Sometimes I’m not very good in social situations. I have a tendency to fill silences, which is a really bad impulse for a writer. Silence is, after all, a useful tool.
One great thing about curling is it has socializing built in. At broomstacking after a match you at least have the game to talk about. It’s the same principle that applies to dates: always go to a movie and dinner that way at dinner you’ll at least have the movie as a topic of conversation.
At my curling club there’s this guy I’ll call T. No matter what new thing you’ve discovered or what experience you’ve had, T. has already discovered that thing or had an experience that transcends yours. Go skiing in Aspen over Christmas, T. has been dropped from a helicopter on to Mt. Everest and skied all the way down. Whale watching trip in Hawaii? T. got to actually touch a humpback whale while scuba diving in Tahiti.
One of the interesting things about leaving my job the way I did last spring is I’ve started to pay more attention to what’s around me, and one of the things I’ve realized is, there is a T. in every office.
At my last job it was my boss. No matter what new thing I discovered, oh, he’d heard of it before and wow was it nothing special. In my new work situation, it is one of my team mates.
TGF and I have a friend whose brother-in-law is part owner of a minor league baseball team. The brother-in-law took our friend to the winter baseball owners meeting. The surprise gift from this for TGF: an official 2016 World Series baseball.
This year for the winter vacation TGF and I are going to Mesa for some Cubs spring training games, and maybe for some autographs on that 2016 baseball.
In discussing my vacation request on our team check-in call last week I explained all this and my boss, also a Cubs fan, expressed her excitement for me and TGF about this trip.
And then the resident T. jumped in. She’s going on vacation to Florida in February. When asked what she was going we were rewarded with a 5 minute story about where her parents live in The Villages.
If you haven’t heard of it, The Villages is a highly planned community in Central Florida. Hyper conservative, reportedly totally promiscuous, and, apparently, semi-fascist about access to their property according to my co-worker. Yes, it’s going to be horrible to visit her parents but, duty calls, and she’s going to go anyway.
Never content to let someone else be in the spotlight, the T.’s of the world will always find a way to upstage you.