Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I Had the Strangest Conversation Yesterday

Last year for Christmas, my husband got me a zombie support magnet for the Blazer. I hung onto it until we got the Fit and I slapped that baby on there. "Support awareness for the insatiable need of zombies to kill everyone with this Zombie Skull support magnet and watch of people frantically run away!" Obviously, this is meant to be a tongue-in-cheek car magnet. I haven't forgotten to take it off when I go through the car wash and it hasn't been stolen. But for the most part, I forget it's on our car.

The building I work in is shared by two other businesses. One of them is a title company. Just yesterday, one of the employees there stopped me and asked if that was my car, the one with the zombie ribbon on it. I said yes, it was. And then the conversation goes like this.

Her: I want to tell you something and please don't be upset.

Me: Okay. What?

Her: That zombie magnet is really kind of offensive, because that ribbon is meant for cancer awareness.

Me: Uhhh, no it's not. Any program that needs awareness can have a ribbon.

Her: Well, whatever, it's still really offensive and I'm a cancer survivor.

Me: Okay.

Her: Can I ask you to take it off your car? Just for this month? It's breast cancer awareness month and it's kind of offensive.

Me: It's Halloween.

Her: Just for this month.

If we hadn't been in the lobby of our building, during work hours, I think I would have lost my shit. I would have probably gotten in her face and yelled, "Look here, you moron, do you think you're the only person to have ever dealt with cancer? If you don't like my magnet, then don't fucking look at my car!" But I acted like an adult. There were just too many people around. I stared at her hard. I figured lying would be the best way to go. "Yeah. Sure. Whatever." And then I walked away.

The magnet wasn't coming off my car.

I came into work today and didn't say anything about it to anyone. Later on this afternoon, I walked past the title company's receptionist and she stopped me. "I have something for you," she said, handing me an envelope. The woman from yesterday started freaking out after I left, realizing how OUT THERE her request was. In fact, the receptionist said she called her three times after hours yesterday. I guess she realized her request was offensive. Restraint is the better part of valor, I think that's how the saying goes.

I opened the envelope. Inside was a lanyard that said "I heart zombies."

"Amy,
I just wanted to apologize for yesterday. I should not have said anything...it was just a moment of weakness for me. I know we don't know each other but I am not a mean person. I got home last night and thought about it and realized that I spoke too quickly without thinking. I am a cancer survivor and I am dating a guy who is a stage four cancer survivor. During a three year battle he lost 18 feet of his intestines, half his stomach, his spleen and half of his liver. It was a miracle that he survived. However, two weeks ago his CT scan showed two spots on his stomach and liver. He has decided not to go through chemotherapy or treatment and just wants to live his life to its fullest. I understand, but the selfish part of me wants to keep him around as long as possible. Anyway, it's been a rough month for me. You, and everyone else has the right to support anything that they want to support. If there was a ribbon that said 'support ladybugs' or 'support 49ers,' I would probably rock it on my car too. I hope you accept my apology."

I haven't seen her at all since yesterday. Up until this letter, I didn't even know her name. I think I'll ask their receptionist for her email address so I can tell her what my own experience has been, and will be, with stomach and liver cancer. Where work is concerned, I've turned into kind of a hateful bitch about Mom being sick and slowly dying, but I don't tell people what they should have on their cars. But then again, I was just starting to get over being a hateful bitch since my MIL passed away last year.

As for the lanyard, I don't think that I will wear it. At least, not right now anyway. It seems a little tainted in a way. I don't like it when someone buys me something as an apology for doing or saying something wrong. Personally, I'd rather just have a verbal apology. And since I got that from her, I need to let her know her apology has been accepted.

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