I had a little dust up with my buffet buddy last week. He confessed that he was feeling resentful about my errant friend behaviour. I had dropped the ball when making plans too many times in a row. I let life get in the way and allowed my anti-social, introverted tendencies to take over. I was grateful for the tongue lashing. It was a good wake up call. Sometimes ego and defensiveness need to be set aside and crappy behaviour needs to be acknowledged. Admitting it, apologizing and trying to make it right hopefully moves me to the category of short term jerk rather than long range asshole.
We decided to go to a book reading at a pub as a reconciliatory evening out. It seemed a perfect way to iron out any residual weirdness since there would be distractions and alcohol involved. We worked things out, we clinked glasses and enjoyed the readings. One of the authors was someone I have respected for a while. I know from past experience that I should not approach people I admire. I tend to get overly excited and then I babble. Years ago The Sweetie and I met documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield at Hot Docs. He was in the lobby after a film and I decided to approach him, sure that I would make an insightful comment and then be on my way. Instead I started gushing. I know I said something about his film “rocking my world” ( I never say that) and that “I was going to go home and weep.” I felt The Sweetie’s hand tighten on my arm in warning. Nick Broomfield looked perplexed and slightly disturbed as his handler pulled him away.
“That was then,” I thought to myself as I sashayed over to where the author was seated, a smart and writerly comment rehearsed in my mind. “I used to live in a haunted house but the rent was really cheap!” I blurted instead. I felt myself perspiring but I persevered and tried my best to be charming.
At the end of the night my buddy and I embraced and agreed that we were cool. I started home, enjoying the peace that comes from walking in the rain when things work out. I was happy to have faced a confrontation, preserved a friendship and set my ego aside. I was content.
I got home and smiled at myself in the mirror. That is when I noticed that I had giant pieces of Caesar salad embedded in my teeth. Not little specks of green but mammoth tooth obliterating chunks. The whole time that I thought I was being witty and insightful while chatting with writers I had an entire salad bowl stuck in my teeth. I thought that I had effectively eaten humble pie that evening but apparently I still needed a slap across the teeth with a head of romaine. I guess me and my buffet buddy aren’t completely cool just yet.