If you don’t know me in real life, you don’t know that I’m super shy. Not in every situation, but in most. I will talk to people, but I’m going to be awkward about it. It’s a rare occasion when I talk to a stranger without having been approached by them and I sure as heck won’t approach someone in a confrontational situation.
This afternoon, I got “yelled at” at the $2 theater for a matinee showing of The Lorax. When the movie began, I got a lovely, “You need to sit down” snark from the lady behind us. Now, I’m the first to admit that I get pretty upset when people are being inconsiderate of others. Don’t talk on your cell phone in a movie, if you’re super tall, don’t stand right in front of a short person at a concert, etc. But really, I JUST got here, I’m in a line of people trying to find seats in the dark. Do you think I’m planning to stand in the aisle for the whole movie? Hold your horses for a sec.
But I just hurried to the nearest seat and scrunched down. My friend, Chris will confront nearly anyone… for nearly any reason. Which makes me all sorts of uncomfortable. But he’s a very kind friend and has a pretty great mustache; it balances out. So he turned around and said, “Gimme a break. Give. Me. A. Break.” And that was that. Though it sort of made me want to throw up, I was relieved that he stood up for me.
After the movie, Lillian (Chris’s wife, in fact) had her chance to defend my honor when a guy cut us off in traffic pulling into the store we were heading into. He didn’t cut me off in an annoying sort of way, he cut me off in a super dangerous, car wreck sort of way. Lillian apologized in advance for what was about to go down (confrontation alert!) and then said, “Did you turn left here?” He denied it (with a vigorous head shake and zero eye contact), to which she responded, “actually you did. And you almost hit us. You really should be more careful.” She wasn’t mean about it, she just let him know that his actions were affecting us. That made me want to throw up a little less, but we did make sure he didn’t slash my tires on his way out of the store.
And every once in a while, when Dave and I are babysitting together and a kid backtalks me, or says something mean to me like, “You’re the worst babysitter ever! I hate you!” (the almost-certainly meanest kid ever that single-handedly ended my babysitting career in college) Dave will say, “Hey. This is my wife. You are not allowed to talk to my wife this way.”
And then I get all swoony while the kid goes to time-out.
There’s something really wonderful about being defended.