January 27, 2016
“I’m sorry, God.”
Today was a day that I wished I could just walk away from myself. You know, I think that others around me were the lucky ones, they could escape. It is no coincidence that Ben spent the day working in the basement, Laura was lucky and at school during the bulk of it, Joe is meaner than me any day of the week, and Bella spent the day curled up in the goodwill box. Little does that cat know what a very dumb place to be that was. She could be on a shelf next to someone’s old shoes and would be snapped up so quickly because she is so cute. The security cats feel is unbelievable given their behavior. I am one to talk right now, really… Guess she figured goodwill might be better? Oh boy. I need to go to confession.
I was raised Catholic. I remember some of my first confession. I remember going to classes every Wednesday night during the school year to learn to pray right, act right, and confess my sins. I have always confessed my sins to God. Always. I have a deep sense of morality and know when I have done wrong. I don’t remember how old I was with my first confession but I do remember the Father, though I was not allowed to see him…a wall was between us. I was terrified. When I was little and I would battle with my mom (which was a battle of two Irish, strong willed females), I would go into my room, slam the door, and make faces into this round mirror I had that was my Gram’s. I was making the ugly faces at my Mom in my head. That is totally so stupid and more ridiculous to admit it in writing.
It is a round mirror that sat on my beautiful wardrobe that was also my Gram’s. My dad refinished wood and it is so pretty and I still have it, and the mirror. I gave the mirror to Laura and had no worries of her making faces to me in it. She is bolder than I and makes her feelings crystal clear in the moment. Anyway, I now have the mirror back on my dresser. No, I do not make faces in it, but it does make me chuckle. The other thing I did was throw all of my stuffed animals, except Snoopy, on the floor and jump on them. I had a million stuffed animals. (Snoopy is immune to any suffering and I also still have him. His head is held on by safety pins and he is stuffed with Kleenex. I guess that means he actually isn’t immune to suffering.) That is really so ironic because my Mom was a professional seamstress. I think we had access to real “stuffing.” I, however, have been known to use a glue gun to repair things. This is not a joke. I have also used tape for a hem in a pinch. There, now you can look at me a lot differently. I also always said, “I’m sorry God” after each face making and animal stomping episode. The funny thing is that all those years my Mom knew I did both those things. When she gave me the mirror she said, “you take this so your daughter can make faces at you.” I was stunned. How dare she spy on me!
So there I am at my first confession. I am all geared up, dressed up, on the verge of tears and had always been afraid of Father X anyway. The things I tell him I seek forgiveness for? Yep, you guessed it. I am guilty of making faces in that mirror and jumping on my stuffed animals in anger. I am sure I said a few other things, but I do not remember those. I do remember wondering why I couldn’t just talk directly to God myself. I have always talked to Him and have always been sorry for things I have done wrong. I did worse things, believe me. My teen years were not pretty. Take the mirror/stuffed animals and magnify it by…well, a lot. I have made amends and apologized to my parents once I became a mother. I did not realize how much they loved me and how much angst I caused until I became a parent myself. Wow.
I have tried to instill in my children good values. One thing I have taught them is to be kind. Just be kind. I am always extra kind to customer service people, or people who call for surveys or contributions to one cause or another. I have taught them that these are hard working people. Many customer service reps might be working long hours, for minimal pay, and supporting families. It really is not their fault if we have to return faulty merchandise etc. The people who call for donations are volunteers working for a cause and if I had a ton of money, I would give them all some, which is why I will never have a ton of money. My mom said people would come to the door asking for me by name because I just couldn’t say no. Sure, I will buy your candy bars, your magazines, whatever. Caller ID has saved me lots, I am sure. I just don’t have to answer.
That is all fine and good. Yeah, I am a superhero. Until today. Today I crossed the line from good to really not so good. Maybe even bad.
Here is how it shook out. A month ago we supposedly got dental insurance. It was new dental insurance that was to have taken effect on January 1, 2016. As fate would have it, during that first week of January part of a filling, or tooth, or something, broke my back tooth. It was not super comfortable, but wasn’t killing me either, so I called the 1-800 number inquiring about my new insurance cards. Well, hmmmm, seems the plan was not entered into the system or something. They would take care of it right away, maam, and were sorry for the mistake. It would take up to 7 business days. Fine. Fine, just do it. I can live 7 days.
By the end of the week I called just to check the status. I guess I had one of my gut feelings. Why, no, maam (ummm, I hate being called that), we have no record of you anywhere. Let us take care of this and it will take 7-10 business days. Call this 1-800 number and you will have no problem getting the information you need to go to the dentist. I was getting irritated at this point. I am addicted to popcorn and it was hurting me. I could only chew on one side. It hurt to brush that side. I was still really nice because it is not that exact person’s fault. I called the 1-800 number and was told to call a different 1-800 number. Keep in mind that each time I am on hold for a year listening to someone tell me my call will be answered in the order in which it was received over and over and over and over.
I put the phone on speaker and folded laundry, swept the floor, even matched the stupid socks. Finally, it would be my turn and the person would tell me that they didn’t have what they needed, I needed to call another department, or whatever. This has gone on for 3 weeks now. Today began week four. I am not feeling well anyway, besides the stupid tooth. I am having tremors that are really getting on my nerves and cramping my style. The body does not rest when this happens, it is just irritating and tiring. Add to that the fact that now it is that whole bottom side of my mouth that hurts.
So, I slam the phone number into the phone. I am cranky before I even dial the last number. Here is the thing. I was sent to 5, yes 5, 1-800 numbers before anyone gave me any information of any value to me whatsoever. The first one I called had me hold for over 20 minutes and then she told me all she could see on her screen was my name and birthday. I gritted my teeth, was not super nasty, but told her I knew those things already. I would have to call blah blah as they had the information and would have no problem getting it to me over the phone. I call it. Oh, soooo close. He had me going. Gave me the ID#, but, you guessed it, I would have to call another number to get an email copy of the insurance cards. I won’t go to the dentist without that as now I really don’t trust them. He tells me the customer service people at this magical number 5 will be able to “shoot me a copy to my email nooooo problem.” Nope. She said it would take, you guessed it, 7-10 business days. My head exploded. I blew my cool. I lost it. I really, really lost it on this girl. Her name was Jessica but she would not tell me her last name. I don’t blame her.
Now today was really a sinful one. That is bad news. That poor girl was trying to do her job, though I tried to convince her that no one in that whole company does their job. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, no computer systems talk to each other, it was just so insane that I had been sitting here with this tooth forever. I was going to die. I said that. I said worse things too. I was yelling. Total jerk. I could have ruined her entire day and am sure I did. She probably left work that day in a worse mood than I was in. Who knows the chain we can start with how we behave to others. I really believe that. Kindness begets kindness. Meanness does the same. If your reaction to a mean person is with kindness, it can turn things around. I was the beginning of the mean chain. Me, the mean chain leader. I am sorry God and I am really sorry Jessica. I did exactly the opposite of what I have taught my children. I am so ashamed of myself. I do intend to write a letter of complaint, but you know it won’t be addressed to Jessica. She just took the brunt of my anger. She was the final straw. The straw that broke the camel’s tooth, or something like that.
I will pray about this day. I don’t know how God works his big miracles, but hope that He could work a little one for me. I hope that Jessica has God in her life and that my screaming at her didn’t make her hate her job. I pray I didn’t ruin what might have been a fine day. I hope she didn’t just fling some happy meals at her kids and be snarly the rest of the night. You see, I believe my behavioral theory full heartedly. I know I did not do anything violent, but I was mean to her. I have never yelled at a stranger like that. It all begins somewhere. Maybe my prayers can turn it around. I hope so because there is just enough ugliness around without my adding to it.
I will learn from this day. I need a time out, maybe in the goodwill box. Tomorrow I will get out of bed on the other side….and take Advil first thing. Who knows, maybe I will even be able to get a dentist appointment. Miracles happen.