Saturday, December 16, 2017

Gift Horses Sometimes Have Bad Breath

I was walking down the hallway after work, paying not a bit of attention to my surroundings.  I had my keys in my hand, and was searching through my purse for my driving sunglasses.  I passed a young man, and my brain made a note.  Just a note, though, because I work in a school, and I pass quite a few young men.  Unless something they do triggers my "spidey sense",  I go about my business. 

Except on this day.  On this day I hear a voice.

"Oh pardon me! Where are my manners?"  I looked up.  This particular young man, who had been heading the other way, runs past me to open the door.  To hold said door. For me. I smiled and thanked him.  I continued to smile as I made my way to my car, a warm feeling around my heart. What a nice young man, I thought. 

And as I shut the door and put the key in the ignition, something hit me.  It was the thought that that nice young man held the door for me because I reminded him of his mother. What-what-what? I started feeling as though I couldn't breath, signaling the start of a panic attack.  Do I actually look old enough to be someone's mom?  I AM someone's mom, of course, but he's only ten, not twenty-something.  Crap. 

I started inhaling for an eight count, then exhaling slowly.  My brain just kept on rolling along with the "old" comments.  The generally pleasant feeling that I had just before I got into my car had tumbled into the depths, as it does.  I knew that I had to ride this particular train of thought to its destination.

Sometimes I overthink things.  I just have to look in the Gift Horse's mouth, try to find a motive in a behavior when perhaps there isn't one.  This was one of those times.  I shook my head as I pulled into the parking lot of my son's school. 

The truth is that I don't really feel old.  I feel tired, creaky, and cranky sometimes, not old.  I have my AARP card, and am ready to whip it out at a moment's notice to get my discount of whatever, but I don't feel old. Does anyone out there who IS actually what could be considered old(90s?), actually consider themselves old?    

Men and women sometimes hold doors open for the person behind them, just to be nice. Today wasn't the first time that had happened in my life.  When I was younger and men held a door open for me, I was just flattered at the consideration and the kindness.  What was different now?   Nothing. Someone did something nice for me.  Kindness is always welcome in my life.  I didn't need to worry over the motive behind someone else's good deed.  I just needed to be thankful for it.  

That I can do. 


  1. Men hold doors open for women here. Now that my hair is white and I am usually pushing someone in a wheelchair, they actually run at times to get the door. It is a good custom. My older brother is developmentally delayed. I've noticed people hold doors for him although you cannot tell that he is slow. I guess they just figure something is wrong when he doesn't automatically open doors.

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