Posted in A Moment in My Life

“When, If Not Now?”

A Moment in My Life – Friday, April 8, 2022

Jeannie Yee Davis

Sometimes I wonder if, in my efforts to stay out of trouble, I’ve teleported myself into a repressed fantasy world like Pleasantville, the 1998 fantasy-comedy-drama movie. The characters were enthused and happy, just like me in my happy place, but what will happen when I return to living in the real world with real people? Today, I got a glimpse of that reality, just like reality eventually seeped into the scenes in the movie.

I followed behind and admired the shiny wine-colored 4×4 Jeep on Westborough on my way to the Safeway on Gellert in South San Francisco. A story idea for a romance starring someone driving this neat-looking vehicle played in my mind while I stared at the Jeep’s rear at a stoplight. Wouldn’t it be cool if a character in a romance drove this car? That was it. My muse began forming the story. I kept driving up the street, and just as he started his right turn onto Gellert, Mr. Jeep stopped, stuck behind a truck making a right turn at the gas station. I had plenty of room to see ahead of him, and he wasn’t going anywhere soon. So, I swung around Mr. Jeep’s left side and attempted to go around him and get back into our lane ahead of him.

At my snap decision, I was confident I could make this maneuver before he could hit the gas pedal. It was a short block to the next red light, but I could undertake him had he not gunned it and raced me to the spot we apparently both coveted. I was right. Okay, I’m not showing off here but simply proving that my judgment wasn’t flawed. I made it back into our lane behind the car sitting at the red light, but not without Mr. Jeep racing along my right side and serenading me with his steady horn that resonated between my ears, crossing my eyeballs, all the way to my spot. 

He finally traded places with his horn by rolling down his window and yelling explicit language at me that I would not repeat. His Jeep was slightly behind my Veloster in his lane, so I moved my body to look out my passenger side window and stared into Mr. Jeep’s bespectacled blue eyes. His salt n pepper crew cut accentuated his crimson face down his pink neck, and I waved apologetically at him. He then moved up alongside me, still exercising his powerful lungs. I rolled down my window, looked him in the eyes, and hollered over his voice, “I’m sorry!” He kept yelling fun words at me, and I kept yelling back, “I’m sorry!” He eventually ran out of things to yell at me. He finally told me to slow down and not drive so fast. It was tempting to say that none of this would’ve happened had he not chosen to race me, but I decided to keep on apologizing and not add more fuel to his fire. It was more beneficial to defuse his anger.

Once he calmed down, we concluded with me saying, “Have a nice day!”

And he surprised me by responding, “Have a great day!” 

We rolled up our windows just as the light turned green. That was a very long red light if you asked me. Guess where Mr. Jeep was going? You guessed it. He turned into the Safeway parking lot right behind me. Okay, no problem. We can coexist at the supermarket. He chose to park on the far end of the parking lot away from me. Good choice. 

Did I say I plan to write a romance starring his Jeep? I did, didn’t I? Well, it was the man’s transgressions and not the car. I won’t punish the Jeep for Mr. Jeep’s colorful behavior. However, I was surprised that he was as contentious as he was. I don’t think he had a good look at me before lashing out. It felt like it didn’t matter who I was. He was going to give me a piece of his mind, regardless. 

Would you like to know what I think about that? I think he’s nuts. I sure hope I won’t see him on the evening news one night. With all the crazies in the world right now, you don’t know who might pull a gun on you. Why would you lash out at someone, especially over something so trivial? 

Then, I wonder, with all the depression in the world today. With Covid, war, crime sprees, racial hatred, and all the loss, wouldn’t you think people would be kinder to one another? If nothing else, we’re living in a time of war, which I honestly never thought I’d see in my lifetime, but we’re witnessing a real-time war, not a movie or a documentary. We observe the devastation caused by war and many people’s lives destroyed. Isn’t that alone enough to make you appreciate what you have and that you’re still here to enjoy each day relatively normally?

Granted, I don’t know Mr. Jeep’s story. He might have gone through hell and back; thus, his short fuse. I’m just glad that our altercation ended amicably. We’ve experienced some scary episodes in just two short years that I’m sure none of us ever dreamed we would have experienced. 

So many people have taken the road to do good for others. What about the rest of the world? I’m not talking about a grand gesture, but little things like small acts of kindness that tell people you are thankful to be alive and well, and you are grateful to have people in the world with you—or being a little more. A little more patient. A little more understanding. A little more forgiving. A little more helpful. A little more loving. Just a little more of oneself.

Maybe living in Pleasantville warped my view, but I can’t help but wonder when people will be kind to one another and love one another as themselves. With all we’ve gone through, isn’t now a good time? When, if not now?

2 thoughts on ““When, If Not Now?”

  1. Shorter fuses. less tolerance and more apt for physical violence has played out all over and the more its viewed on media the more it’s sensationalized the more normalized it has become.

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