Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wild Woman Rides Again

Peanuts demonstrate peaceful life.
Well....so much for my attempt at a peaceful life.  My response in the midst of rude, critical, argumentative people was less than stellar.  It only took a matter of days after posting the above Peanuts cartoon, when I was challenged to keep the peace.  I failed miserably. 

Special note:   In advance, let me explain the use of the word dawgz for dogs.  Just like the world gurl for girl, sometimes I have my own language and spelling and I reserve the right to use said personal vocabulary to perfectly and pleasantly express myself.  You have been notified of this idiosyncrasy and hopefully it doesn't bother.

Anyway, before my own personal experience with "The Terrible Awful," (borrowed from the movie, "The Help" which could be funny if it weren't so tragic), I could quite often be found behaving like a bull in a china closet.  I was always determined to have my way, to win, at any cost of any relationship.  After divorce and several years of walking around like a wounded soldier, I went through a counseling process that turned my entire life around and frankly, I have seen less and less of that bullish, mean woman ever since.  For this, I am eternally grateful for now I can actually like the woman I am today.  But surprise, surprise, surprise!  For she came from nowhere, crazily careening from the depths of my gut like a starving, greased, wild pig.  I hated her and cheered her all at the same time.  Here's what happened.....

After a lovely graduation/Mother's Day lunch out with the family this past weekend, I was finally home in comfy clothes and having a well-earned afternoon nap.  The dawgz were dozing, as well, and everything was peaceful and quiet with the exception of an occasional slight snore from the french bulldog, Duffie.  We were all cozied up for a long, restful nap.  

The Culprits-Sophie and Duffie
When what to my startled ears did I hear? I was suddenly awakened by very loud and persistent knocking on the front door accompanied by incessant ringing of the doorbell.  I raced to the front door in a stupor thinking there must be an extreme emergency.   You know, like a hurt child or a wrecked car or even a request for a needed cup of sugar. I opened the front door and step out on the porch so the dawgz will stay inside.  This older couple, think 70's, immaculately dressed in their matchy-matchy golfer's best complete with visors and sunglasses, were neighbors I had never met before.  Without the slightest hesitation, or even the courtesy to introduce themselves, they immediately started to complain about my dawgz. They said I leave them outside for hours at a time and that yesterday they listened to them bark for three hours straight. 

Little did they know that they had awakened me from the dead and I was more than a bit rummy from that intoxicating chocolate cake number at Papa Haydn's.   (Better than any alcoholic drink, I tell ya, but I digress.) I took a deep breath and I began to try to calmly explain to these good Samaritans that the little one accidentally got left outside yesterday.  It turns out it was for nearly seven hours as I didn't realize she was still outside when I left the house. When I finally got home late that night I found her shaking with cold and fear.  As I concluded what I thought was a heart-rending version of "Poor Little Sophie" I looked into my neighbor's disbelieving stare and she was already shaking her head at me and saying "that's not true" and "you do it all the time."

Oh....excuse me.  I guess you know my life better than me. But she is wrong! I let them out and generally call them right back in. They may run the yard a bit with the screen door left open while I am home but I would never let them bark continuously and especially not in the evening or early morning.  I never, ever leave with them outside at all while we are gone.  Yesterday was an anomaly.

I was taken aback at this little, petite yet sturdy woman as she bravely stepped towards me with protective husband in tow.  I truly thought my explanation about our poor Sophie getting left outside would answer her question and that I would see a sense of understanding come over her.  That was not to be.  Nope, not even close.

So, not to be swayed from the course, she began threatening to call the police and the humane society and offered up threats of my dawgs being taken away or turning up missing.  I got very upset that she would be on my front porch saying I was lying and threatening me.  I told her they needed to leave but instead the husband pushed the screen door into me, forcing me back in the house. Well, that did it.  This Charming Gurl stepped into the house and Wild Woman went back outside to confront.

Now it has been a very, long time since I have experienced this kind of rush of attitude.  The only word for it is one my mother used on me when I wasn't acting like a little lady:  UGLY. Wild Woman is in it to WIN and today was no different as I felt myself slip on my long-lost broomstick and settle into the well-worn seat for a crazy yet all-to-familiar ride.

Wild Woman told them in a very authoritative voice to get off the property right now and shoo'd them all the way down the sidewalk, down the driveway, until they were moving in the direction of wherever they came from. Looking back it is kinda funny how they let me herd them right off the property.  Shoo is a very good word. It's a southern word.  They make good words in the south.  Like fixin.  I am fixin to knock you into next week!  Fixin and shoo are awesome when used at the exact right moment.  Timing is everything.

The entire time they were walking away the man kept saying Wild Woman had something wrong with her and the Mrs. left saying "pigs" and that she was just trying to "be nice."  I tell you, if that was nice I have a bridge to heaven to sell you.  Wild Woman could not leave it alone that they were effectively moving on.  Wild Woman called out, "if you wanted to be nice you should have sent someone else!" Off they walked muttering to themselves.   Wild Woman, fresh off a victory and another notch in the belt, came back in the house and put away the broom, dusting her hands off with glee.  No doubt, that was a win.

I said in my Facebook post that Charming Gurl resumed said nap "without one bit of remorse.  Not one minute of it."  This is not true.  I was trying to convince myself that my behavior was acceptable.  It was not acceptable to me.  The absolute truth is, it was not my finest moment and my heart twitches when I remember my part in it.  

For the fact is, after all the hard work in counseling and living life a new way, in one hot minute I discredited all of that and not only to myself, but to my neighbors. This has been bothering me ever since it happened.

There are a few things that I know for sure.  My favorite one is that Love is Unconditional.  Love wins. I certainly did not let my actions express that in this situation.

Here is another favorite:  Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond God's grace.  Grace works like this:  Give a little, get a lot.

While I stew in my downfall, my heart is being stretched and pulled and tugged like a three-year old with PlayDoh.  I am growing, learning, changing, becoming more of a Real Gurl each day.  Never perfect, always messy, but real.  And never so far that God's grace is not enough.  Thank heavens, His grace is endless and His mercies are new every single morning.

His Grace is Enough