November 26, 2012
Bridges, ME Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 48
“I’m gonna it give about a week before I try it out... just to see if it holds.”
I was completely serious, and my friend was completely laughing.
“I’m serious,” I said. “I know you are,” she said, “That’s just so…. You!
I was referring to the newly re-opened Stadium Bridge. I have an inherent distrust of projects that finish on time with no serious issues. Nothing can be that easy, especially not something as important as a bridge that people trust with their lives. So, I’m just the kind to wait and see.
I don’t doubt the integrity of the architects, or the experience of the builders. I don’t doubt the workers who showed up daily to do their jobs. I don’t doubt the inspectors, approvers, or the very happy it’s time-to-open the bridge announcers.
I don’t individually doubt any of them. As a collective though… so many people, so many things can go wrong. I tend to stand back on any bridges – obscurely defined as a time, place, or means of connection or transition. Despite the fact that I am a situational bull-dozer when I have the correct solution and prefer not to waste time, I do not prefer to lead.
I tend to stand back and see if whatever it is holds, regardless of the circumstances. Dinner entrees – I feel out the table and tend to order along the same vein. Movie choices – I feel out the mood, listen closely to the choices, and defer to someone else’s decision.
It’s only backfired on me once, in the spring of 1995. Back in NYC for label meeting, a Broadway show was on the docket. Three attendees wanted to see CATS – a long running musical which strangely, I had never seen while I lived there. The other two were headed for Damn Yankees. It was a tough choice; having heard for years how wonderful CATS was and weighing the chance that I would ever get to see Jerry Lewis on Broadway again. I would have preferred to see Jerry, but I was friendlier with the traveling contingent headed for the feline classic. So, when they asked me to come along, that is where I went.
I have to say I was confused. I sat through the first half, being introduced to various cats, their unique personalities, and listening to familiar songs. During intermission, I consulted my peers. I had yet to discover the plot. Was I missing something? No, I wasn’t. Nobody else had any idea what the plot was either. We laughed and joked about being over-educated, and assured ourselves that it would reveal itself in the second half. When it didn’t, I was supremely disappointed. I had never been to a theatre production with no plot. I kicked myself along the city sidewalks on the stroll back to our hotel, muttering and grumbling not so good-naturedly. I heard Damn Yankees was fabulous. To this day, I can still see us, sitting there on crushed red velvet seats, turning to each other blinking blankly, and asking, “What was that about?” I have fond memories of the laughter and the long-term same-boat camaraderie that developed from that experience.
Does this tendency to go bridge myself, to go along with the flow so as not to interrupt it, make me a wimp? No, it just makes me a person who truly likes to make other people happy. Though, I’d prefer that you don’t hold me to it, won't let you take advantage of it, and will emphatically deny it if you tell anyone.
Posted by jaselin at November 26, 2012 04:14 PM