The new checker at our grocery store is WAY too cool for school. He works the night shift. The first (and last) time I went through his stand, he was chatting up the cute young lady ahead of me, and brazenly watching something on his phone while checking out customers.
Almost immediately he started adding up the groceries on the conveyor belt of the VERY NICE, twenty-something guy just behind me along with mine. We both stopped him at the same time.
“Oh,” he said, “I thought she was your grandma or something.” I glared at him. “You thought I was old enough to be HIS grandmother?” And the super nice guy jumped in and said, “I would LOVE for you to be my grandma.” But even that undeserved kindness didn’t stop me from stomping out. No matter. Super Cool Guy was back on his phone, my anger just a funny footnote to his boring night at work.
Now, here’s the really stupid part. OF COURSE I’m old enough to be his grandmother. EASILY. But I’m sensitive about this because, up until a severe illness several years ago, I looked a bit younger than my age. And how ungrateful am I to be angry about looking my age, when I’m so, so lucky to be alive?
Where do the conflicts and divisions among you originate? Right there, in our unexamined and knee-jerk responses to perfectly normal conversation. By the time I got to my car I recognized where my VERY UNCHARACTERISTIC anger had come from, and I was ready to make peace.
Honest reflection, and repentance, can end conveyor belt conflicts, and wars, before they start.
What experience of unchecked anger have you been surprised by in yourself?
Kathy McGovern ©2021