2014 Resolution: Be a Jerk
I’m too nice.
That’s why I’m going to become a jerk.
The first step:
Today I helped an old woman at the grocery store reach some items in the freezer. Pretty nice, si?
But wait. I only did it because I thought she was going to give me a little bit of money.
You see, old ladies always have nickels and trinkets burning holes in their musty pockets, eager to rid themselves of the excess weight and shove the coveted objects into the hand of a strapping lad who is towering over them, rubbing his index finger and thumb together, in the international ‘where’s my tip’ signal.
A ‘seasoned jerk’ would have refused altogether, and informed the ancient beast that the frozen chicken dinners would just pump her full of preservatives, and we don’t need old people who can’t grocery shop being preserved any longer than necessary. But I’m still new at this.
So I handed her the dinners, then went into newfound Jerk Mode, and told her next time I wouldn’t be so helpful. Except that I forgot to say that out loud, instead telling her that it was quote, “No problem.”
She had to have gotten my vibe though. Body language is 90% of communication, and 90% of body language is conveyed through the face part of the body, and 90% of that part of body language is expressed in and around the eyes and mouth. And if that old bag’s macular degenerated eyes could have seen my face, she would have seen a friendly smile. But it was a smile that only looked friendly. The 10% of the rest of my body language, i.e. my actual body, was giving off a kind of motion that said, ‘Hey, I don’t really have anywhere to be right now, or even tomorrow, but let’s hurry this up.’
I can just picture her nearly blind eyes conveying the message to her rapidly deteriorating brain: ‘Wow, I asked this dark blob for help, and it turned out to actually be a person. I think it put something in my cart, and I have no clue if it was the item I really wanted, but somebody acknowledged my existence.”
So all in all, I really blew it with that lady. But there’s a lot of 2014 left to go.