A few weeks before I disappeared into the dreary role of invalid, I had an unusual – and to me personally – a damned annoying, encounter.
I was finished with my songs and chatter at Oil Can Harry’s. Both went well and were, happily, well received. I did what I always do when my good buddy, Wayne Moore, is in the house: I walked off stage. Wayne was waiting, as he always did, to escort me to my table. I took his arm and off we went, chatting easily about how much fun we both get out of performing or some such thing. Wayne smiled, pulled out the chair for me. I thanked him and we both went on with the night…happy that the show went well, and how much we both love being a part of it.
However, all was not well with at least one woman in the crowded room.
I didn’t see her coming.
“What’s with him?” she said. “Doesn’t he think you can make it back to the table on your own?”
I didn’t even try to answer her. Wouldn’t, couldn’t, even if she’d stayed long enough to hear what I would have told her.
So, it took me about eight months to get back into fighting shape (strictly vocal of course) but I want to invite you to listen in while I explain to her how much she is missing by dragging all that discontent along everywhere she goes.
I imagine that most of you are aware of the tale of the woman who moved into a new neighborhood. She asked one of the new neighbors if it was a friendly town and the neighbor answered with a question:” “Were the people you left behind friendly or not?”
“Oh, they were dreadful. So full of themselves! I don’t think I met one worthwhile person in 10 years.”
“I’m sorry,” the new neighbor sighed, “But I think you will find the same kind of folks here.”
“I knew it! “ the questioner said with a resigned sigh, with only a touch of self righteousness…”It’s the same everywhere!”
The point? IT’S ALL IN THE ATTITUDE.
If you go out looking for a neighborhood full of dreadful folks, I can pretty much guarantee that that is what you will find. But if you set out to “Spread joy up to the maximum”, your chances of being greeted with a smile and maybe a home cooked dinner will be improved one thousand percent.
My point? Well, just that you have to believe in yourself first.
I don’t think I am one of the great singers in the world. As a matter of fact, I’m not the best singer at Oil Can’s. But I sing well and I’m happy with that.
Am I the consummate performer, singer, song writer, actor that Wayne is? Nope. But that has been his primary drive for most of his – maybe even all of his – life. But as a dilettante, I’m pretty damned good.
Where this unhappy woman sees condescension, I see tribute, and I relish it.
Now before anyone mentions the uneven field and the glass ceiling, I am not denying that it exists, but really, the ceiling is cracked now and the field has lost a lot of its slope.
The idea that every nice gesture hides a nasty anti-female accusation is much more insulting to the woman than to the man. The male population is mightily confused by just what their role should be…….
A bit earlier in this everlasting battle of the sexes, my son Anthony had an experience that soured him on “doing the polite thing” for quite a while.
He was walking home one evening when the woman walking ahead of him suddenly dropped a load of papers she was carrying. She stopped, probably swore quietly, and began picking them up.
Anthony, naturally, stopped to help her.
Did she smile and say thank you? Nope. Did she acknowledge his intentions at all?
She stomped on his hand and yelled at him. “I CAN DO IT MYSELF!”
Anthony came home, nursing a bruised right hand and a really bad attitude. “I WILL NEVER…NOT EVER…TRY TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP A WOMAN AGAIN.”
And we all lost a little ground.
He was just being nice.
So is Wayne when he walks me to the table, and the fact is, that lovely gesture brings me joy.
Accept NICE for what it is. Take along the idea that you are worth being nice to.
And you are capable of being nice in return.
Nobody can convince you of your lack of worth faster than you.