The other day I was picking up some sandwiches for lunch, planning to meet my wife at home. I grabbed some chips and drinks for us while the sandwiches were being made and waited at the counter. When they were ready, the guy behind the counter put both sandwiches in a small paper bag, so small that the two bags of chips would not also fit. The smart play would have been to ask for a bigger bag, but no one’s ever accused me of being…
So I gathered the sandwiches, chips and two large cups of Diet Coke in a slightly awkward way, but I was sure I still looked like Bond as I made my way to the door. That is until one of the cups slipped out of my hand, crashing to the floor, bathing my feet in Diet Coke and causing a huge puddle on the floor. I could have left the mess, but then my wife wouldn’t have had a drink, so I grabbed some napkins and began cleaning up the mess. As I was sopping up the soda, this guy who was next in line looked at me and said, “Don’t worry. Happens to the best of us.”
I smiled politely, and then, summoning all my ninja training, I lunged at him, pinning him against the wall! “The BEST of us?!?! The BEST of us?!?! You think you’re better than me?”
He seemed confused. “What?”
“You said, ‘It happens to the best of us!’ You think you’re better than me?”
Still confused. “What?”
I was full-on Samuel L. at this point. “Say ‘What’ again! Say ‘What’ one more time! I double dog dare you!” Then, I took his Diet Seagram’s Cherry Vanilla Pepper Zero and poured it over his head.
He still seemed confused, so I cleared it up for him. “You can’t go around saying stupid things like that. How do you know I’M not the best of us? Think about what you’re saying. Think about what you’re saying! Now, go clean yourself up, and just to make sure you remember this, I’m taking your jalapeno chips.”
My wife and I had a delightful lunch.
At this point in the story a good friend of mine would ask, “Were you that, or were you like that?”
So maybe I embellished a little. I had to since what he said didn’t hit me until I was in the car.
I know he didn’t mean anything by it, but think about that saying. When someone says to you, “Happens to the best of us,” are you supposed to assume you are part of that best group? Or are you to assume that it’s no surprise something like that would happen to a slob like you since it also happens to people better than you?
I didn’t throw him against the wall, I didn’t pour soda over his head, and I certainly didn’t steal his chips. However, I have seen responses nearly as ridiculous.
People say stupid things. They do stupid stuff. It’s important to measure how you respond to that stupid stuff.
Grace is a pretty big part of my religion. It is something people enthusiastically receive from God, emphatically demand from other people, and steadfastly refuse to offer to anyone else. But a little grace goes a long way.
It’s like this. Everybody’s fighting a battle of some sort. I know what mine is. Beyond that, I don’t know much. You know what your battle is. Beyond that, you don’t know much either.