I met up with a new kind of rage this week . Not road-rage, which is becoming all too frequent in my city, but something rather different and unexpected – “Your lawn is awful and full of weeds and you should take care of it” rage.
Let me explain – as best I can. My lawn – looking a bit like this scene of the English countryside – long grass, lots of these ubiquitous yellow flowers was in desperate need of a cut. “Lawn” is a bit of a misnomer actually, really we should call it a “dandy-lawn”. But, between the raindrops and work, and avoiding what I really should be doing, and just the “dumps” I guess, it didn’t get done. And that ticked some pedestrian off. Words were said on both sides, none of them pleasant, even the suggestion that she could be a part of the solution if she would like to be. I guess we both can be kind of nasty on a Monday morning.
I think it would have stayed there if I didn’t have to pass her while riding my bike on the sidewalk. (I know, I know – this is not legal in my city, but even biking on the sidestreets of my commute is fraught with danger from moms dropping kids off at school, etc.).
I did everything right. I rang my bell. I informed her that I would be passing on her right. I gave her a wide berth. And as I passed, she swung hand out, with a bag attached to give her more length, and struck me!
Suddenly, we are no longer engaged in a verbal conflict. We have crossed a line into physical assault. I stopped my bike. I looked at her and informed her that she had just assaulted me, got back on my bike and rode on.
Now…I know that I’m not in the right here. My lawn was pretty awful and it does look so much better now that it’s been cut and tended. However, that slight contact could have had far reaching effects. I could have lost my balance and driven right into on-coming traffic. I could have fallen against the bench at the bus-stop. I could have, I could have, I could have…but I didn’t. And here is what I’ve learned:
- People are angry about dandelions and dandy-lawns
- Even well-dressed “normal” people on their way to work can be ready to snap and you might be the handy target.
- We don’t know what is going on in the lives of people who haven’t gotten to their yard work yet.
- I can be pretty mean, vindictive and nasty, at least in my head
My head has been full of ideas to be annoying. (The best idea so far is to find plastic dandelions and plant them in the snow this winter). I’ve been restrained by one reality. I don’t know what is going on in her life either. I will choose blessing instead of cursing, and I will do my best to keep my yard tidy.
MS (Founder of the Society for the Growth and Preservation of Organic, Free-range, Fair Trade, Pesticide-free Yellow Flowers from France)
PS: Have a great day!