Tonight, Jordan and I went on a date (yay!). It always seems like it's been too long. We thoroughly enjoy getting out and away from the kids :) We ventured to the mall. And as we were driving under the parking garage, a lady driving towards us began to turn into a spot. We slowed to a stop and as she was turning, she looked at us and was viciously shaking her head and clearly yelling at us. We first just stared at her, then I turned around to look behind to see if there was a car behind us she was yelling at - nope. So we asked each other, 'was she yelling at us?!' And we just laughed about it because we had no clue what was going on! We parked as well, just a few spots away. And we knew we were going to see this lady again. So as we're all walking towards the mall, Jordan very politely (seriously, I'm not being sarcastic here!) asks her, 'why are you upset with us?' And she flips out again! What we caught from her yelling was something about us flashing our lights at her. I quickly stated to her that our lights go on automatically and must have come on when we got in the dark. But she had some rebutle to that statement and wasn't going to drop it so we just walked on. There was another lady with her, both of them middle-aged (perhaps menopausal?!) and she just had this big smile on her face through it all. And I think we did too!
At first, this fiasco reminded me of our kids. I'm pretty sure that everyday since Natalie started school, there has been one little meltdown. Not that she didn't have those before but they are more frequent now and more 'mature meltdowns' as if she were already a teenager. She'll just get so upset over nothing and out of nowhere, she starts accusing me or another family member of something we did that offended her but we're all clueless as to what it was. And she always makes an announcement to everyone that goes something like, 'Ok... [states problem], I guess no one wants to be my friend, I'm just going to go in my room and never, ever come out.' And she leaves and we all just look at each other in confusion. Even Charlie will say in so many words, 'what's wrong with NayNay?' Natalie tries to give us a guilt-trip!
Ruby takes a similar approach to her tantrums. She gets upset over having to change her clothes. Lately, she always wants to wear the same skirt over and over again. At least it's over pants so when we just stay at home for the day, I let her get away with it. But after days of this or if we're going out and I tell her to take it off, she begins to argue. She cannot understand why Rapunzel and The Chipmunks don't have to change their clothes. And the arguement sometimes leads to a tantrum when I have to remove the skirt myself. And we go from unhappy Ruby to enraged, won't be calmed down, Ruby. The face of the menopause lady. Ruby just gets MAD!
And then there's Charlie. He is so busy and into everything! So we've been having our bouts. Lately, he has tantrums over having to give me something that he shouldn't play with... a fork or knife, daddy's chalk line, a sharp scissors.... I usually have to wrestle it away from him and then he incorporates a scream into his tantrum. So far I haven't had to deal with a tantrum in the store but we've all seen that kid in the store that just lets out a scream and his mom doesn't know what to do. Oh I hope I don't have to deal with a Charlie tantrum in the store!!
Back to the screaming lady.... Part of me took pity on her. If we had flashed our lights at her purposely, she'd have reason to be a little annoyed since it probably didn't make sense to her why we would do that. And I realized that I pitied her because I also see myself in certain situations where I'm so sure of what I saw and so angry but there is absolutely no reason for me to be upset! And a lot of times, after the fact, I realize how childish I acted or felt. And it doesn't hurt the other person (or it shouldn't when they had nothing to do with it) but it only brings my own attitude down.
It's all part of our human nature and sometimes, it's hard to break free from that. It feels good to have that pity-party or to throw that occassional tantrum. But we gain nothing. And we just look stupid!! There are different times when I catch myself getting into that mentality of 'poor me...' and it does nothing at all for me or anyone else!
So thank you, crazy-angry-lady for reminding me that jumping to conclusions and formulating judgements and throwing pity parties do nothing for the betterment of any of the people involved!