I pride myself on being a calm, peaceful, fairly evolved human person. I keep an even keel. Rarely do things rattle me. I've even stopped cursing at people when I drive. Yet today I witnessed myself, from a painfully close proximity, go from Calm Happy to Angry Bitch in about five minutes time. Literally, like Bruce Banner, I morphed from a very happy woman who'd just seen a wonderful film (Julie & Julia, by the way - highly worth checking out. The cuisine was not the only masterpiece in the film. Exceptional performances by Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci stand out too) to an angry, upset person who could find nothing but fault with her parents. Five minutes. That's all it took for me to sell them to the devil. I was pissed.
The matter at hand is so insignificant that I have no choice but to believe the whole episode was another Opportunity From God that comes along every now and then to change something awful about myself. The more something irritates me, the more I probably need to check it out and ultimately let go of it. I've been having such a nice time with the Dlos. After the movie, to which we arrived about a half hour early, I noticed the time and realized we had seven minutes until our free parking expired. Seven minutes. Holy crap, seven minutes and the world was ending. It was a preview of 2012. It was insane. I felt overcome with the need to "pay" for the parking before it became un-free, so I waited until my Dad came out of the loo - five minutes now, and Mom was still in there - and told him I was going to pay the parking and to meet me at the car. I then ran across the mall... RAN. There, I clarified it: I was insane. I ran across the mall and down to the pay-machine and punched out for free with two minutes to spare. I then came back upstairs to wait for my parents, knowing Mom moves slow and figuring I'd see them as they approached and we would rendezvous sooner. I waited. And I waited. Ten minutes passed and they were no where to be seen. Then it started: the painful descent into Where the hell are they? and Really? Can she REALLY still be peeing? and SON OF A BITCH. DON'T THEY KNOW I ALREADY PAID OUT THE PARKING AND WE HAVE TO LEAVE THE MALL NOW??!!
Oh, Lord. I was so far gone, I didn't care who saw my flesh turn green or my pants rip open for my expanded muscles. Mom finally called me (Me: "Where are you??") and said they were at the car. Now, this should have been the end of the incident. But it got worse. I ran down the stairs... and couldn't find the car. Specifically, I couldn't remember where we'd parked.
Dick. Just call me Dick.
It probably took me no more than five minutes and two phone calls to Mom from that point to find them, and we left with no problem... but the damage had been done; I'd exploded in my head at them and was embarrassed by the jerk I'd become. Like a flash flood, I'd flash-assholed. I flasholed. They were calm and unfrazzled, I think because they knew how worked up I was. They've gotten very good at that, counter-balancing their children's moods. My brother especially has given them lots of practice. However, today was my turn. I felt bad about being at all bitchy to them. I felt worse to know this part of me still exists.
Before I found the car, once I'd realized I was lost and now was the one delaying us further, I had a quick talk with God. "Lord, I know I messed up here. I get it. I was impatient and now I'M the one screwing up! But seriously, I get it. Now, can you please help me find the freakin' car?? THANK YOU!"
Not my finest prayer. Sometimes I like to think He's up there enjoying the show and I take pleasure knowing at least someone's laughing. Other times I know He's just up there, gazing down at me, all "Oh, child. Ohhhhh, child.", nodding His head like the parent of a new puppy who's just chewed up his new slippers for the eighth time. Lots of love, lots of patience, some amusement and way more wisdom than the puppy - or I - has at this point in its life.
Please grant me patience, Lord. Help me be slow to anger and long on humor. Remind me that the insipid details of our earthly days, the $2.00 we may need to pay for overstaying our parking, are really, really not important at all. And if all else fails Lord, please trip me within the first twenty feet so at least I know right off the bat that I should throw in the towel. I promise my pride can take it.