… outside of a medical facility for someone recently. I’d been instructed to drive around to “patient pickup” and it took a little longer for them to appear at the door than I’d expected. The air felt warm, not hot, but I still needed to remove my suit jacket. I wear that to cover my arms. I hate my arms. And my legs. And everything else. I suppose I’ve totally bought into the body image crap I see in the media and hear from other people… but that’s not my point…
I waited in the shade next to the car because I wanted to be ready to spring into action to help my person into the car. You know, open the door, make sure he doesn’t fall over the … the… what do you call those concrete things they put in parking lots so that cars don’t park on sidewalks? Well, whatever it is, I don’t want him to fall over it.
Finally when the nurse brings him to the door I do just that – spring into action. He’s terribly unsteady on his feet. He’s just had a procedure that required sedation and if you’ve ever had Propofol, you come to the realization why once Michael Jackson had some, he couldn’t get enough. Propofol is my favorite. It’s good they keep it in the locked cabinets for medical facilities only. Or, at least, you know, doctors.
Once my person is safely in the car and I have him belted in and the door closed, the nurse says something to me from the doorway. I didn’t quite hear her, so I stepped closer.
“Eh? Sorry?” I asked. (I’m half Canadian/half British at heart)
She gestured at me and then at her own waist, “Could I borrow that for the weekend? You have such a tiny waist!”
I looked at her, completely dumbfounded. I suppose if I were completely honest, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard that. But I rarely hear it above the din of “thigh gap”, “huge ass”, and whatever it is they say about women’s arms that aren’t perfectly toned (or toned at all). It is rare for me to hear a compliment from anyone. So I had to blink. And then again. I finally choked out “Yeah! Let me know when!” and when I got back to my car I opened the door, looked directly at her, smiled, and said a very sincere, “Thank you.”
It wasn’t just that someone was nice to me. It happens. But I often get a little tired of reading about what I shouldn’t say to people. Things to never say to a cat owner. Things to never say to a lesbian. Things to never say to people with kids. Things to never say to people without kids… There are so many “rules” for conversation these days I feel muzzled. The last thing I want to do is offend anyone. I want to be everyone’s friend. This nice nurse took a chance to say something nice to me and I’ve been thinking about it since it happened.
I want to say more nice things to people, “Nice car!”, “Great shoes!”, “Your hair is gorgeous!” Why? Because it makes people feel good about themselves and about the world around them. I think everyone should try it. It doesn’t cost anything but a few seconds of your time.