My neighbor, Mustang Sally, came over with her daughter last night to deliver my Girl Scout cookies. Perhaps you remember Mustang Sally’s daughter, per my post about the rude Girl Scout. I was a little suspect. Why was Mustang Sally accompanying her daughter for the drop off and was nowhere in site when the initial sale was being made.
No matter. It was a wee awkward because I was in the middle of putting groceries away, and my boyfriend was about to eat lunch, so instead of inviting them in, like we probably should have, we kept them at bay in the entryway.
We got down to business, paid her for the cookies and then my boyfriend engaged the little girl scout in conversation. She was very articulate and all I kept thinking was, “Shouldn’t we invite them in and let them sit down?” But we didn’t. I kept glaring over at the perishables on the kitchen counter, that desperately needed to be refrigerated.
While my boyfriend continued conversing, I extricated myself and moved into the kitchen. I should explain that we have an open floor plan, so even though I moved rooms, I was still visible and audible. At some point, the conversation turned to one of her seven children. She said that her thirteen year old suffers from acute anxiety, and panic attacks.
My boyfriend and I listened, while I put away our canned goods and organic beets. And then Mustang asked, “I don’t know what a panic attack is like. I’ve never had one. Have you?” My Man was silent, and I had a choice to make. Do I divulge personal information to my neighbor, who I really don’t know, or do I continue to put away my Quinoa and let my boyfriend handle it.
I felt a sudden pang of empathy towards Mustang and her son. I’ve had my share of attacks in the not so distant past, and they are not fun for anyone. I decided to risk it and I spoke up. I think even my boyfriend was surprised. I’m not sure that he knew about my attacks. I don’t know if I helped her but I think she felt a little less alone.
A few minutes after Mustang and her daughter left, I was certain that standing in my entryway made them tired, I regretted sharing myself. It’s ironic. I have no problem writing about all kinds of personal shit here and yet, sharing a piece of myself with my neighbor, was, well, too personal.