The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Lady and The Tramp

We all have our Pet Hates – whether that’s people, or situations. In the case of irritations, like that, for us all there is a sliding scale from a mild or minor irritation right up to the pinnacle – the top tier, the two or three that just dig their nails into our sensitivities and won’t let go. It’s the “PH” red zone – way above the peeve factor, into the GRRR area.

Now there’s always a danger when we become PH intolerant, when we have an overload of PH.  Richard Wilson’s character Victor Meldrew in the BBC Comedy series One Foot in the Grave was hugely PH intolerant, and for him there was no sliding scale. The ludicrous nature of his intolerant reactions was the comedy factor, plus the fact that the sheer volume of his Pet Hates seemed to bring him an ever increasing number of mishaps, accidents and grief. He reaped a constant harvest from his own particular Law of Attraction.

Deeply embedded
In the structure and familiarity of our own particular Pet Hates there is longevity to them. They go back a long way, often to our childhood – and this being so, every time we have experienced them we’ve flagged them up accordingly and coded them into our memory, all lit up like beacons.

Not being a tall person, I experienced many childhood instances of being ignored or passed-over, particularly when waiting in queues. They grew into contemptuous put-downs due to my physical inferiority in the height department. My personal vulnerability and insecurity and low self-esteem was then – at any time - able to grow this purely height-related inferiority into a full-blown personal attack.
Neurotic and paranoid – yes!
Elicits irrational behaviour – yes!

When we are behind the wheel of a car it is like we are in our ultimate “safe zone”. We are hermetically sealed from regular human interaction – and can release all our social conditioning. Of course, this affords us full expression of any and all PH intolerances we encounter while driving. Traffic hold-ups and other idiots are everywhere, aren’t they? So we can, if we are so inclined, keep up a running tirade of invective – which of course turns us into a driver far worse than the ones we are complaining about!
So what am I beefing about on this particular occasion?

Bête noire
Following After School Cricket Club this week I went food shopping in my local Marks & Spencer’s. I was clad in track suit and trainers.

As I approached the checkout with my basket, the lady in front of me was unloading her basket contents onto the conveyor. At this stage of the story timeline, in my eyes, she was still “A Lady”. She was smartly dressed, aged between the ages 55-65, and clearly shopped at M&S as it befitted her social standing. Even the contents of her shopping basket designated her as being of such a “type”.
Now in my view of the world every woman is someone’s daughter and – possibly – someone’s Mum. Plus, in the panoply of human life we are all equal, in my book.
Anyway ...

When she’d finished unloading, rather than stand aside and let her walk to the end of the conveyor with her now empty basket, in order to put it on the “empty pile” – I held my hand out for her to hand me the basket so I could stack it for her. She passed me her basket as if I was the servant, her personal serf – with no word of thanks, or even a smile – just a cocked nose in the air and a contemptuous curl of the lip.
In the days of my personal Yore, I would have probably said something sarcastic to her – however, another of my flagged up experiences has been that the type of women prone to this particular type of behaviour, are impervious to sarcasm or any kind of criticism, veiled or overt. They have obviously breezed through life, carried by a stream of minions and doormats, whom God – and their particular God - has put on this Earth for one purpose only.

So I remained mute, although bristling, and with rolling eyes.
I wondered if it was my clothing. Perhaps if I’d been dressed in a suit or at least smart causal, she would have afforded me the common decency of even a “knowing nod”, for my small Random Act of Kindness.

Then I surmised that perhaps this was a human remake of Lady and The Tramp? Although after reading this entry on Google I had my doubts:

Live the journey of Lady, a beloved cocker spaniel, and Tramp, a mutt with a heart of gold, in one of the best loved stories of all time.

She may possibly have been someone’s beloved Coq Espagnol, but I wouldn’t describe myself as “a mutt” even though there are some who think I have a heart of gold!


The thing is - life is not necessarily Disney-style with fairy-tale story lines. It can be ugly and sordid as well as be filled with amazing and wonderful Gentlemen AND Ladies.
However, life is, generally, what you make it.
If you choose to Tramp through life believing all people are amazing and unique; enjoying your time here while wearing a pleasant disposition right down to your bones; finding the fun, the humour, the joy, and the beauty wherever they may be; you’ll find it quite straightforward to accept all the brickbats and bouquets that this buffet of cosmic catering can serve up.

If you choose to “Lord” or “Lady” it through life believing that most people are irrelevant except when they are serving your purpose; when your frown and curled lip are a constant testament to your endurance of a world that is made barely tolerable by Random Acts of Trampling; you’ll find it very difficult to accept that this particular mortal coil was made for many honest and genuine people beyond the myopic strictures of your inner coterie.

The Conclusion of Damocles

For a very brief moment, this Tramp’s life momentarily crossed that of a sad Lady. Although he may, at the time, have uttered under his breath, “You’ll get yours soon enough, Madam,” it was more of an observation than a wish.
The sadness is in her insecurity, and from her insecurity comes the need to behave in the way she does.
Rather like Damocles, she has climbed onto the throne of Dionysius II believing all that great power, authority and wealth would give her. Then comes the day in Lady’s life when she realises Dionysius has hung a sword over her suspended by a single horse hair.

Sadly, there can be nothing happy for the person over whom some fear always looms.

This cautionary tale of food shopping yields an abundance of advice to both Lady and The Tramp!
So - I would invite you to be aware of this caveat:-
In any queue, anywhere, you never know who is really in front of you OR behind you.

1 comment:

Sali said...

I love supermarket queues.
They offer such wonderful opportunities for people watching and for modelling unexpected acts of kindness.