Are people good or evil? I can never tell. No matter how many times somebody is mean, it always takes me by surprise.
So I got three tickets, because there’s three of us now. There used to be four, but now we’re three, and that’s okay.
Well, one of the three — the one who is least likely to have let this happen — was not feeling well, so she stayed home. No problem, I thought.
As we walked into the bar, a very large gentleman asked me if I had any spare tickets.
– Why yes! I do!
– How much?
– Free! Happy birthday!
So we went into the very crowded bar and found a spot near the wall between two men. Unfortunately, it was only big enough for one person, then who should come up, but the very large man!
– Did you give me a free ticket?
– Why yes I did!
– Can I buy you a drink?
– I’m not drinking, but you can buy her one. Oh, also you can buy me a tonic! I think you’re going to spend about the cost of the ticket on our drinks!
After purchasing the drinks, this very friendly man, began telling me much of his life history, but he was so high, I couldn’t really understand any of it. Maybe crazy? Nope! High. I could smell it on his breath. A really nice guy. I got no sense at all that he was hitting on either of us, just trying to repay a kindness.
As I backed away from him — he was a bit of a close-talker — I bumped into the skinny-faced man. His rather old companion made quite a show of shaking his hand, using his elbow to push me away￼￼￼￼￼. I suppose I am dense, I did not get it. Finally the skinny-faced man tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Ma’am, I have not moved from my position, yet you are pushing into me and it is causing me to lean.”
Well we can’t have that! Not in a very crowded bar! People leaning? Where does it all end!? So I gave him a big smile, apologized, and moved away.
He continued berating me for making him lean. Again, I smiled and moved further away. The rest of the very short time that we were there was a series of harassments from his very elderly companion. At one point, he bent over and pushed his butt into my hip. At another point, he leaned up against the wall and pushed his butt into Chris’s hip while bending over, saying, “I’m not leaning, I’m tying my shoe!” then got up and high-fived his much younger companion.
I just don’t understand mean! It will never make sense to me. For me, it takes so much effort to be unkind, I don’t know why anybody opts for it. It was a crowded bar, and clearly, some people’s matter mattered more than others. If you’re thinking it was all in fun, you’ll have to trust me, it wasn’t!￼
So again I am struggling: are people evil or good? Dad says it’s 80/20. So I counted:
-2 jerks against …
+1 my lovely companion
+1 the very large man
+2 the jerks’ beautiful female companions, mesmerizing me with their dance
+1 the doorman — who recognized me as the wife of an incredibly talented man
+1 the husband, texting me throughout, promised to punch the jerk in his … oh never mind!
+1 our missing third, suffering a coughing fit at the other end of a FaceTime￼
+1 the establishment’s owner, one of the beautifullest humans ever invented.
So, yeah, Dad! 80/20 holds water! I know you didn’t invent or anything, but good call, invoking that rule.
So this morning, as I’m musing over the strange night — equally annoyed and amused, but mostly warm and fuzzy, due to my stunning companion — the doorbell rang. An adorable old man — with the exception of last night’s jerk, I do have a soft spot for old guys — this fella at my door was 77 and looked almost exactly like the Late Great Uncle Fred. So, of course, I invited him in, made him some coffee, discussed Jesus with him for about an hour, gave him a cookie, and sent him on his way. No conversions occurred, but he restored my faith in humanity, just in the nick of time and caused my focus to turn from the 20 to the 80.
Now I know that it is trite to say “be kind”, but it’s so easy! Being mean seems like so much work! I mean, if it was fun, wouldn’t they smile once in a while?￼. And to suffer an unkindness at the establishment of one of my favorite humans and the sunshiniest-of-all felt so wrong! It sounds trite, silly, overly sensitive — you may be right — but again, I choose to turn my thoughts to the Jesus side of things, those that reflect his light like the moon on this sometimes very dark night!￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼