Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Do, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help, and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made before The Project started, and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”
This week: I will count to ten before reacting.
(I have to try this Dare again because I’m a loser, and I failed miserably the first time.)
Remember when I confessed that the last time a friend broke something in my home, I told her she was dead to me and no amount of apologizing was going to resurrect the friendship? I was nine. It was my favorite tea set.
I should have counted to ten, taken a deep breath, and continued playing with that little tea-set-breaker. Instead, I shooed her away and averted my eyes every time I rode my pink Huffy by her house that summer wearing my lime-green tankini and my colorful assortment of slap bracelets. Wherever you are Mary, I was a hotheaded little girl and I’m sorry.
I’m still quick to lose my temper.
Last week, during a grocery run to Trader Joe’s, a middle-aged man with his young son stopped me as I walked down the frozen food aisle.
I’m always a little afraid when a man grabs my arm. I run through the same two questions before I let my guard down. It’s a little flow chart in my head. Have I slept with this man? If yes, smile politely and walk away. Quickly. If no, I ask the second question. Does this man look like he just got out of prison or is heading there soon? If yes, don’t smile at all and walk away. Quickly. If no, stand there until he asks a question or informs me I have green dental floss stuck to my shoe (true story).
Having answered “no” to both questions in my Flow Chart of Safety, I stood there and waited.
Man: Are these potstickers any good?
Me: I haven’t had them before. Most things here are pretty good, so you might want to take a chance.
Man: Uh, shouldn’t you know anyway. Don’t you Chinese people eat a lot of potstickers?
Trader Joe’s is not the kind of place you want to get gangsta.
Sure, we could try and put a positive spin on the sitch. His young son did walk away with at least eleven new words in his vocabulary. The added bonus being that most of the words were only four letters and, therefore, easier to spell. I walked into Trader Joe’s looking for bananas, and I walked out having expanded the mind of today’s youth.
I’m giving this another shot. I’m counting to ten this week before reacting. I regret this Dare already.
Have you found a way to take a step back? Or, has your temper gotten you into sticky situations?
image via rivercityartworks shop @ etsy.com