Promises, promises.

I’m just wondering today about promises and obligations towards those to whom I make them. Don’t worry, if I promised you something, I’m sure I’ve kept it unless the promise was made after 12am. I lose brain function shortly after midnight.
There’s a story behind all this:
On my flight back home from India, the second leg from Amsterdam to Minneapolis, I sat next to a woman who was probably about 80 years old. She was Iranian, and may have been one of the quickest and most volatile people I have ever sat next to on a plane. It was an experience to remember.
As I’m telling you all this, remind yourself – as I had to do many times during this flight – that she grew up in Iran and didn’t grow up in a western, suburban culture. So when I tell you that I would open my eyes, waking up from a nap during the long flight and she would be staring at me as though she’d been waiting for me to wake up, it might not be as weird as it sounds. She also put her feet up on her tray table (a flexible lady, for sure), demanded tea three times before takeoff (getting the same negative – and apologetic – response each time), taught me to play a card game where the rules kept changing (I don’t think either of us knew how to play), and vehemently insisted that I fill out her customs form for her. It was a slightly scary time.
But then again, she also told me I was beautiful. And that I had beautiful hair.
And she made me promise to never dye it.
I sputtered an, “oh-okay. I won’t.” in response to her demand. What else would I say? The woman had proven her tenacity and desire to have things her way.
I probably should have no problem dismissing this promise. Not that I was planning on dyeing my hair anyways, but I can let go of the promise I made to a woman I only knew for about seven or eight hours and will most likely never see again, right? I mean, this is a question of my hair. Mine. It will get gray eventually. I will want to dye it at some point in college, I’m sure. (not that it’ll be gray by then…)
Does it say something negative about me if I dismiss that hasty promise? Logic says no, but I still feel this nagging voice in my head, in an Iranian accent, telling me I need to keep my promise. It’s silly. And it probably wouldn’t hurt anything if I broke it. But how far do I go in breaking promises of I break that one?
Sometimes there aren’t answers right away. Sometimes, I just sit in the sun and wait for inspiration.

One thought on “Promises, promises.

  1. Pingback: Journey in a year. « Journey to Who I Want to Be

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