Saturday, April 30

The Man Who Would Not Move 4/30/16

      Experienced drama last Sun-day.

      Spent the morn-ing with friends.  Afterwards, a chum and I drove to the Englander Restau-rant in San Leandro.  Everyone squeezed into the place, sitting shoulder-to-shoul-
der.  The Warriors basketball game blared from the 70 TV screens.  The experience there approaches being at the arena.

      Now you know why we dropped by.

The Scene

      Those soused up with liquor added rambunctiousness to the place.  "Goooo Warriors!" was expressed at the loudest volume. "Yassss, there you go, deeeefense!'  spectators shouted.  Within the walls of the tavern, instant community spread.   People who an hour earlier didn't know one another, gave one another high fives.

      With knowing nods they reassured one another of the destined success of the team representing the Bay Area.

      When entering, we waited at the hostess's both.  No seats available.  She hadn't worked during a game before.  I ignored her hes-itation when I made a request.  I suggested sitting by a window in the front of the room.   When she paused, I strolled to stools in  that area.

The Request 

      A table was shoved close to the stools sitting by the window.  "Would it be possible to move your table away from the stools?'  I asked the man sitting alone at the table.  I feared the table cutting off circulation to my legs.  No way would we be able to stretch out.

    My request had the same impact as if I asked him to re-move his wallet and hand over his cash.

    "No, no, I don't want to!' he sputtered, raising his voice.  His eyes shot out darts of rage.  The lines between his eyes deeply furrowed.  I was surprised.  More than three feet lay to the right of his table, the direction I wanted it moved.

      Silly me.

       Wedged in by tables, before us and behind us---where the angry man sat---my friend and I absorb-ed the game.  We were squished.  Thirty minutes later, a fellow from the table in front of us beckoned,  "Would you like to join our table?"

       "Yes!!" my immediate reply.

        We now lodged five feet closer to the giant screen.  We camped in front of the unpleasant man and his wife who now sat next to him.  After taking our new position, I smiled as I asked my companion, "Why don't we turn around and wave to Mr. Grump?"

       I used another word to describe him.  Not grump.  It was more Anglo-Saxon.  But not "that" word.

       I was bothered by his attitude.  I did not like his sour dispo-sition.  I said a word to her you wouldn't expect.  My companion did not think it a good idea to turn and signal this man with the agitated face and personality.

       I thought better of my aggressive idea, relenting to her better judg-ment.  For the next two hours this fellow groused and emoted---to everyone, not just me----as if he had gas or digestion problems.  Poor guy.

What Did I Learn?
1.  I have a wonderful life.  Happiness fills my day, every day.  The joy I have the world didn't give it and the world and grumpy people can't take it away.
2.  Most times, life works out for the best.  Karma hap-pens.  After being yelled at when mak-ing a request, I end up sitting at a better place.  Away from Mr. Grump. (Being polite, I'd rather call him something else.)

     In fact, I sat in a place blocking his view.  Was I glad.  If he had complied with my request and moved his table 24 inches, his blocked vision could  have been averted.
3.  A reminder we aren't responsible for the feelings of others.  Great emo-tional freedom takes place when we don't get triggered by the moods of others.

What Do I Need to Do When With a Grump? 
1.  Enjoy health-inducing principles.  Like, not letting others define me or affect my moods.
2.  Focus on the good things surrounding me, not something that or someone who could be an obstacle to my happiness.

     Last Sunday, I focused on the amazing team that represents the area where I live.  And I focused on the mud pie.  Yum.  (Even though I had to cycle ten miles later, to burn some of the calories.)
3.  Focus on my options. Not only upon those of someone who is practiced at intimidating others and getting his way.

My Confession, Because of Time With Mr. G? 
1.  It is wonderful relaxing with a friend.  If feels good, benefitting from the kindness of the stranger who shared his table with us. His thought-fulness stood in stark relief to the dark spirit of the man who would not move.
2.  I love recovery.  Sensitivity towards others is great.  Yes.  But, re-covery teaches us we help ourselves when we factor in our needs, too.

 Mud Pie Somatic Therapy  

     I had fun helping my companion to scream, each time the Warriors basket-ball team scored.  She learned that a mud pie dessert hung in the balance.  When she discov-ered that, her enthusiasm for being loud and noisy grew.

        She started yelling when the Warriors' ball sunk into the basket. At first, her ya ays were like the beep of a horn.  One beat long:  a short 'Yay."

       I said, "You need to really mean it.  Stretch it out.  Like, 'yaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaaaay!'   When you do, pretend you are saying 'I hate you!' to that person you despise.   No one will notice."

      She got the hang of it.  Quickly.  This normally sedate wo-man liked this secret spice of fun----yelling in a socially accepted way.

      She got her mud pie.  When we left the restaurant, she said she felt less stress, more relieved.  I knew she would.

      And it wasn't because of the mud pie dessert.

 How About You? 
What did you have to confront this week?


Anonymous said...

Dear Innkeeper,
Thank you for modeling presence with someone who was not very present. Also, thank you for showing kindnes and patience toward some one who was new to that environment. Peace and love.

Anonymous said...

Hello Pablo,
Thank you for modeling presence with someone who wasn't very present. Also, thank you for encouraging your friend to celebrate. Thank you for having shared your mother stories with me as well. Have a great Sunday.

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