I’m going to openly rant for a minute.
One day at work, a senior director looked down at my feet and asked, with three colleagues present, whether or not my choice of my wearing a toe ring to the office was teetering on the edge of unprofessionalism.
Without blinking, I looked him in the eye and asked him if that tumour on the side of his face was dip. He returned by saying: Point taken. Never mind. Then walked into a meeting, of which he was main speaker, still dipping.
I don’t know if this is the case with everyone, but people tend to think that they can publicly comment about me, to me, in front of anyone. It’s baffling, the arrogance.
Look, I’m a fully realised human being with an admittedly immature but worldly soul, and an intellect that consistently strives to explore beyond the obvious, be above what Plato refers to in humour as BASE.
But with some people, it’s as if they lose their internal monologue around me which leads them to believe that:
- A) I need to know, and
- B) I’m going to care.
Mostly I’ve learned to go around it. Unsolicited advice about my work, my me time, my car, my personal relationships. Whatever. The number of times I’ve been told that someone couldn’t live the way I do … like I live a life of anything other than that of free bird … goes well beyond the digits on my hands and toes. After all this time, I’ve grown impervious.
However, when someone comments on what I’m wearing, good grief, it still makes me mental.
There is nothing. I mean nothing, about what I wear that anyone in this wide wide world should waste a second thought. It’s shoes, trousers, shirt. Or sandals, jeans, shirt. Or shoes, dress, shirt. It’s solid colours, usually black, with a tartan patterned top.
Sometimes, gasp, I wear a lite jacket indoors. Oooooooh. Crazy, right?
If my zipper’s down or there’s something up my nose or in my teeth … I get it, tell me. Otherwise, I’m okay not knowing your opinion about what I pulled out of the dryer that morning or clasp onto my neck or how my warpaint looks.
Wanna know why?
Because I couldn’t care less what you’ve got going on. I don’t think your top is cute. I’m not envious of your pants. I don’t want to know where you buy shoes. Your hair, tats, jewelry … so what. Completely the opposite. I’m focused on what you are saying. Unless you smell, I see your mind, not your shell.
If it sounds like I’m getting worked up, I am. See, mental I tell you.
It’s only after a person shares something about my skin or what’s next to my skin do they then become objects to me, pieces of fabric, and I start to lose interest. This time, this is someone else’s problem.
Getting back to Steve, the office guy.
Absolutely could I have changed that narrative and told the story this way: There, standing before me, was a comb-over middle aged man in an ill fitted short sleeve shirt and school boy tie, with a wad of tobacco shoved to the side of his face, taking notice of my tiny silver ring on my second to last pedicured and painted toe, encased in a fine Italian Summer office appropriate footwear.
But I don’t, because it’s not in my wheelhouse. Plus, that’s an exhausting way to say someone is being a dick.