There are a lot of things that happen in the world that have never happened to me, necessarily, but I can totally relate. I feel like I actually empathize quite a bit with people which often helps me see and understand the “other side” of many situations. Donnie and I discuss this a lot because he feels he isn’t quite able to do it as much as I can. He’ll say, “I just don’t get it…” many more times than I do in life, where I spend hours trying to explain to him where someone is coming from.
When I hear about tragedies that involve a mental breakdown of some sort, no matter what horrible action followed, I can usually empathize on some level. Not that I’ve ever had a breakdown that’s led me to irrational behavior, but I’ve teetered on the edge – or close to the edge – enough to understand how easy it would be to fall over. I bring this up – the ability to truly empathize with crazy behavior – because I want to now bring up the very mundane things I just don’t understand AT ALL.
People Who Are Late All The Time
I’ve tried. I’ve really tried. But I just don’t get it. There is no part of me that can understand how a person lives always being late. Punctuality is a physical urge in my life. If I’m going to be late…HELL – if I’m going to be ON TIME…I get anxiety that has physical manifestations. My heartbeat races, my blood pressure rises, I get headaches and anxious. I lose my appetite. We aim for early everywhere we go and if we’re on time? We feel VERY late. And – god forbid – if we’re late? We feel AWFUL. We rearrange our schedules, we plan ahead, we schedule every step 5 minutes early so that when the end result happens we’re often 15 minutes early to everything. People who are late all the time, and then who JOKE about it? “Oh, yeah…I’m always late…I don’t know what’s wrong with me…” I sit back and just stare at them like they’re alien. How does that work? I don’t understand? How are you perpetually late but not curled up in a corner in the fetal position losing your mind about it? I once called a friend at book club to apologize that I was going to be a few minutes late. Five TOPS. I had some complications and I feared they were going to push my schedule into the “LATE” window. I got there one minute early still…which cracked my friend up because she had kinda guessed that’s what would happen.
People Who Don’t Put Buggies/Shopping Carts Back
Our Target has PLENTY of shopping cart bins. They’re never more than 30 second walk from your car. Yet still…there are always buggies around that aren’t in the bins. I DON’T GET IT. What is the situation in your life that is so urgent that you couldn’t take that 30 seconds to put your cart back? I’ve had small kids, I’ve had two kids at once, I put them in the carseats and THEN put the cart back. Do other parents not feel comfortable leaving their kids buckled in the car for 30 seconds without them? Or are they all just lazy and just don’t care? How is there not a HUGE pang of guilt that rushes through your system when you drive away leaving that buggy there to cause damage in some way to someone’s vehicle. They don’t stay still! You know that, right? The slightest gust of wind and they’re hitting someone’s car! PUT THEM BACK.
People Who Litter
Seriously. How is there ANY part of a human with a functioning brain that does not feel guilty when they leave trash on the ground. I never even consider littering, much less actually do it. I just don’t see how you have trash in your hand and think it better on the ground than in your hand or car a little longer. I’ve never EVER been in a position where I needed to throw something away THAT BAD and there wasn’t a garbage can close. ESPECIALLY in nature. SERIOUSLY? PUT IT IN YOUR POCKET. OR YOUR SOCK. I just don’t understand how I see trash everywhere in a civilized society.
People Who Smoke In The Paths Of Other People
I used to smoke. Until I was recommended to look into a companies such as Gourmet eLiquid to try vaping using something similar to what you can find from BuyV2Cigs instead of lighting cigarettes everyday, I was constantly worried about pissing people off with my habit. I’m so happy that I decided to make this change. Now I can see how people get annoyed with smokers. I tried my best to stay out of the way, to hide behind buildings or stay in my car. I never wanted to be anywhere where people might be pissed of to have no choice but to walk through my smoke. I always felt HORRID about that. Of course, I felt guilty about smoking anyway because I knew it was the stupidest thing ever, but I did it the best way I could. Saying this though, a friend of mine did recommend I quit and one of the best ways for me to have done this would have been to look for alternative ways of doing this. From trying out nicotine patches and herbal cigarettes, to looking into specialist vaping companies like Hamilton Devices, I know I have options out there that will help me quit smoking. But when I do smoke, if there were outdoor areas that said “no smoking” I found another place to smoke. I would try to find the actual “smoking area” if I could – because most hospitals and parks have those designated. At Vanderbilt the smoking area was the back corner of the parking garage. I went there and smoked, passing dozens of people along the way smoking in “No Smoking” areas. It drove me crazy.
NOW! Having said all of that, I also know there are things I do that people just don’t get.
Things I Do That Many Can’t Empathize With
- I don’t volunteer at my kid’s elementary school. It scares me too much. I’ve been showing up at the periodic even this year, trying to do something, but I will never be room Mom or on the PTA. TERRIFYING.
- I don’t tend to my eyebrows. I’m constantly seeing women complain about the state of another woman’s eyebrows and I know mine must irritate so many people. But I just don’t know how, and I just don’t care enough to learn.
- I wear loungewear out of the house. Yoga pants, workout clothes, tons of outfits my husband wouldn’t be caught DEAD in, in public, but I go around in them every day. It drives him crazy.
- I don’t get pedicures yet I still wear flip-flops. I see a lot of women on Twitter/FB complain every summer about seeing people with gnarly feet in flip-flops. That’s me! Sometimes I paint my toenails myself, which I hope helps, but my feet are gross and often I don’t paint my toenails so you see how bruised and battered my feet really are.
What are the things you don’t understand at all? What do you understand that you know other people don’t?