I was waiting in the doctors office recently, an older woman sat across from me was also awaiting her appointment. From out of nowhere the most annoying ring tone with the volume of a tornado siren blared. It was an obnoxious hip hop tune that kept ringing incessantly. The ring seemed to go on for infinity. Midway through the ring cycle trying to show kindness, I offered the woman a helpful hint, “You know you can silence the phone by pushing the button on the side.” She answered, “I know”. And then continued to sit there with a smile and let it ring it’s full torturous cycle. Was it annoying? Here’s a clue, take that phone to Gitmo and use it as a means to break a terrorist. If I had to listen to that thing for another ten minutes, even I would have confessed to being the second gunman on the grassy knoll!
This week alone, I can’t count how many times I have waited an eternity for a car to drive by, only to have it pull into an entrance before reaching me. No blinker, no apology, no nothing. Okay, cue the tantric chant of peace and harmony so I won’t increase my blood pressure.
In Walmart recently, two women stood side by side chatting and blocking virtually the whole aisle. Despite the fact that both saw me patiently waiting to get by, one of the women pushed her cart further in front of me to cut off my access to the personal care section as I endeavored to squeeze by after a ten minute wait. Learning from my church upbringing that in times of stress it is imperative to redirect your thoughts heavenward when exasperated, I thought, “Think of a church hymn”. ‘Blessed be the Tie that Binds’ was the only one I could come up with, and I am positive the author of that song wasn’t thinking rope like I was at that very moment.
Another time, I was standing in line at the same store to send money to one of my college kids. Having waited 15 minutes thus far, I stepped out of line for a minute to grab a pen and fill out the requested form. When I returned to my place in line, an angry woman who looked like a twin for the Kool-Aide man, sported a ‘real’ attitude. Raising her voice, she instantaneously got into a one-sided jawing match with me saying I had stepped out of line and forfeited my place. She was insistent that I had to get back behind her and start over again. Oddly enough, no one spoke on my behalf, I think everyone was frightened of her imposing persona. Despite having been there longer than she, I had to keep peace, that’s what the weekend church sermon admonished. So to keep her from losing her helium, I returned to where it had all started, at the end of the line. Wow another 15 minutes with warm and fuzzy people.
To fix the worlds ills, I believe we need to revert to the lessons we learned in kindergarten. Share your toys, be nice to others, show impeccable manners, and when you get too cranky, take a nap. Oh, and just like back then, the favorite part of the day is getting a Happy Meal on the way home!