I’ve just been yelled at and I’m still in shock.
Wellington has a reputation for wild weather and this day was particularly crazy. The sea looked treacherous and angry and uninviting …and very photogenic, so I stopped the car, got out and took a photo. It must have taken about 45 seconds maximum but as luck would have it, on this narrow, deserted road, during those few seconds 2 cars approached from opposite directions. The one in front of me slowed down and waited for the one behind me to pass. The car behind me slowed down but didn’t actually need to stop. I acknowledged both by smiling and quickly jumped back into my car.
Then we hit one of those surreal ‘pardon?’ moments. The nicely dressed, sweet looking middle aged lady passenger in the car behind me wound down her window as they drove past and hurled vitriol. Apparently I was in the way and was holding everyone up. I sat in my car stunned, opening and closing my mouth like a fish.
Perhaps the wind had wound her up as much as the sea, perhaps she just hadn’t had any coffee that morning and was on her way to a nice little cafe to get her fix. Perhaps if our paths had crossed after her coffee fix, it would have been a different encounter. Or perhaps she was just angry at something and I was the trigger. Whatever it was it wasn’t nice and I wish it hadn’t happened.
But it did bring back to me how short our lives are and how vital it is to do things that make us happy. Being angry at people is just stressful. Even being angry at my kids stresses me out and I get a big headache. I can’t imagine how the lady felt after her little tantrum or perhaps she’d never had the opportunity for a bit of reflection. When my mother died in 2005 – suddenly, unexpectedly, completely out of the blue – my philosophy on life had a little wake up call. We have such short lives and they can be taken from us when we least expect it, let’s just enjoy them as much as we can, let’s just live it. I know, sometimes, there are things that we can’t change or have to tolerate… we make our choices.
When I got home, Kayi leapt on me, ‘Mum, can I make chocolate cake?’ My first thought was ‘oh no, I can’t bothered with all the mess, not today, not after someone has just shouted at me’ and then I thought, “why not, chocolate cake is a really good antidote to having just been shouted at by a complete stranger.
Kayi’s rich chocolate cake recipe is the previous post.