Let me dispel any doubts. This post is definitely not about Zen! I was hoping to find a moment of Zen in the craziness that persisted through the weekend and after.
Friday was blissful. Saturday was even better. Sunday morning was perfect. As we got to Sunday evening, things looked more promising until I had this encounter with a crazed woman. Grocery shopping is a family affair. Each of us has our preferences and we tag along to make sure no one forgets their favs. for the week. Neil included. After going through the check-out line twice, we finally managed to load the car, waited for the car next to us to pull out, and then opened the door to set Neil in his car seat. We have a cooper, so putting Neil and getting him out takes a second longer than a four door sedan. While I was trying to buckle him up, a Honda Pilot pulled up and began to honk at us impatiently. In Texas there is no dearth for parking spots. If you can’t handle a slow coach mom trying to strap her kid in, then keep rolling until you find one that suits your fancy.
I am not sure if she got off the wrong side of the bed that morning, but was she one helluva an impatient woman. It would have gone done OK if she hadn’t started mouthing off at me. This is when Badra Kali Sharoon sprung out. The offender at this point decided she was going to scare me by stepping on her accelerator and revving up her engine. Oh! Nobody messes with me. And nobody messes with me when I am with my son. This was like an outer body experience.
The blood slowly rising to my cheeks; body temperature rising to a point where I wanted to jump out of my skin; a heart rate that could bust a heartometer. She had her windows down at this point, so I told her to find another spot since I wasn’t working at the speed of lightning. She again said something to me. In situations like these, it is best not to use words since the words that slip out can be outright distressing. I decided not to make a cat fight out of this one. I put my car in reverse gear, pulled out and waited for her to come around the car. I knew she would. I also knew she would come up to the car to say something to me again. I love human psychology! I do not have a degree in it, but I listen and observe enough to know the dynamics of human emotions.
I had her right where I wanted her. Out in the open; in the middle of the strip mall feeling nothing but raw anger. I gave her the finger, watched her expression turn from anger to frustration, and before she could respond, I stepped on the gas and drove off. I should have felt triumphant, but I felt intense shame. First, I let my anger get the better of me. Second, I broke my Lenten commitment. Third, I set the worst possible example for Neil.
What did I take away from that experience?
“Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.” Benjamin Franklin
Be slow to anger. This was my Zen moment.