The other day, a friend said to me, “Why do these things always happen to you?” Just lucky, I guess. Things do seem to happen to me. If a “thing” is going to fall from the sky, I have a pretty good chance of it landing at my feet. I’ve learned to accept it, and my family has learned to duck.
Each weekday morning at 7 am, I drive Cole 11 city miles to the Chicago Waldorf School, which takes me 45 minutes. I make the return trip at 3 pm. I’m not a road warrior. I don’t scream, honk, or intimidate pedestrians, and I only text at stoplights. Cole will soon be taking the wheel, and I try to set a good example. I sip my hot chocolate, Cole sips his coffee, and we drive. If we do not encounter fallen trees, construction, stoplight outages, school buses picking up dawdling children, handicapped people exercising their right to cross the street against the light, 10-year-old patrol boys and girls directing rush-hour traffic, or breakfast food trucks with lines of hungry construction workers waiting for their Danishes while a street paver blocks the road…well…then we will make it to school on time.
Cole may not be able to tell his children stories about walking uphill both ways to school in subzero temperatures, but he may be able to share this story with them someday.
On the way to school, we were stopped behind a cab at a traffic light. The cab driver opened his door and dumped out his McDonald’s bag, IN THE STREET! Are you as incensed as I was? I honked my horn at him, with a short but firm beep. He showed me his middle finger. Jerk. The car on the other side of me motioned to Cole to roll down his window. “Hey, what was that about?,” the driver asked. I told him about the litterbug in front of us.
The driver announced, “I’ll take care of it.” The light changed, and the driver sped around me, catching up to the cab at the next light just as it turned red. We were now behind “Mr. Save-the-Day,” who leapt out of his car, walked toward the cab, and hit it with his hand while screaming, “HOW DARE YOU!” Cole glared at me, I glared back! This was not MY FAULT.
The cab driver got out of his cab and started screaming obscenities. Mr. Save-the-Day pushed the cab driver, the cab driver took a swing, and the cab’s passenger made a hasty retreat while glaring at me. “What?,” I thought, “This is not my fault.” The light changed, and I was graciously allowed to cut in front of another car to make my escape. Cole, who was watching our collective back, reported that both middle-aged white men were moving back toward their own cars. We arrived at school, Cole dashed in, and I’m pretty sure that by the end of day everyone knew about how I started a fist fight on the way to school. It wasn’t my fault!!
Next time, I may just quietly write down the cab number and report the driver to the cab company. Things may happen to me, but I do live, learn, and laugh…at least until the next thing happens!
What kind of things happen to you?
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