Trying Something New?

There was a day last week when I got to work that I discovered our office temperature was 15 degrees colder than our already “I have to wear a scarf and fuzzy socks to work” kind of temperature.  I tapped away the day at my keyboard with blue fingers and with my coat on, which is not a good look for me because my coat is one size too big and quilted.  It makes me look fat and my extra hips can do that for me without the coat’s help.  After a while I put my gloves on while I worked thinking that my dexterity would not be affected and incidentally, it totally was.

You might think this sounds moderately uncomfortable but nothing that deserves an entire essay.  You’d be right.  But that was the icing on the cake of an already weird day which began when I got trapped in my garage in an effort to leave the house.  After hacking my way out of the ice wall with a spatula, big fun by the way, I merrily drove down the interstate, tootling right along until I got stuck behind a lavender Crown Victoria for 45 minutes whilst a Greyhound bus expired in the only open lane off my exit.  The lavender Crown Vic was equipped with a sound system that produced bass of unbelievable magnitude, and I watched Jay Z shake the license plate nearly off the car.  For 45 minutes.  The grand finale before the arctic office temperature grand finale was the heel of my new boot falling off in a snow drift in the parking lot.

I don’t know about you, but when I have a day like that my normal response is to:

  • Holler “BAD WORD, BAD WORD, BAD WORD, EXCLAMATION POINT”
  • Give the single digit finger wave to life in general
  • Huff around the office
  • Eat cake

And that is exactly what I was planning to do once I got inside the office except Daisy texted me and while I was telling her about my No Good Very Bad Day, I kept saying positive stuff.  Like I said:

  • Blah, blah, blah, dead bus, but it’s sunny outside and that is nice
  • Lavender paint, blah bass is rupturing my eardrums, but the car is pretty
  • So desperately want to be a grouch but no one likes that, so I won’t, word vomit, hee!

Daisy accused me of being a Miss Positive Sunshine and sent me a flower emoji, and I quickly and huffily typed out a message calling her a liar.  Right as I poised my finger over the send button, I had a thought.

See, I have a friend that I haven’t talked about much – his name is Sean – and recently Sean was telling me the story of how he got a speeding ticket.

“I was in a school zone so I slowed down,” he said, “and as I passed the last cone, I sped up ever so slightly.  I was at 21 miles per hour when I saw one more cone and realized I hadn’t made it out of the school zone yet, so I tapped my brakes to slow down. That’s when the cop got me.”

I was all indignant.  “Surely he didn’t give you a ticket for going six miles over! Surely he understood what happened, right?  Did you give him the single digit finger wave?  I would have!”

And Sean, bless his heart, said, “Well, I did ask if he could just give me a warning but he didn’t feel that was right so I got the ticket.  And I know that getting mad doesn’t do any good, so I pulled into a parking lot and read over the ticket.  I just wanted to think about it and understand what my responsibility is in all of this.  I put weekly reminders in my phone for the next month until the ticket is due so that I won’t forget about it and so that I can make sure I have the money to pay for the ticket.  I want to do this right.  After a while I drove on.  It was fine.”

I sat there in silence, my mouth hanging open and swallowing every word that tried to squeak out of it.  Kind of like those baby birds that just sit there, beaks open, waiting for their momma to bring them a regurgitated worm.  Helpless and weak and wheezy.  Kind of like that.

Finally I choked out a, “I’ve never met anyone like you.  How on earth do you find it in you to be so positive?”

“It’s just better that way,” Sean reasoned, and in the time I’ve known him, he’s always maintained that.  In four years’ time, I’ve never known him to throw a fit, get righteously angry over something ridiculous or smear anyone’s name, even if it is well-deserved.  I think if someone stole his dog he’d find a way to spin it happy and the annoying part is that he isn’t even Pollyanna about it.  He’s just matter of fact.

Now I want to be clear – ninety-five percent of my life is spent being happy.  Really, I spend very little time in the kind of anger and snarkiness that involves me hollering bad words and giving single digit finger waves, all dramatic with head weaves and snapping in a z-formation.   But a sizable chunk of that remaining five percent truly is spent in bad behavior, cultivated and cherished and primed for a visit to the cookie doctor or to the mammogram center or when a Greyhound bus expires in the middle of my lane as I’m trying to get to work and I get stuck behind a lavender sedan with the bass causing me arrhythmia.  My unhappy five percent is bad, I tell you, and it does no good.  Not one whit.

That message that I tapped out to Daisy, in which I called her a liar, all huffy and snarky?  I didn’t send it.  I hovered for a moment over the send button and then moved my single digit finger wave finger over to the delete button and deleted it all.  Instead I sent this message:

Daisy.  This is a day.  Thanks for the flowers.  Those flowers are the nicest thing that happened to me all day.

And with that, my day was saved.  It was a good day.

P.S. Sean read all of this before posting because I promise to never write about my friends without their permission.  He said, “I really was upset about that ticket.  Truly, I was pretty mad.”  That may be but where did he put it, that mad?  Where did it go?  Because when we talked about it there was no mad in him, just calm quiet and maturity.  Ima try that on for a while, see how it fits . . .

 

Advertisements

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Felix
    Mar 05, 2015 @ 09:46:30

    …and YOU are the most positive person I know! Proud to call you my friend! Hopefully you are not having to report to work in this nasty weather we got last night.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: