There are innumerable ways to divide humans into two groups. Of course, there are shades of gray in between, one type blending imperceptibly into the other. But for my purposes, examples will be given in either/or choices. There are introverts and extroverts, morning people and night people, tongue rollers and those unable to roll their tongues (you knew that was genetically determined, right? no amount of practice can enable a non-tongue roller to roll his or her tongue).
But I digress. The topic of today’s presentation is the division of folks that 1. feel obligated to explain their actions to everyone in the vicinity, even complete strangers; and 2. those who never feel the need to explain anything to anyone, no matter how seemingly bizarre. Of course, I hold an Olympic gold medal in group one. I am very, very envious of those in group two.
An example from many years ago comes to mind. It might even have been during my pre-marital years. I drove an Oldsmobile Cutlass, maybe seven or eight years old. For some reason known only to the Oldsmobile people, the driver’s side door would no longer open (from the inside or outside). Bummer. To get out of the car I had to slide across the passenger’s seat (did it have bucket seats? seems unlikely) and exit via the passenger door. The window on the driver’s side didn’t work either. Maybe those two problems were related.
I pulled into a service station parking area that had ample room on both sides of the car to open either door. Just as I was sliding across the seat, another car pulled in right beside me. On the passenger side. The driver, a petite very slender woman, got out of her car in the room allotted and off she went. Yikes. I hoped she would return soon, but no. I opened the partially blocked passenger door carefully. The opening looked to be about four inches. Yikes again. Maybe an octopus could have managed it, but could I? Might as well give it a try.
Very slowly I was able to get my feet, with shoes on, then lower legs, out of the car. So far, so good. I inched along, torso, then face, squashed tightly against the glass. Why didn’t I open the passenger window? Either I didn’t think of it, or exiting through the open window seemed beyond my athletic abilities. Halfway through the face and torso I realized I was tethered by my long, beaded necklace that had gotten caught on the upper corner of the window/door. Talk about things going from bad to worse.
But eventually I had extricated myself. I looked across the parking area to see an 18-wheeler, driver in place in his cab. He was staring at me with an expression between wonder and amazement. Praise God there were no iPhone video cameras or You Tube. I shudder to think. But next, an unstoppable urge to explain myself arose. Pitiful. Before I knew it, I was shouting to the trucker about the malfunctioning driver’s side door, my necklace, on and on. Did he care about any aspect of this story? Seems unlikely. To save any remnant of pride, I hid in the service station lounge until the tiny miscreant driver returned to her car and left. I got in the passenger side of my car as quickly as humanly possible, started the car, and sped away.
I never ‘outgrew’ my need to explain myself, even when I was counseled by my teen-aged children to be quiet, I was embarrassing them. I’m still at it (explaining, not embarrassing). I fractured my sternum (don’t ask, except know that it really, really hurts) and didn’t go to my ever-patient trainer, Deon, for five weeks. Who knew how many muscles were attached to the sternum that had important jobs? These included getting up and down, leaning back or bending forward, or doing push-ups. Ha, ha—I couldn’t do push-ups to begin with! And God had never meant for me to play golf anyway. Nerves around the sternum objected violently to my using these muscles.
All my hard-fought upper body strength had melted away. Machines that previously been set with five weights were now down to one. Or zero. My fellow fitness buffs probably did not notice my decline. Or care. But of course, my explaining trait kicked in double strength. As Deon and I went from machine to machine, Deon changed each setting to the pitifully low level I needed. I took this brief interlude to explain to whomever was on the closest machine what had led to this deterioration. Deon remained stoic. Five weeks of healing behind me, five more to go; according to the internet, my best source of medical knowledge.
Pray for me, and everyone else.
As always, stay safe.