Tuesday, June 5

Style Lama


Maybe I see irony where there is none or maybe I’m just far too sensitive (something I’ve never been accused of being…) but, let me recount a little non-incident from the Re-contracting conference for you and lets see if we can’t find the ironies together.

there’s only the will to survive the approaching snore-o-thon


So it’s the third day of the conference, I’m tired, disheveled, and glad that in a few hours all the lectures and all the self-improvement will soon be a memory, fast fading and leaving me as ignorant as I was when I arrived on Monday.

I’m wearing my three piece suit, with no tie and a pink shirt which certainly needs a tie to reign it in, I know I look a mess but it’s my prerogative and I don’t care. There’s no one to impress today, there’s only the will to survive the approaching snore-o-thon and leave. A lot of people have just turned up in jeans and t-shirts, fair-play to them, I wish I had thought of that.

I see a person I know across the room whilst waiting for lectures to begin and I go over to say good morning,

“How are you?”
“Fine, you?”
“Fine, how was last night?”
“Great! But this morning….”
“Oh yeah, me too.”


Then I’m introduced to her friends A and B,

“Hi A, hi B, Stephen, pleased to meet you.”


As soon as B has said hi, he’s telling me that he ‘simply must fix my collar’, and then invites himself to do so apparently assuming responsibility for my appearance and ignoring the boundaries of personal space.

...I’m looking about the room for anything that looks like a chance to escape their company in a manner which won’t offend


I thank him for his assistance and then turn to my acquaintance and inquire about something banal, when I’m interrupted again by person B who then undoes my bottom button of my waist-coast for no less of a reason than “that really pisses me off”… the list of things that piss me off all the while is growing.

spiritual wellbeing, coexistence or harmony. The thought confused an already befuddled and hung-over mind


So, person B has successfully made me feel awkward and unwelcome and I’m now very self-conscious about my appearance. As I’m looking about the room as coolly as the situation dictates that I should, for anything that looks like a chance to escape their company in a manner which won’t offend, B takes a book out of his bag and passes it to my acquaintance. My jaw nearly hit the floor when I saw what it was, The Secret of Happiness by the Dali Lama.

I wondered if such a person could have really read and understood anything about spiritual wellbeing, coexistence or harmony. The thought confused an already befuddled and hung-over mind and I decided, socially acceptable escape route or no I was leaving.

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