On Being “That Guy”
I was working on a new Diatribe when an event took place in my life that I felt needed to be discussed immediately. As soon as I had shaken off the distress, and perhaps even despair, I sat down and began working on this one instead. Fear not, because my blog on travelling with my little Dooley clan will be finished and published soon. Irregardless, now cometh the latest and greatest edition of the Diatribe!
Ohhhhh America, Saturday was a very disturbing day for me so sit back, relax, and prepare to judge me. We loaded up into the family truckster and headed west for the Palisade Peach Festival. We’d never been and thought it would be a fun little jaunt. Little did I know the horror and humiliation that awaited me.
I found that there was no nearby parking and there was no parking that was only kind of far away. I’m convinced there was only two spots to park in the entire Northern Hemisphere at that time and I somehow managed wiggle our truck into one of them. I was on the phone with an old family friend at the time and thought nothing of it as we walked to the free shuttle pick up. The shuttle was a school bus but this did not immediately produce any sense of impending doom while I was breaking down the stroller, stepping aboard, and wrapping up my call. I had seemingly forgotten that the aisles were designed for children and not grown men with all of required paraphernalia associated with travelling with children.
I started down this exceedingly slender aisle and struck two people (of course one of them was a small child) with the wheel of the stroller before I had made it past the third row of seats. It was noisy on the bus so I spoke louder to our friend. The eyes of the other 1216 passengers of that overcrowded, sweat filled, yellow oven were all turned towards me and were full of disdain. All of the sudden my moment of realization hit me…Oh my lord,I was being THAT GUY!
Each of you can recognize “that guy”. You’ve been in his presence and you have either groaned, performed an epic eye roll in his direction while giving your friend the look of “oh gawd”, tried desperately to put a quick end to his conversation, or actually fled the area when you thought speaking with him could not be avoided.
Whether he’s the close talker with less than ideal oral hygiene habits , the one that has the body odor of an overworked yak, the movie talker, or the guy that does rude things (like hitting small children with a stroller wheel) while loudly talking on a phone; you have been in the annoying presence of “that guy”.
I like the think that I have worked most of my adult life to develop the self-awareness to never allow myself to be considered “that guy”. I can identify that guy from a mile away! It may be guy in the tank top, fur coat like back hair, sunglasses upside down on the back of his head, slicked back hair, and sunburn that tips me off that I’m potentially in the presence of “that guy”. It could be the techno dork that wants to drone on and on and on about how the gadgets he has wrapped, strapped, and attached to him makes him cooler than everyone else and wants to educate you of every subtle nuance of his nerdy electronic accoutrement that tips me off. The point is, “that guy” can take many forms but you’ll always recognize him and do your best to avoid any contact with him.
Yet, there I was. I had found myself in a full blown “that guy” moment. How do I come back from this in the judging eyes of everyone on that bus and let them know I’m not actually like I’m behaving? Well, you swallowed my pride and owned the rudeness! I believe the phrase “Oh God, I’m that guy with the stroller on the bus! And I’m on the phone! I’m so sorry everyone!” escaped my mortified lips. Well, that got a laugh from all and I was forgiven by the masses.
So I may have, once again, exaggerated slightly on how bad things were on the fun bus but I needed to try and make a point. If you find yourself in an unfortunate, and out of character, moment just own up to your lapse in judgement. Own your behavior and then endeavor to not repeat the same type of asshat actions that led you to becoming “that guy”. Then, and most importantly, don’t repeat the behavior that landed you there in the first place!
You know, come to think of it, this might be a good couple of suggestions that more in this great country could embrace for the betterment of all. Let me know what you think! Leave us comment or an email with your own “that guy” moment, we’d love to hear about it!