I am a relatively private person when it comes to my personal life. I don’t talk to people about my relationships or lack thereof. It is my business and the business of the other person involved, if there is one.
Working with the public, I learned long ago that you will be asked a multitude of questions about your personal life. It was awful when my husband was dying. People thought because I knew them from my job, the had the right to ask me questions that were none of their business.
After he transitioned, I was asked when I was going to date again. I was told that I had lost enough weight that I might be able to “find me a man now”. It hasn’t happened to me in a while. Apparently, living in a small town, everybody thinks they know your business.
Today was not one of my best days. I don’t handle crowds all that well. When there are lots of people around me and all of them having conversations, it just unnerved me. So, I left that area and moved to another.
There was a woman there and she felt it was okay to ask me “What I was doing to Socialize now”. I just looked at her. She mentioned someones name and asked if we were hanging out. I just looked at her. She didn’t need an answer. She just wanted something to feed the small town rumor mill. When I didn’t answer, she looked at me with that pitiful look on her face and said “Oh I’m So Sorry”.
What was she sorry for? She didn’t even get an answer to her question. Then she said Well maybe you will meet someone someday. What the crap??? She don’t know my life. She has no reason to pity me and to assume that I am “Sherkina”, the undateable version of Shrek.
My life is my life. I do what is best for me. I try, at least. I do have trouble saying no. I allow people to use me until I have nothing left for myself. I try to do for others even when I don’t feel like doing for myself.
She didn’t know or care that I have been struggling the past few days. That I have been trying to make some pretty serious life choices. She just wanted to make herself feel better because poor me, as far as she knows, does not have anyone. It brought on full on anxiety. I tried to walk it off, I tried to shake it off but I wound up crying.
I don’t bother anyone. I don’t put into people’s business. I spend time with people I enjoy being around. I socialize with people, just not with her.
Just because I work with the public, does not give them a window into my life. It shouldn’t. I have my job and I have my life. They are two different things.
I thought things like this were behind me, but it isn’t. In a small town, it will never be. I also learned that when life gives you a reason to frown, someone comes along and gives you a reason to smile. Some children came by just to see me today. Their mom told me that I was one of the reasons that they bought a house here and decided to call it home. That when she came into the group, I made her feel welcome. That I didn’t look at her as if she didn’t belong. The sad part is that, there are times I feel unwelcome in my own hometown.