Looking back my life can best be described as a series of bad first impressions interrupted by moments of social competence.
This happens not because I don't care about what people think or feel, but because I care too much. I see too much. And in my zeal, I put off people when all I want is for everyone else to see what I see.
It's been a hard-fought lesson to learn that confrontation is not only a poor persuasion technique, it's aggressively counter-productive.
I'm definitely still working on this.
At the same time, however, those that know me well know that when I'm confrontational, I'm engaged. I'm negotiating for a different outcome, albeit doing it badly. All my Italian flamboyance and bombast isn't anger, it's frustration.
In print it may be funny or inspiring but in person it's simply scary and rude. I've mellowed with age, certainly. Thirty years of marriage to the greatest woman in the world will teach you a few things…
…even old dogs like me.
But there is always a limit in every negotiation. There is a moment when all the frustration melts away and becomes anger. Cold, hard, implacable anger. The energy to negotiate dissipates because there is no possible solution.
In this respect I'm just like my dad. We knew the bombast came from shock and processing the situation.
BREAKING: President Biden says his 'patience is wearing thin' with unvaccinated Americans:— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 9, 2021
"What more is there to wait for? What more to do you need to see? We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin and your refusal has cost all of us." pic.twitter.com/XcALP2MrQB