December 9, 2010

Part 2: The Human Race Redeemed

Need to catch up? Read Part 1.

I've had a lot of time to obsess think about The Showdown at Dollar General this week. And I've come to an important conclusion in its wake:

My faith in people remains intact.

And I haven't found myself wanting to lash out at someone else because of the way Psycho Lady verbally attacked me. In fact, just the opposite -- I find myself almost obsessively going out of my way to be nice to everyone I come across. I've come to think of it as my own very small way of karmically making up for PL's rant and the negativity it put out into the universe.

And the universe has responded favorably.

I was doing some Christmas shopping the other night, and I decided to grab dinner at Panera (T hates it, so I have to grab it when I'm on solo missions). It was P-A-C-K-E-D. And when I grabbed my veggie sandwich and soup and took a look around, it was clear: There was nowhere to sit. Every table was teeming with snow-covered, hungry shoppers, huddled next to the fire in the middle of the room or warming their hands on hot coffee mugs, chatting with friends or tap-tapping away on laptops.

One lone table in the middle of the room sat empty: A long, skinny table that sat about 10. One lone girl sat at one of the ends. I ventured over to her.

"Do you have a big party sitting with you here?" I asked, balancing my tray.

"No, it's just three of us," she said, smiling.

"Would you mind if I sat at the other end? I promise I won't bother you," I said, smiling back. She nodded, and I sat down, and soon we were joined by another dining refugee, looking for a place to sit. I'd brought a book, but before too long, we were all chatting, my book lying unread beside me. Can you believe the snow? It's so cold outside. So cold we had a mouse in our house! OMG, us, too. At least it wasn't a rat, right? Hey, remember that book, "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH"?

And before I knew it, these strangers and I were having a warm conversation that lasted all through our meals and even afterward. And when we parted ways, we smiled at one another fondly and wished each other a happy holiday season.

I left with a smile on my face and held the door open for someone. On the way home, I let someone merge in front of me and waved back when they waved a "thank you."

So there, Psycho Lady. You can spew venom and vitriol, and call me fat, and it will almost certainly mess up my afternoon.

But the universe reminds me every day why it's a good place, filled with basically good people. And no matter what you say, you can't change that for me.

8 backtalk:

Summer said...

This fills me with warm fuzziness...

Thank you. . . I totally needed that!

Anonymous said...

That happened to Karen H. and I once at a Panera in Columbus and we had such a bonding lunch with another lady...found out she loves to come to a B&B in HC and comes here often. You're right, there are many more good, nice peeps than the occasional Psycho Lady...and that's a good thing!

Abbe said...

ahhhhh... redemption. i'm so glad your faith in humanity has been restored. you emerge victorious (take that, PL!)!

Wendy said...

Yay! Good for you Ms. Written Perm. Good for you.

Sassytimes said...

Awe, this was great! Good for you! It's really amazing how simple kindness can effect everyone around you.

wrestling kitties said...

Yep, this is just wonderful to read. I always try to take the high road and be kind to others and it does seem just when you think you are one of the few "good guys" left you get to see others showing kindness and it restores faith in people!

I HATE that you had such a shit time with Pyscho Lady....but am SO happy you had this experience!

Mickey D. said...

I didn't comment on the first post, (I should have) but it filled me with rage. Mainly because I can feel the tension in your voice/writing. (And I totally would have been shaking in my car afterward too.)

But you're right, the event that occurred at Panera was to remind you that most people are not like that idiot at the Dollar Store. We just tend to remember those more than the kind ones, unfortunately. But how lovely that they were so kind to you. (I totally hate that table at Panera - I'm afraid to sit there, I probably would have taken my food to go at that point.)

But you know what, I guarantee that someone who was at the Dollar Store who witnessed that incident probably went home and told their loved ones that some awesome lady stood up for herself and everyone else in line. And that they wished they'd have done it. So even though it wasn't a happy thing, somewhere you are being applauded for being a decent human being who handled a situation with class.

Hooray for happy endings!

Ky • said...


Thank you for taking the time to write **this** post after writing **that** post.

This pleases me so. Basically because I love you and the idea of that woman saying those things to you make me want to hop a plane and beat her down. (Yes, "beat her down.")

So glad that Panera was a good thing for you.


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