Last Friday I wrote about the stranger who tried to correct my form while I was going through my practice (The peanut gallery speaks). Well, today our paths crossed while I was replenishing my supply of allergy meds in a nearby town.
If he had not again spoken to me first, I would have never taken any particular notice of him. To my mind people look different outside the gym, in street clothes and not all sweaty from their workouts. It happens to me frequently whenever I pass someone who looks familiar in neighborhood establishments and typically takes me a moment to figure out where I know them from.
Anyway, he got in line behind me and greeted me with a smile and a hearty “hi.” I smiled and replied automatically, thinking he must be someone from the building the houses my firm’s offices. Our dialog went something like this (he is in italics):
I feel like I should apologize for what I said to you on Friday morning, but I was only trying to help you and keep you from hurting yourself.
(Lightbulb moment for me – it’s THAT guy. Internal scowl commences.)
I appreciate the regret and the apology, but ….
(Insert long pause here while I internally debate whether or not to continue with my train of thought. F**k it, I decide and continue with the unedited version of what I truly think and feel about this whole situation.)
The way you approached me and said what you did makes it completely clear that our interaction was all about you and your ego; I was merely a prop to be utilized in some self-serving quest. I would like you to never approach or talk to me again if our paths intersect inside or outside the gym.
Hey that’s not fair or very nice; I was only trying to be kind and help you out ….
Please stop talking to me. You have nothing to say to me that I wish to hear.
And with that I moved to another line to wait for my turn to pay for my drugs and get back to my life.
Was I was rude? Maybe. Fresh off pep-talks from M, from J, from zillions of other friends, I said exactly what I thought, politely and firmly. I did not raise my voice. I did not make a scene. I did not even swear. I just stated what I felt with no qualifiers and no attempts to make him feel better about his behavior.
And I am okay with that. I stood up for myself and reclaimed back a little of the ground I lost over this incident.