Perceptions. Think on It…

by Donya B

He looked at his phone and crossed his eyes at the tiny letters on the screen.  Maybe if he squinted they would morph into something that made a little more sense than “Whatever”.  He backed out of that screen and read the message he’d just sent her.  It was polite, genuine even.  It was thoughtful, in light of the topic.  So to what did he owe a caustic “Whatever”?

Silently, he whispered a prayer for strength, guidance and civility before he put his thumb in motion to answer back to what still was a cryptic response.  His reply was succinct, pointed without being blunt, yet still defined his position with tact; I’m extending a courtesy.  Being unselfish, if you will.  He was satisfied as he pressed Send.  Minutes passed before the flame under his ire was ignited with two simple words.  Separately they meant much of nothing, but when put together became a stone, and in response to his decorum, they formed a weapon.  “Not really,” the screen read.

Not really.  That was to say, no, he wasn’t being courteous.  No he wasn’t being unselfish.  In other words, he was being an ass.  An unconcerned, all-about-himself dictator who flashed his financial sword with reckless abandon in her face.  That was the way she perceived his initial message, so of course she’d have to come back on the defensive.  It only makes sense.  Why ask “What do you mean?” or “We’ll talk later” when “Whatever” is so much easier to text?  He, on the other hand, doesn’t deal in simplicity.  Unfortunately, when one is faced with curt defense, adds annoyance, subtracts simplicity and multiplies it by justification, the result is usually a product less than tactful.  But somehow, this time, he managed to maintain.

He reminded her that he was being courteous, as many other things could happen if he chose not to be.  He kept a level head as he silently and swiftly swung that sword a hair’s breadth from the gentle curls on her head.  He said without saying, “Don’t fuck with me.”

She was hurting and he knew it, but she’d made that bed so it wasn’t his fault she’d gotten no sleep in years.  And now it was time for her to get her own bed; for his was no longer available for rent.  He’d told her he would help until she could manage on her own – a courtesy, correct? – but instead of saying “Thanks” or “Discuss tonight”, she simply said “Whatever” and “Not really”.

It had been a rough morning.  Fielding customer problems, a manager that inexplicably had a mark on her head and too many hours of overtime eating into an already unreasonable sleep pattern had destroyed any good humor she may have thought she had.  It was 9:30am and she’d been awake for 7 hours already; 5 of those she’d spent in that half-assed unorganized office.  All it would take was one word, any word, that didn’t suit her and she would blow.  Her text chimed, she read the message and her world exploded.

Whatever.

Bittersweet Truffle: It’s not always about you.

About Donya: Donya Vaughn is a So Cal native, collegiate of San Diego State University and graduate of the University of Life, mastering in “Wow, That Was Harder Than It Needed To Be”. Known to her close friends as “The Walking Encyclopedia”, Donya prides herself in being helpful, knowledgeable and ready to serve. She uses these traits along with unwavering optimism and Christian good spirit regularly as owner and consultant of As You Like… Wedding & Event Services.

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