Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Small victories

My husband and I are a lot alike. We are a convincing argument against "opposites attract."

One thing we don't have in common though, is the ability to gauge first impressions or to quickly assess a situation. He nails it almost every time, and I am usually wrong.

I'm terrible at telling what kind of person someone is within the first five minutes of meeting them. And I'm even worse about reacting to a situation without giving thought to possible causes or scenarios - just my gut reaction - which is often wrong.

Yesterday, the boys and I were leaving the neighborhood when I had to stop suddenly for a woman who was jogging with her dog off leash down the middle of the road. Cars were parked on either side of the road, she was in the middle, and I was running late to preschool already.

Instinct: Yell. Honk. Glare. Gesture.

For some reason, I took a second look before my instincts kicked in, and I did something stupid.

The woman wasn't jogging. She probably had been jogging, but she was running. And she wasn't running with that dog off leash, she was running from the off leash dog.

I rolled down the window and yelled to her, "That isn't your dog, is it?"

She ran to the car and said, "NO! Can I get in your car, please?"

I grabbed my purse out of the passenger seat and unlocked the door. She jumped in, sat breathless for a moment, and I pulled over to the side of the road. I noticed that there was a lady standing in her yard, as though there was an invisible fence there, calling the dog - waving wildly at it.

Of course, an invisible fence was just what she needed, but for the dog, not for herself. Her Rottweiler (oh, did I forget to mention that part?) was just out, chasing this poor woman jogger, and it's owner is refusing to step foot out of her yard. Weird.

Everything worked out alright. The jogger thanked me and commented that she would be jogging with mace from now on. We made it to preschool just fine and only a few minutes late. Best of all, I was proud of myself for being more observant and less quick to snap.

Small victories, people. I'm living on small victories these days.