The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

It's not every day that I experience a drastic range of emotions in a matter of minutes as I did today. 

This past weekend I received a beautiful ring from my husband for our 15th anniversary.  This is the first time I've had a gemstone (we designed our matching wedding bands ourselves) and for ways to numerous and personal to mention, receiving this ring from my husband was about as touching and meaningful as it gets.  We took the ring to the jewelry store in the mall to have it re-sized.  The sales woman gushed over the beauty of the emerald and gave me a list of dos and don'ts related to ring care.  I had to actually give back this beautiful gift for three days so they can send it away  ("you insure it, right?") for the delicate operation.

This symbol of continued love and commitment means the world to me.  I was fighting back  tears of joy as we emerged from the store and back out into the mall.  Just a few stores away was a middle aged woman giving out fliers for a new massage store.  She stepped toward me, her arm outstretched, saying something about their promotion.  I already had my hand out in protest when her eyes scanned my body. I was wearing shorts and when she saw my prosthetic leg she recoiled.  Yes, she actually recoiled.  She stopped talking mid-sentence, her arm shot back to her torso, and she took a few steps away from me and  her eyes widened in, what, horror? distaste? disgust?

At first I laughed, so drastic was her change of attitude toward me.   Then I wondered aloud,  "How do I not have that affect me?" Mark quietly took my hand and his squeeze validated that the experience was nothing short of icky.  All I could think of was how disgusting she saw me.  She took away her offer to massage my body becuase of it's appearance.  My throat constricted painfully making it hard to breathe.  I fought back the tears. After all, we had to walk through Macy's to get to the car and I didn't want to cry as I walked through Macy's.  I had to fight back the feeling that I was disgusting.

And then I thought of the ring, the symbol of love and acceptance that it represents and the man holding my hand.  That silly, shallow woman wasn't going to ruin my joy or darken my day with her judgments. 

I think when I go back on Thursday to pick up my ring, I'll schedule a massage at the new place at the mall.