It’s time for my Valentine’s Day rant. Sorry to all, 5, of my readers if you like Valentine’s Day. Well, I don’t, and I’m even a serial dater. Not a serial long-term dater, but a short-term dater. Anyway, I’m seeing this new person, and I was so excited for Valentine’s Day because they seemed so cool and witty and athletic. I was like, “Finally, someone who’s as great as me…😉”
They took me to a B+ restaurant, so I had B+ expectations—how bad could it be? Well, my date has a motorboat for a mouth. I think I said maybe 4 words, “I’m fantastic, and you?” during dinner. For one and a half hours they proceeded to lecture me on proper gym etiquette, followed by analyzing my eating pattern-yes I know potatoes are a starch, yes I still eat French fries (only non-verbal head nods mind you).
Not only was our conversation boring, but I was also distracted by the family sitting a few tables over. The adults, I’m assuming the mom and dad, were having an intense conversation. Not like they were debating the merits of each item on the menu, but more like ‘I’m so mad at you I’m about to explode.’ I could barely concentrate on the conversation I was having because I was concerned for the family. Eventually one of the kids spilled a drink on the table, which caused quite the commotion, and ultimately ended with the woman taking the child to the restroom. When the mom and her kid entered the bathroom, I got up and went as well. It made me feel a little uncomfortable, but I went in and asked her if she was ok. She seemed a little annoyed, and gave me a few choice words. So I just said, “Sorry for bothering you.”
My Valentine’s Day ended with the realization there are two types of people in the world, those who listen, and those who don’t (there’s also a confused group who thinks they are good listeners but actually aren’t, they go in the non-listeners category). My date, not a listener; me, a good listener. I mean that seriously, in order to be an effective bystander, I need to listen in all sorts of ways. I have to listen to my gut, to the situation, and the people involved. During my bathroom conversation, my gut was telling me to intervene and break the tension, but the woman was telling me to leave her the ‘blank’ alone.
So, I did. I stepped back and let her be, she was clearly more capable than I had given her credit for.
To my faithful readers, thank you for listening...or reading, because being a good bystander is all about listening well.
Until next time,