Posts Tagged ‘tolerance’

“You’re welcome, bitch!”

Posted: December 12, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Those words were right on the tip of my tongue last night as I held the lobby door open for a woman. I was just leaving work. I had been fighting a headache all day. I was hungry and still had an exercise class to go to that I was trying hard to talk myself out of.

I opened the door, stood back and smiled at her. She walked through the door. She didn’t look at me. She said nothing and just walked by.

She didn’t thank me. She didn’t acknowledge me. She ignored me as if she was entitled for people to open doors for her.

I bit my tongue and walked through the door and put her out of my mind.

I had done the same thing to someone else years ago.

I was walking into work. My head was down and my hands were in my coat pockets. I was lost in my own thoughts and despair. I didn’t see him. Somehow the door was open for me and I walked right through it.

“You’re welcome, bitch!” I heard someone say.

I turned around and saw him standing there. I was suddenly brought into the present. I blinked and looked around and tried to remember how I had gotten here. I didn’t remember. Everything was a blur.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I was lost in thought….”

“Yeah, right! You’re just rude…” he said. He was angry and that was all I needed.

“No, I’m not usually rude. It has been a bad day,” I said.

“Oh really? What has been so horrible about YOUR day? You think you’re the only person on the face of the earth, don’t you?” he said.

I stepped forward. “No, I don’t but the fact of the matter is, I just got back from the mortuary with my Mom. We had to pick out the head stone for my brother who died recently. But, hey! If my grief and the complete destitution of my family and life is a problem for you then…..go fuck yourself,” I said.

I had finally lost it. Just that comment of his was all it took for me to breakdown. I started crying. I had fought the battle for too long. I had been 1/4 inch close to my knees hitting the floor and giving up, but I refused. I would not go there. I would not fall apart and not be strong for my family.

It had been a nightmare. We and the doctors had done everything possible to save him, but it was not to be. No matter what I wanted, he would never be there again for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas or anything else. There would always be an empty spot when we got together. He would never be in another family picture. I was done buying gifts for him and receiving his. I would never get to talk to him again. Ever.

This man’s comment brought it all crashing in.

“Oh, hey, I’m sorry…”he said.

I raised my hand. “Just leave me alone and try not to be such an asshole to people,” I said. I walked into the bathroom and cried. When I was done, I fixed my make-up, walked into work and got busy.

The woman last night could have had the same thing going on. Or maybe she just found out she was dying. Maybe she lost her job or maybe she doesn’t know how to get through the day.

Or maybe she’s just a rude person for no good reason.

I don’t know and I don’t want to know.

What about that person that cuts you off in traffic or doesn’t give you “the wave” when you let them in line?

I’ve been that person. I’ve cut people off when I was careless or when I’ve been rushing a dying animal to the vet.

I’ve waved and they haven’t seen it.

I’ve been the one going 25 miles an hour on the freeway because my car had broken down and I was crying and trying to find the closest exit to pull over. People honked and yelled at me and I was terrified. Their cursing and honking made it worse.

When someone is driving so slow on the freeway that I want to honk at them, I don’t. I have no idea who they are or what they are going through. Maybe they are in trouble or maybe they are just lousy drivers.

I don’t know.

Life is a series of millions of moments; past, present and future. She was one brief moment in my life and one that I could just let walk by me. I don’t know her burdens and she knows nothing of mine.

Think twice before you strike out at someone who is a bitch or an asshole. It’s just a brief moment. Let it pass and be a better person for it.

That is my Christmas wish. Be kinder to yourself and those around you.

His birthday is this month.  “Happy Birthday bro. You are not forgotten.”