I just finished reading an AMAZING book called “The Law of Happiness” by Dr. Henry Cloud and I have been recommending it to everyone I come in contact with. Dr. Cloud is a clinical psychologist and the premise of the book is a “how spiritual wisdom and modern science can change your life” and make you a happier person. I can go on talking about it forever, but all-in-all it is a must read. So, trailing right on the coat tails of this book I had a pretty disturbing experience…
Last Tuesday morning I was leaving the drugstore with my 5 1/2 year old son Logan. I was parked in a parking spot with cars on both sides of me. Oddly enough everyone was parked within their own white lines. I walked Logan to his door and opened it for him to avoid any unnecessary damage to the car next to us since he thinks that all of our dings, scratches and dents are normal, and well everyones car looks like that (Ahh, youthful innocence). So after I led Logan carefully into our car I opened my door and got into the drivers seat. As I began to rummage through my purse for some chapstick I noticed a young girl about 16 years old, inspecting her car door right outside of my window. Since my window was open there were only about two feet between us. I continued to stare at her while she inspected her car as if she were about to dust it for fingerprints. After about 30 seconds she looked at me and said, “Umm, you know you like, just slammed like, your car door right into mine, right?” NOTE: All “like” quotes were actually used and are not a typo. Reflecting on what I had just read about being a happier, healthier individual I decided to take a deep breath and try not to treat her like the spoiled little princess that I am sure she is, so I responded by saying, “No, that wasn’t me, I made especially sure that my son and I were careful when getting into the car. I’m sorry about your car but it wasn’t me.” With that Miss Fairfield County says, “It was like totally you! I was sitting in the car and like my whole car shook when your door hit my car!” And then she proceeds to say, “I mean I don’t care, I just think you should like be a little considerate! God, some people are so rude!” Keep in mind that Logan was watching this whole thing go down from the seat behind me. When I looked in the rear view mirror at him he was starring at her in horror wondering if Mommy was going to either give her a time out or a much deserved spanking. This girl was maybe 5 feet 1 inch and no older than 16 years of age so what I wanted to do and what I wanted to say where far from what actually took place…fortunately for her. Oddly enough, I actually began to shake with anger while nervously smiling the entire time. With my teeth clenched together I managed to mutter, “I am sorry you think I damaged your car, but it wasn’t me. Is there something you want me to do?” She rolled her eyes as she began to get into the car, of course “like” cursing under her breath the entire time. But to my surprise she was getting into the passengers seat. With a silly smile on my face all I could managed to say was,”I am sorry you feel that way,” while I watched her mother, YES, you heard me, HER MOTHER get into the drivers seat, buckle up and pull away as if she was either deaf, dumb, or just plain ignorant to the fact that her daughter was speaking to another adult with such profanity and disrespect. It was beyond amazing to me that her mother did not say one word to either of us, what is this world coming too?! Is this normal? Am I the crazy one? While they were pulling away, Logan asked me why she was yelling at me. He also asked if she was going to chase us down in her car and crash into us (too many Cars movies). I assured him that was not going to happen but decided to use this as a unique teaching moment, on what else but happiness. So I said to him “There are lots of people in this world who are just not happy and because they are unhappy they want other people to be unhappy too even if that means lying, cheating or saying mean things to others. This is one of the reasons why Mommy and Daddy tell you to treat us and others with respect so that you can be happy, not a ‘meany shmeany’.” Hopefully he got it, because it took everything in my will power to sit their and listen to a pretentious, bitchy little girl talk to me as if I was the hired help at her parents country club!
Please write back with any comments and/or similar experiences that you my have encountered with your children. How did you handle the situation? I would love to hear from you!
Enjoy the read!