The Power of Positive Thinking I have a friend, well, as much as someone can be a friend who you only bump into once every decade or so, who is into the power of positive thinking. He has spent thousands attending Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Wayne Dyer and TD Bishop seminars. He has walked on coals, which to me has more to do with the power of physics and thermodynamics than positive thinking, and all the other hoopla connected with this movement. If it helps him find happiness, more power to him. He has even led a seminar or two, albeit on a minor level. As he related this to me, he mentioned that my name pops up in his talks. Now I had the natural internal Norwegian reaction to this revelation, “Okay, this is bad.” Still, he went on, “I doubt you remember this but when we were in high school, your friends and you bumped into us at McDonald’s in campus town.” Yes, I remembered it. He attended another school, but we knew each other from sports. I even named his four or five friends that were sitting at the table with him that Saturday night. “Remember that gorgeous blonde?” He asked. “Yes,” I chuckled. “I tell people how you marched right over to her friends and her, whispered something in her ear, and next thing everyone knew you two were going home together. Power of positive thinking, my friend, power of positive thinking. I have always wondered what you said to her,” he said. Yes, I remember that evening very well.  I was dressed in my blue jeans, Nikes, football belt, plastic Luther College red sweat t-shirt, and black letterman jacket. Thick glasses, back then the bigger the glasses the better, three or four mammoth zits on my forehead, I was only surprised someone had not attempted to climb them and plant a flag on the summit, and hair so thick, oily, and unmanageable that it would literally jam my barber’s clippers. I even had a nice light bruise under my eye from a fistfight a few weeks earlier. In other words, total babe magnet. My friends I had spent the evening doing what we did every weekend, drove around looking for something to do. Having decided to take a break from this exciting pursuit we had decided to stop at McDonald’s and get whatever we could to eat and drink from the change in an ashtray. Low and behold there were some guys we knew from another school sitting at a table. They were all staring like a dog looking at a butcher shop window at this earthshaking blonde coed and her two friends sitting on the other side of the restaurant. This was the kind of woman that could have been in the pages of a glossy magazine like Playboy. Amazing looking to say the least. On a scale of one to ten, she was a twelve, and that is subtracting a point or two as to not make other women feel bad about themselves. There is nothing more horrifying and delusional than listening to a bunch of teenage boys talk about an attractive woman.  It is part rams butting heads to prove their masculinity mixed with a sad pathetic commentary of how little men truly understand the opposite sex. As our president has shown, thankfully this thinking usually stops when men reach their seventies. I was not above such thinking at that age. I remember years earlier driving up to visit a brother at his school after I had discovered that he had broken up with his high school girlfriend. I wasn’t going to see him, but to hook up with his beautiful ex. I had a crush on her for years. After putting up with my brother, why wouldn’t she want me? I remember slapping on some Old Spice, because I was cool that way, walking over to her dorm room and thinking she was in for the luckiest day of her life. Granted, she was six years my senior and I had the I.Q. of an inbred albino gorilla, I was a love machine. She met me at her door in a bathrobe. I sat down in a chair. She told me she had something very special for me. I thought, of course you do. She walked behind me. I thought about how in the hills of Mexico, corridos would be devoted to the legend of me. We clearly had chemistry after all. She then dropped a plate of cookies in my lap, rubbed my head like I was the five-year-old she got to babysit, and said, “Enjoy, little fella.” But that was years ago, I was more mature now. So, these guys kept on commenting on how amazing this young woman was. I did not say very much, mainly because at that age I sounded like I gargled with rocks. The funny thing about such conversations is nobody does anything at all. All that crude talk and he-man testosterone splashing around, and nothing happens.  Finally, I could not take it any longer and said, “You are all a bunch of wimps. I bet I could get up right now, walk across this restaurant, sit down with those girls, and within five minutes the blonde will take me home.” It was then they all gave me a look like I should be hanging out in a bell tower, crying, “Sanctuary, sanctuary, sanctuary!” “Believe what you want, I’m just telling you what is going to happen,” I said. There were some scoffs that she must have gone to my school. I shook my head no. My best friend quickly testified that he had never seen her before in his life. He knew everyone I did and he did not know someone that attractive. They all told me to do it. I told them I was not going to waste my incredible talent with the ladies unless there was some cash involved. It was a simple bet. If I got this girl to take me home, I got anything they bet. My friend would stay behind to collect. If I failed with this vixen, well, I would pay them the bet.  My friend whispered with a bit of fear in his voice that we only had maybe twenty cents between us, if the ball of lint in his pocket turned out to be a nickel. I waved my hand to discount his fears. “Gentlemen, let’s see your money,” I said leaning onto the table. It should have concerned me a bit how fast they whipped out their cash. Before I knew it, there was a $150 in crumpled bills on the table. This was at a time when I got a $10 allowance, more than enough to take some girl to the movies, but if she thought feeding her was part of the date, I was either walking the ditches for pop cans or she was on her own.  So, $150 was a lot of money! After the cash was counted and handed to my friend, I stood up, put my fists on the table as I leaned over, tapped a finger on my temple, and said, “Remember boys, everything a woman wants is right up here.” I walked across that McDonald’s like I was John Wayne, all the way over to these young women’s table. I probably even winked at them as I sat down, not even waiting to be invited. Everyone at the table I had just left was dying as I sat across from this angel that had fallen to earth. I signaled with my index finger for her to come close to me. She leaned in and I whispered in her ear. We both got up. She put on her coat and hugged me.  It was my Officer and Gentleman moment as I waltzed out of the place with her on my arm. In my mind, although I knew it was not true, there was applause as we walked out into the night together. It clearly had a bigger impact on the other guys present than it did me, as it was being talked about years later. “So, what did you say to her,” he asked.  “Do you really want to know?” I replied. He did. “Okay,” I said, “Here is what you say to get a woman that attractive to take you home. Okay, are you ready?” He nodded like I was about to give manna from heaven. I looked at him in as serious a manner as I could and said, “I whispered, ‘Cousin Sue Ellen, my friends are drunk. Can you drive me home? I’d like to give you a hug for being so nice to me.’” It is easy to be positive when you have an amazing family like I have.   Although I am still not going to give Sue Ellen any of that money if she reads this.
The Power of Positive Thinking I have a friend, well, as much as someone can be a friend who you only bump into once every decade or so, who is into the power of positive thinking. He has spent thousands attending Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Wayne Dyer and TD Bishop seminars. He has walked on coals, which to me has more to do with the power of physics and thermodynamics than positive thinking, and all the other hoopla connected with this movement. If it helps him find happiness, more power to him. He has even led a seminar or two, albeit on a minor level. As he related this to me, he mentioned that my name pops up in his talks. Now I had the natural internal Norwegian reaction to this revelation, “Okay, this is bad.” Still, he went on, “I doubt you remember this but when we were in high school, your friends and you bumped into us at McDonald’s in campus town.” Yes, I remembered it. He attended another school, but we knew each other from sports. I even named his four or five friends that were sitting at the table with him that Saturday night. “Remember that gorgeous blonde?” He asked. “Yes,” I chuckled. “I tell people how you marched right over to her friends and her, whispered something in her ear, and next thing everyone knew you two were going home together. Power of positive thinking, my friend, power of positive thinking. I have always wondered what you said to her,” he said. Yes, I remember that evening very well.  I was dressed in my blue jeans, Nikes, football belt, plastic Luther College red sweat t-shirt, and black letterman jacket. Thick glasses, back then the bigger the glasses the better, three or four mammoth zits on my forehead, I was only surprised someone had not attempted to climb them and plant a flag on the summit, and hair so thick, oily, and unmanageable that it would literally jam my barber’s clippers. I even had a nice light bruise under my eye from a fistfight a few weeks earlier. In other words, total babe magnet. My friends I had spent the evening doing what we did every weekend, drove around looking for something to do. Having decided to take a break from this exciting pursuit we had decided to stop at McDonald’s and get whatever we could to eat and drink from the change in an ashtray. Low and behold there were some guys we knew from another school sitting at a table. They were all staring like a dog looking at a butcher shop window at this earthshaking blonde coed and her two friends sitting on the other side of the restaurant. This was the kind of woman that could have been in the pages of a glossy magazine like Playboy. Amazing looking to say the least. On a scale of one to ten, she was a twelve, and that is subtracting a point or two as to not make other women feel bad about themselves. There is nothing more horrifying and delusional than listening to a bunch of teenage boys talk about an attractive woman.  It is part rams butting heads to prove their masculinity mixed with a sad pathetic commentary of how little men truly understand the opposite sex. As our president has shown, thankfully this thinking usually stops when men reach their seventies. I was not above such thinking at that age. I remember years earlier driving up to visit a brother at his school after I had discovered that he had broken up with his high school girlfriend. I wasn’t going to see him, but to hook up with his beautiful ex. I had a crush on her for years. After putting up with my brother, why wouldn’t she want me? I remember slapping on some Old Spice, because I was cool that way, walking over to her dorm room and thinking she was in for the luckiest day of her life. Granted, she was six years my senior and I had the I.Q. of an inbred albino gorilla, I was a love machine. She met me at her door in a bathrobe. I sat down in a chair. She told me she had something very special for me. I thought, of course you do. She walked behind me. I thought about how in the hills of Mexico, corridos would be devoted to the legend of me. We clearly had chemistry after all. She then dropped a plate of cookies in my lap, rubbed my head like I was the five-year-old she got to babysit, and said, “Enjoy, little fella.” But that was years ago, I was more mature now. So, these guys kept on commenting on how amazing this young woman was. I did not say very much, mainly because at that age I sounded like I gargled with rocks. The funny thing about such conversations is nobody does anything at all. All that crude talk and he-man testosterone splashing around, and nothing happens.  Finally, I could not take it any longer and said, “You are all a bunch of wimps. I bet I could get up right now, walk across this restaurant, sit down with those girls, and within five minutes the blonde will take me home.” It was then they all gave me a look like I should be hanging out in a bell tower, crying, “Sanctuary, sanctuary, sanctuary!” “Believe what you want, I’m just telling you what is going to happen,” I said. There were some scoffs that she must have gone to my school. I shook my head no. My best friend quickly testified that he had never seen her before in his life. He knew everyone I did and he did not know someone that attractive. They all told me to do it. I told them I was not going to waste my incredible talent with the ladies unless there was some cash involved. It was a simple bet. If I got this girl to take me home, I got anything they bet. My friend would stay behind to collect. If I failed with this vixen, well, I would pay them the bet.  My friend whispered with a bit of fear in his voice that we only had maybe twenty cents between us, if the ball of lint in his pocket turned out to be a nickel. I waved my hand to discount his fears. “Gentlemen, let’s see your money,” I said leaning onto the table. It should have concerned me a bit how fast they whipped out their cash. Before I knew it, there was a $150 in crumpled bills on the table. This was at a time when I got a $10 allowance, more than enough to take some girl to the movies, but if she thought feeding her was part of the date, I was either walking the ditches for pop cans or she was on her own.  So, $150 was a lot of money! After the cash was counted and handed to my friend, I stood up, put my fists on the table as I leaned over, tapped a finger on my temple, and said, “Remember boys, everything a woman wants is right up here.” I walked across that McDonald’s like I was John Wayne, all the way over to these young women’s table. I probably even winked at them as I sat down, not even waiting to be invited. Everyone at the table I had just left was dying as I sat across from this angel that had fallen to earth. I signaled with my index finger for her to come close to me. She leaned in and I whispered in her ear. We both got up. She put on her coat and hugged me.  It was my Officer and Gentleman moment as I waltzed out of the place with her on my arm. In my mind, although I knew it was not true, there was applause as we walked out into the night together. It clearly had a bigger impact on the other guys present than it did me, as it was being talked about years later. “So, what did you say to her,” he asked.  “Do you really want to know?” I replied. He did. “Okay,” I said, “Here is what you say to get a woman that attractive to take you home. Okay, are you ready?” He nodded like I was about to give manna from heaven. I looked at him in as serious a manner as I could and said, “I whispered, ‘Cousin Sue Ellen, my friends are drunk. Can you drive me home? I’d like to give you a hug for being so nice to me.’” It is easy to be positive when you have an amazing family like I have.   Although I am still not going to give Sue Ellen any of that money if she reads this.