During the middle of a smoldering summer day, I pushed the three and 1/2 wheeled shopping cart to my car. I was under enormous pressure to complete my overreaching to do list that day, and I found myself stressed and overwhelmed. The humidity made my clothes cling to me and the scorching rays of the sun caused my throat to be dry as the desert sand. I fumbled with my key and then opened the trunk to deposit my dozen or so plastic Mart bags. I secured the cart with my left foot by the bottom bar and proceeded to make my transfer. “Last one.” I thought hoping to cheer myself onto completion. I misjudged the height of the trunk side and bumped the plastic bottles on the side of the metal trunk. The bag tore like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, and one by one my two 2-liter sodas bounced on the hot concrete and began to roll across the parking lot. I panic and decide to chase down by purchases that were quickly escaping not even thinking about the fact that I had let go of the shopping cart. Now this Mart that we must shop at because there are no others is built on a slight incline. Just enough to keep any unmanned projectile picking up speed. I captured one of my soda bottles and then became keenly aware that my cart was careening in the direction of several parked cars.
I began to attempt to catch the cart for fear I should be the reason for someone’s insurance claim. It must have been a sight watching a slightly overweight, middle-aged woman with a physical disability in her back, attempting to subdue a runaway shopping cart. The miracle of Miracles, I reached the cart just before it kissed the side of a practically new Sudan. I panted in exhaustion and scanned the parking lot for a cart return. I pushed the buggy to its resting spot mumbling under my breath about how stupid the whole thing was. Then I remembered I had one more soda to find. I use find here because, in hindsight, that was exactly what I had to do. This thing had rolled underneath the cars and appeared to be completely gone. I was about to just give up when I decided to get down on my hands and knees and see if I could spot it. Simple enough. See it. Retrieve it. Go home.
So there I was crouching down, leaning on the sizzling pavement with my bare hands, and the bottom falls out of the sky. It was one of those Florida summer pop-up thundershowers that arrive with practically no warning. I was feeling angry. I was on the verge of tears. Then there it was in my mind’s eye I could see myself: drenched and practically in a fetal position in the middle of a parking lot next to some strangers car. I would have a hard time believing this story if someone I didn’t know were skulking around my car in the rain. Then from way down deep inside, I began to giggle. I knew I looked foolish. I looked crazy running across that parking lot chasing carts and soda bottles. Now I am drenched, makeup is streaking down my face, and my hair is tousled from practically standing on my head. I smiled resigning myself to sacrifice the lost soda.
I stood up and attempted to straighten my clothes as they hugged my torso. I looked upward and allowed the cool rain to wash over me. I walked to the car. I got inside and drove away as if nothing had happened. But I smiled all the way home. It was all so silly. Before the rain, I was so angry, and now I feel almost giddy.
We are all human. We all make mistakes. We all have issues. Next time you are not clear on what is causing a person to behave in an “out of the ordinary” manner just remember, they may have been on their knees caught in the rain.
For another good story click: Smiles