Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Always Avoid Confrontation. Except For That One Day in 1985.

I tend to avoid confrontation at all costs. I guess I prefer to bumble about, like Winnie the Pooh: Oblivious to the negative and just happy to be, as long as I have my honey (or, in this case, Dunkin' Donuts Original Blend Coffee). I just can't seem to stand the heat - unless someone does or says something inappropriate to my children, then you'd better watch out: Mama Bear will come out of hibernation faster than you can say "Oh, bother!"

When I think someone is going to confront me about something, my insides turn into a churning vat of squirming eels. I start to sweat and I can't form complete sentences. I kid you not: I will hide from you, if I think you are going to yell at me. This has been the case, for the better part of 34 (almost 35) years. Or so I thought.

Imagine my surprise, when I found out that Ten Year Old Me almost got into a beat down with a deaf kid. I was flipping through her journal and she was telling me all about how she loves watching The Cosby Show and how her favorite food is Thrifty's ice cream. Then between hearing about what she was going to be for Halloween and what she wore to her/my parent's wedding (my mother remarried in 1984) she told me about a real true life confrontation that she got into on October 29th, 1985.

I was stunned for two reasons:

First: I have no problem whatsoever with the deaf community. The elementary school that I attended had a program for hearing impaired kids, so we were all required to learn American Sign Language. We learned the alphabet and many words that someone our age might need, in our day to day travels. This education made it possible for me to befriend a girl in middle school, who happened to be deaf. In sixth grade, we did everything together. She and I would sign to one another in class -I still know how to sign "cute boy" really fast so no one can see me do it-and have sleepovers. Using sign language at a sleepover is really awesome, because you can talk all night long and no one will come in to make sure that you're sleeping. We drifted apart after that year, but I still remember enough sign language that I was able to help some people make their sandwich order at Subway, last year. The teenager behind the counter just wasn't getting it and I could sense frustration all around, so I whipped out what I remembered from my old ASL days and ordered their lunch for them. My fingers were a bit rusty, but somehow it worked. I do not discriminate against anyone (except maybe those people who air their personal dirty laundry on Maury Povich). I always thought that it was a trait that I had carried with me, for ever. I guess not.


And yet, here is what Then Me had to say about a run in that she had, while being on Lunch Duty:

October, 1985

I hate working in the caffeteria, I never get to see what happens on recess! I was outside to clean the table and a def girl and def boy were at the table and I signed for them to go to the other table, the girl did but the boy didn't. I kept on yelling at them and signing for him to leave that table. the girl even asked him, but he didn't budge, so the girl kicked him and he chased after her and I grabbed his stuff and put it at the other table. J started laughing! Oh, R and S had a fight today. I don't like working in the caffateria because everything happens outside when I'm inside. I even have to work in the caffateria on Halloween! I have to have more time to get my constume on then ten minutes! Jeese! I never want to work in the caffateria after this week! I hate it! I need more time to get my costume on for sure! I have makeup to put on, a costume to put on a wig too! Oh, T moved. I wish she didn't.

I'm so glad that I got over that bloodthirsty phase...

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