Soup stories

It seems like I’ve had nothing to write about this week because the annoying people were just annoying, not charmingly so, and I realized that, unbeknownst to me, this blog has become about those people, the ones who aren't just difficult, they're difficult in a complicated way that isn't so black and white, in a way that makes me wish I had a little more patience, because we all need it sometimes, and I think that maybe if I write about them, I can try a little harder, if that makes any sense.

Yesterday when I got to the office after being out the previous afternoon, I had 14 increasingly angry messages from one guy. I wish I were exaggerating.

Long boring story, but when I finally called him back, he was furious, as you might expect, but not in an interesting way. If you’re just gonna be a straight-up a-hole, no one’s gonna write about you. Okay, maybe just a little. Seriously, your permit expired a year ago, and you’ve had the house on the market for 6 months, never got final occupancy, never did all the stuff you were supposed to do, and now, closing is in two days and it’s my fault because I was out for an afternoon? Your tone is too firm for the occasion, I wanted to say, but didn’t.

The week was like that -- run of the mill angry people.  But I did hear one great thing this week. The lovely B. came for a swim one evening, and the moon happened to be rising in a giant way while we were swimming out to the stump, which was gorgeous, and for some reason I found myself confessing an embarrassing story of tailgating.

The story is this: I was on my way to yoga one morning, which you’d think would make me all mellow and full of peaceful thoughts, but I found myself driving behind someone who literally was going about half the speed limit, and I was just irritated. We have an annoyed little spirit on this hill, that goes something like, “I didn’t get up well before the sun rose to follow you at half the speed limit for 10 miles.”

It thought I was going to be late to yoga, which bugged me because I have a weird OCD thing about getting my spot, or at least not getting one of the spots in front of the mirror.  It was a clear sunny morning, there was really no reason to be going so slowly, so I was doing that thing that I despise, which is driving a little too close, as if that’s gonna make the person drive faster, but I’d catch myself doing it, and slow down, and then unconsciously find myself right on her tail again, which is almost worse. This went on for like, 7 miles, until I finally turned off to take a short cut. I parked, got out of the car, and lo and behold, the offending car pulled up, and it’s a young woman, also going to yoga.

I know. So random irritating slow driver is in my class. She didn’t seem to notice, and I wasn’t exactly sure if I should apologize or what, so I said nothing, and neither did she, but I still feel sort of bad about it, all these months later.

I told this story, and B. told me that when she’s in that circumstance she tries to imagine elaborate scenarios for why the person is driving so slowly. Like, they’re on their way to visit a sick friend with a giant pot of hot soup, but the baby is in the car; if the soup splashes, the baby might get burned. Or they have a prosthetic leg and needed to take it off because there’s a terrible irritated inflamed area where it meets the body, and they have to do the gas and the brake with the wrong foot, and need to go slowly just in case a toddler runs out into the road. Stuff like that.

That’s why she teaches the class, and I take it.

I’m currently working on scenarios that would cause a person to call 14 times in one afternoon, but it hasn’t come to me yet.


  1. Did you ever see 50 first dates? Something like that maybe.


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