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Domestiphobia Life Guide: Working Your Way To Zen In 8 Steps Or Less.

1) Introduction.

As you already know, for our last dinner in Florida, we wanted to go back to The Grande Lobby Bar for more of Chef Ha’s sushi at Reunion Resort. We simply didn’t get enough the first time since we’d arrived at 9:00, so we made sure this time to head over well before closing in order to procure adequate amounts of the sumptuous goodness. There was only one noticeable oversight, which was our failure to make a reservation. See, when we arrived last time just an hour before closing, the place had been relatively empty. But this time, during prime dining hours, it seems like everyone had the same idea. They wanted to eat.

Fancy that.


2) Confrontation.

Since there’s no host and only a couple of waiters on staff, we stood around like total doofuses — doofi? — for a good five minutes before shuffling off to the side to wait for a place to sit. That was when two men — a middle-aged Asian and a twenty-something Caucasian — sauntered up next to us, tapped a server on the shoulder, and told him they wanted to eat. Now. The server replied that it would be over an hour wait for a table, but four spots were about to open at the bar — the exact number in our party, whaddya know — if they wanted to snag some. The twenty-something Caucasian looked uncomfortable as he whispered to the middle-aged Asian that he thought our party was waiting for the next space. The man rolled his eyes, glanced at us, and said, “Are you waiting for a table?”

“Yep!” I responded.

“Great,” he mumbled as he walked towards the bar. “We’ll just take these seats at the bar, then.” And then he and his underwhelmingly soft-spoken dining companion did just that.



He meant table… literally — as in not just a place to sit and eat but an actual table.


3) Petulance.

I felt my blood pressure rise. The Anger was swelling inside of me and, as much as I try to be all Zen in these moments, I often fail as rational, controlled thought gets replaced by images of karmic chandeliers falling and crushing impatient, middle-aged, suit-wearing men who think they get first dibs on sushi just because they’re Asian when they try to steal OUR mother-effing seats at the mother-effing bar.

So I did what any normal, self-righteous, 30-something Caucasian woman attended by two other Caucasians and a Puerto Rican would do: I tattled.

Not 30-seconds after the seat-stealers were resting their tushes on the freshly vacated bar stools, the bartender looked at us and asked if we were waiting for a place to sit. “We were,” I steamed. “Longer than those two,” and I exaggeratedly flung my head in the general direction of the gentleman who now occupied two of the four vacated seats.

It was my finest impersonation of a petulant child facing her first real experience of Life Isn’t Fair.


4) Winning. (Right?)

“Give me one sec,” the bartender smiled.


He walked over to the seat-stealers, said something to them with an apologetic look on his face, and they sheepishly removed themselves from the bar area to wait in the lobby.



5) Retrospect.

Only… I had this terrible feeling as our party walked to our rightful seats at the bar. I felt… bad.

Leave it to my conscience to make me feel like crap when even a judge in the pettiest Court of Fair Line Waiting Laws would rule our actions completely justified, since it was them who cut in front of us.


6) Right and Wrong. And Wronger.

But this, my friends, is where we delve into a deeper level of right and wrong. While the middle-aged Asian knew he was doing wrong in the obvious school yard bully sense of the word, I knew I was doing wrong to my self. To the person I want to be.

If I do the scary thing and actually think about it, I have to admit to myself that I don’t want to be the person who gut-reacts childishly to a childish situation. I don’t want to be the person who shamelessly flaunts her ugly to the world. And I certainly don’t want to be the thirty-year-old grown-ass woman who tattles.

My friend Missy felt bad too, and she suggested we buy them a drink when the same two gentlemen approached some vacated bar seats thirty minutes later. We told the bartender our intention, but he just smiled and said he was taking care of it. I felt better, but still. Those guys didn’t know I wanted to make things right.

Yet even if they did, would it make a difference?

My self-induced psychological damage had already been done.


7) Lesson.

I realized that if I’d never made a big deal of it to begin with, I wouldn’t have this feeling. This feeling that I’d let myself down. Sure, I’d probably still be steaming on a sofa in another part of the lobby, but I’d get over it. I wouldn’t still be thinking about it nearly two weeks later.

And that’s what we do every time we cheat ourselves out of a chance to be decent. When we choose not to just take life as it comes — seat stealers and all — rather than jumping up on our self-righteous horses.


8) Clarity.


I’m not saying you should let people walk all over you in ever scenario of every day of your life. But the fact of the matter is, that man — that grown man in a business suit in the bar of a hotel lobby — wasn’t doing anything to me. So why was I taking it so personally? He was wronging himself. He knew it. We knew it. Even his twenty-something compadre knew it.

And really, I’m pretty sure that’s retribution enough.


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On behalf of Doofi everywhere, let me say that you have the right to your emotions. ALL of them. Yes, you want to be a better person. Yes, you want to show the best of you. No, you don’t want to present the image of an adult tattler. You also want to believe that the world is full of like-minded people who only want the best for you AND themselves. I know *I* do. The fact of the matter is, standing up for you and your friends is okay. Expressing exasperation over a failing in the social niceties is okay. Maybe that was a lesson for that man as well, learning to adequately express himself so as to avoid confusion in the future. And you certainly learned at least one other lesson: “We’re waiting for next available.” :)


You make a valid point, my friend. But I think what I’m starting to realize is that expressing exasperation over the failing of social niceties has never really done me (or anyone else) much good. All it does is add fuel to the fire. The people doing wrong already KNOW they’re doing wrong. Me telling him as much wouldn’t have made any difference. So while I have a right to my emotions, acting on them isn’t always the best thing I can do for myself. Sometimes it’s better (for me, anyway) to just acknowledge an emotion and then let it pass on by. Fanning my anger affects me in a negative way, you know?

But yes. Maybe I should learn to look for all of the loopholes before I answer someone who wants to do me an injustice. ;)


I thought I was the only one who did this kind of thing. You seem to be on the same path as I am. I’m trying to learn to let the crap roll off my back. Some days I can do it – like the time Elvis the beagle and I were cussed at for walking just a tad too close to an asshole’s yard. That day I was able to say “Ok. Will do. Have a nice day”. I will say I seriously contemplated letting Elvis take a sneaky midnight poop in his yard. Apparently I still have a long was to go. :(


Nope, you’re definitely not the only one. :) It’s SO hard to not react to people who display irrational rudeness or anger first. SO hard. But behaving as they do usually only makes things worse! (Unfortunately it’s really hard to remember that until after the fact.)


This just makes me laugh. It’s wouldn’t occur to me to do that. I’d just stew all passive and bitter-like.


There’s got to be an in-between response, yeah? We have to learn to respect our emotional responses and then let them go. Namaste. ;)


I have to go with Ren on this and personally, I dont think Suit Guy had a moment’s regret over taking the seats. And since the bartender probably comped them nicely, I doubt that he learned anything by it. Some people go thru life either totally oblivious to the feelings of others or just plain dont care. So getting back to Ren’s advice, I think standing up for you and yours is ok. :)


I totally get what you guys are saying, but it really wasn’t okay. At least not for me in that particular instance. I know because I did it and it ended up making me feel crappy about myself. Maybe I’m an anomaly, but unless someone is doing something to intentionally and directly hurt me or my loved ones, standing up to just generally inconsiderate people makes me feel worse – like I’m stooping to their level. But I agree – it’s TOTALLY okay when it’s worth it. When someone is doing something to me and not just being a crappy human in general, because you’re right – Suit Guy probably didn’t have regret. But we both knew he was wrong. And there’s really nothing you can do to change someone who’s wrong but just doesn’t care. Does that make sense? :)

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