Is it just me? Or does this happen to other people, too?
I’m talking about being involuntarily sucked into the world of what I refer to in my head as “alternate-reality people,” the sort of militantly “enlightened” or “spiritual” people who use all the trendy lingo and create “enlightened” drama so everyone can see just how spiritual they are.
Every time I get even superficially acquainted with these types, eventually they dream up some nonsense about an entirely mundane thing or experience involving me to prove, well, I’m not sure what exactly. That they’re more enlightened than I am, I guess.
Do you know the kind of people I mean? The ones who seem to constantly work to show you just how they find some deeper meaning in the everyday things that to you might seem mundane or even random.
A woman I knew (briefly) swore the very ordinary (to my unenlightened eyes) decorative floral wreath on her neighbor’s door was placed there in a deliberate attempt to direct bad energy at her apartment.
Really. It happened. And resulted in a bizarre one-sided feud during which my acquaintance often tried to enlist me in bad-mouthing the wreath people and regularly did things to disrupt their space without actually ever having so much as a conversation with them. Really, I doubt they knew she kept her shades tilted at a certain angle to send “cutting energy” toward their front door.
I have blundered into acquaintance or ended up employed with these types a number of times and I have learned that, inevitably, at some point I will (in their minds) do or not do something with or at or to them that will prove me to be unworthy and unenlightened and generally all-around bad. Very bad.
I was once accused of parking my vehicle “passive-aggressively” (in my own driveway) because I hadn’t left space under the carport for a guest I hadn’t invited and so wasn’t expecting. What’s that about? I get the concept of aggressive parking. (Think Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes.) But what the heck is passive-aggressive parking?
Another time I was told that a person’s unprovoked upsetting behavior toward one of my clients was completely excused by my subsequent blatant misuse of the word “mortified” to describe how embarrassed I was in front of said client. Huh? (I looked it up; it does mean profoundly embarrassed. I knew that.)
Do other people encounter these types of people, or is it just me who gets pulled into these bizarre non-situation situations? (Surely it can’t be just me.)
I’m not saying it occurs often, but it has happened several times and the part where I seemingly breach some cosmic rule I never knew existed always shocks me for some reason.
I’ve even had this type of experience several times involving horses, usually some version of the “enlightened” person’s horse paying attention to me and me being accused of nefariously causing the horse to do so.
Once I spent several uncomfortable months repeatedly fending off a horse who would follow me around when I was working with others in a pasture. Her “enlightened” owner couldn’t even catch her in the pasture, so clearly I was doing something untoward to be able to walk right up to her horse. I was actually dressed down by my employer and told I was henceforth never allowed to touch the horse. (Who, of course, couldn’t understand why I had to shoo her away when she just wanted to hang with me.)
In the most recent incident, I was standing in a barn aisle talking with a client and a horse cross-tied nearby stretched her neck out ever-so-politely to sniff a wad of empty plastic bags I was holding. (The bags had held herbs for my horses.) “Enlightened” owner looked up from behind the horse and said “Don’t feed my horse!” I showed her that the bags were entirely empty and explained the horse was only sniffing.
Later she made a point, in front of another boarder, to thank me for “showing me what kind of person you are” because in that encounter I was obviously expressing a secret belief that her horse needed supplements.
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
I did not ask her to elaborate; I was too busy re-arranging my brain to puzzle out how my completely inadvertent proximity and an entirely random bit of nothing somehow got elevated to “deep inner meaning” status. I could choose to believe she meant I showed her my deep commitment to the well-being of horses. But my experience of similar brain-twisting encounters in the past leads me to suspect she meant I was some version of unenlightened undesirable who had accosted her horse for nefarious reasons.
So, what am I missing here? Is there really such a thing as passive-aggressive parking? Ill-wishing wreaths? Secret supplement compulsion? Where do these people come from? (And, more important, could they be sent back there?)
But, really, is it just me? Do the rest of you also sometimes encounter this type of alternate-reality person? Or (yikes!) am I the one whose reality is flawed because I don’t imagine every other being’s every action is somehow deeply centered on me?
I don’t have an answer, but I am suddenly very motivated to lock myself inside my home with my animals, whose motivations and actions make much more sense. That’s where you’ll find us if you have something enlightening to share on this topic.