For example, the other day I was donating blood. The very nice Red Cross worker directed me on where to put my arm, handed me the little red rubber ball, and hooked up the blood pressure unit. I was trying to go to my mental happy place…a mossy creek bank on the farm I grew up. The woman pulled me back into reality by asked about my college work. I explained my interest in menopausal women, and the transitional years that follow. She looked at me with a confused face. “What you should be studying is why men go crazy as they get older! Women get better– they evolve– but men, they just get messed up.” She went on to explain the antics of her soon-to-be ex as I filled up the blood bag. An older gentleman, giving blood at the next station muttered, “Wow. She talks a lot.”
I am happy I could give her space to unleash some very hurt feelings. While I was a captive listener, I hope those few moments of sharing–woman to woman–made her day a bit brighter. It cost me nothing but a bag of blood and a knowing smile.