I was in Los Angeles recently helping a friend promote her product line at an Oscars gift suite. It was two long days sitting in a very crowded room in an uncomfortable chair with hundreds of people going in and out. I was looking forward to this event because I’ve always been fascinated by pop culture and actors and I’ve fantasized many times about attending the Academy Awards.
Surrounded by the ultimate grab for free stuff, I sat there observing all the humans who supposedly “made it” in Hollywood. It never ceases to amaze me how the wealthy are offered so much for free that they can easily purchase themselves and the “little people” struggle and want but go without what they often can’t afford. I listened relentlessly to sales pitches and branding tactics all around me to the point of knowing what the seller would say before they said it. It was both tedious and mind-numbing. There was a table of products across from the booth I was working at of some invention said to eliminate 95% of radiation from a smartphone. I wanted this item very badly as I’m deathly afraid of what all the radiation is doing to me. As I watched an endless parade of people being given this cool thing, I kept hoping to go home with one and decided I would ask the woman who was distributing this device if I could have one at the end of the event.
As the event died down, I witnessed people who, like me, were working there, openly helping themselves to these gadgets. I knew it was against the rules, but it was none of my business and I am not a snitch. There were still many boxes full of bags upon bags of the devices and I couldn’t imagine it would be a problem to procure one. I asked my friend if she thought it was appropriate if I asked for one and she answered of course, you should just go take one as I had just seen a bunch of girls grab them and put them in their bags. I approached the overseeing despotic tyrant of a human being and politely made my request. She responded with a stern “absolutely not, no I cannot do that”. Her mean spirit pierced right through me leaving a sour taste in my mouth and a stinging sensation in my heart. In the frenzy of all of this energy and giving away so many of these, she couldn’t spare one more when there were at least a hundred still lined up on the table. It was a power trip and I despised her so much in that moment. I found this odious termagant so repugnant to not allow me something so small, some token that would have made my time there feel appreciated. My friend couldn’t believe it and walked up to the woman explaining how many had been stolen in plain sight before her eyes. The woman paused and said “well, that’s okay”. Just like that.
I know this exchange wasn’t about me and I happened to be the little person that this woman could screw with to make her feel powerful. My immediate reaction to this denial was hurt. I took it personally for a while until I came to the realization that I had to move on and not allow painful feelings to consume my already fragile feeling of being a sensitive empath existing in a cutthroat environment.
As I left the madness and chaos, I couldn’t help but think about the unconditional love of animals. An animal would never treat a sentient being like that. An animal would never get off on taking away the pleasure of another just because they could. An animal would never be mean to another animal because they thought they were superior or more deserving. As I drove away a smile pushed itself through my tears and I knew there was a lesson for me in this experience.