Allow myself to introduce... myself

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Practicing Random Acts of Kindness (for selfish reasons)

There's a story here, but I suspect before we get to it that the path might meander a little. Bear with me Dear Reader(s), there might be wisdom to be had (um... but I'm not making any promises).

The thought has occurred to me that 80's television may had an adverse affect on my upbringing. In the 80's we had a neighbor that had kindly rigged us up some cable television (with Showtime!), which we promptly sat in front of for hours on end. When we moved out of that house we didn't have cable again until I bought it as an adult a year and a half ago. I was thinking about this last night while watching Honey I Shrunk the Kids on my own modern day cable. I remember watching the movie when it came out at the movie theater, and having fantasies of my own that some errant scientist-invention-gone-awry would shrink me and the neighbor down so we could fall in lust with each other. No wonder I have problems with relationships... I grew up on a diet of Knight Rider, Mr Belvedere, Small Wonder, and Who's the Boss. Let's not even discuss the damage that years of watching Cheers and The Cosby Show back to back caused me. I think somewhere along the line I must have figured I could have it all... and I've spent my life looking for that perfect combination of Sam Malone and Cliff Huxtable in one man. Ugh! And let's not even discuss the irony involved in finding out that apparently in real life Ted Danson is a much better husband than Bill Cosby. This will take me years of therapy as reality and fantasy get mixed up in my mind, and I think that a man like Sam Malone can change into a man like Ted Danson with the right love of a good woman... Because the day I realized that the "allegations" against Bill Cosby and his sexual proclivities were true, I felt like I'd just found out there was no Santa Claus.Are you still with me, because I promise I'm getting to the story...

Eighties TV sitcoms were big fans of the dilemma plotline. A crisis of conscience in which our beloved main character has a choice between doing the right thing or the wrong thing... in the first two acts it looks like they might choose the wrong thing... but then... whew! After the last round of commercials they would pull it out of the hat and claim victory over temptation. What I believe I picked up from this story arc is that we usually don't want to do the right thing in the beginning, but that if we do it eventually, we'll still get the karma points. Given any tough decision, I have about 22 minutes to figure out the right way to go. And so it was yesterday while waiting in line at the Starbuck's drive-thru. With a full day of cleaning to go before the arrival of the ex (long story), the kid's and I needed a pick-me-up at coffee mecca. After telling the speaker my order, I pulled my gigantic SUV (if I could afford a Ford Escape HYBRID I would have one) as close to the car in front of me as possible, in order to make room for the gigantic SUV behind me to pull up to the speaker and shout their order. APPARENTLY I wasn't able to pull forward far enough to suit the yahoo in the Yukon, because the driver honked at me. Now because of the angle the driver may not have been able to see how I was almost touching the bumper of the tiny car in front of me, the driver may not have even been ABLE TO SEE the tiny car in front of me... but to my way of thinking, honking at another car in the Starbucks drive-thru in the middle of sunny happy latte land is definitely bad form. I won't lie, I looked through my rearview mirror into the pouring rain to see if the driver was big enough for me to open a can of Whoop-Ass (patent pending) on, but I couldn't see through his or her tinted windows. Seeing my wonderful children in the backseat though caused me to pause for reflection (a seething reflection, but I DID at least pause). When Boo asked why the car behind honked at us... I actually answered "maybe they're having a bad day". And then something happened... I actually started to believe what I had said. I thought to myself that even though I in all my infinite wisdom would never DREAM of taking my own bad day out on an innocent caffeine addict, perhaps their bad day was bad enough to cause them to display such a complete an utter lack of decorum. I wasn't going to let completely go of my own anger yet, but I thought maybe there would be a way for me to turn the situation around, and thus be a Hero Mommy. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to get to the altruistic moment though... I sized up the SUV behind me and noticed it was much newer, bigger, and shinier than mine. And since the median income of the households in my town is $80,000 with only 7% of the houses run by single mothers, I had a feeling the person in the car behind me had WAY more money than I did. BUT in the interest of being HERO MOMMY, I paid for their drink order. By doing so I was able to release all the bad energy inside me, and either help them with their bad day.... or make them feel guilty they were such a schmuck. Is that so wrong?

Of course there's always the chance they just bumped the horn with their elbow, but then what would I have to blog about?

-Tasha

3 comments:

Bonny said...

I grew up on all those sitcoms also - got a good chuckle from the pictures you posted :)

dottie angel said...

it's the fact that you can't see in most car windows that stops me every time from taking things "one step further"...a nice long ramble from you today dear and it is much appreciated :)

jennifer said...

well done Tasha Jo!!