We have no more right to put our discordant states of mind into the lives of those around us and rob them of their sunshine and brightness than we have to enter their house and steal their silverware.” Julia Moss Seton
I have always heard people say “Stop and smell the roses.” My grandparents and parents taught me to think of others first, give everyone the benefit of the doubt, all the good Christian sayings which would make our lives easier and guarantee us a place in Heaven. Well, I might have just lost my place in line last week. It began with me doing a good gesture by stopping by the grocery store and picking up a few things for dinner. Just FYI, I don’t do grocery stores well. I make a list and send my husband. People are in such a hurry and never seem to allow themselves enough time to take care of what they need to while they are there. Plus, there are always the women who bring their screaming kids who need to be home taking a nap instead of grocery shopping. Anyway, I found what I needed and made my way to the register. I recognized a friend of mine who happened to be working in a checkout lane which only had one person ahead of me. I thought I had stumbled upon a welcome opportunity to catch up with my friend and make a so far pleasant grocery shopping experience nicer. Was I wrong. My space was suddenly invaded by a good-mood-sucking, type A personality shopper. My pleasant experience turned into a battle to see who was going to survive this and come out the winner.
I finished my time with my checker and friend as she rang up the total for my purchases. I ran my debit card, we continue to chat and all the time I could feel feet tapping the floor in hopes I would speed up my transaction. Wrong. I continued to talk and watched as my groceries were bagged and handed to me. I politely moved to the end of the register and continued my conversation which was rudely interrupted by a squeaking, high pitched sound “I need two rain checks.” After my body stopped shivering from what sounded like fingernails on a chalkboard, I continued to listen to my friend talk about the joys of being a grandmother as she filled out the rain checks for this space-invading person. My body received a second round of fingernails on the chalkboard when she opened her mouth again. “Ladies, would you hurry up. I have people waiting for me.” Well, she just grated on my last nerve. I took a deep breath then continued my conversation with my friend. I was proud of myself for completely ignoring this rude and obnoxious person thinking her life was somehow more important than ours. I promised my friend I would stay in touch. I gave her my new address, a hug and walked out of the store. I fought back my better instincts to grab this person’s basket and give it a push, hopefully, knocking her to the floor. I also resisted my instincts to say something very rude to her about her over-bearing personality. What I did do was heed some of my grandparents and parents advice by taking a deep breath and a good look at her face. Why you ask? Because I’m positive soon, one of these days, I’ll open the paper and in the obituary section she will be there. Her type A personality is going to send her to an early grave. It will make her blood pressure rise. She is going to have a stroke or a heart attack or a body-invading disease is going to take control of her because she doesn’t have the attitude to fight it off. My friend and I, on the other hand, who managed to upset her entire routine, are going to spend many years enjoying our grandchildren and smelling the roses.