Monday, June 9, 2014

A Dome Top Was All It Took

Ever have one of those days where everything just seems to go wrong? Well, my day yesterday started off well enough...until "Pat" spilled coffee in my new car after I said, "Don't spill that coffee in my new car." (Pat is a generic name; I've changed this person's name to protect the guilty). It wasn't like Pat did it on purpose and I couldn't be mad. Pat already felt bad enough.

Later, I went to the grocery store, but I was really looking forward to a Starbucks Frappuccino afterwards, so I parked in the middle of the two stores, which was actually closer to Starbucks and pretty far from Shop Rite. As the cashier was ringing up my order, I remembered that I hadn't deposited my paycheck and there may not be enough money in the account to cover the bill. Luckily there was. 

I was on my way out when I was accosted by a young girl who wanted to know if I would like to donate to a local non-profit organization. Every week there is someone different there, so no, I would not like to, thank you. And why do I always say thank you after I say no?  

As I was taking my too-small cart loaded with more than I thought I'd get, a bag toppled off the top. Of course, I was wearing a dress (an above-the-knee one too!) and I almost never wear a dress, so on top of scrambling to gather my items, I had to think about the perverts sitting in their cars who may be trying to look up my dress.

When I got to my car, which was a lot farther with a load of groceries than it was without, I couldn't find my keys, which meant I must have left them in the store, which meant I had to go all the way back, which meant I would be made to feel guilty again by not supporting my local non-profit agency.

Then, the issue became, should I leave my groceries here or take them with me? If I leave them here, someone might steal them. So, off I went, back into the store (with my too small cart still loaded with too many bags), back to the cashier, who said, "No, I gave them back to you." Of course you did. Only I don't have them. 

Again, the young do-gooder at the exit, who must have had a good memory or knew better than to ask a frazzled looking woman if she'd like to donate to a good cause. I found the keys in a grocery bag. Why on earth would I have put them there? Oh, who knows why I do what I do these days. Yesterday, I took off my shoes and socks and put my shoe in the hamper instead of the sock.

Again to the car, which now was parked a mile from the store. How did it keep moving? And I had to go to the bathroom! 

Off to Starbucks for my $50 frozen drink, where I stood in line and listened to a teenager and her mother argue behind me about which break they were in California for...spring or winter. What's a break? Furthermore, what's California? Oh, that's right. That's where it feels like I parked my new car with the Hazlenut smell.

I opened my Starbucks app on my phone to pay and saw only $2.57. Wow, I'm about $47 short. And I can't reload anything on it because I have no money in the account. Luckily, I had cash. 

You know what made my day?  Are you ready for this? 

A dome top. 


Yes, a dome top on my Frappuccino. I never get a dome top. Those are for the kids, the skinny people and the people who have given up on diets---the whipped creamers. Since I never get whipped cream, I always get a flat top, and I always want a dome top---it just makes it seem bigger. Yesterday, I got my dome top. It really doesn't take much to make me happy. But too often it doesn't take much to get me upset either.

As I left Starbucks with my $50 frozen delight with the dome top,  I thought, well, these things are really just minor disturbances. Nothing major. Okay, the coffee in the car thing seemed pretty big at the time, but had I possibly made an idol out of my new car? Now it smells like Hazlenut. That's a nice smell. New car smell doesn't last long. Hazlenut might. 

And is it right to punish someone for something they didn't intend to do? Something that was an accident? Something that could very well have happened by me instead of "Pat?"

And at least I had a credit card in my wallet (with no balance!) in case my groceries had cost more than what was in my account. And at least the bag didn't break when it fell to the ground. And neither did the bottled drink. Who knows if anyone looked up my dress. I'd rather not think about that.

And what about the luxury of being able to have a frozen drink? And a new car? And a back-up plan?


In our overly-scheduled, overly-perfect daily lives, when things go awry, how do we react? When our kids spill, when we misplace something, when we come up short on cash, when things disturb our plan, when people don't say or do what we expect...or say or do something we don't like or agree with...do we get annoyed? Do we fly off the handle or give someone the silent treatment, or are we able to let things roll of our backs? 

It's no use crying over spilled milk, right? What about if you fall in it, like the kid in this picture? What would you do? I think I'd be upset, then embarrassed, then just turn it back around and laugh. How could you not? That's funny! In fact, that did happen to me, except it was lard. Yes, lard. Right in the crosswalk of an intersection in New York City. Maybe I'll share that story with you tomorrow.

How much does it take to rattle your cage? More important, how much does it take to make you happy? Look for the dome top in something today.

Blessings Along the Path,
Mary

Let the Words of My Mouth (Fernando Ortega)

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