Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ravishing Ronald

The classic 1950 Looney Tunes cartoon short Bunny Hugged focusses on a world championship wrestling match between the undefeated champion "The Crusher" vs. the flamboyant challenger "Ravishing Ronald". After the wrestlers are introduced to the crowd and the match begins, The Crusher charges up into the face of Ravishing Ronald and lets loose a blood curdling roar. The force of the blast is so great that Ravishing Ronald's arms just flap behind him in the breeze. I recently had an experience that made me feel weak and overpowered in this same manner.

I had planned to meet a friend of mine after work to talk over a cup of coffee. I arrived at the coffee shop about 10 minutes early and went inside to claim a table. About 5 minutes after our scheduled time, I called my friend's phone but got no answer. I waited another 20 minutes and he still hadn't shown up. With a deflated spirit I kind of slunk out of the place and drove home. My friend called me about 10 minutes later to tell me that he just lost track of time as he got embroiled in some project for work. I tried to be gracious, but I know my mien was laced with hurt and disgust.

In similar situations in the past, I have responded by distancing myself from the those who hurt me. My mind seems to linger on the hurt, the embarrassment, and the frustration. With my long history of such conditioning, I began to drift down that same path again. I told myself that my friend really did not want to spend time with me in the first place and that he viewed our meeting as an onerous chore. That evening when I got home, I stewed and let my negative feelings cover me. The frustrating thing is that I have come to trust my friend and know that he was sincere in his apology and that he was embarrassed for his oversight. When I told my daughter what had happened, her remark was quite simple, "Why don't you just schedule another time with him?" Why didn't I think of this? That is a response that is much more Crusher than Ravishing Ronald.