Dangerous Compassions

what went wrong


Hello, how are you doing?  I would like to pause my normal attitude of gratitude to tell you what went wrong.  Thank you for hearing my pain.

what went wrong

We went to a restaurant we really like here in Ojai.  But we were waiting in line a long time.  Then they opened another line, but a family cut in front of us.  Wow!

Then a white guy was super angry saying, “I’ve been waiting for 40 minutes!”  The worker who was finally taking our order kept breaking away to try to pacify the angry white guy.  So we placed our order three times.  The worker was angry in response.

Then we tried to sit at a table, but a middle aged white lady was on her phone talking really loud, trying to get her friend to help her with something she was frustrated about.  It involved an audiobook.  She was basically yelling at her friend.

“No, if you don’t have time, don’t help me now!” she yelled into her phone.  “I just…”  Complain complain complain.

I’d brought in headphones to wear.  But I was still totally disturbed and overwhelmed by the conversation.  She had a bunch of paperwork in front of her, and I kept thinking the phone call would be over, but it wasn’t.

burrito problem

We switched to another table further away.  My burrito arrived, and I was sad because it was missing a key component.  I wanted that particular burrito comfort.  I was dismayed and disheartened.  Then I felt like the angry complaining white guy, which made me hate myself, which added insult to injury.

Then the cook was complaining to a farmer.  “Hormigas!  Hormigas!” she said to the farmer, but he didn’t understand.  She stormed outside.

“How do you say hormigas in English?” she asked someone outside.

“Ants!” she said to the farmer, storming back in.  “The flowers are full of ants!”  There were buckets of sunflowers, small and large.

“Oh, ok,” the farmer said.

Then she was complaining about the onions, showing him an issue with one of the onions in the box.

“No, these are from my farm,” he said.  “They’re fine.  In the kitchen, you just peel it back–it’s good.”

chile relleno

“Blu buu bluublu!” a stranger said to me, about Ming’s food.  It was a chile relleno.

“What did you say?” I asked, pulling away my headphones.

“That looks good!” she repeated, gesturing toward Ming’s food.  He was not at the table, at the moment.

I didn’t know what to say–Ming had eaten zero bites of his chile relleno.  “Yeah, he hasn’t tried it yet.  It does look good!” was the answer I chose to say.  The stranger seemed satisfied and left.


I was working on a blog post, and my computer suddenly died.  I knew the battery was close to empty, but I was typing–my screen went black.  Then a red battery symbol was in the middle of the screen.

“Ugggh!’ I said to Ming, turning my laptop to face him, right as the battery symbol blinked off.


A lot of people were in bad moods that day!

If someone is wearing headphones in a public place, maybe they have sensory issues or some other disability.  Consider leaving them alone.  (Someone also asked me if I was using the hot sauce on our table, and I had to take my headphones off to hear her too.)

Don’t have loud, stressful phone calls in a busy restaurant and make everyone listen to you.

Be kind to the workers if they take too long, making your order.  Your angry demands will cause problems that ripple out, as the workers all get distracted and out of sorts from your entitled bullshit.

Ants are all over the place.

thank you

Ming is the hero of this post.  He went above and beyond, helping me many times during this difficult restaurant experience.  Thank you for helping us change tables, carrying my computer, getting me delicious cold water, ordering me a second burrito (which also didn’t arrive as ordered), and being sympathetic about the computer running out of juice.  You are the best!

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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