The other day I was driving into the mall. I know, the beginning of a scary story. I go into a one way entrance and this woman flies up the wrong way and almost hits me. I hit my horn and motion she is going the wrong way. She sits and stares at me. She doesn't move. I can't go back because I will be backing out, um the wrong way, into oncoming traffic. So we sit there. I again motion she needs to go back. She flips me off. It was....succinct. I finally manage to pull around her and in a moment of delightful maturity and grace on my part, I blew her a big kiss and stuck out my tongue. Seriously. Sometimes I don't get myself. Looking back, I am pretty sure she was embarrassed and froze. I could have had a little more grace.
Fast forward two nights ago, I was hot, tired, and decided to take the kids out for ice cream. You MUST understand something. I don't eat ice cream, cake, pie, and the like. When I say it is a rare treat believe me it does not happen often. Well, my order was not what I wanted and gross. I took it back and met the stereotypical Apathetic Teenager. Wouldn't replace it. Didn't care. Too bad so sad for Mrs. I want an ice cream I might actually enjoy eating. Again, that maturity surged to the rescue and I had a minor tantrum. (Can an adult have a MINOR tantrum or are they all pretty MAJORLY stupid??) Over ice cream. I had a tantrum over ice cream in front of my children. Proud, proud moment.
Yesterday, I went to the library. I had dropped my kids off at my parents and just needed to run in quickly. There I stood happily perusing the Bestsellers and this guy comes up out of nowhere to berate me for taking two parking places and being selfish so I wouldn't get a dent. (Right, because you know I protect the old Kia Sorrento like the luxury car it is.)I am standing there just looking at him thinking, did I? Does the library parking lot even have lines? I told him,"Sir I am sorry if I took up two places. I truly didn't mean too and if I inconvienced you I am truly sorry." His reply was pretty cool, "You are NOT sorry and you do NOT care. People are so selfish!" And he stormed off. I decided he was a crazy man and obviously his mental health care provider would be along soon to collect him.
As I continued with my book search, I thought of the past couple of days. I thought of my chidish sticking out of the tongue incident. I thought of my tantrum. I thought that in either situation if I had given grace or if they ice cream guy had given me a little grace how much better the incident could have went for everyone. Grace is not something we deserve. It is a present we give other people. I thought about the crazy man. Most likely he was having a horrible day and an innocent incident on my part set him off past what he could deal with. I made my decision.
I went over to him. He glared. I said, "Sir, I truly am sorry if my actions have upset your day. I have a 2 and 3 year old so dents and scratches are so far down on my list of concerns it is actually nonexistence. If I took up two spaces it was out of carelessness. I did not mean it."
He looks at me sheepishly, "Well, I am sure you didn't mean it. It could happen to anyone. I am sure I have done it without realizing it. Thank you for apologizing." I left him smiling and looking remarkably more peaceful.
I walked out to the parking lot with peace in my heart. I had chosen the better path and I felt right about it. My heart felt free and lighter.
The first thing I noticed was the library parking lot does NOT have lines. The second thing I saw was my suv sitting very straight, door opening width apart from the car next to me. The third thing I saw was the suv next to mine sitting completely, utterly, and without excuse diagonally across the implied spaces. I laughed alot.