Conversing with this passenger helped me see and understand that I can’t care about someone more than they care about themselves.
Getting my Mama J on
I see her approach my car. She’s Asian, maybe Korean. Early 30s. Nice looking. Pretty. Not quite vacuous, but close. In the city, on a cold February night where most everyone is bundled warmly and wearing black or dark colors, she comes out of the bar wearing—I kid you not—a thin, white, down jacket (maybe designed for temps around 55℉), light-colored skinny jeans and light-colored flats. No gloves, no hat, no scarf. She’s cute, but, my goodness, it’s 20℉ out, and the weather forecasts have been all abuzz with an even steeper drop in temps, snowfall and snow squalls coming in.
Oh, it’s so cold, she tells me. I’m from California. I’ve been here eight years, and I just can’t get used to the cold! I hand her my wool scarf and encourage her to wrap it around her hands to warm up. I feel no sympathy, but I do feel empathy as one who was always cold in years past.
Wool, I tell her. Wool. I get on my pulpit and tell her that I’m wearing SmartWool merino tights, SmartWool socks, a merino wool skirt, a cashmere sweater, an Irish wool sweater over that. My scarf is also wool, and I’m wearing leather gloves. Wool.
Wool. Wool. Wool.
The short conversation as I take her home is not memorable. I don’t know if she truly is an airhead or if my East Coast sensibilities slightly rail against her Orange County roots. As she gets out of the car, I say to her again, Wool. She laughs shrilly. No willingness to receive the wisdom Mama J (that’s my well-earned Burning Man nickname) just laid down on her.
Key experience: Her comfort, beyond my Uber ride, is not my concern.
Photo by Roovel.