I think the world is so much easier to deal with if you just pretend that everyone else is an alien. I mean, when you go to a restaurant, instead of deluding yourself that you have anything in common with the other patrons, just imagine that you're basically at the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars.
The regular nightly crowd at the neighborhood Chili's.
It works! I often get frustrated with other patrons. Like, I stare at them and wonder who taught them that it was cool to go out in public in a ratty old Corona tank-top, the kind that show off the rib-cage. You know you love them. Right. Completely. So sexy to see that arm-pit hair.
Or my favorite is when conversation is impossible due to the nearby table of drunken women talking at the top of their lungs and laughing obscenely at EVERYthing.
But when I pretend the loud strangers next to me are from the planet Skaro, suddenly they're no longer a nuisance. I just laugh and all is well.
Skaro: Home of the Daleks AND the offensively loud aliens at the neighboring table.
This method not only works for eating at restaurants (where I first learned this Jedi-method), but almost anywhere in public. It's particularly fitting at Wal-Mart, the only place I'll currently buy groceries because of the astronomical savings. What I DON'T love about Wal-Mart is the creeping sense that I'm the only one there from planet Earth.
When I apply my everyone-is-an-alien coping mechanism, I really AM the only one from earth. And suddenly, it all makes sense. This is actually the ONLY time the crowds at Wal-Mart make sense, in fact. They're all aliens. So it's totally normal for people to swipe their carts at you and make snide remarks when you park your cart in front of the apples....because, you're getting apples....and of course they're annoyed. They're Klingons. They get pissed about EVERYTHING.
"No, I will not battle you for twenty Gala apples, there's more over there. It's cool. There's more apples. Put away that bat'leth, please," I find myself saying quite often, and not just about apples, mind you.
I only wish that I'd learned this life-saving trick back when I was going to indie-band shows and other very crowded venues. I would have been so much cheerier, especially when I finally got a view of the stage and some tall dude suddenly positioned himself in front of me. Rather than cursing him out beneath my breath, I would have just laughed and said, "This always happens when Wookiees come to shows," and found another spot.
And then Han said to me, "You wanna get out of here?" And I said, "Yeah." And he punched the Wookiee in the face and we left. We ended up at a nice little coffee shop where there weren't any Wookiees blocking my view. All in all, it turned out to be a good night because I'd met this gorgeous smuggler. Well, I didn't know he was a smuggler at the time. All I knew was that he looked good in knee-high boots and in those pants with a stripe on the side. And he had this smirk. You know the kind. The kind you want to kiss. All this happened because a Wookiee was blocking my view at the Minus the Bear show. Life is crazy like that. And perfect. Han and I are still together, if you want to know.*
This is gold, this method. Use it. Use it well. And remember, all of us really are from completely different universes.
*"How My Life Was Turned Upside Down by a Wookiee" by Nicole Grotepas