Being Ridiculous

Sometimes I just have to laugh at myself – and the little unexpected beauties in life.

I was in a hurry to get to church. A big hurry to go find some calm and spiritual communion. Ha!

I had made myself late squeezing in a few extra little chores that morning.   A few blocks from my house I got stalled by a slow-moving train. Arghhh. Getting increasingly stressed in my quest for enlightenment.

It was made worse because I was determined to get a cup of coffee first.   I had forgotten to buy any the day before and hadn’t yet had a cup.   I wanted a cup of Joe to go as I scurried to church.

FINALLY! The train crossing cleared.

I know I’m going to be late. I don’t like it. But I AM going to get a cup of coffee!

I fly to Starbucks. There is a line. The young woman in front of me is glued to the screen on her phone. I am annoyed. Not really sure why, just annoyed.

The line moves but she doesn’t. Glued to her phone.

I say, “Are you in line?”

She looks up at me and calmly says, “Yes I am.”

Now at this point, the line has moved but it’s not like there is an open cashier. It’s not like I could have pushed the young woman forward and gotten my coffee any sooner.

She then looks at me and says, “You seem like you’re in a hurry, why don’t you just go in front of me?”

Well! The nerve! Was she being snotty?

And then I caught myself. I looked at her and realized she wasn’t being snotty – she just wasn’t in a hurry.

I was suddenly embarrassed. I realized how ridiculous I was being. I laughed and said, “You know, I am in a hurry even though I don’t even really need to be. Nobody cares if I’m late to church. I got frustrated behind a train and then frustrated behind you. I’m sorry.”

She gestured for me to go in front of her.

Though uncomfortable I said, “You know I will. Thank you. And I will pay it forward. Thank you for being so gracious.”

I got my coffee and turned back to her. She was still in line. I gave her a little bow and mouthed “thank you.” She smiled back and said, “Have a lovely day.”

It was so beautiful.   Her graciousness and my willingness to recognize my silliness created a moment for a simple, kind human connection.

I was ten minutes late getting to church. Nobody cared. I took a seat in the back. It felt as though the gracious young woman from Starbucks was sitting right beside me.


Cylvia Hayes 

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