Sunday, October 21, 2012

Settle Down

It's a gorgeous October Sunday that feels like fall on the east coast, which is beyond rare in LA. I find myself staring into my full refrigerator trying to figure out what to make for lunch. It is full, though none of it is appealing. There's something about the weather that makes me want to drive. And just like that: soup! Perfect.

I hop in the car and am immediately annoyed, which is not rare in LA. People; drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists, seem to be making extra stupid, life-threatening decisions. I hear myself say "What the hell is going on," and realize it's the third time I've said that phrase in as many minutes.

At the store, I am astounded by how inconsiderate the other shoppers are. WHY would you leave your shopping cart in an aisle perpendicular-style? WHY would you back your cart out of an aisle without looking and into other shoppers, knocking them over? WHY would you bring toddlers into the store?!

But seriously, two guys completely shut down the self-checkout when they took the services of the employee when their incompetence put not one, but two - TWO of said terminals out of service.

I just don't think they understand the concept of self-checkout.

As I was waiting, listening to the other people in line making snide comments and giggling out of understanding, I was reminded of something that happened to me in the Wendy's drive thru a few weeks ago.

As I was turning into the parking lot, thinking about glorious melty cheese, the car in front of me wouldn't move. There was a truck stopped in front of the car, but there was more than plenty of room to move around. But the car wouldn't move. I sat there for a good thirty seconds with half my car in the street and half of it in the driveway, which was just enough to stop traffic in both directions. So I did the unthinkable: I honked.

Yet the car wouldn't move. So I honked again.

And just like that, the car finally moved and ordered. After I ordered and was waiting to pay, I noticed that the driver in front of me saw me in her mirror, unbuckled her seat belt, fully got out of her car and proceeded to yell at me.

"You are SO IMPATIENT!! Your life must be so miserable if you cannot wait a few seconds for me to move!!! Do you feel better by honking????!" There was such rage on her face and in her voice. For the first time in my life, I knew exactly what to say to her and I knew she had it coming. Instead I just listened; I waited her out. She paused then gave me the most peculiar look, turned around and got back into her car.

Just as I remembered that, the line at the self-checkout moved and things made sense. It seemed as if the more impatient I was, the more there was to be impatient about. I felt this overwhelming feeling, this presence, suggesting I be patient. And breathe. Even though that woman in the drive thru was being crazy, even though grocery shoppers are inconsiderate and seem to hate using their brains, even though screaming toddlers have meltdowns in the store, and some shoppers really have no business in the self-checkout EVEN THOUGH IT IS COMPLETELY SIMPLE IF YOU'VE EVER BEEN TO ANY STORE IN YOUR LIFE, JUST SCAN THE DAMN ITEMS AND PAY!

Even with the ridiculousness, just be patient. Maybe especially, even.

I wondered – have I ever actually been legitimately patient before? I’ve been silent, sure. I’ve definitely waited without whining. But patient…? Even waiting without aggression isn’t the same as patience.

As I drove home I felt a lightness that made flowers look brighter and an already beautiful sky more spectacular. And I understood that for me to get to where it is I'm going - which is for me to know and for you to find out - patience would have to win out. Otherwise, I might just be creating more to be impatient about.

But more than anything, I felt an overwhelming sense of love.

Ready to have your MIND BLOWD? Check out PART DEUX!

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