Today, I screamed at a stranger.
We were heading to 7-11 after a trip to the library and I was pushing my stroller across the street. A truck was waiting to turn, and as it was our right of way, the driver allowed us to cross. We were halfway across when the truck behind him started honking and screaming at the poor driver to get a move on, albeit with much meaner and more aggressive language.
Now, perhaps it is because I am now in the double digits of times-I’ve-almost-been-hit-by-turning-cars-while-crossing-at-a-light-when-I-am-supposed-to, but I didn’t take kindly to Mr. Rushy Pants screaming at a driver who was doing exactly what he was supposed to, so I yelled (the yell was purely so I could be heard over the traffic noise), “He is waiting for us to cross so he doesn’t kill my children.” (alright, maybe I wasn’t just yelling to be heard above the traffic, I may have been slightly annoyed.)
But then he yelled back at me! And his tone of voice had nothing to do with being heard over the traffic noise and everything to do with being a jerk face. He informed me that we were already across the center line and the guy should have been moving. And then he called me a crazy b*$@#.
Dude just swore at a woman with little kids. Not cool.
Now, if you know me, you know I am nice. Like, really nice. But this guy caught me at a bad moment (I mean, even the first yell is not my usual style – my typical MO is to glare intently, boring the words, “I have right of way” into the brain of the driver through psychic telepathy), but having just been at the library where my baby made it ear-piercingly clear for about 5 straight minutes that he did NOT want to be removed from the puzzle table, and being at the end of the 19th day straight of not having a nap or a chance to sleep in, AND running on 4 hours of sleep from the night before, I had no time for entitled men in cowboy hats. So I yelled back.
And I kind of wanted to say something mean, except I didn’t, because I’m really nice, and this man obviously was an unhappy fellow, so in the split second I had as he was driving away, with my niceness at war with my anger, I came up with a real zinger.
“You really need some love in your life!”, I screamed at the top of my lungs, as his tail-lights disappeared from view, which was actually an attempt to encourage him to get help, but came out like I was suggesting he needed to get laid.
Yeah, that’ll teach him.
My 3 year old asked why the man yelled, and I explained that he wanted to get somewhere in a hurry, and then of course had to explain that Mommy probably should not have yelled back at him. Then I informed him sincerely that he would never be the kind of man to yell out mean things from his car at people, because I would raise him better than that, and he nodded in emphatic agreement.
Then he dropped a lime slurpee on the floor of the 7-11 and I just started laughing and I couldn’t stop, because honestly.
Life is so much easier when you can smile at the slow driver, and laugh at the spilled slushie. I am glad I have plenty of love in my life. I hope Mr. Rushy Pants can find some, too.