This morning I woke up with a serious attitude problem.
Like, I was mad that the sun was spilling through my blinds because I wanted to sleep longer, even though all I've done for the last eight months is complain about the rain. I was pissy because one of the kids wanted to make pancakes for everyone and that involved me climbing up on the counter and getting down the container because I was the one who put it up so high. I found myself displeased with the coffee that was offered to me by Shenanigan's daughter because the flamingo mug gets really hot and since I wasn't paying attention it burned my fingers.
I didn't like the remains of the sleepover that littered the floor of my living room after last night. I had an unreasonable reaction to dropping my shampoo on my foot in the shower. The kids had left their dirty clothes strewn about my bathroom and I have told them five million times to pick up after themselves. Everything was pissing me off, and I couldn't get out of my funk.
I had errands to run and Rawr graciously offered to watch the 5 while I took the older kids to Summer Club. If any of you have ever operated a vehicle on a paved road, I'm sure you've experienced road rage. In an attempt to cure myself from my Personal Punk Party, I just turned the radio up and sang along to the same three songs that every radio station plays over and over on some gawd-awful loop all the live-long day. Surprise, surprise. That didn't help.
I was sitting at the world's longest stoplight EVER waiting for the signal to change and just stewing in my sour attitude when I noticed a man standing on the side of the road holding a sign. I wasn't wearing my glasses (because everyone needs to pay $300 for something they can't ever remember to wear), so I couldn't read what the sign said. More often than not, the signs are all the same.
I absolutely do not judge the folks that find themselves begging for handouts because everyone has their story. Some do it honestly, looking for help, others take advantage. Most of the time, when I'm not acting like a total jack-tard, I remember that life isn't so bad and that things could always be worse. Because of that, I will occasionally carry gift cards to local fast food restaurants with five bucks loaded onto them and hand one out to someone that looks truly down on their luck.
I didn't have anything like that today so when the line started to move, I just rolled along with it. Ahead of me, a silver car slowed to a crqwl and I felt myself bristle. If that fool didn't get his butt in gear, the light would turn red again and we would all have to spend a second length of eternity waiting for it to change again.
Right about the time I felt my lip curl, I realized the silver car was slowing down just enough to hand the sign-holder something. It was a bottle of water. The man grabbed it, and with a huge smile plastered to his face he yelled his thanks to the driver, who was already pulling away and turning the corner. I felt something in my snotty attitude start to shift.
I made the light and continued on my way. I passed a sign holder wearing a red white and blue wig, dancing like a maniac and advertising for fireworks. The kid was having a blast. I smiled to myself.
I pulled into the parking lot of the new coffee shop that I've been meaning to try and got out of my car. In the jumble of trying to grab my purse, lock the door with my key and stand upright, I dropped my phone (that was weird because I am forever losing that stupid thing and I thought I had left it at home). There was a woman standing on the sidewalk who rushed over and picked it up for me, smiling as I thanked her.
I slowly began to come out of my dark and ugly mood. The coffee shop has a drive-thru and a walk-up. Seeing as how I basically lived in a drive-thru for twelve years, I tend to avoid those. The mere static of an intercom makes my skin hot and my palms sweat and I feel like any moment my boss is going to show up and demand last night's closing numbers and a detailed report of all things Burger.
I was third in line. In front of me was a lady about my age and at the order-window was a man dressed in an army uniform.
Not one to waste a good opportunity to oogle a man in uniform, uh, and also to show my appreciation for someone so dedicated to our country, I watched him as he ordered.
Watched. Stared. Same difference. What. Besides, dude had huuuuge arms. Like, I'll choke Hulk Hogan arms. It's not like I was going to do anything weird like ask for a photo with him. Although...
I wasn't the only one who was watching him with interest because the lady in front of me stepped forward and stated that she would like to purchase the man's coffee as a thank you for serving our country.
The soldier smiled and declined her offer, then handed his money to the cashier who stood there completely unsure of what to do. The lady again insisted on paying, whereupon the soldier graciously accepted, thanked her and went on his way.
I stood there watching the both of them, looking at their smiling faces and feeling like a complete a-hole.
All morning long I'd stewed on my so-called problems, my irritating attitude and everything else I could silently bellyache about.
I'd like to blame PMS and feel secure in that cop-out, but I know it's just life in general right now and my inefficiency in dealing with things in the way I originally plan to.
But really? Really?
I do not have it that bad. I appear to be doing a bit better than the man standing on the corner, asking for money. At least I don't have to wear a wig to my job, although that kid was having a blast doing it. And the soldier in line at the coffee shop. No way do my daily undertakings touch what he's most likely experienced.
Today I was shown that I'm a big whiny jerk.
Tomorrow will most certainly be different.