Tuesday, October 6, 2009

lowered expectations

Not too long ago, in a decade not too far away (okay it was 1987) I worked as a CNA in a local nursing home. After a day of class, squeezing in time to study plus living off of tankers of coffee and snicker's bars, I was expected to go to work and take care of 30 odd residents on my floor. And everyone wanted their baths at once.
And it was especially one sweet old lady, who held me in very high esteem. Far higher than I did myself, apparantly. This lady had to have her bath later on. She couldnt' be first even though she had deemed somehow that I was her 'favorite,' and 'perfect' (whatever perfect means) but I had to remain firm on the matter. I had dozens of other people, all clamoring to be taken care of first and no one to help me. So, despite how hard I tried to avoid it, this poor frazzled, exhausted and poorly nourished nursing student had to explain to them all, and to Lady X most of all, that they'd have to take turns.
Oh the wailing and gnashing of false teeth that occured on that day!
My firm but polite, no, caused Lady X to burst into tears, declared she'd rather be filthy than to let me touch her, and threw her lampshade at me.
So went my fall from grace in her eyes.
And I came to learn, after many years of and with varying degrees of falling from grace, that I am not super Buddha Woman. I'm simply an ordinary being, with hopes and fears and loves and desires, just like everyone else.
The only real difference between me and others is that I've learnd how to put all this stuff onto the path of liberation.
I could be light years from Buddhahood, or I could be as close as the next class with Lama. Either way, it's all good.

And now...a story...
two senior ladies was standing outside of the nursing home smoking. It was, of course, raining that day and they were standing under the awning. One lady took a condom out of her pocket, snipped off the end and put her camel cigarette into it, lit up and enjoyed her smoke. The other lady watched, amazed and asked her why she did that.
-To keep my cigarette dry, her companion replied.
So the next day the lady goes to a pharmacy and asks for a box of condoms, to wit, the pharmacist faints dead away.
--What happened to him? asked the pharmacy assistant.
--I have no idea, the lady replied. --All I wanted was a condom big enough to fit over a camel.
So the thing with expectations about others, placing them high on a pedastel is that at some point, the pedastel will either tip over or crack. Either way, its not a firm enough foundation to place a mere mortal upon.
So who or what should we hold in high esteem?
Ah, children, that's for later. And with far fewer typos. Sorry kids, blame it on the prescription strength ibuprophen. I have :D

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