Today has been another day of stories. I hooked up in the pub this morning with two older guys whom I have not had major chats with. It started as an awkward situation with the bloke who invited me to sit down then disappeared after 30 minutes leaving me and the other guy that does not usually chat with me.
After some awkwardness and staring out the window we started to chat about some stuff and started to share some stories. Soon another older guy joined us and the stories started to flow in quite an amazing way. It’s incredible how many stories these people have to share. They seem to enjoy telling me but also seem to enjoy hearing the stories of others.
I was very conscious today that a simple one to one situation can be quite intimidating for the person sitting with me. It atmosphere seems far more relaxed when the man in the dog collar is out numbered by others, even if it is only by one other joining the group. As soon as we decrease in number to an equality thing the body language displays a clear discomfort with the situation.
In this scenario I find it hard to work out the best thing to do. I understand totally reasons for not wanting to be seen sitting in a pub with a vicar on your own – lots of mickey taking and/or questions could well flow after I leave.
So … what should I do? Do I sit and hope and pray that some one else will join us soon as did happen today? Do I decide to leave after what seems an acceptable time? I have difficulty with that last suggestion as, although the situation is awkward and uncomfortable for both of us, it does seems just rude to go. I’d have to leave the place altogether – obviously I could not move to another table!
I understand that it is better for me to push through the discomfort, and I am prepared to. But do I have a right to inflict that discomfort upon another person? It’s a question or situation that does not seem to have an easy solution – so come on, in the words of one of the worlds best ever bands, ‘you’ve got to let me know … should I stay or should I go?!’