Saturday, February 11, 2006

The glass slipper


I went into a gym today (those of you who know me well must be scratching your head in confusion, suffice it to say that it was recommended for the yoga classes and proximity to my home), hoping to get to sample some classes before considering joining. Seemed reasonable to me. So what went wrong? I got in there, asked for what I wanted, and was immediately sucked into a vortex of sales jargon and athletic attitudes. The fitness consultant started showing me around. I don’t want around, I want yoga. She pointed proudly to the treadmills. But I want yoga. She introduced me to the free weight section. I want yoga. She walked me through the showers. I WANT YOGA.

Then she trapped me in a room and started asking me questions. What changes was I looking to make? I want yoga. No really, what changes? I want to relieve some of my mounting tension, in other words, I want yoga. Are you looking to lose some weight? Do I look like I want to lose some weight? If I lost any weight over 5 lbs my doctors would hit the roof and then the panic button. I want yoga. Not only was this not getting me anywhere, it wasn’t even that entertaining, unless you are one of my friends, who gets joy out of watching me make people squirm just because I can. What package would you like? I want yoga. Do you want a membership that transfers to gyms in other cities? I WANT YOGA. What was so freakin’ hard to understand!?!?!?!? And why the hell was she not listening to me. In an industry reputed to be totally centered around customer service, how can you get away with spending 15 straight minutes ignoring what the customer is saying. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PEOPLE!!! Work with me!

The thing I know, and I suspect I am not the only one this applies to, is that when you don’t listen to me, I resist you. Really simple stuff here. When you don’t pay attention to what I am actually asking for, and in this case, it took a lot of work to not hear me, then I will dig in my heels. It is human nature. You have to meet me before you point me. In this situation, I believe that what happened was that she has an agenda, a script, a desired outcome that dictates how she behaves. And she has a system. Here is the thing. I DON”T FIT INTO A SYSTEM. I can’t be typecast, I don’t do what I am told, I am a wild card. I will not fit into the mold, I just won’t. If I even so much as catch the whiff of a mold, I will try to break it. You can’t chop off my toes and my heels and force me into the glass slipper. So stop trying.

And how is this related to my present circumstance (read: why the hell am I writing about it here, instead of just ranting to my friends). I remember when I got diagnosed with cancer, my doctor invited me to be really conscious and intentional (yes, I have a fun, flaky, signy-style MD, how exciting is that) about how I wanted to be with the process I was about to embark on. She warned me about the medical conveyor belt, and not to just hop on and “do what I was told”. She urged me to choose, really choose, and to explore and ask questions and not settle for stupid, pat, easy answers. Bless her.

I understand how systems come to be, the best possible way to meet the widest possible needs. But at some point or other, on some issue or other, we all fall beyond that easy category. We need something different, something outside the range of “normal” or “customary”. Recognizing when that is happening, and standing up for ourselves when it does, is so freakin’ important I can barely breathe when I think of someone forsaking this right and responsibility. So here is my question for you – where in your life are you forcing yourself to fit, and what are you going to do about it?


At 5:23 PM PST, Anonymous Fiona said...

Ha ha, wanted to see the final version and it's pretty great. Wonderful to see you today, the best part was watching you laugh. AND the pink.

I love the idea of having to be assertive/almost aggressive - about YOGA.

I'll answer the question but not in blog world (your question). Also sending love.

And don't forget All Those Options for pre-surgery week. Options! We love options!
P.S. just had wonderful shiatsu.

At 7:35 PM PST, Blogger Signy said...

I await the answers to the questions, more personally!

Thank you for the options and understanding how much I need them!

At 12:48 PM PST, Blogger Alda said...

Not entertaining? Hah! I beg to differ. And ranting on a blog is equal to ranting to your friends in my books - and it makes for fun reading. I want yoga. xx

At 1:28 PM PST, Blogger Signy said...

For you, we have yoga!

I guess in the retelling it is entertaining, but am bettng that has more to do with me than her.

This gal, in fact, is applying for Canadian citizenship, hmmm??!?! I wonder if I can have any say about that.


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