Has This Ever Happened to You?

Dateline: New York

Embarrassing moments.  We all have had them.  Some are worse than others.  Mine is relatively minor but I thought about it enough over the years.

I can’t recall what the argument was about.  All I remember was that it was very Seinfeldian/Shakespearian: Much Ado About Nothing.  (P. S.-I recently read this play for the what I think was my first time.  Bill named it aptly).  My friend and I were returning from lunch in mid-town Manhattan.  I normally am not an argumentative kind of guy.  I more of a “yeah, you sure have a point.”  But he was getting on my nerves with what I though was an indefensible position.  We continued the disagreement through the lobby of our building at a decibel level that were probably very inappropriate for the location.  Another words, it was loud.  I remember jumping into an elevator just as the door was closing.  Then it happened.

As you know, society dictates that when you enter and ride in an elevator, all conversations must stop.  It is like entering a Roman cathedral except women are allowed to have their arms exposed and shorts are permitted.  I don’t remember all of my statement but the important part was that I uttered the phrase “like some jerk in the mail room”.  Almost immediately, silence returned.  However, it was not because of some societal norm was being restored.  My buddy’s mouth was tightly shut like an irritated clam.  He had spotted the other occupant and chose not to respond to my statement. I wish I had done so too.  I’ll let you think about this for a minute or two so you can guess who was the other occupant.  If you need more than one guess, kindly stop reading.

I think the reason I felt so bad was that I know I was not that kind of person.  I previously had developed a good relation with the group there.  But the damage was done.  From then on, the looks I received from the mail room guy filled me with shame.  I still think about it every once in awhile even though it took place over 30 years ago.  If there is any lesson here, I guess it is to think before you speak and when you do, do it under control so you don’t have something to regret.  It is either that lesson or read more Shakespeare to see why people think he’s great.



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