My Tantrum in the Parking Lot

Well, let’s just say that I threw a little tantrum in the parking lot yesterday.  But in my defense, I’ll set the scene:

I’m in the minivan with the girls.  I’d been sick for a few days.  It’s a hot, sticky day, and we are circling and circling to find parking so we can go use our coupons for free hot pretzels at the Pretzel Factory.  Everybody is arguing and complaining, especially me.  Not only does a man glare at me and try to claim the spot I was patiently waiting for, but as I finally pull into my rightful spot, I realize I left the coupons at home.  And then I  realize that the girls are already spilling out of the minivan with all my pocket change.  They are generously feeding the meter (they love “feeding” the meter’s “mouth”).

I’m in a bad mood, and all I want to do is go home, take a shower, and forget this hot, sticky day.  So I literally stomp while dragging the girls down the street.  “I am NOT happy!”  I said aloud (please tell me other mothers out there have acted this way!)  And then, God reminds me to go over my flair principles.   I start saying to myself, “Heather, you can find the flair in this.  You need to apologize to your children and start new.” 

It’s not working; everything is annoying me:  the man at the cash register, the incessant ringing of the bell on the shop door, the way my girls are hanging on me.  We get our pretzels and fight a crowd of equally moody parents and children back to our car (the whole world seems to have the same pretzel outing idea).  There’s a line waiting for my spot in the parking lot.

I buckle my seat belt, ready to get out of there, and I glance at my meter.  Apparently, my children used every last dime and purchased tons of time for that spot.  I look over my shoulder at the other minivans waiting for my parking space.

I see another mother who just wanted to be somewhere else.

And then I imagine the simple moment of happiness she might experience when she realizes that somebody else left her ridiculous amounts of time on the meter.  Maybe it would be just the thing to get her out of a funk.

I think this counts as a flair moment–for that other driver!  Finding extra time on the meter always makes me feel good somehow, like the planets aligned for me, like the universe was tilting in my favor.  It always feels like a special nod of love.

I start to giggle.  Some other person was going to have some happiness, although just a tiny bit of it, in the form of dimes in a meter.  Maybe they’d feel a nod of love from a stranger.  I was suddenly happy and out of my funk just because of the thought of surprising some other woman. 

Living with flair means putting extra money in the meter for the next person.  It might just make you feel better.

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  1. wow, you have an amazing talent. I would give anything to be able to write like this. I imagine you being able to write these posts in a matter of 10 mins. I have been blessed by your gift for words and expression.

  2. What an amazing story…it was refreshing to read that you even have one of those days too…Im menopausal with my 91 year old mom living with us…i do well most days but I will admit..I have had my meltdown moments…but man, that lucky person that received the meter filled with lots of time for free for the next person. Im sure you most definately brightened someones day and so true…the minute we do something nice for someone else we do feel so much better….I love reading everything you write Heather…you always leave me with a message…wonderful

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