Oops….I did it again. I admit it; I definitely lost it. I was completely wrong. So, what happened this time? Here’s the scoop! My family and I were sunbathing at a hotel pool in Florida, while on a much needed vacation after a brutal, snowy winter up north. Apparently, everyone else had the same idea to sunbathe, too, because there was nary a vacant chaise lounge in sight.
On that fateful day, it was overcrowded at the pool. Nevertheless, everyone was pleasant to one another as we each jockeyed for the lounge chairs that were best positioned for tanning in the sun. The chaises were inadequate in supply, so it was a bit of a challenge to secure a vacant one. As it turned out, though, not everyone was entirely agreeable about the process. It was just my misfortune to encounter two very unpleasant people in the crowd. Unfortunately, our run-in didn’t bring out the best in me.
As my saga goes, when my family and I arrived at the pool, we immediately started the search for three, side-by-side, vacant chaises so we could begin our daily ritual of soaking in the sun’s rays (better known as tanning). As we peered across the many rows of well-oiled bodies, we could see that there were three empty chairs available. We rushed over to claim them knowing that the chaises were scarce.
There was only one problem, though. The chairs were not placed next to one another. To our disappointment, our family would not be able to sit together. The placement was that two of the chairs were sitting side-by-side, but the third chaise was in the row in front of us. One of us would have to sit separate from the other two. Seeing that there were no other open seats, we quickly claimed the empty chaises, hoping that some seats nearby would soon become vacant so that we could all sit closer together.
My husband and I took the two side-by-side seats, while Rebecca slid into the chaise in the row in front of us. We each settled into our sunbathing routine; all the while I was keeping a close watch on the status of any vacated seats. Sure enough, within a short while, the two people sitting right next to Rebecca left the pool. Their seats became available for my husband and me to move next to our daughter. I indicated to Rebecca to hold the seats, while my husband and I gathered up our things to move to the new location.
Then, in an instant, it happened. Seemingly out of nowhere, a mother-daughter duo pounced upon the open seats next to Rebecca. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Where had they come from? But, it didn’t matter to me. Those were our seats, I thought. My daughter was sitting right next to them holding them for us, wasn’t she? So, I said to the women, “Excuse me, but those are OUR seats. My daughter is sitting right next to them saving them for us. We are moving into them right now.”
My expectancy was that the women would understand that our family was there first, and that they would be cooperative about relinquishing them. I was entirely wrong in judging the circumstances. Imagine my surprise when the women sneered at me and proceeded to put their towels on the seats to claim them for themselves. They virtually ignored my words and, also, Rebecca who was seated right there. I was astounded at their audacity.
“Excuse me,” I said again. “Those seats are OURS. We are moving into them right now.” I ambled towards the seats when, unexpectedly, the two women plopped down on the lounges acting as if they hadn’t heard a word I had said. Then they said, in so many words, “Too bad. They’re our seats, now.” Wow! I thought. That was so rude, first to completely ignore me and then to take over the seats. I felt rather angry. No, I felt really angry! As is often the case with me, I was faced with a dilemma. I had to choose how to respond to the situation. Unfortunately, on this occasion, I didn’t choose well. On the other hand, neither did they.
We argued back and forth for a few minutes about who had the right to possess those chairs. Before I knew it, this conflict had escalated into an all out chair war! Neither side was budging. The women started to spew some pretty nasty comments my way. It was all I could do not to answer back with some seriously spiteful insults. Although I did stand my ground, somehow, I was able to keep it from becoming too offensive.
The air was ripe with tension. Everyone around us was visibly uncomfortable from the dispute. People were trying not to acknowledge the argument, but there was a pervasive awkward silence. Everyone was staring at us through the corner of their eyes, but they were afraid to say a word for fear it would inflame the circumstances even further. I was reaching the point where I was going to call a manager to settle the disagreement (which I never did).
There I was; I found myself in the midst of it again….a huge hot mess! Funny how often this comes up in my life. Before it went any further, I decided I had better retreat or the situation would get completely out of control. Even through all this absolute angst, though, the women remained unyielding, seeming like they had cemented themselves to their position and to those chairs.
I could see that this was not going to end well. With Rebecca (always the peacemaker) quietly urging me with pleading eyes to abandon the argument, I gave up and relinquished the chairs ….but, not entirely. Instead, I slipped into passive-aggressive mode and spent the next few hours getting back at these women in as many ways as I could think of. Some of them will make you howl with laughter at how silly I got. (I have to admit I did get some ideas from people sitting around me who were supportive of my position). I’ll tell you all about it next week.
To wrap up for this week, I admit that, once again, I decimated the U Love principles, and implicated myself in a messy debacle. As I said, there’s much more to this saga before its conclusion. So, please check out next week’s post for the big reveal.
See ‘ya next week. Please join our U Love chain here!