After the rather unproductive dance on Saturday night , I went home and sought to get some sleep because I knew that yesterday would be a busy day. I ended up getting about six hours of sleep, which is pretty usual for the time between the dance and the beginning of the sports day, and I showered and rushed off in the foggy morning to a high school in Vancouver, where I was the second person there and helped set up and sign in people, as I tend to do. It was a fairly lonely and even somewhat boring morning, as it took more than two hours after I arrived at the school for there to be enough people to get games started. I fielded a call from one of our fellow coaches who brought two of his four children to play volleyball and who was running a bit late. So was everyone else, and we only ended up having a couple of teams worth of teens, and a lot more adults young and youngish at heart who wanted to play competitively.
And so it was that the general attendance is what shaped the conduct of our playing. While I busied myself with refereeing and scorekeeping and occasionally playing, I had the chance to watch the games, to see people teaching the younger teens how to play while the more competitive people played 3 on 3, 4 or 4, 5 on 5, or 6 on 6. During one of the games I was keeping score I had the chance to chat with a girl besides me whose sister I happen to know a bit better, and who shares a name with one of the children of someone who was listening to me rather closely and whose attention to the conversation I was painfully aware of. It seemed as though while the mood in general for most people was laid back and relaxed, that it was a somewhat anxious day for me. Then again, I am such a stress pup that most days are full of a great deal of anxiety. I can even sense the anxiety from others, like the young couple I chatted with after the games were over, where the young woman in particular seemed nervous about the attention she received about being in a relationship with a friendly young man who happened to be a college student in Southern California. I pondered the reason for her nervousness and anxiety, and felt unhappy that I was through my fairly ordinary curiosity and wit contributing to the discomfort of someone as sensitive as I am myself.
After the games were done and I had completed my efforts to connect those who needed help conveying belongings to the right people with those who were going to the bowling event later in the evening, I drove towards home and decided to stop off to eat first because I was rather hungry. I had eaten a bit at the games but they had not filled my full order and so I had not eaten as much as I had wanted to, since I am not the sort of person who tends to push about getting my way with those who are not listening to me or paying attention to what I say. At any rate, I got to a restaurant that I go to reasonably frequently and sat down at the counter because the restaurant was overcrowded with people filling up the door and even the area outside of the door. I chatted with the people beside me through the course of the evening while reading a book I had obtained from a friend of mine, and found much to my pleasure that my fondness for iced tea was sufficiently well known to the wait staff that a carafe of tea and a full glass and plenty of sugar were waiting for me without my having to ask for it. I tend to like to go to places over and over again because as a creature of habit I most appreciate having people know what I want to such an extent that I do not have to ask for it. Perhaps it is selfish of me to wish for people to know what I want, but since my wants tend to be fairly repetitive I find it easier to acquaint people with what I want and trust in their ability to keep providing it time after time than I do with educating people who may not be as quick to pay attention because they do not know me and do not trust that I will continue to be around.
While I was sitting in that crowded restaurant I had the cause to reflect on the fact that there is another restaurant within sight of the one I go to reasonably often (almost weekly) that I do not go to at all. It is not that the food of the second restaurant is bad to me, or that it is too spendy of a place, but rather that there is an employee there I happen to know personally and who I tend to find occasionally distant or unfriendly. Not being the sort of person who would wish to bother someone who does not appear to particularly relish being around me, not least when their livelihood would depend on my tips, I tend to avoid the place because I don’t care to make her anxious to please where she might not feel anxious to please on a regular basis, and might instead just feel anxious. Being a person who has lived my entire life under an intolerable burden of anxiety, I am disinclined to make others feel more anxious than they do already, at the cost of restricting the places I go to for myself. In this frame of mind, I collected my check and went home and quickly went to sleep. If I had not been as sleepy as many of those around me, I needed sleep as much as anyone else, and so it was time to get it.