I have a confession to make. It’s a secret I’ve held close to my heart for many years — all my adult life, really — though I suspect my close friends and family have long ago figured it out. I . . . oh, golly. I can’t bring myself to say it. It hurts to even think it, for honestly, I don’t want you, my dear friends, to think less of me.
But I really need to get this off my chest. Honesty is the best policy, and all that. I have a feeling that once I come clean, I’ll feel like the weight of the world has lifted off my frail shoulders. So before I tell you, promise me one thing. You’ll still love me, even when you know the ugly truth. Even when your image of me as the polished, has-it-all-together kind of woman has shattered into a million tiny pieces, say that you’ll love me anyway.
Okay. Here goes.
(Heavy sigh. Deep breathing helps calm my nerves.)
I, dear friends, am that woman. Don’t ask me what woman. You know what woman. I’m that woman in the checkout line in front of you who can’t get her act together, who forgets to get her driver’s license out until after the cashier has rung up the total, who forgets that she meant to get skim milk instead of 2% and sends the sacker back to the dairy section to change them out, who asks the cashier to count out the exact change, and who doesn’t move on until she’s put said change back into her wallet because she knows if she just dumps it down in her purse, she’ll never find it again.
I’m very sorry. I don’t mean to drive you crazy. Honest, I don’t. I can tell by the tap-tap-tapping of your foot that you’re in a hurry and I’m slowing you down. But I did not wake up this morning with your name on my mind, saying, “Today, I’m going to drive _____ crazy.” Really. I drive people crazy all the time without ever planning to do so. It comes quite naturally to me.
I’m also that lady at the intersection who lets traffic pile up behind her, simply because she’s too scared to make a left turn across 190 until it’s clear for four blocks at least. Please accept my humblest apologies. I know you could have turned five times. But I’m not you.
And, while we’re on the subject of driving, I also apologize for leaving my turn signal on. I thought I was going to turn. I meant to turn, but then I remembered that I had one more errand to run while I was in town. And I meant to turn my signal off, but I got distracted by all the people honking at me because I didn’t turn, and I’m just trying to get out of the way.
Please be patient with me. I’m doing my best; really I am. And when you tap your foot and honk your horn and call out those words that I can only imagine because I can’t hear you in your car, but I can read your lips, it only makes me more nervous and frustrated, and so I’ll take even longer because I’ll miss my turn or drop my change and have to chase it around the cash register.
And I promise to do my best, whenever I’m in a hurry and you’re having a hard time, to be patient with you.
“Love is patient . . .” 1 Corinthians 13:4.