Do you ever feel like you have a little devil sitting one shoulder and an angel on the other? Like in the Saturday morning cartoons? I had a situation like that tonight.
Tomorrow is the first day of school (that's a whole other post!), so we ran a few errands to finish getting ready. We were standing in line at Target and The Hubster noticed another lane with no one in it. Right as he got to the counter, another lady from a different lane came up behind him. He didn't even notice her until she was right behind him. He turned to her and said, 'Oh, I'm sorry." Normally we would have told her to go in front of us, but we had only had 15 minutes to get back home and get The Hubster's food packed so he could get to work (he's on the night shift for a couple of weeks). She replied, in a very nasty tone of voice, "That's all right. That's the way my whole day has gone."
I kind of raised my eyebrows and looked at him to see if he had noticed, and then turned back to checking out. We only had four small items, so it wasn't going to take very long. The lady then started tossing and dropping her items onto the conveyor belt to create a lot of noise, just to make sure everyone knew she was mad. When a roll of paper towels almost hit The Hubster, I couldn't stop myself from saying, "Is she going to hit us with her stuff?" The two checkers smiled at me, so I figured they had seen what happened too. The throwing and dropping continued with a vengeance, so I was making little comments like, "Oh, my gosh. What is the deal?" As we were walking away, I turned and said, "Have a nice day, lady."
The devil won that round. And then the angel, in the form of my children's comments, started to speak. "Mom, what was wrong with her? Why was she throwing her stuff?" "If she had hit you, I would have punched her." "You'd have to hit her if she hit you." The violence of their comments began to increase little by little. I finally had to stop and tell them that we shouldn't be talking like that and that I had not handled the situation very well. I never should have said the things that I did. I felt so guilty for the example I had just given my children.
My natural instincts seem to take over when things like that happen. My parents, on the other hand, have the patience of Job. When things like that happen, they say things like, "She must be having a bad day." Something hit me tonight, though. I wonder if they really feel on the inside like I do but say what they do to set a good example. If so, maybe there's hope for me after all.
8:23 PM ~