Saturday, July 26, 2014

Border Crossing and other ancient tales

Around 1 o'clock this afternoon Carm decided we should take a trip to the US - it was cloudy and cool - a good day for spending time in the truck. I wasn't really fussed on the idea, especially since we couldn't bring the dogs. I hummed and hawed and finally gave in - away we went!

I will admit to experiencing a lot of anxiety sometimes, and this afternoon was one of those times. I don't really like leaving the dogs when there are a lot of people around, even though I was pretty certain they wouldn't bark - they haven't yet, and it has been 8 years. Still, the anxiety persisted.

On our way, we stopped at A&W to fill our tummies. I always remember the time when I was almost 5 years old - I peeked through a window and saw a doll buggy in the living room. I knew I wasn't supposed to peek, but I had, and now I felt really guilty. I had peeked and now I knew what my birthday present was. I didn't have a thrill of knowing a secret, quite the opposite, I felt sick with guilt.  I knew that my parents wanted to surprise me, and I had disappointed them.  That night my mom and dad took me to A&W for a treat - I couldn't bear to have a treat when I knew I had been deceitful, so I pretended that I really didn't want it. Of course I feigned surprise when my birthday finally came, I don't know if mom and dad ever knew.

I look back at that incident and find it interesting to see that one of my basic character traits was in me so young, and so strongly. Not guilt, but having a strong desire to be honest and true and not disappoint or hurt people. Nature or Nurture?

Back to the present... we continued on our way across the border. As we passed the Canadian customs we could see that there was a huge lineup and that we'd be waiting a long time to get back home. Of course I stressed about that. We finally made it to our destination - the mall, only to find out that many of the stores were gone. You could have fired a cannon and not hit anyone. There were no bargains, so we got in the truck to take a drive around the town. It was a reasonably well kept town, but was oddly deserted. There were few cars on the roads, and even the driveways were empty. I could imagine a horror film being made - all you needed was a giant monster of some sort. I suppose there was a monster there already - slow economy and unemployment.

In case you are wondering, we did make it back through the border, and we did wait. But only 1/2 hour which was better than what I had awfulized. The dogs were fine when we got back and there wasn't an angry mob at our door. Beside which, even if they had barked, they wouldn't have been heard over the screaming of little children. Or the ridiculously loud music that has been blaring next door. Ha ha!

True guilt is guilt at the obligation one owes to oneself to be oneself. False guilt is guilt felt at not being what other people feel one ought to be or assume that one is. ~R. D. Laing