Monday, September 7, 2009

Politeness, eavesdropping, and rudeness

Yesterday I met a friend for coffee (and breakfast). We were sitting there minding our own business discussing cancer, recurrences, surgery, metastases, doctor's opinions and all sorts of other warm fuzzy things cancer people discuss. The man at the next table interrupted us to tell us about his method (which isn't really his and he wasn't selling it but here's a website and the guy's name who started here in Boston and he has about 100 centers and there's a place on the south shore where they have weekly meetings at 11 on Saturday mornings where you can go and learn more) that uses people's energy and a brass doll or something as a chime to heal people. Now he perturbed me on several levels.

- He butted into a private conversation. Its one thing if the people at the next table have an overly adorable child you want to comment on or you really want to find out where the person got their clothing so you can go buy your own or they are having a medical emergency and you are a trained EMT, then its probably okay to interrupt. But a private conversation on something that is kind of personal? No, go away. Aren't you supposed to politely ignore what is going on around you (unless its a two year old in a temper tantrum)?

- He interrupted I think a total of THREE TIMES. Clearly clueless and he forgot what his mother taught him. But he wasn't selling anything (but he has been in holistic healing for nearly 20 years and a few years ago a friend who is an acupuncturist told him about this and how he now has included it in his repertoire and we can go to a meeting on Saturday mornings at 11).

- He wouldn't take the hint and shut up. My friend was better at getting rid of him than I. I wrote down the damn website to get him off our back (but have since lost the piece of paper - damn (NOT)). She managed the polite 'thank you' and turned away.

Its unfortunate that some people want to take advantage of other's misfortunes to make money. Cancer is not going to be cured through energy healing and a brass gong. Sorry. Go bug someone else. Unfortunately he did tell us he goes to the same coffee shop every day which means I will have check whenever I go in and that he lives near by.

After I got over that idiot, I managed to enjoy my day. I went for a walk and then we ran a bunch of errands. But I got a tiny bit tired and my back protested so I hung out with my ice pack for an hour (and watched a cooking show - my secret addiction). Today, we have all sorts of things to do and my back hurts. (Now there's a surprise.) But my ankle is feeling okay. I might attempt a slightly longer walk than yesterday.


Anonymous said...


Honestly, I struggle to understand how you don't get it?? There are no coincidences in life. Everyone interacts with you right when they are supposed to. Maybe, just failed the test. If you had given that man just a bit of compassion, and truly listened to him, you could have, or would have learned something. We are closer to others, even strangers than you think. What you see in others is a reflection of what we see in ourselves.

Pay attention to the coincidences in never know what can become of them.

Strip away your judgement...strip away your "put him in this box" feeling..he was just a man, who was trying to help, and was harmless.

Next time something like that attention. We tend to gloss over opportunities in life, so that we can stay right where we our haste to make sense of everything we are experiencing. Take the next your mind.

Ann aka ButDoctorIHatePink said...


I think you get it. Rudeness is rudeness and that guy had no business interrupting your breakfast with your friend.

A friend of mine's mother had breast cancer and got roped into some natural type gong/brass treatment. She believed it so much she didn't do standard treatment and she died a horrible, horrible death, in agony, with cancer eating away half her body.

It's not like we live in an age where those interested in holistic or alternative treatments can't find them if they wish. Two friends having breakfast should not be interrupted by salespeople, or even well-meaning non-sales people. And, certainly not three times. At most, one suggestion, with a response by you saying a short "thanks but I'm not interested" should have sent him away.

Keep your judgment. It's what makes us functioning beings. Anonymous just judged you - didn't she? She judged you as unenlightened, and "failing a test."


Your judgment comes after years of learning about yourself and your wants, beliefs, desires and needs. You aren't a child, you know what is best for you. Anonymous thinks she knows what is best for you too, which is WAY more judgmental than you were.

I'm glad you were able to enjoy the rest of your day! :)

Debby said...

My cousin earnestly sent me websites that claim baking soda is the cure to cancer, and that some flipping govt. conspiracy is keeping that word from us because the drug companies are making so much money off of cancer treatment...

Anonymous, you know everyone takes their own journey. Really. If Caroline chooses a different path, that's her choice, not yours.

BaldyLocks said...

Holy crap. Everyone has some sort of magic healing potion. They seem to mean well but they really hurt rather than help. I have no idea why everyone and their dog has some sort of solution to cancer that trained Doctors and researchers don't have.

It makes my blood boil. There are a lot of gullible people in this world, unfortunately some people die because of that.

Big hug to you, Caroline.

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