Is it your experience that people want you to give them answers that you don't have but won't listen when you do know what you're talking about?
Just yesterday I ran into someone I've known all my life. We even have first cousins in common. He knows the only thing I can draw is a cat and a pig and not very good ones. Yet he said to me, "Pantster, I've got a couple of pieces of artwork I'd like you to look at. I need some advice." Well, sure! Why not? If it's a stick pig, I'm your girl.
Though I had the same job for twenty years, I am routinely asked for help with resumes and cover letters. People call me for directions when I can barely get across my own town with a GPS. People in the grocery store who do not know me, ask which is the best brand of cat food. How am I supposed to know? The cat I can draw doesn't eat. The real ones in my house haven't told me.
Ludicrous as these requests are, there is one that stands alone, never to be touched. I was once asked to judge a wine making contest. I said, "You do know that though I am a snob about hard liquor, mayonnaise, and fish, my idea of good wine is screw top raspberry Reunite with a splash of diet Sprite?" Yet, they still wanted me.
And then there are those times when people will not listen. I'm not even talking about people ignoring an opinion. I'm talking about black and white stuff, like what time Target opens. You can ignore me and hope it opens at 6 AM but that won't make it so.
I have a clear memory of the first time people wouldn't listen to me. I was five. Don't doubt that I remember the details of this. Not everyone remembers things from an early age but I do. This is one of those things I know what I'm talking about.
It was Labor Day weekend and it was hot. My sister, who is ten years my senior, and I were in the yard when a carload of boys drove up. They threw open the doors of the car and hung their legs out, feasting on the sight of my sister in shorts. She'd probably been practicing her cheerleader routines. That I don't remember for sure but it makes sense. That was her life's work in those days. There were about five adolescent boys in the car and I can only guess they'd been shopping for school clothes and supplies, because sacks were tossed around them like packing peanuts, which had not been invented at the time.
A bag fell out of the car. I pulled on my sister's shirt but she waved me off and got on with the business of being Queen Of The Driveway. I tried to get the boy's attention but so hungry was he for the favor spilling forth from Her Majesty Asphalt's mouth, that he never heard me.
I decided if they wouldn't listen to me, they deserved what they got. After everyone disbursed—probably because Her Majesty's real boyfriend materialized from some sort of ball practice—I found the sack still in the driveway. It was a madras shirt, though I'm sure I didn't know what madras was at the time. Sometime later, my mother found it in the bottom of my closet and asked me about it. I explained what had happened in five-year-old speak. When I heard my mother ask my sister about it, Her Majesty brushed it off and denied it. I never discussed it with either of them but I have to wonder. Did they think I rode my tricycle to Humphrey's Menswear and bought it with a can Play-Doh? Or maybe that a fashion conscious space alien flew in my window and traded it to me for some of my spinal fluid?
What frustrates you more? People who won't listen or people who want answers you don't have?