Small gestures go a long way

Published 11:50 pm Friday, June 30, 2017

I’m not a morning person. I don’t open my eyes before the sun comes up, and if I must rise with the chickens I stumble down the hallway feeling my way as I go. Most people who know me, know that I really don’t want to chat before 10 a.m., but can be bought with caffeine if a conversation must be had.

Poor hubby drives us to work listening to me fret and fume at traffic. No car can move quickly enough. The traffic lights are too slow! Why doesn’t that moron know what a turn signal is for?

The worst is sitting in the line for the drive-thru at our favorite breakfast stop. It seems pretty simple to me- you drive up, the speaker squawks at you, you tell it what you want for breakfast, it tells you the total, and you pull forward. I can do that, even though I’m barely awake. Lots of other people seem to be drive-thru impaired.

There’s the person who waits until she’s sitting in front of the speaker to ask her passenger what he wants, and the fellow who is ordering for every single person who works in his office … paying for each order individually. Or the whole family who doesn’t seem to have ever seen the menu until the precise moment that our car is sitting behind them with three minutes to order, get my food, and make it to work.

I have made poor old hubby a little nuts with my morning rants. He tries to calm me with a soothing voice, “It’s gonna be okay. We’ll make it on time. Of course that fellow can’t hear the speaker, he’s 112 years old, cut him some slack.”

But not too long ago, the day came when I was handed the ugliness of my not-a-morning-person tantrums on a plate. I fussed and fumed at a lady in front of us; she was slow to order, and even more slow to respond to the usual questions, like, “Do you need any jelly with that?” Then, when she got to the window, she had the nerve to add to her order! I nearly lost my marbles! It was almost more than I could stand! But, when we pulled up and hubby offered the employee money for our breakfast, it turned out that the lady hadn’t added to her order — she’d payed for ours. It was a small gesture, but it was the lesson I needed most at the time. She was kind when I hadn’t been.

I’ll never be a morning person, but I’m a little less grumbly and a lot more humble.

Pepper Ellis Hageback is a resident of LaGrange.