Saturday, May 3, 2008
Feeling Sorry For Brit?
by Elodia Strain
I was in the doctor’s office reading a magazine when I found a poll. 86% of magazine readers said they “do not feel sorry for Britney.”
Usually I wouldn’t have remembered a stat like this, but something happened to me that day that kind of branded it in my brain.
The day went like this:
1. I spent the morning working on a freelance-advertising job only to have my computer go wacky on me and destroy a good chunk of my work.
2. I spent forty-five minutes on the phone with a customer service rep from my bank trying to sort out the problems that came about when the bank sent me a new debit card and attached it to the wrong account.
3. I spent two hours at the Student Health Center as the phlebotomists tried not once, not twice, not three, or four, or five, but six times and one near-faint to get a vial of blood.
4. Covered in Snoopy Band Aids and feeling pretty sick, I drove to the dentist where I was going to have a tooth fixed. The visit did not go well. (See below.)
The dentist I’d made an appointment with was not the one who greeted me once I was in the chair, and I made the mistake of assuming the guy asking about my tooth was a dental student giving me a pre-check. That did not go over well.
Then when I expressed my preference to have the procedure done by the dentist I’d made the appointment with (he’d been recommended by a friend and after the Health Center fiasco I just didn’t want to take any chances) I was told he wasn’t working that day. When I reiterated that I really did prefer to see the other dentist, I could feel myself being labeled a “problem patient.”
The appointment ended quickly and uncomfortably, and I walked out of the office in a panic, thinking: What if one of the office’s employees goes shopping with a friend this weekend and sees my book and says, “That girl insulted the dentist I work for. She didn’t think he was good enough for her!”
These panicky thoughts led me to a conclusion: I do feel a bit sorry for the Britney’s of the world.
I don't want to get into a discussion about poor choices/consequences and all of that, but it can’t been easy to live with the fear that if you aren’t always completely “on” in every way people will talk about you, write about you, and use your imperfections as a reason to reject your art/music/whatever-kind-of-work-it-may-be.
I got home that evening with a new resolve to just cut people a little bit of slack. To remember how it felt to hope that those dental office employees were cutting me some. After all, who knows if maybe the woman who’s rude at the grocery store has just lost her job? Or if the man who steals that parking spot needs to park close to the post office because he's just had back surgery?
Who ever really knows?