Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Me, a weirdo magnet

I had technical difficulties with my modem yesterday and unfortunately did not get it working until late last night. By then my brain was fried and I needed sleep so the blog post didn't happen. So obviously computer programming is not or never has been my forte. Sometimes though, I wonder if perhaps I missed my calling and maybe instead of seeking a degree in Communications, I should have stuck with my original goal of being a psychologist. Here's why................

For some reason I have this built in radar that allows needy (and to be honest strange) people to zero in on me. I can be walking down the grocery store aisle and some random person will ask me where the creamed spinach is (even though it's obvious I don't work there) and before you know it, I have learned about their entire life including the fact that their half-sister's teenage daughter has an illegitimate child by a man ten years older than her and has left the child and gone to Utah to become the wife of a polygamist (that's not true but you get the drift, right?).

A while back I went to the post office and the line was out the door which should have been the first sign that I should have left and come back. But, I had important packages to mail and only an hour before I had to pick Harrison up. So I stood in line behind a 50-ish man who proceeded to tell me about his entire career in the NY police force, including his encounters with the so-called mob. Once that had been subject had been exhausted, he then explained his political views and why no one in their right mind would vote for a Republican (not once did I mention my political affiliation, which for the record is Democrat). As a matter of fact, I am not sure I even uttered one word during the entire twenty minutes that I stood in line.

A few days ago, I got a call from this old lady who wanted to get some of my moving boxes. During this conversation (with no prompting on my part) I learned that her children were coming to pack her and move her to an old folks home and that she had been sick for quite some time. Well to make a long story short, I felt sorry for her and since she only owned a small car and she didn't drive much (again part of her story) , I offered to bring the boxes to her. So, I loaded up the boxes and took them out to her (in the rain I might add). While I was there, she told me the rest of her story about losing her husband and downsizing to the condo and getting ill and so forth. Plus, I got the added benefit of seeing (yes she showed me) all the stuff her children were making her get rid of. Poor soul was quite distraught.

But the story doesn't end there, it just gets better. So today, again I get a call from a woman about the moving boxes (note to self: do not advertise in the newspaper again). So I answer the phone "Hello" only to hear "Praise God, I am so glad I finally reached you. I have been praying about getting some boxes and I just knew it was going to work out." Okay, so that is when I should have made static noises and said "I am sorry we have a bad connection" and hung up. But no, being a polite southern girl, I patiently listen and occasionally utter uhuh or mmm, as this woman tells me her life story.

Seems that her husband left her, she is getting kicked out of her condo because it has been sold, she can't find a roommate and she is in a wheelchair with two broken ankles. Not only that she is having surgery tomorrow (I didn't ask why). Plus at one point, she was in a coma and they didn't think she would live but she showed them (her words, not mine). She also lost part of her lip and was bedridden for over 5 years (again, didn't ask). Due to her medical problems, she hasn't been out much so she doesn't know many people but recently started going to church (that's a good thing) and now has 4 new friends (must be saints or equally nutty). And when she was bedridden her nurse stole her pain medications and the person who drove her to her doctor's appointments burned holes in the seat of her car. Oh and I forgot to mention that she collects antiques and used to be an interior designer and a landscaper. I learned all of this just because this woman wanted boxes. I was a little afraid to give her my address. I mean after all that, did I really want this woman to know where I lived? After 30 minutes, we left it that she would call me after her surgery. Why do I torture myself like this?

Things like this keep happening over and over to me making me wonder why I am such a magnet for very strange and needy people. Is it because I actually make eye contact and smile? Do I just sound like a nice person on the phone? Or is it because I was raised to be polite and can't turn people off? Or is it that I have a higher calling? Whatever the reason, I hope that I have made someone's life a little happier just because I listened.