Proximity over Sanity? or The day I got yelled at and cried like a baby.
It became apparent to me today that I have traded my sanity for proximity. I want to warn you, in terms of entertainment value, this post is about as effective as a flat tire. I don’t really want to burden you, reader, peruser or scanner, with the minutia of my daily life, but in this instance, it can’t be helped, as it is I who needs to unburden. And just as a disclaimer, I’d like to add that I too hate blogs where people discuss inconsequential occurrences in their day, like they are some universally relevant and relatable events. Be warned this thing falls under that peevish category.
To preface, I am a dedicated equestrian. I board at a facility with the unique advantage of extreme proximity. It is located no further than 4 miles from my home, which really means it’s magical. If you are not keeping your horses on your own property, and don’t live in the country, then you know what I mean, a centrally located barn is like the Chupacabra of the equestrian world. Furthermore, mine is reasonably priced, which is a miracle! So it’s both, magical and miraculous.
This barn’s inhabitants are an eclectic band of people and horses. It is overseen by two women, who live on the property, or quite literally in the barn, as they lodge in a structure attached to it. If one of them wasn’t big and the other one small, and if they didn’t have a gap of a few decades between them, they could quite literally be the same person. One owns it, the other one runs it. Both are about as hospitable as a flu, and entirely devoid of restraint, with a habit of raising their voices on a dime. I have learned from a few experiences here, that they are like hot skillets, as long as you don’t touch them, you’ll be ok….unless somehow one lunges itself at you of course (as it did at me today), then you are, quite frankly, fucked . The other trick to surviving here, in this viper’s nest of estrogen, conceit, gossip and bad manners, is to stay away from mostly everyone. Which is fine by me, since I am, by my own admittance, a bit of a misanthrope.
I try my best to be invisible, which is not hard, except that I am quite tall ;P. I don’t socialize, don’t partake in the chatter; and, since I am a night owl, I ride late and mostly alone.
Now to the meat of the matter. My horse’s stall is barely getting cleaned. In all the time me and her had been together, she had never been in a stall so disgusting or so menacing to the health of her feet. I don’t complain, this is not a barn where complains do anything other than come back at you in the form of tongue lashings. I try to do what I can when I can, and ward off abscesses with positive thinking. Last night, I came to her around 8pm and noticed that the entirety of her feet was sunk into a swamp of waste. I got her out, worked her and, come 9, it became evident to me that I had to try and remedy the state of that stall. I got in there with one of those huge buckets, ruined my shoes and my clothes trying to muck out the mess and drain the soupier areas. I did the best I could in the dark. Having filled the bucket I realized that moving it was way beyond my physical capabilities. I did my best pulling it out of the way, reasoning that the stable hand, the guy who is supposed to do the mucking, will deal with it in the morning, using his god given male muscles. Now, it wasn’t something I readily expect of him, but he was my only option. I give him extra money rather frequently, we have a very friendly relationship. I intended to give him my profuse gratitude next time I saw him. Then I went to the giant pile of shavings and filled one poultry wheelbarrow, the cost of this action had been quoted to me at 20$ per wheelbarrow just 2 weeks ago when I used the shavings trying to yet again wrangle the sludge. Anyways blah blah blah, I did my best and left.
Today, first thing I did upon arrival at the barn, was I find one of the two governing bodies mentioned previously, shared with her my experience of muck in the dark, told her that I will, of course, add the cost of shaving from last night to my board check and asked if she had any ideas for a permanent solution. I assured her that I am willing to pay extra, if she feels that my stall is an extra bother, as long as it gets the attention it needs. With these people, I’ve realized, if you want something, you have to let them think it’s their idea. But moving on, yes, although it is already their job and responsibility to keep the stall clean, I offered extra money, in order not to let them think that I feel they are not doing their job. This story is getting too long even for me.
Following the conversation with the larger lady overlord, the other, small one, came up to me some half an hour later. The hot skilled was flung. Her exact words were:
“If you EVER leave a bucket full like that….
Me: “I am sorry I couldn’t move it and there was no one around to help me, I hoped M**** would move it in the morning, I dragged it away as far as I could..”
Her: “Well of course you couldn’t move it, and you shouldn’t expect anything of M*****”
Me: “I am pretty sure I already don’t, given the condition of my stall..and also I didn’t expect anything, I found myself in a unique situation, I misjudged my strength, there was no help. I knew M would do me the solid of taking care of it in the morning, I intended to thank him profusely, it was a singular occurrence, I didn’t mean any disrespect”
“ALL you do is disrespect me…!!!!!!!.”
“Huh? all I do? disrespect you? What in the world are you talking about?! I am quiet as a mouse here, I have nothing to do with you and you never even see me”
“You try to come here and do these things when no one is looking at night…..”
“That’s ridiculous! Are you joking? Who says things like that to another person? I ride at night, I happened to see her in distress last night when i came just for a visit….”
“In distress? this is how it is for her every night..”
“Well then there is the problem!….”
She was beyond condescending and insulting. This senior, but quite sprightly, quite scary, lady was yelling at me, yes yelling, accusing me of what can only be described as underhanded behavior, like I am some thief, skulking around in the night, doing unseemly things when no one is looking. It’s asinine. My only, and singular concern, is always the well being of my horse. Tears started pouring down my face. It’s a real inconvenience, it makes me feel weak, plus I can’t see that well :P. I was emotional to a fault here, partly because the injustice was so great that I did not know how to address it. It was a full fledged assault on all that is my dignity. How do I respond? …. what do I say to accusations which are over nothing and based on nothing? It’s like adult bullying, I imagine if adults came at other adults with the intent of bullying them, this is how they would do it. Accuse someone of a scummy, intentional transgression, when the accused is, oh I don’t know, partaking in some innocent pastime, like feeding a hungry squirrel in the tree..or breathing.
The other reason for the tears was that I really could only respond with half of my conviction. And that’s incredibly hard for me, being as I am quite equipped verbally speaking. I had to swallow my words, whole sentences even, because despite everything, I am not ready to part with that god damn precious proximity.
If you read to this point, let me know in a comment, because congratulations, you are a paragon of patience. I would like a chance to properly applaud your steadfastness. Even I got bored with myself. Like I said earlier, writing this kind of thing is a bit of a crime. But it’s mighty cathartic! Maybe the fact that I Illustrated it with a scenic photograph will mitigate your disappointment, when I tell you, that there is no pay off. This is it. My horse lives in poo, I tried to fix it, ruined my shoes, got yelled at by a paranoid curmudgeonly old lady, cried like a baby, protested the injustice, went home and wrote a monster of a blog about it. Shoot me…with a marshmallow gun, I bruise like a peach.
Update: If you want to know what happened just a few short days later, please read: Revolt, escape, freedom..or..Reclamation of Sanity! I promise it’s riveting, life changing even. Dang, I’m such a liar. 😛