My New Years’ Eve Story: My Almost Biggest Goof, Ever.
A number of years ago I found myself in a fairly new relationship this time of year.
Holidays are a tough time for any established relationship, but there is a LOT that happens during the holidays which could either shore up the beginning roots of a relationship…or cause dreams to blow away, like spent confetti.
We had been seeing each other for about 5 or 6 weeks, after we knew of each other for a few months. We were in the giddy wow, this is great, stars-in-the-eyes phase of the relationship. Christmas was delightful, and now it was New Years’ Eve.
He had made reservations, and we had a lovely dinner. I know I heard birds singing (refer to previous sentence), and was pretty sure a rainbow was hovering over our table.
Then the bill came.
He reached into his jacket, and came back empty-handed. With a sheepish grin and a casual tone, he announced he left his wallet in the car, and asked if I would mind paying.
(Insert sound of screeching tires) WHAT?!?
Many things went through my head that moment, none of them included the response “SURE!”. But if nothing, I was a strong woman, and a proponent of equal rights. But more to the point, I had brought my wallet, so I said “SURE” and I paid the bill.
We are given instincts for many reason, and many of them are good; they protect us from rushing into bad decisions and help guide us in making good ones. They are not always right though; sometimes they are just a much-needed speed-bump to make you slow down and take a slower look.
After I regained my composure-and I noticed that the rainbow and singing birds had vanished-we continued the evening and met up with some friends.
It was probably a pleasant evening, but my mind was very busy…what a jerk! does he think I’M a jerk? is this a test? is he cheap? petty? Am I stupid? WORST-maybe I’m not as flexible or independent as I think I am?
Every New Years Eve I am reminded of this story…by the man that really did have his wallet in the car,
nineteen NOW TWENTY-ONE New Years Eves ago…and did not think it was a big deal. You see, we got engaged the following June, and married the April after that. And of couse, he still thinks it’s funny.
I often think of this story during the year, also…when something rubs me the wrong way, hurts me, or makes me angry. Sometimes taking a few deep breaths, maybe a step or two back brings some much-needed clarity and balance.
As long as I’m not deciding whether or not to leap out of the way of an oncoming car, a few moments to think and re-evaluate in dicey situations would not be the end of the world, could even be a good thing…friends, co-workers, and yup, even loved ones. Just sayin’.