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How Can Someone with an Aversion to Cold Winters Survive All Our Weather Seasons?

by Anthony Chan 8 months ago in Embarrassment

Cold, Cold Go Away

Photo by Hello Lightbulb on Unsplash.com

By escaping, whenever possible like Houdini to warm climates during the peak winter months --- survival is possible!

Brayden and his wife Brianne vacationed with us as couples (during the winter months) to Honolulu for several weeks each year to escape the cold inclement weather. We pursued this annual tradition for almost a decade until his wife passed away.

However, even though our vacations were magical every year, I now worried that replicating that experience would become somewhat of a challenge after Brianne's passing. So, when Brayden recently asked me to go to Hawaii for a week on a guy’s trip, my mind went into overdrive trying to figure out a way to decline his offer without making him think our friendship had changed simply because Brianne had passed away.

The first thing that came to mind was to utter a little white lie and tell him I couldn’t go because I hadn’t received my Covid-19 vaccinations and didn’t want to put my health at risk. Although, our friendship remained solid, the thought of spending 7 days with a grieving person at a moment’s notice, when I was currently working on a consulting project that would have to be put on hold, was definitely not an attractive proposition.

Brayden also reminded me that he had booked a large room with an extra bed in the living room that I could use at no charge if I kept him company. Of course, he persisted and worked very hard to convince me. It should therefore come as no surprise that as I fell asleep that night with an abundance of guilt, I had a bad nightmare and woke up in the middle of the night, to a vision of a human spirit walking from my room into my adjoining bathroom.

Although, I will never know whether I really saw a real spirit or if was my imagination playing tricks on me --- the sighting felt as real as a heart attack. To be sure, the ghost proceeded to shake her head almost in disbelief and pointed towards her stomach. My quick assumption was that this ghost which resembled Brayden’s deceased wife was signaling her discontent with my disposition and was trying to get me to change my mind and take the trip with her surviving husband.

Still why was this ghost pointing towards her stomach? Maybe, she was trying to tell me that based on her gut feeling, I should quickly accept Brayden’s offer. I will never know for sure, but the experience left me so shaken, that I called Brayden the next morning and quickly accepted his trip offer.

Interestingly, despite his aggressive lobbying, Brayden now seemed surprised by my sudden change of heart, prompting him to ask, “Are you no longer worried about catching Covid-19?

Of course, I was at a loss for words and out of respect for Brianne --- I neglected to tell him that a late-night spiritual sighting had swayed my decision. And since it was too late to change my vaccine story, I simply told him that I would take the trip and get vaccinated upon my return.

As the day of the trip arrived, my instincts told me this would either be a fabulous or disastrous trip. After all, this was the first time in my life that I had made a decision based on the lobbying efforts of a spirit!

When I landed in Honolulu, I learned that my bags failed to be loaded on time in one of my connecting cities which meant at least a 24-hour delay before receiving my belongings.

Was this a sign of bad things to come or just a coincidence?

Next, when we arrived at our rented condo, we both learned that things had changed, as the room only had a single bed instead of two individual beds as previously advertised.

“Sorry, we ran out of condos with two beds,” the condo administrator told us. Moreover, the administrator pointed towards the fine print in the contract which revealed that, “extra beds are solely based on availability and not guaranteed.” Sadly, the room fee was also non-refundable which gave us few options.

At this point, I began to develop a very bad feeling about this trip. Still, I proceeded to convince myself that I was letting my imagination play tricks with my mind.

The room arrangement meant that I had to sleep in the same bed with my friend. And although, the arrangement was a bit awkward the first night --- we both seem to adjust by the second night. Again, not a big deal, but another wrinkle in our otherwise perfect vacation.

Paying My Fair Share

To ensure an equitable arrangement, I offered to pay for most of our joint restaurant meal expenses since he was paying for the room. But by the third day, Brayden decided the arrangement was a bit unfair to me and decided that he would pay for at least some of our restaurant meals.

So as the waiter came by with the bill, he insisted on paying which prompted me to whip my credit card out with lightning speed. Unfortunately, as I did this, my wallet flew in the air along with many of its contents which prompted Brayden to quickly help me collect the contents of my wallet.

And then time suddenly stopped as he picked up a card that had fallen out of my wallet along with my other credit cards. It was my vaccination card that revealed the dates that I had received both of my Covid-19 vaccine doses.

Blood drained from my face as my level of embarrassment reached unimaginable levels! I wanted to die and disappear because I knew that our friendship would suffer from this violation of trust arising from my earlier statement that I did not want to travel with him because I hadn’t received the vaccine.

At this point, he shrugged his shoulders and told me he understood that since his wife passed away, that there were probably few 63-year-old guys out there that would want to spend time with an 86-year-old widow!

This was not only one of the most embarrassing moments in my life but also one of my most painful experiences as I vividly witnessed how much I had hurt my friend! At this point, I knew that nothing that I could say or do would erase my embarrassment or the pain I had caused him.

Moral of the Story

Whenever, anyone faces a difficult decision with a close friend or family member, always bite the bullet and avoid deception because the embarrassment and fallout from a white lie is often disproportionate to any benefit from concealing the truth. Our trip was on day 3 of our 7-day adventure, and everyone should know that the remaining 4 days involved a lot of groveling that could have been avoided if only I had been honest with my friend, Brayden.

Embarrassment

Anthony Chan

Chan Economics LLC, Public Speaker

Chief Global Economist & Public Speaker JPM Chase ('94-'19).

Senior Economist Barclays ('91-'94)

Economist, NY Federal Reserve ('89-'91)

Econ. Prof. (Univ. of Dayton, '86-'89)

Ph.D. Economics

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