed now and again.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because having a gooey, creamy center allows you to care and feel deeply and that is a beautiful thing.  The bad can happen when an emotional laser beam is turned toward you. And trust me, I believe that device has a setting right on the knob that goes from Stun to Kill and the people that wield it, KNOW its power.

Even if you do get seriously stung on occasion, being sensitively observant can also be the most mighty tool you can have when faced with dangerous or hostile situations. My antenna were finely tuned as a small child on the battleground where I lived, an environment where bad things were found around every corner. My ability to read a human being had to be sharpened, so that I could tell from ten paces away whether a person was going to be good news or bad news.

But, that sensitivity also puts a person in the position of being poked squarely in the eye and bruised when you least expect it.

Speaking of eyes…

A photographer friend recently asked me to be his test subject, since he’d purchased a new lens for his camera. We popped over to a nearby park and he snapped a dozen pictures in less than 15 minutes. It was a fun mini-adventure and since he’s an entertaining guy, it’s easy for him to get people to smile. The pictures captured a nice moment in time through his magical new lens and he posted them on social media for all to see.

Later that night, while in the middle of one of the busiest evening Los Angeles County commutes ever [Where I scan multiple websites for traffic info (which is posted in code: 5N 1125 T/C RS No Inj XRay O/S…) to update every ten minutes, while timing out songs and advertisements and fielding phone calls and checking weather and pushing the buttons on the board] – someone popped into my broadcast space comments about my workplace, myself and coworkers who had gone home, which raised my blood pressure, ire and volume in between all of the other madness at hand (my hand, since I was the one working).  At the end of the rat-a-tat-tat of machine gun burst conversation, which culminated in a let’s-fix-this-now speakerphone call to the boss, an additional glib observation was made and voiced to me, which kind of hurt.  It was pointed out that in those photos I had a lazy eye, something that we (Ha!) shared. Comment and exit made in the same breath.

I’m sorry?!

What was that?!  Bonding moment? Teachable moment? I’ve since pointed out that I didn’t see the benefit of making the comment at all, but maybe that’s a one-eye thing. I can’t, after all, see 3D. Perhaps, too — I am unaware of a nuanced Kumbaya moment when it comes in and bites me on the cheek while I’m working under stressful conditions.

No.  I’m really NOT sorry.

I’m seriously not sorry that I am sensitive. Nor am I sorry that my knee-jerk response, in one of my busiest moments EVER in a day, was to be shocked, irritated and wounded because everything important that I was doing on behalf of the community, and as is my bloody J.O.B. on top of the (and I paraphrase) you and your cohorts aren’t doing things right which requires multiple emails, personalities and eventually a meeting that you will have to attend during your time off (which is another piece to be written down the road about Cooks and Broth and Micromanagement) — just had to be interrupted to receive that bit of information – which I was informed later, was “just an honest observation.” Funny.  That felt just like a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Trying to (shock) absorb that information, and realizing that everybody else who’d seen those photos probably was thinking the very same thing he did, since he felt it needed to be addressed, I figured humor was a good tactic to take.  So, I made a remark under those images that it was that very fellow who made that “honest observation” who was going to keep me humble, by pointing out a defect. In a heated moment. On your way out the door. With no follow-up conversation.

No, sir.  Sometimes, in life (more often than not, really) there are comments that just shouldn’t be made. No matter how honest the observation.  Not when it comes to something that cannot be changed. Nope. Not even if it is something you share with another human being – especially a human being that you don’t really know very well. Examples?…

“Hey! How ‘bout that?! You’re carrying an extra 50 pounds, too!”

“Oh, wow. We must have the same bad barber!”

“Look at that! I didn’t get my nose fixed in high school either!”

“Whoa!  Apparently, no money for orthodontia in your family or mine. Man! What are the odds of that?”

It could be said that I don’t vibrate at a higher level of consciousness.  No, I’m afraid my frequencies are clearly tuned a little lower, leaving me with that soft, sensitive underbelly in a land where it’s not okay to be hostile, toxic and arrogant.

You’ll excuse me, if that’s too honest an observation.

xo – t.

“People who are brutally honest get more satisfaction out of the brutality than out of the honesty.” – Richard J. Needham

“You can be strong and true to yourself without being loud or rude.” – Paula Radcliffe

“I’m not shy about heated debate or passionate discourse, but when people get crazy or rude, that’s a buzzkill. There’s got to be a better code of conduct, some basic etiquette.” – Mos Def

“I’m a good person, but with many defects.” – Enrique Iglesias

“It’s not a slam at you when people are rude, it’s a slam at the people they’ve met before.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Photo by George Cummings -  www.georgecummings.net

Photo by George Cummings – www.georgecummings.net