The murder of my confidence.

“You wouldn’t understand… It would be too hard to explain it to you,” said the manchild checking my groceries. I had asked him what he was studying at the university. There it was again, my confidence murdered by the quick summation of a stranger. My pigtails, my children, or perhaps just being a woman somehow pigeonholed me. My shoulders sunk a little and I fidgeted. What about me makes people assume I’m stupid? I thought. Beau once said he thinks I love Miss Marple because we have being underestimated by others in common.

Deep breath. I gave the manchild a slightly surprised face and smiled. “Oh?” I asked, challenging him. It was poetry theory. He gave me a weak (and unnecessary) explanation about what poetry theory was.

“Oh that sounds interesting,” I said cheerfully. “What kind of poetry do you like to read?”

He used a bunch of big words and spewed off a few names of men I didn’t know. “….that’s the kind of poetry I like to write.”

“Oh you write poetry?” I reiterated.

“That’s what I just said,” he scoffed.

Silence. I looked down at the credit card reader, my eyes wide, as if to tell the machine, “Can you believe this guy?” Then I signed it with my finger. I looked up and smiled. With all the passive aggressiveness this Seattle girl could muster, my face said, You’re a jerk.

“Do you read poetry?” he asked me. Probably to fill the silence.

“I do.”

“Oh really?  What do you read?” I think he may have rolled his eyes as he grabbed another thing out of my cart.

“I love romantics like Keats and Shelley.”

“huh…yeah they’re ok.  I don’t really like Keats. But the poets I like are a little bit influenced by them. They’re able to walk into a garden and notice the tiniest details like petals and…”

I inwardly smirked as Miss Marple flashed across my brain. Always being treated like a sweet old lady who wouldn’t understand, and much less someone who might hear them give away clues to a murder she knew much more about. I knew a thing or two about petals.

“Have you read Mary Oliver? She writes poetry like that.”

He looked taken aback. I’m not sure if it was because I knew a name he didn’t know, or surprise over me saying the name of a woman….or any name at all.

“No I haven’t.”

Receipt, my groceries were bagged and in the cart.

“Oh, you should check her out.  She’s great.” I was halfway out the door. His mouth was gaping.

“Hey what’s your name?”

I stopped and turned my head over my shoulder. “Bridget.”

“It’s nice to meet someone who actually knows so much about poetry. Maybe I’ll see you around.”

I don’t actually know all that much about poetry.  But my heart burst to see his opinion of my brain go from one end of the spectrum of miscalculation to the other. A tiny and insignificant triumph, and probably silly to write for a blog post, but I felt like I solved a murder.IMG_2008

5 thoughts on “The murder of my confidence.

  1. 😊Awesome post. Great story. Score one for old (and not-yet-old) ladies. And maybe he learned a life-lesson that will slightly alter his interactions with others from now on.

  2. you are so damn lovely and amazing. I would have burst out and scolded the boy! You are my favorite visionary, Bridget. Thank you. And now, I realize that somehow in my life I have missed reading Miss Marple – to the kindle store I go!

  3. I love your spunk! I do think this tale needs a new name though – to give you due credit. Rather than the Murder of Confidence (you thankfully found your pluck) I nominate The Evaporation of Pretension or On The Education of a Manchild. I do feel kinship in the sting of his first interaction with you – that feeling of being overlooked or swept to the side because . . . Of my three girls in tow? Or because one dimensional characters and roles are easier to place and move on? And Mary Oliver – she is magic and delight on the page and her poems should be framed next to your artwork! Thank you for sharing this story.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts. The title is in reference to how I feel like Miss Marple solving a murder mystery. It’s like the title of one of one of her books. It could also have been…the mystery of my stolen confidence. But something other than that wouldn’t tie in as well.

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