|There’s a guy at our rent-by-the-hour kitchen who abhors me and my air compressor. I get it. The air compressor is loud, like El train loud. I’ve bribed other renters for kindly accepting the 15 total minutes it runs in the course of a kitchen day. Thankfully everyone who shares the kitchen has dogs so, a few free pouches and always announcing, “it’s going to get loud” has helped me stay in everyone else’s good graces.|
Not the Chili Guy, he sneers at me, has yelled at me to the point I worried he might vandalize my equipment in the storage area, and snickered when I almost dropped my piston filler because he wouldn’t let me use one of the large carts to move it out of the kitchen. So, naturally, when he’s in the kitchen the same time we are, I have to work really hard not to get flustered.
Being rattled causes me to drop things and not put the pouch on the piston filler before filling it. 165+ degrees of sardines and cream cheese shooting all over me, and everything around me doesn’t make the day any easier.
So, after a few stressed-out blunders, I made a decision. Rather than trying not to be discombobulated when I see his name on the schedule or watch him wheel in his cart, I’ll actively send him love over and over again. It begins before I walk in the door. I look at the schedule while I’m still in my car, and I read everyone’s name and say out loud, “I bless you with love” (from a Return to Love by Marianne Williamson). And, I repeat that all day long. Actively sending Chili Guy love certainly doesn’t bliss me out when I see him, but I can breathe normally and focus on making and filling pouches.
A miracle happened on Friday. I was in the dry storage area, sterilizing, organizing, and planning for our next kitchen day when Chili Guy poked his head in and told me he just made some vegan chili. He asked if I would like some. I was flabbergasted but also knew in my heart that he was offering me an olive branch. So, I took it and said, “yes, that’s very kind of you, thank you.” Chili Guy made me a bowl, I graciously accepted, and his chili was delicious.
I can’t imagine that we’ll ever be best friends, but I’m grateful for the peace offering. It will make our next shared kitchen day a heck of a lot easier.