Yesterday I finally (finally!) went out and bought a new pair of jeans. I had received a catalog with a cute cute pair on sale, so I went on over to the store to check them out, and turns out the ones on sale were elastic waist. Okay, I'm all about comfort, and I understand the need for elastic waist in certain situations. Pregnancy, post-op, post-pregnancy, and, okay, I think that's about it. Unless you're 90 years old, then due to the fact that you've lived nearly a century, you can wear pretty much whatever you choose. I would choose a house coat. And slippers. Okay, I would choose that now, but I can't pull it off like an old gray haired granny.
So I give in and buy the regular priced jeans, and a shirt on sale for $9. Score! I'm not thrilled about paying full price, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. This whole time, both kids had been with me, and had been perfect angels. No, really. Gretta is still fighting a vomiting virus, so she was at an all time energy low, which translated into her sitting peacefully in a chair while Maggie entertained her with books and stuffed animals. It was Heavenly. I proceed to check out, at which point the cashier tells me she's a Montessori trained teacher who does babysitting on the side. Always a nice thing to know, just in case.
I gather up the goods, and the children, and head outside. As I'm crossing the road and scurrying through the 15 degree air, I see a car out of the corner of my eye. I realize about halfway across the road that it isn't stopping, and is, in fact, speeding up! Speeding up! The drives swerves around us, at which point I take it upon myself to give him the old Chicago Hello wave. This prompts him to slam on his brakes, which is just what I wanted. Now I can confront my attacker face to face.
He proceeds to get out of the car, and walk towards me. He is about 5 feet tall, no teeth, and no hair, and covered in tattoos. It is a perfect juxtaposition to the beat up POS Hyundai he's driving around. So we exchange words, which went like this,
Me: "Hey! What the heck? I'm a pedestrian (not pedestrain, Jill), you should be giving me the right of way!"
Jerk: "You need to use a *^&*ing crosswalk you *^&*(). "
Me: "Do you see any crosswalks around here?" Me motioning around and pointing out the fact that there are in fact, no crosswalks.
Jerk: "Well, you need to use a crosswalk! Stupid @#@$%"
Me: "I have 2 kids here, you could have killed us! You jerk, I'm calling the police."
Jerk: Ducks quickly into his Hyundai and "speeds" away.
At this point, I'm grateful for 2 things. The fact that Gretta was in my arms and not running alone by herself as she normally would be. And also the fact that I'm medicated with anti anxiety meds. Normally a confrontation like this would have sent me into a crying fit. I wasn't even shaking. I was calm. Calm, people! That $2 a pill is totally worth it after this.
But as I drove away, still reliving the incident in my mind, I realized that I'm especially grateful for my genes. Knowing in my heart that I was in the right, and knowing that had I been on the other side of this confrontation, I would have let that mother and her children cross the street and not even given it a second thought. There is something basic and instictual about it. Being a good person is more than just waving to a neighbor, or going to church every week. It's doing what we know is the right thing.
I could have turned out like that Jerk, who obviously has no respect for women, children, or people in general. I don't know his circumstances, but most people are taught right from wrong at an early age. And yet sometimes, it just doesn't take. They still do stupid things that are common for most of us.
But thankfully I didn't turn out like that Jerk. For some reason it took on me. And it stuck. Not that I don't ever make mistakes, but there is a place in me that wants to make others safe and comfortable.
And I blame it all on good genes.