Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why didn't I do this years ago?

I remember when we moved into the house on Illinois street in 1993 there were so many things I envisioned for that house. And over the years most of  those changes happened. We are leaving that house so much better than we found it—a new oak floor where there was ratty brown carpet, tile where there was canary yellow formica, rebuilt front stairs that are deep and level and don't feel like they will pitch you off the porch head-first. We restored the ceilings to their original height, all the while cursing whoever decided to "modernize" the house by dropping those ceilings. Lots more improvements. Lots. It was an ongoing project all the years we lived there. And I remember looking at the little sconce lights in the bathroom and thinking, "those will go..."  But they never did.


Somehow, over the years, as we worked on big projects, this little project was overlooked. Isn't it interesting how you stop seeing things like this after awhile? Even, several years ago when we made some big changes in that bathroom, again I thought about replacing those lights, and, again, I didn't do it. So, last week when our realtor said to do something about the bright brass fixtures, they were right there in front of me again. I picked up some glass shades at the Rebuilding Center a couple days ago ($2 each) and yesterday took them and my can of spray paint to the old house. It took me a couple hours, including drying time, and I wondered why I had not done this years ago.



They could have looked like this for all those years.

While the paint was drying on the sconces yesterday I drove across town to the Habitat for Humanity Rebuild Center to see if they had an old fixture that would work to replace the bright brass fixture in the living room. As I walked in off the street, I was looking up at the light fixtures hanging overhead and missed seeing an uneven little curb. I stumbled and fell into the store. I landed on my knees and as I was falling I grabbed onto something, where my finger became entangled in a handle. Maybe it was a refrigerator—there were a bunch of appliances sitting around there. Anyway, it was pretty much a blur, but I found myself on my hands and knees on the concrete. No one—NO ONE!—made a move to help me up, or even ask if I was OK. It was as if I were invisible. A man walked right past me out onto the street, very consciously looking past me as if I would think he didn't see me. I could tell I was not badly hurt, though I did wonder if my finger was broken, and my knees were throbbing with pain. It was an effort to get to my feet and I could have used a hand. I am still astounded that the several people who surely saw me fall chose to ignore me. I don't know what to make of it. I see people helping strangers all the time. Last year when Beth fell a very kind woman helped her up and offered to drive her home or to the emergency room. I have, myself, stopped to help someone who fell. So, I can't conclude that such compassion is dead, but yesterday I did not come home with a very high opinion of my fellow citizens. And the store did not have anything even remotely like what I need.

I don't think my finger is broken. It is not that painful. But it is still very swollen and I can't bend it.

20 comments:

  1. Oh, OUCH! I am appalled that not one person even inquired about helping you get up. Disappointing. But sometimes humanity can be that way. My fingers get sore often these days from arthritis, so I can FEEL your swollen finger here at my house. Hope it heals quickly.

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  2. Oops. Forgot to say I LOVE the new look on your blog and its expanded capability. That is next on my list for me, too. Love the neutral color background.

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  3. I cannot believe no one helped you! This is incredible! Were they afraid or what? I hope your finger is not too badly hurt.

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  4. Sorry about your fall. I think that we are so bombarded with 'stuff' that many people try to focus on what is important to themselves and close out 'distractions'. Also, and I won't get on my soapbox about this, anyone over a certain age is invisible to the 'younger' generation. Even wearing the only hat within blocks I find I have completely disappeared! But I think most people would help - unfortunate that none of them was nearby when you needed them. Get better quickly.

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  5. Perhaps they all thought you were tipsy...but still.

    As Del said, I feel invisible much of the time when I'm out in public these days. The only time I feel noticed is when we're walking at the local mall with the rest of the old folks.

    I wonder sometimes where old women who remarry find their men to marry!

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  6. I was googling my name to see how many pages I would get to before the name was no longer mine and I found your blog so I thought I'd go ahead and actually leave my name. I'm Arlee Bird.

    I can empathize with your story. It's kind of sad isn't it. I used to go every morning and take a walk and then one morning last year I was on my walk and fell. It was right in the middle of a busy intersection. Most everyone was in their cars so it was difficult for anyone to get out to check on me, but a couple of twentyish Hispanic guys on bicycles stopped to check. I was okay other than a severe case of embassment.

    I haven't walked regularly since then, but I guess I should. It was only me not paying attention and tripping on a crack or something.

    Check out my blog. Since you seem to post quite a bit you might enjoy the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011 that we're going to start next Friday. It's a great way to meet other bloggers and expose them to your own site.

    Thanks for letting me drop in to visit today.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  7. Isn't it amazing how the little (and big) touches get done when we are ready to sell, but are "okay for now" when we are living with them. I may need to ponder why that is a bit.

    Regarding your fall at Habitat's store...considering I am a regular contributor it might be worth a telephone call to the manager. I would hate to see my cash donation spent on defending a lawsuit, and at the very least the staff had better understand that they need to deal with situations as they arise. Seems like a good learning opportunity for the store. The other customers, well guess no printable suggestions there.

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  8. Terry, a year or so ago, I was walking into work. I was right at the driveway into the cancer center (only those getting treated use this driveway to drop patients off right at the door). I fell (I still don't know how) simultaneously as someone was pulling into the driveway. They HONKED at me to get out of the way. I had ripped my work pants and both my knees were bleeding. I'm pretty sure I was in tears as I stood up and stepped back to get out of their way...as they passed I got the bird. My faith in humanity was lost that day. I can sympathize with you!

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  9. Ow! I'm so sorry about your fall! I had one of those two weeks ago in the U District in Seattle. Here I was among all these "kids", and I went face-first onto the sidewalk. One very sweet young man helped me up and stood with me for a minute to make sure I was alright before he went on. I felt invisible the whole rest of the day, but for that one shining moment, someone the age of my son cared. It's still there, somewhere.

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  10. Ouch! Had that happen to me last year as well. ON my way to a class and slipped on black ice; went down to my knees which were burning! A man at the door looked at me and just kept going. If I was 30 yrs younger and 150lbs lighter, would the scene have ended differently??? I think so...

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  11. Terry, So sorry that happened to you...and how rude of everyone. Just know that if I had been there, I would have helped you...and I'm sure there are plenty of others who would have...you just happened to be around the lowest end of the food chain people! But you're right, what happened to you is a big shock...a sign of the times perhaps.

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  12. We have customers tripping and almost falling at the greenhouse. I think I was the only one who ever actually tripped and landed on my knees, tossing the newly potted houseplant up ahead of my fall. The customer asked for a new plant, even before I was up and standing. No one helped me up. My coworkers were stunned. They checked on me later.

    People seem so insular these days. Almost afraid to reach out to someone else.

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  13. when did people start being afraid to help others? so sorry about your experience.... but don't lose faith in humanity just yet! hope your finger will be ok.

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  14. I'm sorry you hurt your finger - and sorry to hear that nobody helped you.
    AND I would love to urge you, please see a doctor with your finger !!! You might have torn a ligament, and that would need treatment, the sooner, the better. PLEASE???

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  15. Sorry to hear about your fall. Is everyone so busy that they don't see the things that are going on around them? Shame on all those passerby's that didn't come to help you. We hope as we get older that someone would come to help us. Hope your knees are healing and that the finger will be better soon.

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  16. It's always shocking to hear of such small acts of unkindness. Hope it wasn't a stitching finger and that it's better soon.

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  17. Just so you know chivalry is not dead, both my men [h and son] would have helped you up and made sure you were ok! I would have also, but I am guessing it was mostly men who ignored you??

    BTW...the light looks great.

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  18. Very hard to understand how someone could almost have to step over you and not so much as ask if you were OK. I love your bathroom transformations and the price tags! Very resourceful. And lastly, I just wanted to say I believe it was your blog which directed me to the Twelve book and story. I am not an art quilter but I have almost finished reading the book cover to cover. It is wonderful on so many levels. A big THANK YOU.
    quiltfever.wordpress.com

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  19. OUCH! If you lived in New York City you would not be surprised when people stepped over/around you. The surprise would be if someone actually stopped to help. Sad but true.

    I hope your finger isn't broken and that it heals quickly. So sorry you had to go through that.

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  20. What a sad commentary about people not helping people. Had I been there I would have helped and it seems most of the above people would have too. There are no excuses to be made in this case and each person who was there that day should be ashamed.

    Hope your finger is better now.

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