John Y’s Musings from the Middle: How Grownups Behave

How grown-ups behave. When they have to.

My business partners and I last week sat down to make a presentation to a potential client. As we were getting started I began thinking what would be a nice topic to open the meeting on as I excitedly gave in to my nervous habit of twisting back and forth in my chair (when I am sitting in a chair that allows twisting).

It’s a nervous energy thing.

I was doing some supporting commentary on a news show about a year ago and one of my daughter’s teachers saw me. Her comment to Maggie the next day was something along the lines of, “I saw your father last night on television. He did a nice job but I almost got woozy watching him twist back and forth in his chair the entire show. He must have Attention Deficit Disorder.” They both laughed.

And I was up to my old ways again as our business meeting opened. But not for long. I hit a snag or brake of sorts–but wasn’t sure what it was. I turned and saw my partner’s hand steadying the chair. She whispered to me, “You are twisting.” I didn’t understand at first but then thanked her for the heads up. Of course, I was thinking to myself, “I kinda like to twist in my chair.” It helps calm my nervousness in some odd distracting way. But it also appears a little sophomoric to others and can have even more severe effects on those prone to motion sickness. So I did the mature thing and stopped.

jyb_musingsUntil it was my turn to speak.

I figured since I had the floor it would be more difficult for Laura (see post below) subtly to subdue my nervous movements. So I twisted just enough to satisfy the little boy in me that wanted to have his way and calm himself down —but not enough for Laura to feel it necessary to steady me from seeming childlike.

We make a good team in that way.

We made a nice presentation even though I forgot to wear a tie, which Laura reminded me of in the parking lot. I joked I used to keep a tie in the car but hate tying them and just wish they still sold clip-ons, which are a lot less complicated to figure out.

Right now I’m twisting back and forth in my chair at home as I type. And am making bigger swings than usual since it’s the weekend and no one can see me. And on Monday I’ll have to start acting more like a grown-up again.


Laura Emberton Owens is an extraordinary Kentuckian committed to serving her state in a variety of ways.

She’s a lady who has an abundance of charm, intelligence, and beauty (both inside and out) who is devoted to her family and community and who I have the great good fortune to call my business partner.

Here’s a wonderful piece posted about her on a national blog last week that captures beautifully her personality and love of life–and her knack for leaving everyone she meets a little better off than she found them.


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