Heirloom Tomatoes

I’m thinking about quite a few years ago when Jessica was a baby…when I still had to carry her whenever a stroller wouldn’t work.  It was winter…Snowing…. And I had to pick up a prescription for either Jess or Katie because one of them had an ear infection.  I bundled both girls up in their heavy snowsuits, and made my way to the pharmacy.  I pulled into the parking lot, and pulled into the first available spot.  I honestly and truly did not see the car that was sitting there with its blinker on waiting to pull into the spot that I had taken.  Unwittingly stolen, actually.

Oh, it didn’t take long for me to find out…because the lady who was waiting to take that spot really let me have it after I had gotten the girls out of their car seats and struggled to carry a heavy snow-suited baby, and hold Katie’s hand to walk through the parking lot.  I apologized profusely, and even offered to move my car so that she could have that spot, but she just wanted to be mad at me. That lady yelled at me the whole way into the store.  Of course, I was still young enough to let it affect me. I think I cried the whole rest of that day. I’ll have to ask Katie if she remembers that.

I think about that once in a while, because it really did affect me in such a way that I never ever forget to check to see if someone is waiting to take a parking spot that I want to take.  

But really, let’s think about that for a minute.  I was a young mother, struggling to carry my baby and hold my little girl’s hand to get one of them their medicine. In the snow. In the cold. And most likely the three of us were exhausted because it was probably a sleepless night the night before.  This lady had nothing but herself to get into the store.  Why couldn’t she just let it go?  Well, because she was “one of those” people. They’re angry. And they’re going to let you know that they’re angry. They cannot see beyond their anger.

Fast forward to today.  In my beloved Wegmans parking lot.  I’m sitting in my car with my blinker on, to let the oncoming traffic know that I planned to take that open spot.  Don’t you know that one of the oncoming cars pulled right into the spot that I wanted?  I mean really.  Could this lady not see that I had my signal on that clearly proved my claim to this spot?!  Oh, I felt an annoyance.  I believe I was angry.

I grumbled to myself as I pulled into a spot further away.  Who did she think she was?  I rushed to get out of my car just so that I could see this woman face to face, just to see if she acknowledged the fact that she stole my spot. 

As I was walking to get a look at this woman, the whole incident from years ago flashed before my eyes.
 I had to stop myself. When did I become “one of those” people?  
I don’t want to be one of those people.
I let my annoyance drop, and let it go.
We met up at the heirloom tomatoes.  Not on purpose.  I was there first, and she happened to walk up.  I’d say that she was around my age. She picked up a tomato, looked at me and said “They’re not ripe, are they?”.  And so our conversation began… not about parking spots… but about heirloom tomatoes, and how beautifully colorful and sometimes charmingly misshapen that they can be. After a few minutes, we went our separate ways, each wishing each other a nice rest of our day, and each of us with green and purple tomatoes in our carts that we are going to let ripen just to see what color they turn, if they turn at all. Maybe I’ll run into her again someday, or maybe I’ll never see her again. But at least we walked away happy.

Isn’t it funny, how I went from being highly annoyed at a person I didn’t even know… but ended up laughing and chatting away as if we were longtime friends?  It all worked out well, and I’m glad that I didn’t let my annoyance get the better of me. Honestly, it would have ruined her day, and it would have ruined my day too. 

Anyway, I’m all about tomatoes lately, and have been working on a whole bunch of recipes. Stay tuned, I’ll start posting tomorrow!

Life is good, and it is way too short to let silly things like parking spots make us angry, when it’s the simple things in life that can bring such joy,  you know?

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