This weekend at my show I was screamed at by a stranger.
I know! It was totes fun. Her kid's group had some mic issues during their set, and she demanded that I let them repeat their turn. In a competition. With 9 other groups.
Because she had taken a long flight to see the show.
It was baffling, really. I would really like to see an olympics athlete ask to go again because their conditions for competition were less than ideal.
Then, when I said that it wasn't a possibility but the judges were trained to overlook sound problems, she got super upset. At me, for not being willing (able) to change the rules for her. Not a shred of understanding, and started berating me for "doing my job wrong," then slammed a door in my hand as she said "you'd change your mind if you were a mother!"
Wow. Hurtful. And wrong, because I very likely won't be the kind of parent who fakes going to bat for their kid. I believe STRONGLY in parents advocating for their children, but 21 year olds who accidentally switch off a microphone don't need advocating for. They need to accept that something unfortunate happened, and move on.
And so that was all well and good. I managed not to shout at this person or cry, but I did both after I got to a quiet place away from her. Not because I was wrong, but because it hurts to be yelled at. We aren't meant to tear each other down, and YET WE DO. All the damn time.
I accidentally found out who the child of this woman was, and she said "oh yeah, my mom has serious anger issues. I'm so sorry." Apparently this woman makes a HABIT of going around her world shouting at strangers.
And it made me think. What if I was having a bad day? What if I was trying to get pregnant and couldn't, and that Mother comment killed me on the inside? What if 1,387 other reasons WHY WE SHOULDN'T SCREAM AT STRANGERS? It's a legitimate question, and yet we do it with such disregard. Flipping off folks who cut us off in traffic, glaring at servers who don't bring our gee dee ranch fast enough for us, whatever it is - we're quick to assume that other people are simply dicks, not humans who are trying their best.
It has come to my attention that some of us (most of us?) detest giving other humans the benefit of the doubt. I really think that, or at least we just have zero self-awareness. Deny it all you want, and maybe YOU'RE not one of those. But I could name 10 people that I interact with on a weekly basis that definitely are.
Then I saw this on Facebook. You might have seen it, and who knows, it might be fake. It's a pretty woman with lots of scars on her pretty body from lots of surgeries and cancer. And people got PISSED. That she would dare show her scars, that she would dare put "pornographic" things on the internet like that. I mean, she's hot, with or without the scars, but calling this pornographic is like calling a picture of a topless 2 year old pornographic. It just isn't - within the normal realm of human standards.
So this pretty lady has physical scars. Covered by regular clothes, but scars nonetheless. Who among us, though, doesn't have some scars? Luckily on Saturday I wasn't battling anything major in my soul, and the stranger's attack didn't hurt me too badly. It still hurt, though.
Imagine if I'd just found out I or one of my loved ones had cancer. She would have been the bitch that yelled at a dying girl, or whatevs.
So why don't we all just assume the best, instead of the worst, about someone? I've been that person that you flipped off because I almost merged into you because I was thinking SO HARD about real, painful, current things. I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention to you, but I was attending to more important things. You made me feel like a bad person when you flipped me off. I'm not. I've just got shit going on, just like you do.
This is not to say that we should excuse willfully bad behavior. We can, however, attempt to separate horrible behavior from the human who executes it. It's hard, but it's worth it to fill your heart with acceptance and thoughts of potential for humans rather than "everyone's an asshole, might as well be one too!"
Also I think this outpouring means that I don't like being yelled at.
Go hug someone.