I am driving down the street with a friend who is driving. He is telling me some grand story about this person and that person. It's loud and funny. The music is blasting. I am making faces at him as a way of participating in the story. I have a rather disgusted look on my face as I turn away from him laughing. I see two people walking across the street at the light. The first thing that registers is that there are two people crossing the street holding hands. My face freezes as I realize that they see me and think I am making that face at them. It's only then that I realize it's two men holding hands walking across the street. They look at each other then one of them flips me the "bird".
Just a moment, a split second in time.
I wasn't disgusted with them. I don't care if they walk across the street, hold hands or do any other thing. It's not up to me to tell anyone how to live their life. I had the disgusted look on my face prior to ever seeing them.
Sure, they probably have issues with their public display of affection. It's probably rooted in some deep sense of internalized homophobia. This kind of reaction is a perfect example of what we were talking about in the acceptance newsletter section the Mirror in you. And sure, it's also a great example of taking something personally that didn't have anything to do with you.
At the same time, it highlighted to me the intricacies of human relationships. How many times have I taken what someone said personally when they didn't even know I was there? How many times have I agonized over some slight when the other person didn't even remember saying it? I wonder if these men told their friends that night about flipping someone the bird who gave them a disgusted look. I would have.
The human experience is so complicated, intricate and filled with pit falls of miscommunication. It's amazing we are able to interact at all.