Fall, and maybe an asshole or two:)

Welcome back, rain!

A few errands this afternoon brought me downtown, where I was momentarily stopped by a ginormous downpour: exactly what we need these days, the rain. Thank goodness it’s back:)

pearl district downpour(waiting it out under shelter:)

Starting Saturday morning around 4am when I woke to a crazy thunderstorm and buckets of the first rain we’ve had forever, it’s made the world all of a sudden feel like fall. A little bit chilly in the mornings, the sun coy through the billowy clouds. It’s lovely.

The squirrels are starting to act the crazy way they do when the weather turns, skittish on the roads and ornery with their nut-hoarding.

And I think it might be making some people crazy too, manifesting in part today with a funny interaction I had with a woman who was clearly not enjoying the day. When I got to Powell’s, errand #2, I biked off the street onto the curb to get off my bike and lock it to the staple rack there. In the process, I had one of those silly moments with this woman where I went right, and she went the same direction, so I tried to go left to avoid her, and she went left too — you know, the kind of thing where you end up both smiling at each other because in trying to keep out of each other’s way you’ve just started the awkward side-to-side avoidance dance, in this case with her walking and me still on my bike but unclipped and coming to a stop.

When I smiled at her to acknowledge the awkwardness, though, instead of smiling back at me she said, definitely in all caps, “NO BIKING ON THE SIDEWALK, ASSHOLE!!” and huffed off.

Ha! Aside from the fact that I wasn’t actually biking on the sidewalk so much as trying to get off and park my bike on the sidewalk as opposed to in the traffic lane — aside from that, whoa! What a leap, to jump from a minor inconvenience to full-on-insults.

I had to laugh, and then maybe this is weird, but I felt pretty darn lucky. I can let things like that roll right off my back: I was going to park my bike, go into Powell’s, and go about my day smiling (and then blog about it later, I suppose:). She, on the other hand, was scowling her way down the sidewalk feeling like the world — or me, anyway — was somehow personally out to annoy her. I mean, I have no idea what’s going on in her world, so I don’t want to jump to conclusions about her either, but it seems pretty clear to me that assuming positive intent is the way to make sure your experience of the world leaves you in a much better mood.

I also think that might be the very first time anyone’s ever called me an asshole (to my face, anyway), so that’s fun!

Anyway, I don’t want that interaction to be a signal of fall or anything, but I wonder if not everyone’s as psyched about this return of the rains as I am right now:)

2 Comments:

  1. I had to laugh—it is so hard to imagine anyone calling you an asshole! Living in NYC, I feel that many of the interactions I witness immediately escalate to hostility. It’s as though some people live their lives expecting to be wronged. I see it in this situation, too. As though you were in her way purposely. As though you were there at Powells, waiting all morning to f*ck up her day. As though you had nothing better to do! Naughty Stasia ;)

    • Ha! I know, right? I try really hard to avoid that myself though, the sometimes-attractive idea that you’re the martyr and the world is out to get you. I hate that attitude, but sometimes it’s super easy to fall into. I don’t know if it’s perversely fun to be the blameless victim or what.

      Thanks for the comments!:) PS: time to move out of New York! heh.

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