Don’t Lose Heart

I missed the memo that it was “Drive-Like-A-Complete-Jerk-in-the-Trader-Joe’s-Parking-Lot” Day. I hate when I don’t get that message.

I got cut off numerous times, witnessed a pedestrian almost get hit, and tried to pull into a spot only to discover a cart had been left smack in the middle of the space and three other carts rolled on in to join it.

I parked as far away from the madness as possible in a remote corner of the lot.

Honestly, sometimes I don’t feel all that great about folks -sometimes to the point of hating all of humanity (I know that’s not a healthy way to view people, but I started the sentence with the word HONESTLY, right?). What I was seeing in the parking lot wasn’t helping. Is it that hard to just be thoughtful of others? Apparently, it must be, or a lot more people would do it.

I shopped, folks were behaving in the store similarly to how they were driving in the parking lot (stressed, busy, not paying attention to others), and I came out of the store not feeling any better than when I went in. And I was lugging 8,000 pounds of groceries out to my car. What fun.

To add to my I-Hate-Humanity feelings, I almost got hit while crossing the parking lot to my car because a driver was in a huge hurry and got the Drive-Like-A-Jerk memo (which I missed, remember?). And then the driver gave me a dirty look because I had the audacity to cross in the cross-walk with my loaded-up cart to get to my car. How dare I do that?!?

In my head I thought, “Why is everyone so mean? Why can’t people just have a little more courtesy? People are so rushed they can’t even slow down a little to let me cross the street. The human race is awful!” And the spiraling continued as I crossed the parking lot.

I even launched into myself for good measure. “If you were more organized, you wouldn’t have run out of food and have to come here right before dinner when the entire population of San Luis Obispo is here after work and stressed out and needing to rush to get home,” yadda yadda yadda. (Living in my head is fun sometimes! You should try it!)

I loaded up the groceries, closed the back of my gorgeous minivan (yep, I drive one and I know you’re jealous) and braced myself for getting behind the wheel to drive through the pool of stressed-out angry folks I encountered as I came in to shop.

I opened my car door and looked down.

In the middle of the white line designating the parking spaces was the brass heart you see pictured above. It looked like someone had laid it there, just so I would see it. I looked around to see if I could find anyone who might have dropped it. Remember, I parked far away from the Angry Drivers who got the Drive-Like-A-Jerk memo. No one was around me. No cars were parked near mine.

I hadn’t seen the heart when I got out of my car. It might have been there, but it might not have been there. I don’t know.

I just know it was there when I needed it. I’d spent the past forty-five minutes trying to prove to myself that the entire human race was despicable (including myself), and I looked down and found a heart.

I know…someone lost this heart. They might be desperately sad about it. I’m sorry if they miss it. If I knew who lost it, I’d return it. They lost their heart.

I’d lost mine, too.

I’m glad I found it. I found it right when I needed it.

Don’t lose heart, Eileen.


Comments (5)

  1. molly campbell

    I loved this. We all have days like this, but few of us find hearts! On a lighter note, I have always wanted a metal detector. I swear there are diamonds and gold out there just waiting for me and the mighty wonder dog, Stirrup, to find! xo

    1. Eileen (Post author)

      Ha! You crack me up, Molly. I think you just created another character in search of a novel….

  2. Suebob

    That’s the spirit. I know it is discouraging sometimes. My ex used to say “We need to pretend we’re all on the same team and that our goal line is to get home safely” about driving. I try to keep that attitude but I get lost sometimes.

    If you need good cheer while your at TJs, look for my lovely friend Gael. She is tall and thin and my age-ish with salt and pepper hair. She’s a rockstar and is great and making people feel special.

    1. Eileen (Post author)

      Great news, Suebob! Next time I’m brave enough for Tracer Joe’s I’ll definitely look for Gael. The staff at Trader Joe’s is notoriously wonderful -I’m sure she is, too.
      I like your ex’s driving strategy -obviously no one had heard of this on the day I went shopping. That would have helped a lot!

  3. Pingback: Ellen Degeneres and Jodi Fisher, I Heart You |

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