I have a first-day-of-class ritual.
I arrive early to scope out the seats. I find a chair, far away from any air vents, centrally located on the first row, where the professor can take note of my perfect attendance and that is where I sit for the remainder of the semester.
(I’ve already admitted to being a Goody-Two Shoes, ok?)
I’ve discovered that most people will sit in the same seat all semester (though the majority of them haven’t put the thought I have into it) and I usually arrive at class early, so keeping my seat usually isn’t a problem.
However, one class, one girl (who I will call “Lane”) decided that she wanted to make me sit in a different seat.
And so the battle began.
One day, Lane walked in class just a step ahead of me. She dropped her bag by My Chair and stood in front of it, talking to someone across the table.
So, naturally, I squeezed in behind her and sat down.
The class got a kick out of that.
Once, Lane did succeed in stealing My Chair.
I saw her riding her bike to class. I ran to try and beat her, but I knew it was useless. I watched helplessly as she parked her bike and walked in, not even noticing me, several paces away.
I kept cool.
I walked into class, looking calm, frosty and deadly. I didn’t even glance at My Chair. I sat across from Lane.
I stared directly at her.
I did not crack.
I did break silence eventually, and said something about some men just wanting to watch the world burn. (Some smart aleck, either not getting the Batman reference or just wanting to be difficult, pointed out that she wasn’t a man. Whatever.)
Anyway, a minute or two later, she had to leave to print something, so I ended up with My Chair after all.
In fact, I sat in My Chair all semester. Until the very last day.
When Lane walked in, there was a note at My Chair:
You fought well. Happy end of the semester!
Lots of Love,
I sat in a chair (no capitalization) on the opposite side of the table.
Another girl in our class told her, “I hope you realize that that is the most sincere gift of love you are ever going to get.”
I did want to show Lane that our battle was all good-natured. (And I won!)
But I wanted to show something else, too – things change. People always move forward, whether they want to or not.
And I accept that.
Besides, sitting in the exact same chair at the exact same time over and over? Wouldn’t that be like insanity?