A Conversation with a Brute

(Note: This was written due pressure. Please excuse me for my freedom of expression. Thank you!)

There’s a Filipino saying, “Kapag binato ka ng bato, batuhin mo ng tinapay.” (In English, when someone throws you a stone, throw him back a bread!)

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You, being addressed by a stranger with “Hey” in an assaulting and scowling tone because of falling in line and people’s staring at you like you’re a dead meat…sucks! I still can’t forget that woman who talked to me rudely in her foul English.

Anyway, I managed to maintain my composure despite her unruly behavior and I said “SORRY” for her own humiliation.

My mood was rushing up heavenly after we watched SEGUNDA MANO (An official entry to the 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival) at CSI, the City Mall. The plot, the characters and the mood…everything was perfect! Then I came running down the cinema theater to go to the comfort room. First, it’s the theater’s own cubicles that you see when you go out. When I learned that there weren’t spaces available and the line was reaching up to hell, my granny, my sister and I looked for our another course to get rid of the eerie feeling…

The second best we saw was the Comfort Room beside a shoe shop. I was the first one who entered it, with my granny and my sister following in the near vicinity. Without looking up, I was in awe that time, tweeting “Marry You by Bruno Mars is being played. Continuous bliss is following me, really.”

There were four cubicles inside, one had a long line falling down the lane. I stepped forward, tried to look for the mirror and shortly fall line to the next cubicle that had lesser ones fronting in.

In a sudden shock, I was boggled by this middle-aged woman, who is a foreigner, I thought. She’s corpulent and short, wearing a white tee and gray shorts, if I’m not mistaken. Her hair was coiffed in a loose ponytail with the scariest glare on her face that I’ve never seen in my whole life!

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“Hey, are you going to fall in line?” She asked with a full force and her sharp voice echoed around the room. It sounded more like she was shouting. Was she talking to me? Then it came to my surprise when I looked up. Man, she really was!

I thought to myself that this woman is rude. “Yes, I am,” I answered in a state of composed tone but a bit alarmed with my face showing an assured expression.

Unsure if I would continue the conversation or not, my eyes bore a straight look into this tigress. “I thought the line here was separated from there,” pertaining to where I was standing in front of a cubicle that was quite distant from her.

Her bloodcurdling expressions caught-me-off-guard. Really, I didn’t expect this to happen before I enter that room. I was walking past with a ceased delight when “Marry You” by Bruno Mars was being played and after a few steps, bang! I felt like I was trapped in a haunted place. Little did I know, the bliss that I was experiencing will be ruined by this somewhat fat woman who’s got a big problem with her tantrums.

“Well, the line’s on the back…” Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah! Believe me. But because of the panic going through inside my mind, the badoom-badoom sound of my heartbeat, the adrenaline rush and the shaky feeling, my ears were blocked from hearing her blabber some kind of lousy statements. I didn’t understand what she was saying and I didn’t even demand to see what people’s reaction towards the conflict around the room. Seems like I care, you know?

But my exasperated ego was still working. She may be a slut but I tried to think of this situation as a struggle for the first two days of the year 2012. Besides, she’s not worth my temper and I would not lower myself for that situation…for her…for her lack of good manners…for her brutality. I don’t want to act around like a lost bull released for a circus show for people to watch over and give a bet.

“Sorry, okay? I didn’t mean to be, uh, here…” In a stammering voice, I applauded inside my head. The thought of answering this psycho respectfully, despite her imprudent speech, amazed me. Thanks to the lessons I learned from school. I bet this woman is rich but she can’t buy a good moral character.

To cool the desert-hot situation, my sister called me and with a warning look don’t-mess-up-with-this-bitch-granny-is-waiting-for-us, my feet winced; having that sense of leaving that comfort room, quickly. I was walking past the ladies slowly, and like I said, I didn’t notice who they were with all that feelings accelerating inside me.

Soon as I go out, half-step away out of the door, I articulated these words, loud enough for her to hear: “Hold your temper, please?” I moved along with a disgusted look on my face, my hands were clenched into hard fists.

That woman assumes to much. If she’s thinking that she can mess up with me, pronouncing her English proudly so that the people watching her will find her demonstrative and win her side, she’s a hundred percent wrong. It’s a win-win situation, actually, but it’s just that she’s stepping above the limit line! If she’s thinking that no one can answer her straight in English, as communicative as what I did lately, underestimating Filipinos’ abilities to speak proficiently, she’s a thousand percent wrong! If she’s thinking that I’m just a low-lying creature who would let her step into my dignity that easily and sheepishly, who would scold at me in front of many people like I was a deaf, dumbfounded person and who would maneuver herself in front of many people to prove that she was above all of us…she’s more than a million percent wrong! Who is she, by the way? I don’t know her and she don’t know me. Whoever she is, I…don’t…care! I knew for myself that I’m doing what is right and God’s beside me. Maybe that was why I managed to maintain my composure and let the candid thoughts usher in my tongue…maybe because it was all because of Him. He don’t want me to get involved on hard situations like those, that I don’t deserve them, and that, I deserve something eminent.

I would take this positively, yes. The conversation would have run smoothly if she talked to me in a gentle manner, saying a simple “Miss, you’re falling on the same line. The line ends at the back.” even without a smile, just in a calm tone, and not, “Hey, are you going to fall in line? The line’s on the back!!!! with a smirk on her face, and a loud and sharp voice, anyone wouldn’t want to hear. (Hey, did I hear it right? On the back, huh? Wrong grammar! Ha-Ha) I don’t care if she’s about to pee there waiting because all of us feel the same way she feels, you know. To take her side, it’s pretty normal to get mad at a person who happens to be taking the wrong line. But oh, dang! She need not to talk peevishly and order me like I am her slave or something, and for goodness’ sake, I’m a stranger to her and vice versa, she’s a stranger to me! Where did her good manners and right conducts go? To her fats, maybe.

My granny also tried to cool my temper. “She has a mental problem. Those people who act this way isn’t in a normal or healthy situation. Just understand her.”

Philippines do not let this kind of attitude roam around inside the country. Remember that we’re a Catholic country. She may grew up outside of the country, taking risks of showing her arrogant disposition but she don’t have the right to defy one’s right to be respected.  In my Sociology class, I got to learn that every person has his own variations. Personality reflects one’s self. The attitude, the belief, the goals, the fears, the taste, etc. It is the combination of our emotional side, and these factors make you as a person.

Muchas gracias to everyone! To end this blog, I wanna impart Confucius’ philosophy: “Do unto others if you want others do it unto you.” (Reversed: Do not do unto others if you you don’t want others do it unto you.”) 

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Benedict Spinoza also quoted, “ Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue and a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.”

To summarize it all, If the same thing happened to you, too, make a way to deal with the situation in a calm manner. Answering people back or fighting for your stand is good as long as you know you’re in the right path. Ask for God’s guidance and wisdom. Saying “sorry” even though it wasn’t your fault is a good manner for it doesn’t just let that person humiliate himself, but it also dwells you in a peaceful assumptions. Besides, one word wouldn’t be a waste. Make this as a practice. And lastly, let God do the rest. If you did your best to keep up with the situation, let God help you and He will do the rest.

Here are some helpful and inspiring Bible Quotes you should ponder upon:

 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
(Matthew 5:9)

 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
(Psalm 37:23,24)

 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
(Romans 8:6)

by: Samantha C. De Guzman