Have you ever found yourself explaining a situation, that didn’t need explaining, to a total stranger who truly doesn’t care? Or did you ever apologize for something that no one else was paying any attention to? Frequently I find myself in just this situation. I’m not sure when I started to backpedal my way through life, but I need to find a way to stop justifying everything I do to everyone I meet.
Recently I was going out to run some errands; one of which was to pick up some cash at the local credit union. When I got there I realized I didn’t have my ATM card with me so I had to go inside the credit union to get my money. When I walked up to the counter a nice teller greeted me and I found myself not simply requesting $$ from an account, but actually explaining to him why I was inside the credit union; how I only needed $50, but I didn’t have my ATM card with me. He patiently smiled at me but I knew in his head he was saying, “Stupid lady, I don’t give a fat fuzzy rat’s a$$ why you’re here and I wish you would shut up so I can go take my break.” I couldn’t stop with the apologies and the explanations. I simply droned on and on. I wished for duct tape to put on my mouth so I would stop yammering. He just kept smiling as he handed me my $50 and I left the credit union to go run my other errands.
Later in the day we heard from the nice man from our church who is going to be painting the outside of our house. (See? I did it again – you don’t care he’s from our church, do you? Gah…) He’s coming by the house in awhile with an invoice… fully expecting me to pay him half his fee in cash so he can start getting the stains and house paint needed to do his job. (Note to self: next time only hire a contractor who will accept a check.)
Crap on a crutch, it’s late in the afternoon and I don’t keep alot of money in the house so guess who has to make another fast trip to the credit union? Yup – me. Only this time I take Devoted Spouse with me because I’m going to be walking out with a fistful of cash and it would be nice to have some company to watch out for me.
Into the credit union we stroll and who do you think we meet? Of course — the nice man from earlier in the day and he’s walking towards me saying, “I remember you.” I’m sure he does… Suddenly I found myself explaining my re-appearance to this young man and justifying to him why I wanted to take X amount of money out of my savings account and X amount of money out of my checking account and I couldn’t shut up about the whys and wherefores. Good grief I was apologizing all over the place for coming back into this credit union and having the audacity to take money out of my own account.
Meanwhile, Devoted Spouse is wandering around looking at murals on the wall instead of standing close to me to help block anyone else’s view of the amount of money that was about to be counted out. I called loudly to Devoted Spouse (who couldn’t hear me) and by the time I actually got his attention, all the customers and clerks at the credit union were staring at us – nice job of downplaying why I’m there. The nice young teller stood close to me and we effectively blocked the world from seeing him count out all the big bucks (he actually whispered) and I quietly put the large packet in my purse. It looked like something suspicious out of a movie by the time I was done. I imagine all the employees spent their break time looking at the security cameras of my eventful visit and laughing their collective butts off at the stupid woman who wouldn’t shut up and her bizarre wandering husband who was standing at the back wall staring intently at the mural.
Devoted Spouse in tow, I smiled my way back out of the credit union, all the while wondering if nice young man was actually thinking, “What a whack-job; they don’t pay me enough to put up with these nutcase women.”
As soon as I post this I’m doing a Google search for a 12-step program for compulsive apologizers and explainers. I hate to think what I’ll have to tell them at the first meeting…probably some strange story of how I had to change banks one day.