We took the kids to a Holiday Pops concert over the weekend. The whole family made it nephews and grandparents and great aunts. It was wonderful, great energy, beautiful music. The woman with the unbelievable voice who once toured with Doc Severinsen (Doc Severinsen! hadn’t thought about him in years) sang one of my favorite Christmas songs – Grown Up Christmas list. And I was feeling it and I was thinking about writing a whole post on it and I was going to come up with an enlightening and inspiring list.
Then as we walked to our car a family, who had just left the same inspiring concert as us, in their shiny luxury import willfully nearly mowed us down trying to get out of the parking lot. Their kids were laughing in the back seat at their father’s horrible behavior and all we all could say was how terrible they all were. How awful the wife who was encouraging the behavior and not chiding her kids for laughing at such a thing. How awful an example of a father this man was and how his impact was visibly rubbing off, his message getting through loud and clear to his progeny, who were equally awful.
And I was PO’d. Big time. Green bile spewing, 360 head turn ticked. All grace and warmy shmarmy Christmasy spirit was gone. Gone. Gone. The Spanish in me was raging. As I drove home I started to see the humor in my reaction after having been ready to write a post on the glossiest feelings of the season only to be reduced to an angry seeking retaliation furor.
Is it really so easy to rattle me into bad behavior? Apparently, it is. And I was disappointed in myself. I reacted the way I tell my kids not to react. They’ve heard so many times that when you reduce yourself to the level of that family in the car you don’t win. No, you look just like them – a floating trash island in the ocean polluting humanity.
I must be better than that and usually I am. But I’m on a short circuit for the intolerable and that is a generous word for that family. Still, it will be my goal in the new year to cage that immediate reaction into one that handles things in a much calmer less angry way. It’ll be hard but not impossible. And it needs to happen because I’d never want to be seen on the same level as those kinds of people. Ever. I will dig deep to rise above it all in the future.
But that doesn’t mean they won’t make it as one of the characters in a book someday…