#1) When you have a choice, please choose to NOT behave like a tool. Like a Douchetrumpet.
For example: Last night (St. Freaking Valentine’s Day) I came out of a women’s restroom in the Alaska Airlines terminal at SFO.
(*note: Airline terminal = inside the boundaries of a cleared security area)
There was a young woman, I’m guessing mid-twenties, passed out on the floor next to a drinking fountain.
Passed out. Not bleeding, not vomiting, but nonetheless, passed out.
I quickly glanced around, and most people were walking by, at the most just glancing at her.
A few people stood a few yards away, just looking at her.
The questions are simple:
Miss, can you hear me?
Ok, good, are you ok? What can I do to help you?
What’s your name? Is there someone here with you that I can get?
Turns out this sweet pea had just come off a long flight, losing it from both ends.
Her boyfriend was just down a short way, waiting for her with their luggage.
He had no way of knowing she had gotten so sick in the bathroom and had passed out as she was trying to walk back to find him.
Basic humanity is so simple.
What in the world are people afraid of?
A scared young girl, all she needed was a simple gesture of humanity. Nothing fancy.
My dear childhood friend who I had just been visiting in Berkeley, who just happens to be the daughter of a nurse and is herself a brilliant Nurse Practitioner, was teasing me and quipped, “nurse=busybody.”
But she is a actually a bleeding heart who has been taking strays into her heart (myself as a 12 year old, for starters), for years. Not too long ago, she insisted on adopting, sight-unseen, a three legged puppy who’s stressed out mother had chewed off one of his hind legs. So I’m calling her bluff.
The metaphors and symbolism of that act in and of itself, will have to wait for another blog.
Both acts actually: the overwhelmed mother chewing off her puppy’s leg, and Anne’s immediate reaction to want to adopt and care for said puppy.
And, as I clarified for Anne, I didn’t even offer up any of my Ativan to this woman, so there. Don’t go labelling me a martyr.
#2) There is no Rule #2.
If you are a human person over the age of, let’s say 7 or 8, you should not require instructions, or even suggestions, for a #2 rule.
There is no reason why a thinking, human person, should not be aware that they have a choice in their behavior in every single interaction with every single human person they encounter.
A kid on the playground, a vendor at the food cart, the next-door neighbor, the person putting gas in your car. (*Side note: In the state of Oregon, it is literally, and bewilderingly against the law to gas up one’s own automobile. Absurd, but true.)
There is never, ever, a legitimate reason to make the choice to behave like a doorknob.
In this particular instance, where this airline traveler was most likely having the most unpleasant Valentine’s Day in her personal history of ever, behaving like a decent human did not require much. My skills as a BSN were not required. No code cart, not even an emesis bag. She just needed to not have hundreds of strangers pass her by as she lay passed out on the airport floor. She just needed someone to choose to not be a selfish asshole.
Next time I pass out in a public place (because it has happened before, and could easily happen again), I hope someone will do more than pass me by or stare at me from a safe distance.