Sunday, December 20, 2009

I Have Seen the Devil Himself. . or perhaps it was The Grinch . . but - wait - no, his face was definitely red, not green . . . .

So this weekend started out a little rough for me.

I was hemmed in.  Quite literally.

Attempting to leave the house early Saturday morning in advance of the big blizzard that hit much of the east coast, I discovered that one of the three Sleeping Beauties had parked her car directly behind my garage - a maneuver that I had cautioned her against no less than sixteen thousand times!. . . and the very one which she had been angry with her own sister for pulling just the previous day.

And so I decided to take her car. . . . wait. . .  let me rephrase that. . . I decided to take my car. .  . the car which my husband and I had purchased. .  . registered. . . paid the insurance on. . . .and put the gas into. . .  it's just that my daughters somehow feel like the car belongs to them. . .  because they named her. . . .like naming a car is akin to actual ownership. .  .

So as I turned the key in Roberta's ignition, I made a solemn promise to her that she - for once - would be treated with care and respect.  I also told her that she was in for the ride of her life . . . getting the chance to accompany A Mom on Spin on her errands as an emissary of good will. .  .

First, knowing that I was scheduled to deliver the monthly food from the Angel Food Ministries for my wheelchair-bound friends Meke and Dora, I was able to make a few extra stops in order to get them well-supplied before the big storm hit.

Next I stopped by work to check on the status of some parishioners in the hospital, where I chanced to encounter a very kind gentleman who had come to the church in order to donate a number of frozen turkeys and a single Christmas tree. And so Roberta and I set out around town once again to deliver the turkeys. . .  over to the senior citizen's housing . . .  back to Meke and Dora's . . . and on to other families who I thought might need and appreciate them.

Next, the Christmas tree.  I placed a call to Mr. Drip Dry and he came and tied that tree to the top of my car for me, and Roberta and I set out once again on a mission of mercy.

And the moment I drove away with that tree was the very moment that I - like my favorite character of all times, the Grinch - was suddenly filled with the Christmas Spirit. And as I drove along I found myself composing a little ditty that went something like this. . .

Forget fancy phones. . . and pricey black Uggs. . . 
iPods and downloads and Starbucks in mugs. . . 
Forget about concerts and money that's lost
memberships to the gym, and all that they cost.
Forget about tanning and under-aged drinking
overdraft charges and balances sinking!

For THIS is the stuff that God made Christmas for!
  Why I'm helping my friends. . . and  feeding the poor! 
Caring for those who are down on their luck
When this very morning, I thought I was stuck!
But you know the one thing I love best of all???
'Cause I took their car, they can't go to the Mall!

And so it was that I was filled with happiness as I came to rest at a traffic light and pulled out my phone in order to tell the lucky recipient that a tree was on its way to her home . . .when I saw that the gentleman in the car next to me had put down his window. . . probably to ask for directions, I thought. . . . and I quickly put down my passenger-side window - prepared to make a difference in yet-another lost soul's life that December morn. . .

And then I saw it.

His face was twisted and contorted into a fit of rage.

His complexion was as red as boiling lava.

His tongue was forked and spewing venom.

Get off that phone!

Excuse me? I queried. .  .

I said get off that G**-D****ed phone!

And as I continued to stare at him in disbelief . . . wondering when he would get to the real reason for the conversation . . . . he quickly hurled the ultimate insult at me before I had time to cover Roberta's delicate ears. . . .

You drive like sh**!!! he growled. . . and sped away.

And so it was that Roberta and I were left there - shuddering from our encounter with an entity of unknown origin.  Was it Scrooge?  The Grinch?  The Devil himself?

But it wasn't until I finally returned home and recounted the story to Veggie, that I was able to put the whole episode into perspective. . .  .  Oh, he was probably just an asshole! she said.

Oh yeah. . . assholes. . . for one blissful moment I had forgotten all about them. . . .