Not long ago I posted on Facebutt that I was buying toys. My cycling friends assumed I meant cycling gear, and my running friends assume I meant running gear, but no--I was buying toys.
One of my goals for 2014 is to become a proficient Play Therapist. I work with kids, after all, and they don't always have a good emotional vocabulary. It's not really fair for me to dig deep into their psyches because they won't be in the hospital long. Play therapy is a way for them get some of the stuff out of their head where it's been stewing and screwing with their emotions. Some of these kids were flown down from northern New Mexico to be admitted, which may have been the only time in their life they were on a plane. Some are just freaked out because they are in a mental hospital.
One of the methods is using a sandtray. It would take too long to explain how it works, and I trust that you can google. Just in case you are curious enough to google, I will mention that I am a directive play therapist.
Now, using a sandtray involves collecting miniatures. Ahh, the miniatures. Here's to my new addiction! >clink< But that's another entry, for another day.
t also involves sand, in fact, 50 lbs of it. And so it was that one morning recently I was at work, trying to carry my purse, lunch bag, gym bag, and two twenty-five containers of sand AND swipe my badge to get in, all at once, because otherwise I'd have to make two trips, and what a pain in the ass THAT is because, after all, I. Am lazy. As I approached the last security door, I set one container of sand down and nudged it along with my foot, and just as I approached my locked office door a doctor I work with walked in behind me, and commented on all that I was attempting to do. This man is taller than I am, appears to be healthy, and is a few years younger.
"Hey, can you grab that for me?" Pointing my face toward the package on the floor.
"No," he sailed right by me, "it's too heavy." And away he went.
I watched him go, thinking he was joking for a moment. I had, after all, helped him out day before--his badge wasn't working, and when he asked if someone would escort him down through two locked security doors, there was a long moment of silence and staff members who looked at each other and breathed silently, not me. I always want people to feel good, and to be happy, and so I walked him out. And not 12 hours later this doctor breezed by me, No, it's too heavy.
I was still a little open mouthed in rounds. I sat down and just looked a him. "Too heavy?" I asked.
"What? I only got six hours of sleep last night." He considered the matter closed.
Nurse Nancy, who is 36 weeks pregnant, blurted out, "how much sleep do you want?"
He protested and insisted on what I imagine he believes to be a generally robust countenance, and leaned forward and opened the curtains. "This room is depressing."
I asked DreadPirate her thoughts on the matter. "He clearly has autistic social skills," she said.
Later, I started thinking about other coworkers who had people come move boxes for them, which I don't do. I was thinking about the doctor I saw, six weeks ago, I have to say it, but i think most other women your age would have snapped a bone.
Maybe it was the discourtesy of it. Maybe I would have been just as surprised and bothered if it had been a healthy female--it seems courteous, all, especially when someone has requested help. if it had been me, I might have said, No, but I can get the door for you - will that help?
When I really stopped to consider the matter, though, I have to admit that the fact that he is a healthy man is what changed my view of him. Now, when I see him I'm wondering if I should help him across the street. I pity him. Ugly thoughts fill my head. Why, you're just barely a man, I think to myself.
Is this Sexist? Maybe. I know, in my heart of hearts, and I am a very capable person. Unusually capable. I also have lived with a man for 15 years who is even more capable, and who can outlift me, outrun me, outswim me--in many ways he has heavily skewed my idea of what it means to be a man. I also know that if he had chanced upon a female colleague juggling fifty pounds of sand, among others--a fellow soldier, mind you--he would have sprinted to help her.
"Blame women's lib," Baboo said jokingly.
Am I sexist?
"Hey can you get for me?"
"No. It's too heavy."
What do you think?