“Shut up and eat your f*cking ice cream.”
I have a lot of favorite lines, but that’s one of my all-time favorites. It was uttered by 5-year old Madeleine, a special girl I once knew.
Most days, I keep to a very tight schedule. I wake up in the morning and give myself an hour with coffee while responding to email. After that, I turn off my phone so that I can get into the zone and write. Once I’m no longer making progress, I head out for my 4-mile walk, which is when I return phone calls.
So it was that I remembered Madeleine’s words last week.
As I was walking the streets of boiling DC, talking on my cell with a prospective narrator for the audio version of my book, someone rapped me on the back. The touch startled me. And I was startled even further by the conversation that followed.
Innocent me, “Can I help you?”
Horrid her, “Which way are you going?”
Innocent me, dumbfounded by the question, just repeated it back to her like a little fool, “Which way am I going?”
Horrid her, “Yes, I want to know which way you’re going so I don’t have to listen to you talking.”
Innocent me lost her innocence, “Lady. You’re walking around a big city. If you don’t want to hear me talking, just cross the street. You don’t have to be so mean.”
That wasn’t very nice of me, but It could’ve been worse. What I wanted to say was, “Shut up and eat your f*cking ice cream. Oh, and while you’re at it lady, get some therapy so you don’t take the whole world down with you.”
But I didn’t say any of that.
I just ranted in disbelief to the poor woman waiting on the phone. Which, when you think about it, was almost as uncivilized as what that horrid lady had just done.
Here’s to you if you’re spending some of your disposable income on therapy. If you’re using introspection to become a New and Better You. Controlling your destiny. Evolving to higher levels of goodness. Not stuffing your emotions, only to have them come spilling out to passersby who have done the work and are happy with the world.
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