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Explaining Myself

I’ve got to get this down so I can stop thinking about it. I’ve spent entirely too much brain time on it already.

So, some women in town are angry with me. I can get along with almost anyone, so naturally, this is frustrating. If you read this, know that you’re only getting my side of things. They can be angry; I don’t care. Except I do.

Here’s the situation. If you don’t know me, I’m a large guy. I’m only 5’ 10”, but I’ve got about a 54” chest and a 50” waist. I always feel like the proverbial bull in a china shop when I’m in public. I’m very conscious about the amount of space I take up.

I attend these meetings every month. I committed myself to go as often as possible because, as an introvert, I could happily spend my days at home, ordering groceries from Thrive and Amazon, and never seeing another person (excepting rare family visits.) It’s good for me to get out. Even if I don’t talk to people very much, the opportunity is there.

So, the meetings take place in a small room. There is barely any room for me to stand between rows of tables. There isn’t enough room for me to get up from the table without my chair running into the table behind me. Once I sit down, I usually don’t get up until the meeting is over.

Several months ago, attendance was low at one of these meetings, and most people sat towards the back of the room. Again, as a big person, I usually sit towards the back to block as few people as possible. If I can, I typically aim for about 2/3 of the way back. On this day, the person leading the meeting was afraid that the speaker would feel slighted with everyone sitting in the back half of the room, and she asked everyone to move forward.

Grudgingly, I packed all of my stuff (notebook, pen, phone, coffee, bagel) and made my way gingerly two rows forward. I guess I wouldn’t have minded if I had been asked to sit towards the front of the room at the beginning. Being told to move after I was settled pissed me off. However, what made me angry was that someone came in later and sat exactly where I had been sitting, and nobody said anything.

Deep breath.

So, several months (six? eight?) later, we met in a different location. It was an old theater that was scheduled to be renovated, and they were raising awareness. Right before the meeting started, the same woman asked everyone to move to the front of the theater. She wanted people to begin seating from the row in front of me to the front—one row in front of me.

She asked me to move.

I ignored her.

She told me (jokingly?) to move or that she would embarrass me publicly.

I ignored her.

Another woman with authority in the group asked me to move.

I refused.

I very nearly left the meeting, but I didn’t want to cause a scene, and I was looking forward to the topic. But, honestly, I’m never going to move one row forward to appease a bully. And that’s precisely how I felt – like I was back in school with stupid little people playing power games.

So now, those ladies think I’m just an ass. They believe that I’m stubborn, which, okay, maybe I am. But for me, what it comes down to is this: Do I care more about my self-esteem or about what other people think of me? If you’ve read this far, you should know the answer.

And now, I’m done thinking about this.

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