Thursday, April 2, 2009

Paying it...backward?



We all try to do nice things on a daily basis. Whether it's letting the lady behind us in line go first because she's got a fussy child, or picking up something an elderly person dropped to keep them from having to bend over. Little gestures can go a long way to making a person's day that much better or easier.


The other day I thought I was doing something nice for someone. Unfortunately, it came back to bite me in the butt yesterday morning as I was taking my kids to school. Don't you hate when you try to do something to help, then your kindness doesn't rub off?


Let me start at the beginning. When I take my kids to school in the mornings traffic can be a pain. Generally the road in front of the school has people coming and going and there are no lights or stop signs. It can get chaotic, especially for those trying to turn left out of the school. But most times folks will stop and let the left turners go, it's just something we all do to keep the flow moving. I did this, stopped and let a few left turners go ahead of me so they could get onto work. One was a man in a big flat-bed truck. I've seen him dropping his daughter off a few times and I recognized him as a local.
Now, fast forward a few days. Yesterday, I was at our local gas station before school started--my daughter goes there every morning to get her coffee. Well, I was pulling out of the parking spot, going pretty slow because that gas station is super busy in the mornings. It's the only place for miles where you can fill up, and there are always kids walking around, coming in and out getting coffee or something before school starts. Plus, it's a bus stop. You don't dare dart out of there! What happens though? Someone beeps at me. I mean, he lays on his horn. He's pissed that I'm not moving fast enough to suit him. He wants my spot and he's clearly in a hurry. I'm a little frustrated because I'm thinking that there are a lot of kids walking around and as far as I'm concerned he's already proven he's not the safest of drivers! Anyway, as our vehicles pass, I see him in the driver's side window cussing at me. Guess what, he's the guy I let out the other day, the left turner. All I could think was, 'way to pay it forward, dumbass'.
Since I'm a mother and I have my daughters in the car, the first thing I did was ask them, 'do you know who that was?'. My oldest pipes up and says, 'yeah, he's the guy you let out the other day. What a jerk.' To me, it was a learning experience for all of us. Sometimes we do something nice and it bites us in the ass. Do we stop doing nice things? No, but it is sad that some people will never understand the concept of common courtesy.

15 comments:

Regina Carlysle said...

I know just where you're coming from, Anne. This stuff happens to me all the time and it's frustrating that people can't/don't/won't repay a common courtesy. Just when I think my head is gonna explode over this crap, one of my kids will comment about it and I console myself with the knowledge they are seeing this behavior too. Just like with your girls, mine will say...what a jerk! I would never act that way!

At least our kids are hopefully learning good lessons in courtesy and good manners from the mistakes of others.

Christine Clemetson said...

I agree. When the kids notice it, its good because they "see" what's going on too...Life!

Good post!

Susan Macatee said...

I can quite understand. I'm always polite when I drive, allowing others out of parking lots when traffic is at a standstill and the like. What I really hate is when I'm stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street and some jerk behind me lays on the horn. Does the driver really want me to mow down pedestrians so he won't be late?

Kelley Nyrae said...

Ugh. Stuff like that drives me crazy. I've had little things like that happen to me before. I'll never understand why people don't understand common courtesy.

Karin Shah said...

It's sad he couldn't be polite. Maybe he has er...Montezuma's revenge and desperately needed to get to the bathroom...

Karin Shah
STARJACKED
Available now!
Samhain Publishing

Mary Ricksen said...

It's too bad we all don't have better attitudes. There are some people who just don't get it. But there are so many more who do. Keep being that good person, it comes back to you in other ways.
Maybe lots of book sales!

Anne Rainey said...

Regina--I was glad the girls were with me to see how he acted. It was a good lesson for them to see how NOT to act.

Christine--Yep! I can still remember the first time we went to the park. There was some trash on the ground and I asked one of the girls to pick it up. 'But I didn't drop it'. I told her I know, but it still belongs in the trash. Now it's a regular thing for us, whether we're walking down the road or at the park, we see trash, we pick it up.

Anne Rainey said...

Susan--Oh that really gets me! I've had that happen, too. And being women we have to be careful not to react for fear of having this guy go all nutso on us.

Anne Rainey said...

Kelley--It is frustrating, esp. when he did this at a heavy traffic moment and at a bus stop too.

Karin--LOL, maybe.

Mary--My reward is that my kids saw the right way to treat people and they also recognized the wrong way.

Molly Daniels said...

Yup...always a good idea to demonstrate good manners when kids are with you:) Teaches them to avoid 'road rage' someday, hopefully anyway!

Anne Rainey said...

Molly--Exactly! I worry (have nightmares) about that considering my oldest will be 16 soon.

Amy Ruttan said...

Yeah tell me about it. *shakes head*

Chris R said...

Got to remember that we remember the things that make an impact on us. What you probably don't remember or just accepted was someone else being just as polite as you are as a driver. I know I have moved to a new area and I am very concious and point out how polite the drivers are in our new town. LOL

Dragonlady said...

I hear you. We have a quote in our house that says, "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished." LOL But we do random acts of kindness anyway.

My daughter is 18 now and driving. I realized she really watched what I did because one day we were driving down a street that goes down the side of the new high school and the speed limit is 25 even though most of the world hits 35-40. She had someone be a dork to her by cussing at her and pointing with a certain finger because she had right of way. Anyway, she chose to go down the road at 25 with a huge you-know-what eating smile on her face while the guy kept getting madder. He decided to use his brain (the one he sits on, I guess) and passes her on this two way road and in an intersection. Did I mention that this intersection is a favorite of local sheriff officers? he he he. Needless to say, instant lights and sirens....with us just smiling at the officer as we drove by. My daughter's words, "That felt really good."

N.J.Walters said...

It's frustrating, but all you can do is keep on paying it forward.

All that guy got out of it was frustration. From the sound of things, he probably has a lot of that in his life, much of it of his own making.