Sometimes You Need A Reminder…

A few years ago, I was riding the 22 Muni in SF en route to some crazy adventure or another. I stood from my seat in anticipation of getting off the bus (hello, neurotic) and apparently caught the eye of a few…oh how to say this nicely…horizontally-affluent, Crabbe & Goyle-looking lady bullies across the aisle. They started laughing, whispering and pointing at me. That progressed to hollering across the bus aisle at me, calling me a “little mini midget” (department of redundancy department, much?) and asking if I had trouble reaching the pull cord to stop the bus. (I don’t, for the record.) When I continued to ignore them, they came over, got in my face and the bigger girl said “you must be so embarrassed! I can’t even believe you go out in public when you’re that short.” The other snorted “good one” and basically drooled with laughter. Mmm…yummy. I continued to ignore them until we all got off at the same stop. Now, I can’t really explain how I grew such big balls so quickly, but when their teasing continued on the sidewalk, I turned around and shot: “Look, I can wear heels. There’s no quick fix for being fat, ignorant bitches.” (Oh, my mother would be so proud of me…) Then, fearing that I would get the snot kicked out of me in front of the line of homeless people on Haight Street, I basically turned and ran.

Lame as it is, that’s a defining moment in my life. I don’t usually seek out confrontation, and I rarely have zingers at the tip of my tongue, but somehow in that moment, the stars aligned and I felt really proud that I stood up (though not too tall) for myself.

I was reminded of that 22 trip just now. I was at the gym, elliptical-ing like a fiend, and one of my favorite songs came on. What do you think I did? Smile a little and bop my head? HELL NO. I rocked out! Singing along, dancing around as much as you can on the elliptical and generally looking like an idiot (and how!). There was even a little air guitar in there. And then out of the corner of my eye, I noticed two girls huddled together staring at me and giggling. Now, I honestly have no idea what they were laughing about, and it most likely had absolutely nothing to do with me, but I started to feel embarrassed. For a second, I quieted down and tried to look more like a normal human and less like Richard Simmons on crack.

And then, something magical happened. The old dude on the elliptical next to me started singing…loudly…to the Jefferson Airplane song he was listening to. I looked over at him, he looked at me and big grins broke out on both our faces. Then came the nerd-tastic high-five. Seriously, movie moment to the Nth degree! The only thing that would have made it better were if he were about 30 years younger, looked like Jeremy Renner and asked me to do some squat-thrusts with him…but now I’ve ventured into a whole different kind of movie.

There is no shortage of things that make you feel bad about yourself. As someone who categorically says the most awkward things at the most awkward times, I know. But these little moments are gold and remind me that the days are way more fun if you just be yourself without worrying, and the people who are worth a damn are the ones who not only appreciate your weirdness but are more than happy to sing along.

Written by lindsay in: Uncategorized |
  • Sanjay Kairam

    +1 for the Muni comeback-1 for singing in the gym – that really is annoying (though not as bad as listening to a cell-phone halfalogue)

  • Rachel

    This belongs in Chicken Soup for the Twentysomething Soul! Very heartwarming and inspirational :).

  • Priyanka

    um i wish we'd gone to the gym together when this occured because I often rock out when I am on the rowing machine :)i love the use of  “horizontally affluent”!

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