“In my opinion, we don’t devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks.” – Calvin and Hobbes
I am a rule follower – always have been, always will be. With the exception of a few wrong turns, I like to think that I’ve lived my life on the straight and narrow. I never try to get something for free that I haven’t earned or don’t deserve. I can’t bring myself to cheat on a test. I honor deadlines and commitments, and try my best to be kind and courteous to others. I’m a firm believer in Karma. I’ve experienced the outcome of spitting into the wind. It’s not something I care to repeat.
This is not to say that I am perfect. I’m not – far from it. I can be grumpy, foul-mouthed and even spiteful when provoked. On my best of days, I still get a chuckle out of slowing down to irritate the jack-hole tailgating me down the tollway – while the two lanes next to me are free and clear. My heart will sing as he finally whips around me and gives me the finger – mission accomplished. Will I go to hell for this? Maybe, if I believed in hell. Besides, I was raised Catholic. We have purgatory just for these occasion, right?
Road rage notwithstanding, I really do try to be the better person. I’ll give a rude store clerk a smile and a cheerful “Have a nice day”, tip the Sonic car hop a buck even though my drink only cost $1.27, let the guy on the freeway merge into my lane so he can exit even though he planned poorly and I now find myself inconvenienced. I try to be mindful that my wants and needs are no more important than the next person. So when I have one of those days, like today, when I am surrounded by people who are drowning in an over-abundance of self-importance, I get a little frustrated. Perhaps, even lose my faith in humanity. Like when the girl from gymnastics calls and gives me an hour’s notice of the summer schedule change, or the coach that tells me that I should have been told three o’clock instead of two o’clock – can you come back? Or BMW 6 series dude at the gym who must back his car into a spot, holding up a good half-dozen cars while he gets it perfectly centered between the yellow lines. Or the old hag in the gold Buick who nearly t-bones me because she decides she is too good to use the designated driving lanes in the Target parking lot. This, of course, is in addition to her going 30 mph across the parking spaces designated for parked cars. Can you say douchebaggery?
People are jerks.
But they’re not. Not everyone, at least. Those rare, un-jerkifed people appear out of the blue, quite unexpectedly and perform deeds of unparalleled kindness – just when you think all is lost. Today’s good Samaritan – a sharply dressed woman with perfectly coiffed hair. She heroically ran across the Target parking lot to save my poor, abused bumper from the sting of yet another runaway shopping cart (that some ass hat was too lazy to put into the cart return). Impact averted – just in the nick of time.
While wearing four-inch heels.
Faith in humanity restored.