I landed on a place I’d seen a few times not too far away and stopped to see if they had time to take care of my poor, neglected feet. While they told me it would be a 10-15 minute wait, I’ve learned the hard way I need to roughly double that to know how long it will really be and that time frame was fine with me. I was just so excited to be there.
I picked my color, a pretty blue, and took a seat to wait my turn. As I looked around, I was so excited to see those big comfy massage chairs I had thought about so many times over the past few months…I could hardly stand it!
Another woman came in and sat next to me. We made small talk, both noting how funny it was we’d picked colors out of our norm and they happen to match the shirts we were wearing. What a glorious day.
Finally, it was my turn. I climbed into that big chair and turned the massage action on. Much to my surprise, I had some massaging of my rear end going on…a little lower than I’d like (in public anyway – did I just type that????)…so I quickly figured out how to put an end to the too-personal touching and sat back with a big sigh of relaxation.
I was truly in heaven and those around me appeared to as well. All soaking in our glorious time out from the stress of daily life in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. It was awesome.
That is, until the woman across the room decided she didn’t like how they were doing her french tips and spent the rest of her time there as they tried to make it right over and over and over again, yelling about her nails and how crappy they were…uneven…too thick….full of bubbles (that only she could see)…why couldn’t they just air brush them she kept asking as if she was hoping to get a different answer since they’d already told her they didn’t do air brushing there.
The rest of us, which included this poor teenage girl who had her leg in a cast and an arm sling she had set aside while her nails were getting done, just kept looking at each other in shock and shaking our heads. None of us stepped in. I thought about asking the woman if she wanted me to clear some space on the floor so she could add a little kicking and rolling around on the ground to her tantrum. I also thought about how there is definitely a right way and a not-so-right way to express displeasure – she fell into the latter. And I also wondered if I was doing the right thing by not speaking up about the injustice I was witnessing.
Over MEA, I had watched a small fight between two children near the playground and was appalled at how all the other children didn’t step in to stop it. They actually formed a ring around the fight and watched the two pummel each other until one ended up on top of the other and then a young boy stepped in, grabbed that kid by the bike helmet, simply lifting him up and off the other child and then it was all over. As quickly as it started.
That boy had the courage to step in when all these other children didn’t. More courage than me…a grown-ass woman.
Was I wrong to stay silent in my magical massage chair? Was I wrong to focus on staying in my little zen corner of the world, doing my best to tune out her frustration and anger? If we aren’t willing to take a stand for the injustice we witness, what will this world become? That small boy had the courage but I didn’t.
I saw something on Pinterest some time back about being kind to people because we don’t know what challenges that person is dealing with. I don’t know if the woman is always that rude but, in this case, it was true. I didn’t have all the detail but discovered before she left that the teenage girl was her daughter who had been in a car accident earlier that day, causing them to spend 3 hours at the hospital. I believe her anger and frustration had nothing to do with her nails and nothing could have been done to fix it. She needed to release some of the pent up stress she’d been carrying all day and the handful of us in that room just happened to be there as her witnesses. Does that make her behavior right? I don’t think so but I can certainly understand the state she was in. Does it mean I should have remained silent? I don’t think so but the sarcastic thoughts going through my head, had they left my head via my mouth, definitely wouldn’t have helped anything.
I’ll never know if speaking up from a space of compassion and understanding would have made a difference. I do know we need to speak up more when we see things that are causing another to suffer unjustly. I feel for her and her daughter in many ways and hope she was able to release enough stress (preferably not through yelling at others) to enjoy the rest of her weekend. At the end of the day, my feet look awesome and are soft once again, and my weekend continues to get better and better.
Hope you are having a great weekend too!