Copping a ‘tude

What do you do when someone gives you a MAJOR attitude for no reason at all?

A couple of weeks ago, I was at the Black Diamond about 2 in the morning, meeting a friend, who had just gotten off work, for a drink. She was sitting at a table with a few of her co-workers and four or five other people. Then she got up. “Paul, we have to run across the street to Club 152 for about 5 minutes,” she told me. “We’ll be right back.”

“Okay, I’ll be here,” I replied, and she and the other girls walked out. After about a minute, I figured, well, no point in standing when there’s a place to sit… so I took her empty seat. No sooner had my butt touched the chair when a booming voice behind me said, “DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!”

I turned around and saw a nicely dressed guy in a club shirt. “What?” I asked him.

“Don’t even THINK about sitting in that seat! That’s MY girl!” he yelled, motioning toward a blonde sitting to my left. I have to admit I hadn’t even noticed the blonde, because I had been there to meet someone else.

Now, I didn’t appreciate his attitude at all, but he was sitting at a table with people I considered friends, so I figured I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. “Hey man, I didn’t realize it was your seat, take it,” I said, getting up. “And I was here to meet someone – I wasn’t trying to hit on your girl.”

“WhatEVER,” he replied. “Just go. GO!”

Now, I’m not one to cause trouble in bars but you gotta admit, I had every right to be provoked. And I realized quite a few people in Memphis, who take the “respect” thing way too seriously, would have started a fight with him. But instead I thought, why should I ruin my own evening because of this asshole? I was there to have fun with a friend, when she got back. So I decided to give him the attention he deserved, which was none at all. I walked over and sat at another table.

It reminds me of some of the best advice I ever heard – “When someone has an overly strong reaction to you, they’re saying something about themselves, not about you.” If that guy behaves that way all the time, I thought, I don’t need to create problems for him – he’s more than capable of doing that on his own.

Funny thing was, later in the evening I saw him go over and give the bartender at the Diamond a hug. And recently I saw him at Blues City watching FreeWorld, and he went over and gave the bartender there, who I’ve known for 15 years, a hug. So at least some people who I think are good people think he’s good people. Who knows. Maybe he was just having a bad night. I’m happy with the way I handled it.

As usual, I’m sitting at the Union Avenue branch office on my lunch break. This place is very well staffed today. I’ve heard from friends that the owners of The Majestic Grille would like me to name that place as a branch office as well… I haven’t been there in almost a month, which is an unusually long time for me. Their application for branch office status is under consideration, and hopefully I’ll get back there soon. Right now, though, it’s time to spend the afternoon imprisoned in a cubicle…