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A Tale of Two Stories

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on February 11, 2016 7:30 AM

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I booked tickets for my son and I to go and see Cirque du Soleil in downtown LA, and here are two versions of what happened. While we can't change events, we can change how we react to them, so which story works better for you?

We leave the house at 3:00 to get to the event at 4:30. It’s Friday and rush hour, but we should be fine. There is traffic. Everyone is driving crazily. No one will let me in as I try and get on the freeway. The traffic doesn’t move, and my blood pressure is getting higher and higher. What is wrong with Los Angeles? We are heading downtown-shouldn’t everyone be leaving on Friday afternoon?

Put in the directions to the Staples Center – a major arena downtown - in my navigation. It doesn’t have anything about parking. The stupid system takes me into major traffic – one lane is closed for road construction. I am not going to let that car in front. He tried to cut in front of me and that is not going to happen on my watch.

I can’t find the parking. The road on the GPS is one way. Stupid navigation. I pull into a parking lot. It’s only $10. Not bad. I park and then the guy says you can only park until 6:00. I am sure it said park here for the Staples Center. Why can’t people get things right?

I go around the block twice, hit the construction twice, then find a place to park. It is right in front of the Staples Center. Lucky! I pay the guy $20. It's kind of expensive, but we are here.

Get my son unattached from his games on the phone and we try and get in. All the doors are closed. This is ridiculous. What is up? I look at my tickets. The event is at Dodgers Stadium, not the Staples Center. That is across town, and we are at 4:15.  We are going to be late. How could I be so dumb? I always get things like this messed up.

We get on the freeway again and everywhere is jammed. Traffic, traffic and more traffic. We have five minutes to get there in time. I turn off, and the entrance is closed. I do an illegal U turn and drive around in circles trying to find an entrance.  My navigation is no help apart from encouraging me to make a left which would end up with me driving into oncoming traffic!

Finally we get there. We are about 20 minutes late. I am stressed, tired and annoyed.  Why didn’t I stay at home and watch Netflix?

OR

We leave the house at 3:00 to get to the event at 4:30. It’s Friday rush hour, but we should be fine. There is traffic. Everyone is driving crazily, but my son is happy with his game and I am just going with the flow – OK well with the lack of flow. Even though the traffic doesn’t seem to move, it is actually getting there. It’s strange how there is so much traffic going into downtown but it’s not worth worrying about. 

Put the directions to the Staples Center – a major arena downtown - into my navigation. It doesn’t have anything about parking. The system takes me into major traffic – one lane is closed for road construction – but someone lets me in and we are back on track. I let a car go in front—it’s okay; none of us are going anywhere very fast. One more is not going to make a difference.

 I can’t find the parking, but then I pull into a parking lot. It’s only $10. Not bad. I park and then the guy says you can only park until 6:00. Okay, I need to find another place.

I go around the block twice, hit the construction twice, then find a place to park. It is right in front of the Staples Center. Lucky!  I pay the guy $20.

It’s strange all the doors are closed. Then I look at my tickets. The event is at Dodgers Stadium, not the Staples Center. That is across town and we are at 4:15. I start laughing. It shows how much I know about sporting venues in LA – they all seem the same to me. Okay, let’s see what time we can get there. We’ll be fine.

We get on the freeway again and everywhere is jammed. We have five minutes to get there in time, but now I am just focused on getting there safely. We will get there when we get there. I turn off, but the entrance is closed.  I do a U turn and try a few directions before I find an entrance.

We get there. We are only about 20 minutes late. The people show us to our seats – they are great. We sit back and enjoy the show. My son is in heaven, and I am relaxing after our adventure getting there.

What’s the point of me telling you this? We can’t change events, but we can change how we react to those events. So, which of these stories do you prefer? Or would you make up your own story? The point is that we are making it up all the time, so why not make up some good stories?

Image: Hernán Piñera/Flickr

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