I Will Not Be Cold

Thursday morning was cool, with precipitation ranging from mist to downpour. I wore layers to my yoga class, forgetting that truism of weather--being in a car is warmer than being outdoors, even when there's no sun. Plus, my body thermostat likes to jump around at times. Let's just say that all in all I was plenty warm on the drive in.

When I got to class, I dove for the spot in back row in front of the open window, thrilled that it (the spot, as well as the window) was still open. The teacher offered to close the window if I were cold, but I said, "Oh, no; I'm hot and like the breeze." She suggested I wear a blanket as a shawl for the beginning part of the class, while we do the sit/center-ourselves part, because I wouldn't be moving around. Fine.

So I was readying myself for class, blanket and all, and another woman in class said, "You're going to be so cold if she doesn't close that window."

I said, "Uh, no, I'm fine. In fact, I enjoy the open window. I'm warm."

"Oh, no, you'll be freezing."

I didn't say anything else, but I was pretty sure a. I wouldn't be cold and 2. if I were I would be able to speak up and/or close the window and iii. maybe this other woman was the one who was cold.

There followed a round-robin discussion among the other students and the teacher, with no one owning up to wanting the window closed, until finally a woman said, "Could it be partway closed?" and I thought hallelujah.

I was reminded of the incident again on Friday in relation to an ongoing frustration I have with my own fiction. I'm really good at getting people, er, characters, to sit around a table drinking coffee and saying what this story is about.

But in real life, people often don't "own" how they feel or what they want--and it's even more rare when they say it. Whether they're prevented by politeness or habit (or maybe it really is an intense desire to annoy me), they just don't. People often don't say what they really think, or want, or need. I'm repeating that because I forget, though I'm sure I do it myself, too.

That Goldilocks sure knew when something was too hot or too cold. Fortunately, the yoga class itself was worthy of Baby Bear: just right.