Friday, February 24, 2006

MYOB Mentality

There was a bad scene on the hike-and-bike today.

I'm not sure what exactly went down, but as I walked past the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue I saw a woman on the trail 20 feet or so ahead of me, bending down towards something on the ground with her arm extended. The "something" on the ground moved and arose and I saw it was another woman, who had been flat on her face on the trail, standing up as the first woman helped her. The two moved to the grass and a bench beside the trail as I came alongside, and I saw two dogs, wearing harnesses and leashes, casually sniffing around each other close by.

As I was passing the second woman shouted, "What are you gonna do - give me a massage?!?" Her voice was thick with venom and fury.

The first woman, after an agonized pause, stammered, "I was about to say something, but I was scared!"

That was the little tableau as I walked past. But several feet further down the trail, I heard an incoherent yell from the angry woman, and the other one cried, "No, no, no," and sounded as if she were sobbing.

When is it appropriate to interfere in someone else's business to offer assistance? Where's the line between officious interference and neighborly help?

My uneducated guess is that the two women were strangers, walking their dogs, and that somehow the first woman's dog was responsible for tripping up the second woman. It seemed pretty clear that whatever happened was an accident, and that the second woman's reaction was incredibly out of line, especially considering the first woman's obvious contrition and concern for her well-being. I'm assuming the "massage" remark was probably in reaction to the first woman asking if there was anything she could do to help. The altercation was loud enough that a couple of people several feet ahead of me on the trail were turning around to look.

Damn it, I really feel as if I should have turned around and gotten involved to... to do what? My interference would certainly have pissed off Angry Woman further. But I hate to think of poor First Woman facing that ordeal alone. Believe me, if you'd been there... I can't imagine having someone just yell at me like that. I'd be a wreck. I'd be telling my therapist about it for years.

I wish I could've at least given First Woman a hug and a reassurance that she didn't deserve that treatment, if only once Scary-Ass Bitch was gone. By the time I passed by the spot again, on the inbound portion of my walk, both of them had left.


At February 25, 2006 5:34 AM, Blogger Bill D said...

Hmm. You summed it up all very nicely.

It sounds like the incident started with an accident, but, that's how you presented it.

I agree that Angry Woman was rather mean. Too mean, in fact.

She was offered help, and responded by (figuratively) biting First Woman's head off.

I, too, would have wanted to console First Woman, but, I'm emotional like that.

However, First Woman might or might not have considered that odd.

Who knows?



Post a Comment

<< Home