Hello! How’s everyone? Did you have a nice weekend?
I celebrated by drinking lots of wine. As per usual. This is bad because enlightened self-help lovers don’t seek happiness at the bottom of a bottle – but it’s also good because I’m more likely to do rejection therapy when I’m drinking.
This time it was asking to join the band, pull a pint and ride a stranger’s motorcycle. Hurrah! I’m back with bells on…
It all happened on Friday night, when I went out with my sister and her best friend. We had a very civilised dinner (well, not that civilised but there was no rejection therapy involved) and then we went to a pub, which happened to have a jazz band playing.
My sister’s friend, Martin, said, ‘You should ask the band if you could play one of their instruments.’
I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay with our drinks and have a nice, normal time. But also I knew that if I sat there and didn’t do it I’d be beating myself up for being rubbish. I’d be pretending to have a nice time and making excuses about why this was not the right rejection challenge, but all the time I’d be disappointed with myself.
So I did it. The band had just taken a break and were sipping pints and looking all jazz-y together. I took a deep breath, walked up and, just like I did with tennis and basketball, I said: ‘I’ve never played the double bass and always wondered what it would feel like. Could I have a go?’
I was expecting him to say that his instrument was his pride and joy and that he couldn’t let other people play on it – but he didn’t. He looked up from his pint and said, ‘go for it.’
Oh! Just like that!
So I did! I cradled it in my arms and plucked away – it felt fantastic. First there’s a real deep vibration then a mellow sound… it felt as nice as hitting the tennis ball right in the middle of the racket.
Here I am: (the bass player took the picture)
‘What do you think?’ asked Mr Double Bass.
‘I love it!’ I said.
We had a conversation about what it’s like to carry around and he told me that it wasn’t heavy, just bulky so it wasn’t fun to carry around on the underground. I’ll be honest, it was a slightly boring conversation. I told him what I was doing and he looked interested. ‘Try being a musician,’ he said. ‘You get used to rejection…’ he was starting to look a bit miserable and like he was in the mood to share every rejection he’d ever suffered in his life so I made my excuses and moved away… to the bar to get a drink.
The girl serving was quite scary looking – all eyeliner and aggressive cleavage – I figured I’d ask her if I could pull a pint and she would definitely say ‘no’. She was not English and the music had started up again so there was a bit of confusion when I started my spiel, ‘I’ve never pulled a pint before and I’d really like to know what it feels like…’
Her: ‘You want pint,’
Me: ‘Yes, but I’d like to pull it myself.’
Her: ‘You want pint? Becks? Fosters?’
Me: ‘Yes, but….’ I now made gestures of me pulling the pint. I looked like a total idiot.
Her: frowning with her angry eyeliner-ed eyes getting all annoyed/confused looking.
Me: More pulling motions and pointing at the beer taps and then at me.
Then she seemed to get it because before I knew it she’d pulled my hand onto the beer tap and I was pulling! Pulling my own pint! Hurrah!
Her: Like this?
Me: Yes! Thank you!
Her and Me: Smiling!
Here I am (my sister took the picture and had to act quickly, so sorry it’s a bit dark and blurry):
After that we left and I grabbed a third opportunity. Walking back to the bus we passed a young man parking his motorbike. You’ll know my line by now… ‘I’ve never sat on a motorbike before…’I said. ‘Would you mind if I sat on yours for a minute?’ He seemed delighted at the idea. ‘Yeah!’
I sat on it and it was really nice and comfortable. I told him that I loved it, which I did.
He told me he was 17 and had just got his licence. He’d bought the bike second hand and it was a very good deal. He talked about engines size and stuff I didn’t understand but he just seemed really happy to be talking about his new baby. I asked him if he’d take me for a spin and he couldn’t because he didn’t have a spare helmut.
Hurrah, rejection accomplished.
Here I am:
And that was that. Conclusions:
1) Rejection therapy is easy when you’re drunk
2) Just like last weekend, when strangers let me play tennis and basketball with them, I’ve realised that PEOPLE ARE LOVELY and not at all how I think they’re going to be: the guys in the band weren’t stuck up and too cool for school they were happy to have a bit of distraction from their empty rejection-filled musical existence, the barmaid wasn’t a cow just because she was wearing scary make up, she was fun and easy going. And the 17 year old on the bike, well, he looked sweet actually so I’m just so happy for him and his new bike. I hope he stays safe on it.
3) It’s much easier to stay safe in your pub (life) corner but the second you do something silly, like ask the band to play or the barmaid to let you pull a pint, life becomes so much more fun. There’s something about taking action, even pointless, random action, that gives you a rush of energy. The world feels like a different place, full of possibility.
4)Embarrassment doesn’t kill you. It passes quite quickly actually.
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