Bad Manners

One of my many jobs is Substitute teaching. I’ve been doing this for many years, off and on, in between other jobs. I’ve now accumulated almost enough “years of service” to collect my retirement, so I’ll plug away at it for 2 more years.
Yesterday, I was subbing in a “Special Ed” class for the Severely handicapped. Several classroom aides are there in order to help with the students.
One of the aides, a man about 50, came into the classroom before the first class started, with a male student in a harness. Apparently it was for the safety of the student himself, and others.
After the day started, the Aide asked me if I had any kids (Children of my own), and I simply replied “No”. His reaction was shocking. He said “WHY NOT?! WHAT HAPPENED?!”. “What happened?” I thought…”What happened?” What kind of question was that to ask anyone? “What happened?” implies that there’s something wrong with the person that didn’t have children. It says “Why couldn’t you have children? Is there something wrong with you physically that prevented you from conceiving?”. I was appalled.
Considering the fact that this man was not the brightest I’d ever met, I decided to let it go. I’m sure if I really wanted to, I could turn it into some kind of “sexual harassment” issue. Because I am female, I’m expected to reproduce?
What business did he have in asking me such a personal question, anyway? Again, he didn’t appear to have even so much as an “Average IQ”, so I had to be more forgiving.
That was not the biggest shock I’d ever received in regards to someone saying something inappropriate…
One of the Cardinal Rules of being a massage therapist is that you don’t comment on the client’s body, especially when they’re lying on the massage table. Usually naked, they are in a very vulnerable position to begin with, and then, to have a “professional” remark about the condition of their body, can be very psychologically scarring.
When my roommate first moved in (And I’m talking less than 48 hours after she moved in), an old friend of hers asked if she could camp out on my couch for the night, in exchange for giving me a massage (The woman is a licensed massage therapist). I agreed, not knowing what I was in for.
As the woman was giving me a massage (On her massage table, which she brought with her), in my living room, she spotted an old photograph (Approximately 20 years old) of me, on the wall. She commented “You were in such good shape in that picture, it’s a SHAME you don’t look like THAT anymore!”. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe she said it. I’d gained 30 pounds since the photo had been taken. I was in my early 50’s, and with that goes physical changes. It’s not like I’m morbidly obese. I exercise (In fact, I’m an aerobics instructor that teaches 4-5 classes per week), and I eat a very strict diet of fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. I’m just not skinny anymore.
Realizing that people sometimes say things without thinking first, I just blew it off. However, after the woman had crashed on my couch for an additional 6 nights (And yes, I was getting tired of her), she said it again! She was in my kitchen, preparing her dinner that she’d bought at “Whole Foods”, bragging that she “Buys GOOD FOOD to fuel HER body”, she repeated the offense. Spotting another old photo of me (From my racewalking days) in the hallway, she commented “You were in such good shape in that picture, it’s a SHAME you don’t look like THAT anymore!”. I was speechless. My roommate heard the remark, too, and her jaw dropped. I walked back to my bedroom. The offender went into the living room to talk to my roommate. I removed the picture from the wall, and put a painting in its place.
My roommate must have told the clueless woman that she’d hurt my feelings, because then, she came thundering down the hallway, into my room (Uninvited) and hugged me from behind. I went stone cold. I couldn’t even speak. She caught the hint, and left the next morning.
It was bad enough that she’d insulted my physical shape, but the fact that she had taken advantage of sleeping on my couch for 7 nights, bragged about being able to afford organic foods, and then, repeating her offense, was just too much for me to take. She has been banned from my house.

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One thought on “Bad Manners

  1. Pingback: Bad Manners | dbrgdmn

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