It takes a lot of faith in humanity to leave the house. We cram ourselves into packed tube trains and walk down crowded streets in the sea of humanity that floods London on a daily basis, trusting in the general standard of behaviour that stops those total strangers from stabbing us as we shove past to get where we're going.
Such as the female that accosted me at Tesco as I left the car park this morning. I had wrestled my squalling two year old into her clothes, her shoes, and the car to get there in the first place. I then navigated the aisles with her complaining at the top of her lungs that she was starving to death, because it's my fault that she wouldn't eat the toast or banana she demanded of me for breakfast. I dealt with the tantrum through the store with her wailing, got out the car without giving in and giving her the f*cking cake she decided she had to have, got her and her blissfully happy brother strapped in and the groceries loaded and began to pull out of our space. All of a sudden there's a rap on my car window, and I stopped, thinking the brassy blonde mouthing at me through the glass was trying to tell me I'd left something on the roof of the car or something. When I rolled the window down, she began to berate me, saying that as she drives a cab and has no boot, she shouldn't have to park in the normal spaces and that's why she was parking in the baby and toddler spots. I managed to rally my brains, scrambled after yet another night of no sleep, enough to ask her why she felt the need to tell me that. She shot out that I'd given her a filthy look as I pulled out...
Of course, she had no idea that the filthy look on my face is just how I look today. She had no idea that I've not slept in three years, that I'm running on one coffee a day, that I've been dealing with the Queen of Sh*theads for the last two hours, and that I didn't even register her presence until she rapped on my window. She still felt comfortable reaming me over the fact that I'd apparently given her a "look", despite the fact that it doesn't say "Customers with children under the age of five AND ANYBODY ELSE WHO FEELS LIKE USING THESE SPACES" on the sign. She had faith that I wouldn't do anything about it. In my mind, I pulled back into the spot, got out, grabbed her by the back of her head and slammed her face into the hood of her cab. All the way home, I had to physically stop myself from driving back to Tesco and smashing in all her windows.
Violent? Yes, yes I am. I go through life dealing with stupid people. Most days I deal okay, curbing my natural tendencies, and allow them to swan through life thinking they have the right to behave that way. My thing is, would people have so much faith in the inaction of others if every now and then I didn't curb those tendencies? If, on occasion, their ridiculous behaviour resulted in consequences?
I won't act on my internal fantasies, certainly not with my children in the back seat. It's very satisfying to imagine that someday the people who behave that way will get theirs, karma and all that. I do my best to treat those around me the way I'd like to be treated, and I know I fail sometimes, but I honestly do try to remember that I don't know what the people around me are dealing with on any given day. Maybe it would be easier to have that faith to leave the house if everybody tried a little harder to act with grace.