My participation in this event presented a quandary to me: How
could I join in when I avoid socializing situations like the plague?
After the first few trys it got easier.
On dress rehearsal night I felt a little better and started to relax,
I even did a little spontaneous "cleaning" which in the
end became my assignment- to be "the helpful cleaner"
It is interesting because I have often thought about the relationship
between the "helper " and the "being helped"
having worked as a caregiver for most of my life. Sometimes what
the helper thinks is helpful the person being assisted does not,
or vice versa. It all depends on where you are standing.
Sometimes helping can be used as, (by the helper) or interpreted
as, (by the helped) as an aggressive action or one that is tinged
with aggressiveness, though you would not think that at first. After
all, you say, "I was only trying to help!" It is a very
paradoxical connection or association between people.
As the "helpful cleaner" on Thursday night I picked up
empty bottles and glasses
and brought them up to the bar. I wiped up spills and dusted, etc.
It was very crowded
so it was easy to blend in. I got some verbal responses like-"Go,
girl, go!" from a young man whose spill I had quickly wiped
up. I reached between a couple to wipe up a spill, (saying "excuse
me")They stopped talking abruptly and moments later both got
up from the bar. It seemed I may or may not have disturbed the flow
of their interaction with each other with my "helpfulness".
People seemed to look away from me or right through me most of the
I went over to look for empty bottles near the area of the pool
A man started talking to me, saying how he really liked the words
in the song that was playing on the jukebox just then, he said ,
"Robert Palmer is a prolific writer, he can really write some
good songs, (something like that, referring to the words in the
song) ), I remember thinking, "you've got to be kidding! I
can hardly make out the words at all." I was in over my head
at this point. Anyway the man was very pleasant, very sweet. He
continued on saying that he played in pool tournaments also and
"did I play?" I said "no", that I was "too
dumb", and that it "takes too much strategy". I said,
"I don't have the brains". Then he said something like,
"but you have a big heart, right?" I couldn't decide on
this so I returned to the bar with the bottle I had picked up.
Later I went back to the same area and the man was sitting now at
a table talking with a woman. I picked up an empty glass from their
table and wiped. The man gave me a strange look like he wondered
"what is wrong with her?"or I don't know, I'm not sure
if he thought or knew I was performing.