I am not feeling well. As I was driving to Athens to meet the mobster on Friday I could feel the tickle in my throat and knew it meant I was coming down with a cold.
Today I was at work, not really focused but doing my best. At lunch I decided I would grab just a regular burger and fries.
I pulled into Wendy’s. Ordered a burger- cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickle and tomato. Medium size with a diet Coke.
“Would a Coke Zero be ok?” I’m asked. When I hesitated she went on to tell me it’s zero calories just like diet Coke. Well, so’s water but it doesn’t taste like fucking diet Coke.
I went with diet Dr. Pepper instead. Fine. Let’s move on.
I drive over to the park where I’ve been eating my lunch. I eat all my french fries first because that’s the way I do things. I eat all of one thing and then all of the next thing. I rarely mix it up.
I finally get to my burger. Yep- there’s ketchup, mustard, pickle and tomato alright. On a freakin’ spicy chicken patty!
I was a little bit torn. I mean, they did the condiments right. And I do like a good spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy’s. However, it would never occur to me to put ketchup, mustard, tomato, and pickle on a chicken sandwich. Mustard and pickle alone, yes. But the ketchup and tomato? That’s just wrong!
At this point I have two options. I can do like I did years ago when they forgot to put cheese on my burger and throw it on the floor in a huff, or I can suck it up and eat it.
I took another look at it, shrugged, and thought to myself, “It is what it is,” and I ate it.
Later on in my lunch hour I was telling the mobster this very fascinating story. I told him I had chosen to let it go and not let it bother me. Then I went on to tell him that earlier in the day I was doing one of my action plans for stress reduction.
One of the things that the plan recommends is to let things go and not let the anger overwhelm you. The plan went on to ask, “Will this matter 4 months from now? Four years from now?”
Let me tell you a little story about a Christmas shopping trip to Walmart. The year was 1996, maybe 1997….
My former in-laws were up visiting us in Michigan. The air was cold, there was plenty of snow on the ground, and it was Christmas shopping time. I was driving for some reason. Usually Jerry Lee drove. I found a great parking spot. Someone was backing out of it so I put my turn signal on and waited. Patiently. With Christmas spirit in my heart.
The car finally backs out. I’m getting ready to pull in when this car that was on the other side of the parking spot pulls into the spot on their side and then pulls through so that they have now actually taken my spot.
I know it’s irrational and has probably shortened my life by twenty years but that still pisses me off to this day! Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I think about it every day. But it’s there. Especially at Christmas time when the parking is tough to come by.
When the mobster expressed surprise that I could still get upset about that I had to remind him, “It was Christmas time. At Walmart! You don’t do that. You do not pull through when someone is waiting for that parking spot!”
Fortunately the chicken patty debacle will not have anywhere close to the same staying power. I plan on forgetting it as soon as I hit post.