When you find out that your child has been kicked five times while they were sitting in the secretary’s office just days after you had asked the principal if he was safe in the school…
When you go to Costco and the people are just mean.
People are huffing and puffing and muttering – obscenities probably – just because you are standing too long in front of a bag of chips.
When you get to the register and they won’t accept your coupon because it’s not the salad pictured and you hear the people sighing so loud that you feel it punch you right into next bloody Wednesday.
You just pay for the big Kardashian ass sized salad.
When you get to the parking lot and people honk because you take too long to get situated and move out of the way.
You get honked at for letting people cut in front of you, for backing out of spaces, and for just sitting there existing in your car.
You rage chew your gum all the way to Starbucks.
You rage chew it in the line at Starbucks.
You rage chew it thinking about how many times you got up in the middle of the night with your blind dog.
You rage chew it thinking about the mean little turdlettes at your son’s school.
You rage chew it thinking about his teacher, your back pain and why can’t I find my receipt to my chronic pain infusion, the medication I’ve yet to get refilled, I really need to get my hair cut, but I need to tackle the spring cleaning, ugh the laundry,
You rage chew that gum so hard that you make a diamond.
When the barista with soft face and the long, dark wiry beard snaps you out of it, he asks you what your name is, something shifts.
You say “Madeline.”
And he starts singing a song about Madeline and you laugh so hard because no one has ever done that…
And Madeline is not your name.
It was both of my grandma’s names.
Then when I drove to my psychiatrist’s appointment – one that they had rearranged at the last minute – a man in the parking lot handed me his leftover time on his parking ticket.
“Put yourself first,” my psychiatrist reminded me, after I dumped all my baggage, my hurt, everything that those people didn’t see when they first encountered me that day.
Why can’t everyone just be kind.
I am not perfect. I will admit that I have had miserable moments with people but I am trying because I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end.
You and I have absolutely no idea what someone has gone through.
Being kind to someone – you have no idea what this does for a person who feels lost in chaos.
And to you – if you’re having a bad day, you can always start over and be Madeline.
She was always a bad ass.