Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Parking Lot Lesson

Ah, home!

It's so nice to be back in Tulsa. I love being in Plano with my family- but as I mentioned yesterday, I love being in my house, too. There's always a nice sigh of relief when you pull up and the house is still intact. No earthquakes, tornados or gusty winds tore it away!

Because, we all know that's completely possible in Oklahoma.

When I got home, I ran up to Petsmart. I was at a standstill in the parking lot (it's right next door to Best Buy, which is packed from here until Christmas) and there were a lot of cars, people, etc. milling about; I was at a standstill until I could pull into a parking space.

An older gentleman was offended that I was "paused" on the crosswalk- and decided to make his point by ramming his shopping cart into my car.

We had an unpleasant exhange of words in the parking lot- to which I told him he was the "rudest person I'd ever met."

A real zinger, huh?

I drove away seething mad, with a million coulda-woulda-shoulda's. Should have screamed "Happy Holidays" accompanied by a rude gesture. Should have taken a picture of his license plate. Should have cursed him out. Should have continued yelling in the parking lot like the lunatic I'm sure I appeared to be.

Obviously, this would all have ended with zero satisfaction. It was a blessing in disguise that he drove away when he did, leaving me red-faced and furious- because I could have said some hateful things I would have later regretted.

It made me think how the holidays really do bring out the best and worst in people. Some people find joy in every Christmas song on the radio, every line at the mall, every candy-cane mouthed child they come across.

Others become scrooges, shaking their fists at the lines, turning off the radio, scowling at small children.

And ramming shopping carts into cars.

I felt myself become a scrooge of sorts myself after the shopping cart incident. I was completely impatient the rest of my drive home, whizzing around slow drivers at lightning speed. Christmas music took a sour edge. I decided today was not the day for the tree to take it's place in my house. And I thought to myself, we have a month of this left to go!

'Tis the season. It's important to remember, as we kick off December this week, what "the holidays" are all about.

Some of us will remember while listening to carols on the radio; others of us will be reminded by the echoing sound of shopping cart slamming into beautiful, silver (and freshly washed, I might add) Volvo.

But the lessons are all around us. Some are rejoicing this time of year, others are hurting. I'll say a special prayer for those hurting tonight, who find so little joy this time of year.

It's easy to become indignant and righteous and feel like we need to make a point when things don't go our way. But at the end of the day, it does no good. Being kind and being forgiving- that's what it's all about.

A bit of chipped paint on the car is well worth the lesson that came with it.

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