Thursday, October 03, 2002

Today, I messed up: Quarter Coffee

Here's the deal. Today, I messed up real well. The situation, eating lunch. Yesterday, we ate at McDonald's, and we both had fish sandwiches, and she had a coffee, and I had two apple pies for one dollar. We shared the coffee, but, since I drink it black, I had to drink what I wanted, first, and then she would add the creamer and sugar, and drink the rest. I noted that I felt uncomfortable (probably inconvenienced) because she had to wait for me to finish drinking before she could drink, but, as is my typical style, I didn't say anything.

Today, we decided to go to the same place. She had a chicken sandwich, since it was on special for 1.00, but I had the same thing as before. For drinks, I said, "I would like a 'senior coffee,'" and asked her what she wanted. She asked for water. We got our entire meal for 26 cents less than five dollars. I felt good about that. But the good feeling was not to last very long.

I noticed that she was getting creamer and sugar packets. Stubbornly, I asked her if she just wanted me to get plain water (i.e., no ice), and she said, "OK."

When we got to the table, I said, "Something doesn't add up." She said, "What?" I said, "You said you wanted water, but you got sugar and creamer."

Being only concerned about my feelings and my planned drinking experience, I purposely said something that would make her uncomfortable. What a dork!

We had a spat, and it wasn't until late in the afternoon that I got counsel from Mike about the situation, since I couldn't see what I had done to made her so mad.

Mike didn't have much time, so he gave me the short version. "You knew when she got the sugar and creamer exactly what she was thinking, didn't you?" Yet, you didn't act in accordance with that knowledge, did you? He normally has to beat around the bush in order to make sure he doesn't hurt my feelings (he has some, and thinks others must have them, too), but he had to make a call and get somewhere, so he just blurted it out. Of course, that is the way I like it. His words cut me to the quick, and I confessed my sin, and repented on the spot.

When I re-phrase what Mike said, it comes out simply, "Did you act like Jesus would have?--Did you do the loving thing?"

And I came up short!

Lord, I need you every minute, not just every hour!

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