Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Callus

I have no idea if I am using the proper spelling of callus - in reference to calling someone callus, that is. I know that a callus is the hardened or thickened skin that forms. In the old days those were known to be on my feet from so many hours of dancing. It must have been pretty bad at one point because every time I would go to have my shins wrapped while running track the guy would scrape off my calluses..hmm...

Anyways, so, I've had plenty of calluses in my life, but never has this been a word used to describe me. Me of all people - I guess when life kicks you in the butt (or you at least feel that way) you tend to be a little hard in certain subjects. I do not look at it as me being "hard", but merely "real" that things happen. I am sure you are on the tips of your seat wondering how a sweet little person, that tries her hardest not to offend anyone, could ever be called this word. Get ready for story time!

Yesterday a woman, let's call her Juanita, drops off something to me at my place of work. It was a pair of sunglasses to give to another person, we'll call her Ethel. Juanita tells me to give the sunglasses to Ethel and states she is in a lot of pain and headed to the doctor. Maybe an hour passes and I receive a phone call from Juanita asking if Ethel had picked up her sunglasses...

Juanita: "Has Ethel been there yet?"

Me: "No."

Juanita: "Well, DO NOT let her get those sunglasses...I just got back to the doctor and he told me I have scalpel herpes and it is very contagious and pregnant women should not be anywhere near me."

Me: "Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that, I will certainly let her know."

Juanita: "Please, make sure she does not touch those sunglasses. I cannot remember if I had them on my head, I might have, but do not let her touch them."

Me: "I will make sure and not let her touch them"

**then I am to listen more and more and more about how not to let Ethel touch the sunglasses**

Juanita: "I would feel guilty for the rest of my life if something happened to her baby"

Me: "You shouldn't feel guilty for the rest of your life, things happen - even when there isn't a reason."

Juanita: silence...then continues on about Ethel not touching the glasses.

So this morning I get a call from Ethel telling me how Juanita called her (to tell her not to touch the sunglasses) and then proceeded to let her know "that girl" (referring to me) was callus about the subject. Of course Ethel defended me and explained the situation and Juanita was apologetic after she found out my deep dark secret.

It is so frustrating, but at the same point I don't care that I am insensitive towards the subject. I feel that it is ok for me to be "hard" if you will because it happened to me. Maybe I am bitter because this woman clearly forgot who I was, even though she has known me for years, or maybe it was because she was in contact with me and didn't seem to care that I might become infected with her scalpel herpes. Needless to say I picked up the glasses with a paper (double) towel and put them in a plastic bag - I was not about to touch them.

5 comments:

Shannon said...

callous ;-)

I've been called that a time or two myself in the last year. Well, more like the last few months. Sometimes not directly, but I know that's what they mean to say.

And it's not because I am. I am probably one of THE MOST sensitive people one could ever think to meet. I feel people's pain and I feel empathy for them, no matter how minor their ordeal is.

It's just things have been put into perspective for me now, you know? Which is also a part of the reason I don't have words to say to those who are new to this struggle with baby loss. I'm nearly a year out now, and I'm seeing things differently than I did before. But the things I can say to these women I KNOW would only cause more anger.

Or to the woman who is having a difficult pregnancy and the baby's life is possibly threatened. I see her struggling, and I want so much to give her words of peace and comfort, but I can't do that because the words I have may not be the words she wants to hear right now. And if I say the words she NEEDS to hear, as opposed to the words she WANTS to hear, I am heartless and callous. So I just keep my mouth shut (or my fingers still, whatever the case may be).

We're not emotionally hardened people. We're still sensitive to the pain and suffering of other people. We've just found a new perspective, and with that perspective comes a different outlook.

Holly said...

I would definitely not consider you a callous person. Perhaps some people have considered me as this but they've never said it directly to me. Some things I just don't give a crap about anymore.

And you know, I think it's awful that she wasn't concerned about you being in contact with the glasses. "Ethel" never touched them but you did!!! (or maybe you didn't I just assume you did)

gecowart said...

You are not callus! You are one of the happiest cheerful people I know! I am probably a callus person! I am definately a grudge holder! So watch out if you pissed me off me people!:)

Gretchen

Maggie said...

I don't think it was callous/callus of you at all! In all honesty, it seemed that you were trying to reassure the woman that things happen for reasons beyond our comprehension.

Tiffany said...

Hi! I just stumbled on your blog today and first of all, you have a beautiful family! You, your husband, your fur baby and your precious Hudson. All of your photos are just gorgeous. And secondly, I am so sorry that you had such an unpleasant encounter with "Juanita". You know, I heard it said once that wouldn't it be crazy if we all walked around with a sign around our neck explaining our situation, and why we might be the way we are. How differently we might treat people. At the same token, shouldn't we treat people well no matter what their situation!

I'm sorry you had to deal with that!

 
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