This morning I rewarded myself for getting up and going to the gym with a trip to Starbucks. The drive-through was packed, so I waited patiently a little ways back from the queue so as not to block traffic. While I was waiting patiently this big black GMC SUV pulled up slightly behind me and I thought she was letting someone out to go inside and order. After a few minutes, though, I realized she wanted by, so I pulled over and let her through. Only she didn’t want by me to leave, she had the audacity to CUT IN FRONT OF ME in the drive-through!
I was appalled.
I was livid.
Words escaped me. Well, not really because I started preaching her funeral from behind the rolled-up windows of my car.
Then I turned and saw two women sitting out on the patio sipping their lattes, laughing at what had just happened. They couldn’t possibly have been laughing at anything else. One of them stared right at me.
Without hesitation, while I continued preaching, I pulled in behind the big black monstrosity that had cut me off, no longer caring about blocking traffic for the rest of the Starbucks clientele. Nobody else was going to get in front of me. I had waited long enough. I mean, after all, I had been sitting there ten whole minutes. Well, maybe seven or eight, but who’s counting, right? It’s the principle of the matter.
The ranting continued. Complete with hand gestures that would convince anyone that there’s Italian blood in me somewhere up the line. Or a jackass.
I stared her down in the rearview mirror, waiting for her to make eye contact. Don’t lose it, Sally, don’t say anything you’ll regret, or that she can surmise just from reading your lips. Don’t say what you’re really thinking. What if she turns out to be someone you know? Or who knows you? Who knows what you do?
Okay. I can do this. I restrained myself and only called her a dumb butt.
And then it struck me, as though you were sitting right there beside me. This isn’t the way you’d respond to this situation, is it? You’d realize how trivial this is in the whole scheme of things, and yet at the same time, you also know precisely where it’s coming from in me. You know that it’s from the heart of a little girl who grew up in an environment where she was sometimes cut off, forgotten, ignored. Where learning to balance standing up for yourself and turning the other cheek was often confusing. And yet you know what it feels like to be cut off. Forgotten. Ignored.
I’m glad you understand and love the little girl in me. It helps me want to be the follower you call me to be – to be the woman who doesn’t get bent out of shape because somebody cut her off at the Starbucks drive-through. I’m becoming more of that woman than I used to be, but I’m still not there.
By the time I drove up to the window to pay, I had calmed down.
And it didn’t cost me a dime, because the car ahead of me had paid for my drink.