I had a moment last night that showed me some real growth as far as my interactions with morons in the wild.
We went out to a show that I was covering for one of my four jobs. The room that the show was in was shaped really awkwardly, so it was hard to find a spot to take photos without blocking someone's view. So, I popped in behind a girl in a chair, and took a few pictures and a short video. (Please note: This was all in a span of less than 90 seconds.)
I was putting my phone in my pocket, when I smell a gust of stale beer breath in my ear. I look, and this bloated man with greasy grey hair says to me, "you know, you take up a lot of space."
I was instantly hot heated MAD. And embarrassed. I felt it coursing through my veins; that familiar tinge of anxiety and self-loathing that I haven't felt in quite a while. My face was hot. I looked at him and said, "oh, you do, too. Sorry!" And I walked back to where my husband was. Greasy said something else, but I had already left that situation, which translates into me slightly disassociating from my surroundings until I feel safe again.
In the past, I would have left. I would've sacrificed the rest of my evening to let a comment ruin my evening. But, I saw this same guy get into an argument with a few other people, over the same thing. I've seen this guy at other shows, and he's consistently been a mean old creep. I thought to myself about how terrible it must be to be that lonely and miserable, that you would go to a performance (it wasn't a concert in a club) and pick fights with strangers.
And also, I DO take up space. Every person does. We're all skin and guts and bones just sloshing ourselves around from one place to another. And I know personally, I'm taking up way less space than I used to. I feel better. And I don't care what other people think about that.
So, I let the moment pass. I stayed for the rest of the performance. And Greasy got up and left immediately at the end. He had to walk through a crowd of people who were making fun of how aggressive he was during a performance that wasn't aggressive. I felt bad for him, but I also let that feeling pass.