Yesterday I wanted to try a pizza place with my husband for dinner. We ventured out into the slightly over-warm San Diego early evening, with the sun setting directly in front of me all the way there. I was already nervous while driving, because I knew this joint was in a neighborhood that was notorious for having little to no parking. It was a short drive and we found it in no time – naturally, though, no parking close by. So, extremely preoccupied with turning left on a busy street, finding parking on a side street and with the sun in my eyes, I DID NOT SEE A TRAFFIC LIGHT DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF ME. As a result of my *ahem* lack of observation, I proceeded to freak out that a guy was just coming from my left, from the street on which I was trying to turn, and barreling through the intersection. My jaw dropped incredulously and so I honked. Long. Hard. Honking. A thing that my husband always urges me to do more of, so I thought “OH HE WILL BE SO PROUD I USED MY HORN!”
All the other cars obeying basic traffic rules stared at me incredulously, and waited patiently while I made an illegal-as-fuck left turn on a red-as-fuck light.
Thanks San Diego. I feel like an asshole. It won’t be the last time, I’m sure.
One might say I’m biased because my birthday is today, Christmas Eve, and it’s always been less “pleasure and joy” and more “unnngghhh must finish Christmas shopping ON MY BIRTHDAY.” Whatever my general holiday malaise stems from, surely I’m not the only person who notices that people invariably become even bigger asshats during the holidays, what with rushing around, cutting you off on the freeway, and fighting for the last sad toy of the year for their Very Special Children. And maiming (or killing) others as a result. Surprisingly, I am not down with this. I may be filled on the inside with rage like a hateful Twinkie, but during the holidays I up my zen factor by about 400%. Not really sure how that switch happens.
Perhaps for every insane outrage during this magical, nog-filled time of year, there’s a completely normal person who does not freak out every time they have a to-do list of over 3 things. Perhaps. Personally, I think the ratio is more like 4:1. Look, people, just realize that you’re not going to get anywhere fast enough, your gifts to others do not have to be “just right” – just the giving itself is more than enough. Take a minute to look and see if the guy behind you in line has 2 items opposed to your 46. Let him go in front of you. Chances are you won’t die, and whatever you’re running late for can more than likely wait the 3.5 minutes it will take him to check out. If you are in a moving vehicle in a parking lot and there are a shit-ton of people walking in front of your car, LET THEM. Your propensity for getting hit directly outside the mall at the light that everyone else is at is high. It’s ok to wait another few minutes for that to happen.
Whenever you feel over-encumbered and you can’t run through your holiday-time with lightning speed to get all your shit done, take a deep breath, have a glass of wine or a Loko or whatever, and realize that the people in your life don’t care what you give them. They also don’t care if you arrive 20 minutes late. What they do care about is you, and all they expect from you is for you to not be that asshole that sped up to pull in front of them today, only to make an abrupt right turn at a speed of 3 mph. Without a turn signal.
Just dial it down a little this year – like DeBarge said, “the special love that’s deep inside our hearts will all reveal in time.” Reveal that special love now. Friends and strangers alike deserve it.