I didn't have to work today (Happy Veterans Day), so I took Claire on a long walk after we had breakfast. Usually we walk in the afternoons after I get off work, so we miss the nasty man who walks between 9 and 10 every morning.
This man always wears sunglasses and a hat, always walks up and down our neighborhood street picking up garbage and exuding an angry, steely energy. Last year my single attempt at engaging him in conversation left me feeling rather humiliated.
"Good morning," I chirped at him across the street one morning. Nothing. Didn't look at me, didn't even turn his head. This guy was about 10 feet away from me.
"Good morning," I said again. My words said "good morning," but my tone said "are you kidding me?"
Still nothing. I never realized how demoralizing it is to be completely ignored. After staring at him for a minute, I walked away embarrassed, and called him a name under my breath. It hurt my feelings.
This morning we walked by him several times. Like I always do when I see him, I silently fumed and rehearsed under my breath all the one liners I could say to really show this guy how wrong his misanthropic view of the world really was.
And then this thought popped into my head, almost like a voice - "he doesn't care what you think."
I knew it was true. And then another thought - "you can't make him care."
I felt so free. The resentment I had been feeling for him seemed to lift right out of me. It was great.
I hope it lasts!
Because, really, I have much cuter things to focus on.