My wife and I went to a charity event tonight, which included a silent auction. I don’t buy very much, but I like pumping up the prices on undervalued items, and sometimes winning one.
As the clock ticked down on the auction and people stood guard, protecting potential purchases like vultures guarding their meal, I noticed a neighbor hovering over a bid sheet for two tickets to an upcoming concert.
Now she and her husband and I had a difference of opinion a few years ago involving money and their not wanting to do the neighborly thing and pay for half of a repair. And though we speak to each other, no one is going to the other’s house for dinner, dessert and a game of strip Uno.
Here was my chance for mischief and mayhem and a little neighborly payback.
The concert tickets she wanted were at $150 and I could tell she was excited about her chances of winning them.
I spent 10 minutes thinking about what to do, fighting back my inner desire to walk over and bid up the tickets by at least $100. Or, bid it up by $200 and make her outbid me or walk away angry, leaving me with the tickets to use or sell, and a $350 tax deduction.
How high would I go just to mess with them?
But I didn’t. I did a good deed (my definition), and gave her a pass by not bumping up the tickets.
She and her husband will never know I tossed them a bone of kindness and let them go to the concert for the low, low price of $150, which is a better experience than going when the tickets cost you $255 or $355, or more, because your asshole neighbor bid up the price.
It was a hard decision not to start a bidding game of chicken, with the winner being me and the charity. But I’m getting soft and doughy in the head as I get older.
I haven’t even felt like arguing with people online these days. Very odd. Have I lost my edge?
I try to do the right thing each day – say the right thing – and be a good person. But it’s not easy. Sometimes I’d just like to let it rip – unleash the conflict hounds – feel fearless, and not be satisfied with the taste of shit.