Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wherein Your Humble Narrator Sees a Situation Shift

You never know what you might see out in the world sometimes. Here is an example. I was on the phone with my sister, shooting the breeze, when this all went down. She can attest to the tale, because I narrated it to her (and promised I'd blog it).

I was sitting in the parking lot outside of CVS waiting for Geoff's prescription to get filled. There were shopping carts all over the lot.   It is a windy day, so the carts were migrating where the wind would take them. I guess  cart jockeys from the stores all called out sick today, because there seriously were a lot of carts roaming the lot far away from their stores.

A young man, probably in his early twenties, smoking a butt, driving a green beat up green something or other car with NH plates, was driving around the lot, grabbing carts and pushing them to kind of a central space, and letting them go. There was a cart in the middle of the main drag, and he grabbed it, drove it, let it go and drove away.

The owner of a silver or grey something or other mobile (can you tell I don't do well with identifying cars by manufacturer? They all look the same to me) had just parked, gotten out, and was headed over to Aubuchon Hardware.

I saw the shopping cart rolling right for the silver or grey car, and the young boy in his green car with New Hampshire license plates (I did notice he had a passenger and a black dog) was headed out the Dunkin Donuts entrance.

Silver or Grey Car owner (I thought it was a lady but it was a dude with long hair, and an orange shirt on) turns around in time to see the cart heading right for his car. He chases it! He doesn't get it in time. BANG! The cart hits his car.

Dude's arms are up in the air with the international WTF! body gesture (looks sort of like "touchdown" in football but much angrier) and he goes to get in his car and I presume by his body language that it is his intent to chase the kid in the green car.

I tell my sister "Oh no! He's gonna chase the kid!" 

Here's where it gets interesting... I look up to see that the Green Car kid is driving back. He's driving back to where the car was struck by his attempt at cart-corralling failure.

Dude with the long hair gets out of his car. Kid in the green car gets out of his. It crosses my mind I may want to remember this vividly so I can testify in the court case that will obviously be coming up after they pummel the crap out of one another.

"The guy who's car got hit by the cart is yelling," I tell my sister. He's gesturing wildly. Kid in the green car is obviously explaining what he intended to do, and ... it looks like he's apologizing for hitting the guy's car with the cart.

Long hair dude that I thought was a lady is getting progressively less angry, and now...

"They're shaking hands!" I tell my sister.

"They're .... high-fiving and laughing!" I continue. I'm waiting for it... waiting for it... will it happen? Yes. It does.

"They're HUGGING!" I cheer.

Kid gets back into his green car, and Orange Shirt Long Hair Dude waves them goodbye.

What I thought was going to be an epic throwdown of mass proportions turned into a high-fiving apology lovefest. By returning to the silver or grey whatever it was car, by seizing responsibility for his actions, and by apologizing for doing wrong, this kid wins. Even if the guy had told him off, bitched him out and walked away, he still wins. But -- long hair silver car owning guy in the orange shirt accepts the apology. His anger has no further route except to grace and forgiveness. When someone is standing in front of you, taking ownership of their mistake and apologizing... the situation shifts, the dynamic changes, and with forgiveness there is laughter.

Things like that, things that don't turn out the way you would expect them to on the 6 o'clock news, give me hope.

And that, dear hearts, is a beautiful way to begin a week.


  1. Wouldn't happen in Newton. That is a nice day to start the week

  2. Dude, you KNOW it wouldn't happen in N'town... the meanest town in all of north america. Think you're making a left hand turn? NOPE! I have to hurry up and block your path so I can sit at a stop light!