It was the case recently that Stars did something that upset me. Nothing major, but I was upset nonetheless. My usual reaction would have been to throw a small hissy fit, start an argument and if he didn’t say what I wanted to hear or even if he did and I was in a bad mood, I’d just dead the whole damn thing.
Instead, I thought about it—what the situation was worth to me. I said —not yelled—what I wanted to say. We didn’t see eye to eye, but he apologized for doing what he did if I thought he was wrong and because he didn’t want me to be upset. Now normally I would at least pout for awhile, give him the silent treatment for a few minutes while I stewed. But I didn’t do any of that. I took it in, realized his presence and company are worth more than the risk of causing a rift and what he did was nothing worth deading him over… Let me back up, my ego is not worth deading him over, much less beefing with him because of it and I hadn’t seen him in a week and wanted to maximize my enjoyment of his company. Plus, I feel like we are both trying not fuck-up. We both have extraordinary asshole tendencies and make an effort not to release the worst sides of ourselves on each other.
And so I took my beef in, breathed on it, and exhaled the whole thing. Rift over- just like that. I thought I’d feel like a punk for giving into him so easily, but surprisingly, I just felt well, happy. I’m training myself to look at all the disagreements that come up as “is this worth ending what could be built between us?” And if it’s not, then I suck it up and maintain. I think of it as showing humility in support of the greater good and the big picture.
I realized when I did it that this was some major growth on my part—and being the overthinker that I am, I had to figure out where it came from.
It was the case in January that a friend invited me to go with her to see Chris Brown at MSG. We were supposed to meet up beforehand at a colleague’s birthday celebration at Pop Burger. I didn’t get the original invite, but she mentioned the locale and I assumed it was the one in the Meatpacking district, but it was actually the one in Midtown. I call her to complain from somewhere around 14th Street that I can’t find her and she informs me of my error. She tells me to meet her at MSG, that she’s on her way there in five minutes, she’s about to hop in a cab.
I get to MSG 20 minutes later and there’s no sign of her. Of course, she has the tickets, so I can’t go inside. I chill in Border’s to read magazines. 30 minutes pass. Still no sign of her. I‘m tired of waiting. Pissed because I went to the wrong location and missed the fun and this chick is taking forever to get here. I call to tell her I’m leaving.
“You’re punishing me for you going to the wrong location?” she asks, her irritation very clear. “That’s not fair!”
It’s not about fair. She’s taking forever. She’s being fucking inconsiderate, as far as I’m concerned and I am not one to be inconvenienced, especially since I always make an effort to consider her. Still, something holds me back from re-declaring that I am out.
I sit on the bench, flip through another magazine as I stew checking my phone every minute, waiting for her to call. I am getting more pissed with every passing sixty seconds. I really, seriously debate leaving. The only thing that stops me is thinking of the rift this is going to inevitably cause between me and her. Plus I won’t get to see Chris Brown. Is it worth it just to prove a point? (In retrospect, I’m not sure what the point was.)
I turn the phrase over and over in my mind. And finally, I decide no. Not at all. She’s good folks. Before she was a colleague, she was a mentor. She can be habitually late, yes. But this situation here is partially my fault. The potential of fucking up a friendship with her is not worth whatever super-ego I have that’s gone into overdrive. Sometimes you just have to take an L for friends. I’m sure I’ve pissed her off a time or two. (Weeks later, she let me have it for something totally unrelated, but a situation equally misunderstood. I pissed her off and she too sucked it up.)
I sit for another fifteen minutes. She arrives. Chris Brown hasn’t hit the stage yet. I enjoy the show and save a friendship (one of my better decisions in life). We’ve partied and brunched and hung out 20 times since then. She was worth the wait.
In a totally unrelated matter, a month later, a friend tells me that she’s going to add me to the words of God’s wisdom e-mails she sends out every morning. She’s only a couple years’ older than me, but she’s wise beyond her age and she always seems to know when I’m need of some spiritual uplift. We don’t talk regularly these days, but I consider her one of the Aces in my deck of friends. Some of the e-mails she forwards hit me, some I don’t see the real message in. Then she sends one a couple weeks in about love from Corinthians I. You know the one about love is patient, love is kind…? Yeah, that one. This one breaks it down in a way that finally makes sense. The quick summary of it goes: even when you are irritated, you can CHOOSE to be patient. Even when you are pissed, you can CHOOSE to be kind.
I think about Mr. Ex sometimes. And how a potentially beautiful situation crashed, burned, and was re-fried a million times over. I think about that blog I wrote romanticizing our woes and how I attributed it to not treating love with the same care shown in “making sure we dress in style, posing pictures with a smile, keeping danger from a child.” A loose definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. So thinking of that and him, I try hard to treat my SOs and my friends with that tender care.
All that has made me start to think more about how I react to life. I take an L on occasion and it doesn’t do any damage to my sense of self and others perception of my worth and my time. I’m not in love, but as I practice patience and kindness, I’m starting to see life seems so much easier and has me feeling a lot less regret. It also makes life under the Stars (or at least his influence) much more pleasant.