Trying to Stay Between the Lines (With Varying Degrees of Success)

For some reasons that I have yet to identify, Sunday sometimes brings out the worst in me regarding losing my cool and going off like a maniac on people I know and like.  Thankfully, it doesn’t happen every Sunday, but still, there have been enough Sunday eruptions from me through the years, that I have devoted some serious therapeutic pondering as to why this seems to happen like it does on any given Sunday.  (And no, it doesn’t necessarily have to do with the Ravens losing on Sundays even though I have had a couple rather ugly overreactions to folks because of this black bird connection.  In the Raven’s defense however, I have notched enough non-Ravens’-related nasty Sunday eruptions that I cannot fully blame them for my many black sabbath moments.)

They (the outbursts) seem to come with no rhyme nor reason other than it is a Sunday and I go off.  That they seem to pop up only on Sundays really does puzzle and concern me.  What is it about Sundays that trips my trigger like it does?  

Immediately after I do lose it on any given Sunday, I will calm down, regain my composure some and feel very guilty and terrible that I lost my cool like I did.  I will try to do the requisite apologies to the party that I insulted and/or offended, while inside I am totally upset with and angry at myself saying “Way to go dumbass – you did it again.  What is wrong with you?!”

However, I think I am making progress on this awful character flaw of mine.  The good news is, like going to AA and their first step – I have admitted that I have a problem and that I am working on correcting it.  Towards that, as in AA – I have just made 90 days with no Sunday meltdowns.  Where’s my chip?

And just how have I managed to make this turn around?  Well, here is the CliffsNotes version.

Early Sunday morning I slow roll the caffeine; I put on some smooth jazz and then have a good breakfast.  (Some ballast in me tends to weigh me down and keep the emotional swells to a manageable size.)  Following breakfast, I will take a quick walk around the hood to clear my head and get ready to set off for Buzzy’s Country Store.  

Driving down the road, I will look into the vanity mirror and tell the wrinkled old geezer looking back at me “OK dude, remember, we’re gonna be cool today.  No matter what, no matter who, nothing is going to get to us!  Just be cool.”  Ironically enough, the old fart in the mirror will always agree with me.  Smart guy eh?

Thus, having put on my Buzzy game face, I open the door for my 3 B’s of business, bullshit and beer.  As I sweep the floor and stock the beer case, I silently repeat the “Be cool” mantra to myself and greet folks as they start to roll in.  I make it a point to avoid and not engage in any conversations or topics that I know will get my motor running.  Be cool.

When more folks roll in and conversations begin to spin out, I make a concerted effort to not overhear various conversations going on in the Store and definitely not join in.  I will crank up the music to divert my attention.  And if do hear something that I don’t particularly care for, I now let it slide and mentally move on.  (As proof of my progress here, just the other day someone made a statement about “Our stupid President is going to get us into a war.”  I started to, but resisted, coming back with “Please stop talking about George Bush, he’s been gone awhile.”)  

This past Sunday, marking my “90-day chip,” was also good proof that I am doing pretty well on the recovery road from my madman ways.  

Somehow, I became trapped in a conversation with a lady at the Buzzy counter where I can’t easily retreat from due to having to stay there and make change for folks buying beers.    The lady talking was a huge anti-vaxxer-Covid-is-a-hoax-lady.  She was dug in, very adamant about the whole issue and not at all programmed to receive a la don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up.  While I said nothing in response to her as she rambled on, I began to feel the tell-tale signs that I was about to lose it – my jaw was tightening, my blood pressure rising, and I knew what was coming.

But just then, I remembered the old fart in the mirror and him telling me to be cool.  Again, back to AA and Step 3 – I let it go.  Fortunately, someone called me over at that moment and I was able to extract myself out of any further imbroglio having to do with the Covid-is-bs lady.  

However, little did I know that I was now going from the frying pan into the fire.  The lady who summonsed me over wanted me to donate some items for a fund raiser.  Ordinarily I have no problems with requests like this, but she had her eye on items that I have in the Store on consignment.  Thus, they weren’t mine to donate, and they were a couple hundred dollars each.  

I suggested that she call the owner of the items and ask him if he wanted to donate them to her.  When she couldn’t reach him on the phone she asked if she could just take them and square up with me/him later.  I told her that I didn’t want to be in the middle of any of this. The owner of the items doesn’t come into Buzzy’s much anymore, so I was not keen on letting her take the prints without some kinda ok from him.  

As she persisted in assuring me that it wouldn’t be a problem because she would cover all the costs at the fund raiser, I felt my jaw begin to tighten again and I immediately recognized the signs of what was coming.    I silently repeated my mantra to be cool.

Thankfully, at that moment the owner of the prints returned the lady’s call.   After some conversation he agreed to let her take the prints and the two of them would work it out money-wise.  I was not in the middle.  Crisis averted.  

Secretly pleased at having successfully negotiated two back-to-back near Sunday meltdowns, I called my Sunday evening cover man Chris and asked if he could come in a little early which he did.  Little steps it’s true, but progress, nonetheless.  On my way home, I checked in with the old guy in the mirror and we both agreed that it had been a good Sunday.

Speaking of ugly scenes on a Sunday, Ireland’s Bloody Sunday went down 50 years ago on 30 January 1972 when 26 people, all Catholic, were shot and 14 of them killed.  The only good thing about Bloody Sunday was that it made folks come to their senses and agree to sit down and work out a truce.  I did a previous blogpost on Buzzy’s and my visit to the Northern Ireland city of Derry where Bloody Sunday occurred (click here.)  U2 had this tune about it.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: