Sunday, September 4, 2016

Oh, the drama!

Ever notice how, when you mind your own business, other people—and sometimes even strangers—can't stand the calm and feel compelled to start drama? I'll never understand it. It's like some people cannot bear to have a calm atmosphere, so they take great pleasure in stirring up shit just to get a reaction or to annoy others.

Example: late last night, Paul and I left Britt's apartment and headed over to where we are currently parking our RV while we are in town. It was late, and I was tired. All I wanted to do was go to bed. We crawled into bed, talked for a bit, and settled in (with our dogs) to go to sleep. Next thing we know, there's a woman outside our RV yelling. I couldn't make out what she was saying. Turns out, she was griping and intentionally antagonizing our dogs—AT 5 IN THE MORNING! She returned to her RV, which was parked to the left of ours and across the way, but then a little while later, she came back over to where we were and began yelling again. This time, she started yelling, "RUFF, RUFF, RUFF!" to get the dogs stirred up.

My first reaction: WTF?! Was she drunk? High? What the hell was her problem at FIVE in the morning that she would intentionally try to antagonize our dogs?!

Paul and I prefer to dodge conflict if we can, so we didn't engage her and got the dogs back into the back of the RV, into our bedroom. They'd gone up front to react to the stupid shit she was yelling and the RUFF RUFF sounds she was making. Finally, we fell asleep. I still felt uncomfortable because I had a feeling she wasn't done with us yet. I was right.

In the morning, around 11:45 a.m., Paul and I are sleeping—as were the dogs—and guess what happened? Yep, you probably figured out that she walked over by our RV and started raising hell again, talking loudly and intentionally trying to stir things up again. *sigh* What in the hell did this woman want, and what was her motivation for disturbing us and antagonizing our dogs?! I must admit, I was trying to figure out what her motive was, but then I became annoyed...and later on, angry.

Basically, Paul and I want to be left alone to do our thing, which is primarily our jobs, studying, gaming, reading, or watching movies/shows. We are pretty simple people and we like our peace. Now here we had a complete stranger who decided that, for whatever reason, we were going to be her target. Just great.

You know, I just don't understand most people. I haven't for most of my life, though I've tried my level best to figure them out. But often, I feel like I'm an alien from another planet and that most of society is speaking another language or something. Might be why I'm so interested in psychology and why I've thrown myself into my Social and Forensic Psychology studies. Human beings are like exotic animals to me at times, even though I KNOW that I am a human being myself.

Long story short, I told Britt about what was going on and she said, "I'll be right over." My first thought was, "Oh, shit." Mainly because Britt is a lot like me when she gets riled up. Once she's there, she doesn't take anybody's shit. A few minutes later, Britt and her fiance, Tack, arrived. They went over and talked to the woman's boyfriend (who was embarrassed about the whole ordeal) and to the woman herself. Turns out the woman and her boyfriend were having serious issues, and he'd already thrown her stuff out of the RV and was going to break up with her and leave her after 6 1/2 years.

The woman, whose name is Lisa, shook my hand and told me she owed us an apology, that she'd projected her anger over her personal situation onto us. I felt compassion for her and told her that Paul and I didn't like to have conflict with people unless we had no other choice. We chatted for a few more minutes and left to walk back over to our RV. On the way back, her boyfriend indicated that he was sorry for the drama she had caused us. And I'm glad it was resolved—permanently, I hope—but as I sit here, I wonder how things will turn out for them. I saw the expression on her face and on his face. My heart dropped to my stomach because I knew it was a trying time for both of them, exacerbated by her acting out toward us and the dogs due to misplaced anger.

I've mentioned this before, but one unexpected side effect of living full-time in an RV is that you are THIS MUCH CLOSER to humanity and you're face-to-face with the real nature of human beings and society in general. It's unpleasant, it's often shocking, and it's a wake-up call. When you're in a house or apartment, you might get exposed to these things for a short time as you run errands and the like. But when you live in an RV and your home is wherever you park it, you SEE the pain, the trials of life, the layers of hurt, the disappointment. You also hear the tales of hard times and heartbreak. And you can attempt to steel yourself against all of this as much as you want, but in the end, you can't help but be affected in some way.

I would've never had some of these experiences otherwise, and it's added a dimension to my compassion, my mercy, my tolerance. I'm realizing that we're all just trying to make it on a daily basis, and for some people, it's damned hard to wake up and face another day. I've been there before, and I understand how they feel. And no matter how good my fortune gets in the future, I will never forget the things I've seen and heard so far, or the lessons I've learned. With everything in me, I truly hope Lisa and her boyfriend reconcile and they have a better life together than they could've ever imagined. No more pain, no more suffering.

Drama is so uncomfortable to me and is becoming more so as I become older. There are times when you cannot avoid conflict and you DO have to speak your mind, stand up for your rights, and set or reinforce boundaries. But I guess it's all about choosing your battles, and some are so trivial and basic that communication can usually resolve the problem. My first reaction was to leave and not even address the issue with Lisa because confronting or talking with strangers can lead to hair-trigger reactions in this day and age. You never know when someone will pull a weapon or do something off the charts in a fit of overreaction. But to my daughter's credit, as well as Tack's, they took the bull by the horns and addressed the issue in a direct, non-threatening manner.

Today I was the student and my 24-year-old daughter was my teacher. How cool is that?