A Moment’s Meeting

A little epiphany from my night out yesterday with a few amusing moments to share with you. This isn’t a rant but a mere reflection of my emotions and thoughts from reading the media coverage on Sarah Bland and how angry and disappointed I felt. Sometimes, we don’t reflect on our own experiences in the moment, during the day or week and we, like others disconnect with the world and people around us.

So last night, I didn‘t expect that the guy who pushed in front of me to get to the bar would be the same guy I would form a connection with and converse to at different moments throughout the evening. But who would also change my perspective and underlying emotions from my day. (I know where you think this going, but it’s not). He did apologise profusely for pushing in front of me.

Our first conversation (almost word for word) begins with Marmad, (that’s his name) asking me to show him around town as he is over from Azerbaijan. I said “I don’t think my boyfriend would approve” his reply was “Well, I didn’t ask you out, I just asked you to show me around. There’s nothing in that”. I said “Ok, well if your girlfriend came home and said “I met this guy at this boat party tonight and he asked me to show him around town. Would you be cool with this?”. He thinks about it for a moment, asks a few other questions which I politely reply to. He then apologises (again) for the earlier scenario, and this time I apologise for my own behaviour and tell him I was carrying this anger with me today; and that I wasn’t really angry with him. I was carrying my attitude and emotions and had directed them at him. We then said our goodbyes and I thought that was it.

Throughout the night our paths crossed, being on a boat with little space, we talked a little more, discovered a little more about the other and he bought my friends and I a round of drinks. Neither one of us drunk or tipsy, I was on water.

Then at the end of the night he found me sat on my own and he came over to talk to me. He put on a sarcastic (but not negative) tone “Is your boyfriend texting you, asking questions…” I laughed and said “no questions but we have been texting”. He then said the following that took me by surprise. “Out of all the girls I’ve talked to tonight, you’re different to all of them”. I was a little confused and he assumed I knew what he meant. I replied in an amusing “laugh it off” way “because when we met I told you off for pushing in front of me at the bar”, he didn’t quite get my humour, and said in a which I can only describe as a genuine, no bull shit tone “No you’re different. You must feel it, there’s something different about you”. Something in his tone of voice caught me off guard (it must be because it was an unexpected compliment) and I cannot find the words to describe that moment, but I knew what he meant. Not in a “you’re so special’ kind of way but almost spiritual context and I was so surprised that all I could say was “thank you”.

He then referred to our earlier conversation where I had switched scenarios, and said if his girlfriend came back and told him she’d met a guy on a boat who wanted her to take him round, he would disapprove because he knows what guys are like and admitted that he was one of those guys (Honesty, I like it).

“But”, I said “If we didn’t have the exchange at the bar, then we would never have met or talked. And that’s what I love about life, the moments when paths cross and you meet someone for that brief moment, and that’s all it was meant to be” he said “I like that, your boyfriend is very lucky” and then we said our goodbyes for the final time.

Why did this small interaction stay with me, because on the surface it just looked like a guy trying to chat up a girl. It became nothing about ego, even if it started off that way for both of us, given the setting; and for me I was carrying angry emotions. With my own prejudice and ego, I felt this man was disrespecting me by pushing in front of me, a person of colour and I’m a woman; he had no awareness or manners. When I mentioned it loudly to him and the bar lady, he was embarrassed and apologised, the bar lady was embarrassed, my niece was mediating the peace for once. This was my intention, however, I walked away feeling a little foolish that I had made a meal of it whilst he was sincerely apologising repeatedly.

And because I have been taught it is socially “unacceptable” not to form an orderly queue, when he pushed in front, I over reacted, I could feel I was about to explode and proud that I had pointed it out (as often we bubble inside about wrong doings and never say anything or we offload to our friends). I made him feel small to the point of him repeatedly apologising and where he offered to buy drinks as a goodwill gesture and that wasn’t my intention.

At the point where we had both offered forgiveness, we found a friendship forming, we learned something new about each other, like he worked on an oil rig, or I told him about my boyfriend. I felt nothing but friendship, openness and honesty in our moments with no egos being bruised when we walked away. We had both learned something about ourselves. I then realised that this is what I hope for in humanity, the moment to recognise our own prejudices, to allow our egos to step aside, to forgive and be humble enough to openly admit when we are in the wrong and then to form friendships. Some of the most beautiful moments in life are moments so brief that when it does happen, we learn and remember to do it differently next time. We won’t always get it right with our thoughts, actions and words but we can certainly give it a good go and not beat ourselves up for getting it wrong.

We need to stop missing those beautiful moments that slip us by, let’s “be” in the present moment and let go of the egos that hold us back from being open-hearted, open-minded and forming beautiful friendships, because when we do we are open to amazing possibilities and moments.

This felt like a short film and maybe one day it will be.

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