So tell me what you woulda done. The other day, Nate and I were coming out of the grocery store--me pushing the shopping trolley, Nate walking next to me, holding onto the side. As we started to step into the crosswalk into the parking lot, a jeep whizzed by me. I stopped short. I rolled my eyes in annoyance, but whatever. I've not seen people before entering a crosswalk, so it could be an accident, right? Well.
So we cross the crosswalk and we're walking down one of the lanes towards our car, and this same jeep has stopped while someone was backing out of their space. The jeep driver throws his car into reverse and starts to back up. Towards me. I put my hand up. He doesn't go too far and I move us out of the way anyway, but still. STILL. I know he saw me.
SO THEN, THEN. I am crossing one final little lane (like a "T"intersection) where our car is. I stop, look both ways and start to cross. And guess what. Jeep Dude turns right in front of me, fast, totally cutting me off.
I have never wanted to call anyone an a-hole more in my life. IN MY LIFE. I know--that's not exactly scandalous, but I am not a traffic or parking lot screamer. Maybe it's the preggo hormones, I dunno, but I was just livid at that point. Anyway, we get to the car and I put Nate in and start loading our stuff in the car. Jeep Dude and his buddy ended up parking just across from me. As they walked past, I stopped what I was doing and totally gave them the stinkeye.
I mean, I had an awesome Death Stare going on. But they were all, We are not looking at you, we are walking right by like we don't know that we almost killed you 3 times just now. So that made me even more mad!
As I told our church tonight (I was relating this story as a lead-in to my message--I have no idea why)when you give a good Death Stare, like when you are really selling that Death Stare--it's gotta be noticed or you just feel even worse. I couldn't bring myself to shout anything at this guy. Sniff. I felt it would be beneath me. Or I am a wimp. What do you think?
BUT, I got in the car, found a scrap of paper, and much to Nate's bewilderment, scribbled Reprobate Jeep Dude a note. (I come from a family of note-writers, you see. My dad's notes to various bad teachers over the years could reduce a grown man to tears and even loss of bladder control.)
"Hello. Due to the fact that you nearly hit me 3 times on my short walk to my car, I thought you needed to be made aware of two things:
1. Those transparent panels on your car? They're called WINDOWS. You might want to look out them from time to time.
2. Those reflective panes of glass attached to your doors? They're MIRRORS. You ought to use those, too.
Have a nice day."
But I didn't really want him to have a nice day, you see. I was using SARCASM. Get it? Like I was saying one thing, but TOTALLY meaning something else. I am clever like that. So anyhoo, I wrote the note, then darted across and stuck it on his windshield.
HA! That'll teach him. Way to stick it to all those terrible drivers out there! I'm sure he changed his ways after reading my note.
I wanna know...what would you do? Do you just let people have it, right there in the moment? Do you only yell when you know they can't hear you anyway? Do you laugh it off? Do you write a note? Or do you drive off and do lots of deep breathing to calm down?
On a serious note, those kind of experiences remind me how much energy we can waste on being totally ticked off. I mean, in the days since, I'm SURE I've thought more about that experience than Jeep Dude has. Laughing about it, but also hashing and re-hashing. Why do we do that? I personally think that's one of the reasons why forgiveness is such a big deal to God. He knows how much energy and space a grudge occupies in our brains. Space that could be used for much more productive, good stuff.
Sigh. Now that's nice. We've all learned a Very Important Lesson, haven't we? Yes...next time, I'll just key the guy's car. That's better than a note, probably. Lesson learned.