Over my long years, I’ve had many images of myself. The one that’s hung around the longest is of this nice little Buddhist guy, at peace with the world and everyone in it, simply being love. Well, I am love … my bones tell me so.
But what if a Mack truck is barreling down on me? Or somebody wants to strip my home of all its furniture? Do I simply bow and say “Thy will be done”?
Part of me is a warrior, brandishing a sword in defense of myself and others. Right now, it’s me that comes to mind.
In our pre-Covid life of 2019, I planned two glorious trips to see women play tennis in 2020 – to Montreal and New York City. I booked a hotel in Canada and an Airbnb in the USA. This spring, the Quebec Government cancelled all professional sporting events and a bit later the Canadian Government closed our border with American friends, plus the US Open said “no spectators”.
After the sadness came the resolve to get my $2200 back. No lying down in the middle of the road. So began two journeys – two months with Airbnb and five with Expedia. I probably phoned the Montreal hotel twenty times and reached a human being twice. Neither time the manager. At the end of most of my voice mails, I asked the manager to phone me. Nope. Valiant Expedia reps dialed the hotel over and over. The manager was never in. Really nice people at Expedia said that they were escalating my case to a higher department and so-and-so would phone me within ______ days. No higher-ups ever phoned. Twice I sent to Expedia a copy of an e-mail in which the hotel manager agreed to refund my money but no one at the travel company could ever find that e-mail.
There are more details about those five months, and less dramatically the two months with Airbnb, but I’m not going for “poor me” here. There’s another story.
I hadn’t realized what a determined son-of-my-mother I was. I’d look in the mirror and see a dog who wouldn’t let that bone go. Nothing would stop me, including the approximate fifteen hours I spent glued to my phone. So there was the fierceness walking hand-in-hand with the equanimity. Does this make me schizophrenic? No, but as Walt Whitman said long ago, “I am inconsistent. I contain multitudes.”
I now have $2200 that had gone AWOL for months. My head is held high. And I have fond memories of Expedia reps who so much wanted to help. As for the hotel manager, and whoever in the Expedia Corporate Department let me fall through the cracks …