I had already attended one ‘Think and Grow Rich’ Meet Up a few weeks prior, and I was really looking forward to this follow-up meeting. I didn’t really mind that I was the only attendee at the first meeting because I got the host’s full attention to share my ideas with, get his feedback, and learn more about him. In a selfish way, I hoped I was the only one who showed up again.
I went straight there from work so I had some time to kill before the 7:00pm meeting. I parked at the meet up location and walked across the street to A Terrible Beauty Irish Pub. Shortly after I sat at a table for two, I had a 42 second day dream of hankering up to the bar, being frustrated about sitting there bored and alone, and a gang of midgets coming in. In my day dream, there were also a couple drunken idiot guys sitting at the bar, one of which made fun of the way one of the midgets waddled; “What? You think you’re a tough guy walkin’ in an Irish bar like that; you think your some kinda cowboy or something? Haha, I bet you got yourself a real live Shetland pony, huh?” Just then, in my day dream, the waddling midget walked over and grabbed the shirt tail of the smart ass with one hand and grabbed a barstool leg with his other hand, yanked him straight off his stool, and the gang of midgets proceeded to beat the crap out of him while the other drunk guy just sat there with his mouth hanging open, never lifting a finger off his beer.
The waiter walked up to interrupt the disturbing, yet entertaining images in my head to ask what I would like to drink. “Iced Tea”, I said, as I looked up at him trying not to stare. He was better than average looking, but he had weird grey patches throughout his light brown beard and hair. As he walked away, I remembered a friend from grade school that had a swatch of grey in her bangs because she had a pigmentation thing with her skin. I guessed that’s what was going on with this guy too. Nothing jumped out at me on the menu and I was desperately trying to find something interesting about this place to make the name of the establishment justifiably cool, but other than my day dream, I was coming up empty.
I asked my usual question when the waiter came back, “What is your favorite dish?”. He said it was the Corned Beef and Cabbage, which I did not notice on the menu, but it sounded good so I indicated I would have that. It was not even as average as the waiter despite the unique beard discoloration. I had only taken a couple sips of my $3.00 Iced Tea so I asked for a to-go cup. I really don’t get the need to gouge people for soda or Iced Tea at restaurants, so rather than just drink water, I silently bitch about it in my head and ask for a to-go cup, to be an ass more than anything. The waiter, however, was the ass this time as he made a snotty comment half under his breath as he tried to cover it up by saying “…but sure, whatever.” I was a little taken back by that.
After leaving a less than 10% tip, I scurried out of there and trotted back across the street to Uptown Espresso to wait for the Meet Up host. Even though I had the boring Iced Tea in a to-go cup, I ordered a Chai; both because I knew I wouldn’t drink the Ice Tea that I refused to leave behind, and well, I really wanted a Chai Tea. I chose a table for four just in case more people showed up this time and set up my laptop to check e-mails. Very quickly I noticed two things; 1) the place was filling up very quickly, and 2) this was the best Chai Tea I have ever had in all of my life.
There was a girl at a table on the other side of the room sitting by herself with a chess board in front of her. Some guy came up and asked to sit with her because there were no other tables except a very large one between her and I that some crotchety old woman was sitting at by herself fiddling with some yarn. The girl indicated the guy could have her table and she managed to politely say that she would sit somewhere else while she waited for her chess mate. I was puzzled as to why the guy chose to sit with her when it was clear that she was waiting for someone else.
The girl tried to sit at the opposite end of the very large table but the older woman shoed her off saying she was expecting a large group; the girl went to another table, but was eventually asked to leave that one as well they were also expecting a large group. I watched this poor girl move 3-4 times before her chess partner finally arrived and I was amazed she seemed so ok about somehow being singled out to be asked to move. I am quite sure, despite her calm demeanor, she was having day dreams of sticking chess pieces in people’s eyes however.
While the chess girl was moving around the coffee shop like a pawn herself, the older woman was steadily shooing people away from her large table as the place got more and more crowded. Finally, one guy said “I will just sit here until your other women arrive.” and sat down before she could protest. I had to smile at his boldness, but then it dawned on me that no one asked to join me at my table where three chairs sat empty. What was it about this old crotchety woman that made her more approachable than me, even though she had a larger table? I was feeling thin-skinned for a moment and then realized it was 7:10pm. Where was the host for the Meet Up? I checked the group website to make sure I was in the right place at the right time; yup, I was. I shot him an e-mail asking if he was on his way and read a few more FB posts to kill a few more minutes. At 7:30pm I wasn’t sure if I should be worried or pissed. The funny thing was, I was more pissed that no one asked to sit with me than I was that the host was clearly now a no-show. Not only did no-one want to sit with me, but the host didn’t even want to show up knowing I was the only one who RSVP’d. I questioned my awesome rock star personality and my not-so-supermodel, yet still decent enough good looks, and slurped up the last little bit of my Chai Tea before I packed up my stuff and considered auctioning off my soon-to-be-available empty table.
As I drove home in the Seattle sunshine, that is never ending rain, I tried to rationalize how a crotchety old woman had got about nine people to endure the pouring rain to yap about yarn and yet, I was the only one to show up for a ‘Think and Grow Rich’ Meet Up. This must be part of what they mean by the 1%ers, I pondered, and I suddenly felt ok with being different.