I had a moment this morning. One I’m not particularly proud of. It was inspired by the interruption of my morning routine, followed by forgetting some important paperwork at home (for which I had to turn around to retrieve, thus making me later than I wanted to be.) I still was planning to stop for gas, my coffee had gotten cold, and I had a million things to do at work before the start of the day…. I was running late, irritated, and low on caffeine intake. I was starting to have anxiety build up and I couldn’t make it stop. My mind was running a mile a minute and I was trying to compile a logical to do list in my head in order to calm myself down.
I was just pulling through an intersection when a man in the right hand lane, WITH A YEILD SIGN, cut me off. So, I honked my horn at him. Not a nice little “Beep-beep: careful I’m here!” kind of honk either. I gave him the angriest, longest horn honking ever.
I just kept my hand on the horn. ( I know! I hate people who use their horns excessively too!) I couldn’t make myself stop. I was on edge, and he had pushed me over.
So, then it happened…about a quarter mile down the road, he slipped his hand out the window and gave me the wave. You know, the “I’m sorry! I’m not a huge jerk, I promise” wave. The one that proceeded to make me feel incredibly guilty.
Shortly after that, at a red light, somehow that same man pulls up beside me and rolls down his window. He’s an older, well put together gentleman, with a nice smile and a kind voice. As I roll down my window to hear what he is saying, I already know that I am the biggest, meanest, jerk in the whole entire world.
“I’m so sorry!” He begins, “You were right in my blind spot and I’m in a bit of a hurry to meet my brand new granddaughter who was born this morning. I hope I didn’t ruin your day! It seemed like I might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back! So I wanted to be sure to tell you how bad I feel.”
What can you say to that really?
“It’s not a big deal at all sir.” I even managed to smile at him. “ Go enjoy your new grandbaby, have a nice day.”
…and then of course I cried. Because I’m a girl. And it was his apology, not his hectic driving, that was the last straw. But, I needed that last straw, to remind me that my little, petty problems are not that big. That there is joy in every moment and that a whole lot can be said without any words at all… a lot can be said in the beeping of a horn.