Day two without my car and I feel caged in. I have a need for speed or at least 25 miles per hour so I can get the long list of things on my holiday list done.
The car repair shop calls and tells me the car will be ready at four. My husband arranges with work to cut out to take me to pick it up. The school bus arrives home. We toss in a few wiggly boys and we’re off.
Chaz is taking the boys to Cub Scouts tonight. They’re touring the safety center in our town that houses both the police and fire departments. At the same time, I’ll be across town at a girls only holiday party. Isn’t it nice when things work out?
ERRR!! What’s that sound? That’s the brakes on our plan of things working out.
“The car won’t be ready until tomorrow,” Gary, the manager, tells me.
I must wear a blank look on my face because he repeats himself. “Tomorrow.”
“But I got a call to tell me to be here at four,” I explain.
I take a breath. It’s not the end of the world. It’s only an inconvenience. Chaz will take the boys in his car and I’ll call a friend who’s going to the same party to swing by and pick me up.
“And you’ll call me when I should come back?” I say.
“I’ll call you tomorrow.”
I waited tables for years. High school. College. Graduate school. The way people unloaded on me you’d think I personally burned their steak.
Not to brag, but I was a really good waitress. I was also a good enough waitress to understand that it makes some people feel better to unload on the person in front of them. Even if whatever happened is out of her control.
So I’d stand there and take it, apologize for the burnt steak and promise to “make it right.” Then, I’d turn around and roll my eyes and think all sorts of nasty thoughts about what I thought they should be eating instead of meat.
So why the tantrums? Because it makes you feel better, right? You yell. You scream. You stomp. Then the remorse kicks in. You know all that yelling didn’t get your steak delivered right the first time or make your car ready by four.
My random act of kindness was more a graceful acceptance of an honest mistake. I thanked the man and told him I’d wait to hear from him. Tomorrow.