"Our perceived enemy's ability to inflict harm on us is really quite limited. If someone challenges us and we can muster the inner discipline to resist retaliating, it is possible that, no matter what that person has done, those actions do not disturb us." -THE DALAI LAMA
Laura calls me back. I have a bad feeling about this. From my previous conversation with her (during which she repeated the same things over and over, and I ended up yelling at her), I realize that she is neither sympathetic to my situation nor interested in finding a way to help me. I do not trust Laura to have made my case. She claims to have spoken to the owner of the gym, who has insisted that I present proof of a change of address or hotel reservations for my entire trip in order to put my membership on hold.
"As I've told you," I respond, "I'll be on vacation. I won't be staying at hotels the whole time and I'm not changing my address. Do you want affidavits from the friends I'll be staying with?"
"I don't think that will work," Laura chirps.
I am glad not to be standing anywhere near Laura, because my inner bully is quickly rising to the surface; I try not to hiss.
"What if I bring in receipts from all the restaurants I eat in and dance lessons I take, all my movie ticket stubs, museum entry tickets, subway fares, and everything else I do while I'm gone; will THAT be sufficient to prove that I will be out of the country?"
"No, because you need to give us everything before you go, and the receipts would be after the fact," she chirps perkily.
I am quite certain that I am foaming at the mouth. "How about if I give you a copy of my plane ticket and reservations for hotels at the beginning and end of my trip?"
"I'll have to check with the owner," she perks chirpily.
I am most certainly foaming at the brain; however, I do my utmost to reply sweetly, perkily, and chirpily: "Okay. Please do that" -- while secretly calling upon evil spirits to haunt and torture Laura for the rest of her life and beyond. (I know that there are probably no evil spirits or that they won't be listening, but I can dream, can't I? Or, perhaps, Laura IS an evil spirit...?)
My mind is running wild with revenge fantasies, little ways I can take my frustrations out on Laura. The Dalai Lama would not approve.
I've actually already decided that I am not going to pay the $25.00 "Hold Fee" (equal to what I pay for my monthly membership), when I'll be returning two weeks into the next month's hold and will be refused entry to my zumba classes for the second half of August. I'm also convinced that Laura is going to come back to me with another negative response, anyway.
Two weeks pass. Laura has not called, and I will not confront her. My ire has subsided, my inner discipline restored. Hello, Dalai!