Last night, while doing the laundry, I had a chance to use my VSD....
I think VSD worked. I still have my teeth.....tongue in cheek (ever notice how uncertain of spelling we can be once we go to post, but perfect when reading the posts of others?
Koreatown, Sunday night, about 8 pm.....I am outside the laundry place, kicking back in my car waiting for the clothes....some guys are unloading a slew of Karoake equipment.
One of the guys, an older gentleman, is standing pretty close to me (about five feet away) while I am in my car (I have my foot out the window in a rather relaxed posture). He starts to pull out his cell phone and I trun up the music, not too loud, but loud enough so I am not forced to lsiten to his cell phone conversation. He is close enough to my personal space, that while I dont really feel threatened yet, I am annoyed that I am about to be forced to deal with his cell phone conversation while he pretends that I dont exist (most folks who use cell phones in your vicinity pretend you dont exist and sit there and talk at any volume level they feel confortable with
When he gets off the phone, I turn the radio back to the level it started at (it was never especially) loud, but loud enough to almost make the statement (I do exist, and I dont want to be forced to listen to your call, I was listening to the radio).
Soon some parking spaces open up making one available for these people delivering their equipment (the guy on the phone is with them). I gesture to the gentleman with the phone that there is now a parking space available. I am trying to be accomodating, open etc.
He comes over to the car, puts his hand in my my face (figuratively)-a spear hand to be exact and holds it out there within inches of my face and say, "you American, You die!"
I did not quite understand or pretended to not understand. "I am sorry," I say, not so sorry, but more attempting to defuse. My gestures at this point are concilliatory, non-threatening, but I definitely want to get my hands up so that if anything happens, I will be ready. I did a lot of head bowing, to give respect, or at least to attempt to show that I had no need to dominate, while repeating my, "Sorry" routine.
The two of us were not alone. Two of the folks who were moving equipment were maintaining postures and facial expressions that were not backing up his aggressive ones. He repeated the, "You American, You die" statement a few times and then slowly moved toward getting in his car. One of the two observers (movers) came to me to defuse, saying, "he is a crazy man" and "he is just drunk, dont worry about him"
I would sure like to say that VSD worked in this situation, but since I know not what his intentions were, I am not quite prepared to declare victory.
Suppose I came back to the bar about midnight, after he has had a few more rounds, his friends maybe are not there to discourage him, and I dont see my VSD working so effectively.
Interestingly, the korean witnesses helped defuse the situation as well as help me get over my adrenaline rush. Sensei Darrow, I did my best not to drink the drink, although this notion I only learned of following the situation.
Regardless of whether or not you think I was successful in my use of VSD, I very much think that participating in this forum has helped me respond well to these situations. Maybe I could have done better, but at least I knew what I was trying to accomplish. By having the goals and strategies laid out on the table, it was easier to not get baited and thus avoid.
As I spent the next 10 - 15 minutes working off the adrenaline rush, coming down, heart rate coming back to normal, I found myself doing the dance inside my head. Should I have closed the window of the car? I let him get inside my guard and stay there for an extended period of time? He could have easily slapppped my face and I would not have been able to stop him (slaps to the face should be recognized for the death blow that they are to a man's fragile psyche-sarcasm rearing its ugly head again)
The self doubt, alternative scenarios going through my mind repeatedly were easier to deal with after having spent some time on this forum. I could not stop the self scrutiny, but at least I understood it. Understanding made it easier. Not easy. But definitely easier.
What do you suppose was the significance of the initial interaction with the cell phone and the car radio? We are talking total conjecture at this point!
Thank you Sensei Mattson, moderators, participants, and dont forget the lurkers. God bless ya all.