As I was writing the January 19 post about my fear of going to a tutoring session during an on-campus political protest, I was determined to go no matter what. I reasoned with myself. “Self,” I said, “just use the back entrance of the school. No need to worry about tear gas, nightsticks, and Molotov cocktails.”
I felt brave and proud.
Later that morning as I updated my work schedule, I started hyperventilating. I told Paul, “I’m past my eyeballs in work. It doesn’t make any sense to go to tutoring today, right?”
Paul’s developed a keen instinct for knowing when to question me or just roll with my bug-eyed freakouts. In this case he said, “It sure does” in that sort of voice one uses when trying to persuade a rabid dog not to attack.
I felt sensible and mature.
A few hours later as I watched live footage of the campus protest, I was relieved not to be there. I was safe in my home office and not being water-cannoned.
That’s when I realized the full impact of my subconscious’s douchebaggery. It manipulated me into hiding, and I went along without question. Just like the one time I agreed to let a whole life insurance salesman in the door. It makes sense to say yes until he’s been there for six hours and you start to suspect he’s going to move in until you buy something.*
Volunteering means a lot to me, and now I feel like a jerk.
This situation reminds me of the time I told Paul that I wanted to learn how to use a chainsaw. As Paul looked on, wearing his customary bemused expression, I stood in the driveway, holding a running chainsaw and weeping as though I were being threatened by a serial killer.
Plus I never got any peaches. Just a crappy star fruit. Those are awful. Don’t even bother.
* I’m talking about an insurance salesman who sells “whole life” policies. Obviously I wouldn’t let a partial salesman in the door because it’s too difficult to get blood out of the carpet.
(Kitty photo by Allmightyduck at Wikimedia Commons.)