Monday, May 08, 2006

Friday's lesson: Keep away from Michelle

(Note: I got my 100,000th page load this weekend. That's what happens when you have a couple of free days to sit around and hammer that F5 button.)

Friday night, I was at my fencing practice. Because there weren't many people there, our club president decided to coach a line exercise, which is pretty much what you might guess: You form a line, and each person takes a turn doing a short exercise with the coach, then you go to the back of the line and wait your turn again.

I'd already had my turn, so I was standing and waiting while this Romanian girl named Michelle was having her turn. She hadn't been out to practice for at least a year, so she was really rusty, and on top of that, she's left-handed, which made the exercise a little more complicated. So the coach spent a little extra time with her, having her do the exercise over and over until she started to get it right. Finally, she was done. She walked straight over to me, ripped off her mask, and with an upset look and a quavering voice, hissed, "You keep the fuck away from me!"

I was caught, as they say in fencing, off guard. "What?"

"You were making a joke about me and making me screw up," she accused. I hadn't been. Not at all. Maybe I come off as, in my friend The Other Peter's words, "a bit of a smarmy bastard", but I wouldn't do something like that at the club. If someone's not getting something right, my instincts is to help, not to mock. I thought about it, and the only thing I might have been doing is nodding my head in approval when she did something correctly. Basically, the only thing I might have been doing is giving some positive reinforcement.

I told her this. She calmed down. "Good," she said. "We're on the same page then."

I'm pretty sure we're not on the same page, actually. I don't think we're even reading from the same book. But I think she was right the first time anyway. If someone tells you to keep the fuck away from her, you probably should. Either you're doing something to provoke this reaction and you should cut it out, or you're not doing anything at all and she's crazy as a shithouse rat. The less reason someone has to tell you to keep the fuck away, in fact, the better the advice it probably is. So I think I will keep the fuck away from this Michelle.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Foobstin said...

You're taking fencing lessons? Are you finally going to take that Queen's Medieval Club über-nerd up on his challenge of a duel?

5/08/2006 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Lynn said...

I've been fencing again for the last two years now, Foobstin! And I did it in university too. But speaking of Medieval Club Guy, you may or may not have seen the post I did on him, which you might just want to check out since you make an appearance in it.

5/08/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger TinaPoPo said...

I'm totally staying away from Michelle. Should she come to Pennsylvania.

5/10/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Lynn said...

Staying away from Michelles is just good policy in general, I've learned. (Sign up to my subscriber-only premium blog to learn the reason why!)

5/10/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Dickolas Wang said...

Oh I see, the first one's free eh? I see how you roll.

I'd still pay for it, as I have so little in my life.

5/10/2006 02:48:00 PM  

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