Why Am I Always the Last One In Line?
Well. actually, I know why I am always the last one in line at the supermarket and such places.
I run in for just a bunch of green onions – so I don’t need a basket. Then, all of a sudden, my arms are full of many things, and my right pinky is trying not to let go of a bag of All Natural Cheetos, and – I need a basket!
By the time I am pushing that basket along the floor with my foot because it is too heavy to carry, and my arms are full again, I realize I need a cart. You know the rest of that story.
So, anyone who sees me and my shopping cart in a line would not choose to get behind me. But there are other reasons too.
I have warned everyone NEVER to to get behind me in a line. My line will ALWAYS be the one you wish you were not in.
Inevitably, the register will run out of tape or change, the person just ahead of me will have decided to pay with the jar of pennies she has been saving since 1940, or the cashier will have just reconsidered her career choices and decided then and there to run off and go to beauty school.
One time at the post office, just as I had worked my way to the first place in line, the clerk got arrested before my very eyes, for unpaid parking violations – by three guys in suits – handcuffs and all.
So, I understand why I am always the last one in those lines. The whole thing has taught me great lessons in patience, actually. And I have met some interesting people and heard their life stories while waiting patiently in line – only the people in front of me, of course, since there is never anyone behind me.
But, here is something I don’t understand . . .
Why Am I Always the Last One in My Own Line?
For some reason, when we were children, we were taught to put everyone else’s needs before our own. And most of us do that as a habit.
I politely wave another car into traffic ahead of me, never realizing that car was part of a twelve car caravan, and they would all wave each other in, while I sit and suffer the honking of everyone behind me. (I told you never to get behind me, didn’t I?)
I hold a restaurant door open for a person wearing a name tag, not noticing the tour bus at the curb disgorging another 30 people with name tags, all hungry and eager to get into that restaurant. Never hold the door for a person wearing a name tag. There is never just one.
I even say “Excuse me” to my cat, for heaven’s sake, when she is in MY way!
We think of this behavior as self-less.. We are such good people because we put ourselves last. But think about that word for a moment. Self-less? I don’t want to be less of my self. I don’t even think that sounds healthy. Not even as healthy as All Natural Cheetos.
I don’t want to be self-ish either. What is that? Almost, but not quite yourself? Like 5-ish or 6-ish?
It seems that being true to your self would be the best thing – affording your self the same respect and consideration you would give to someone else.
If you need to get into that Ladies room, don’t tell the woman and her six children they can go ahead of you.
If you need a nap after an arduous day, don’t volunteer to help the neighbors weed their back forty.
You can be a loving and giving person and still take care of your “self”.
The other evening, my dear husband, one of only two men left on earth who do not cook, asked me what I was thinking about for dinner.
I stepped right in front of him in the “Needs” line.
“I really wasn’t thinking about that at all.” I said. “I was thinking how I might just meditate here on the garden swing. It would be good for me.”
He was surprised, but he got himself a yogurt and disappeared into the house. I got to meditate in the garden. It felt wonderful, and right.
So, I’m going to do more of that kind of thing.
I like this new spot somewhere in the middle of my own line – not first, but not last either. It feels good to be among the important folks.
But, I still say “Excuse me” to my cat.