At the Safeway I just ran across but did not purchase a manufactured congealed synthetic punched out by a soulless machine ready-made pie crust that said it could be used for “sweet or savory” pies. Friends, back in the day there was no such thing as a “savory” pie.* People didn’t go around saying savory. There was dessert and not-dessert. There was nothing halfway between dessert and not-dessert which means there was no quiche because if something was in pie crust it was dessert and you didn’t have to ask otherwise. And, by the way, there was no “pasta.” There was spaghetti and there was not-spaghetti, and not-spaghetti was noodles. And noodles covered a lot of territory. When someone talks about pasta they have to go on to say what kind of pasta it was but with noodles it didn’t really matter because they were all noodles and noodles were good. So you had your noodles or your spaghetti and maybe a salad with some nice iceberg lettuce and the Good Seasons Italian dressing that you mixed up in the free Cruet you got when you bought the packets of Italian dressing and then you had dessert which was pie IF you were lucky.
Now that there’s somewhat less traffic out there perhaps we can talk about traffic without blowing our tops. Let’s say that you’re approaching an intersection and you see that the light is green which is great but naturally it turns to yellow before you get there and so you despite every urge to the contrary stop. And you have to wait while the other guy gets to go. Maddening, isn’t it? What to do? You could say a bad word. You could – as I have done on occasion all the while thumbing my nose at my better self – pound the steering wheel in frustration. Or you could do some reframing. Rather than seeing the situation as “he gets to go which means he’s the winner but I have to wait which means I’m the LOSER,” you could instead see it as “I get to wait,” as if waiting were some kind of stupid privilege. Pretty lame, if you ask me. I had a chemistry professor who told us to reframe “having to do stoichiometry” as “getting to do stoichiometry.” Lame-o and then some, especially as no one in the entire history of stoichiometry ever said, “Oh boy, I get to do stoichiometry today!”
You could also reframe the situation in more neutral terms: “I am stopping; she is going.” OK. Go ahead and try it but keep your expectations low. Or you could take things a step or two further and say, “I am stopping so that she (the driver of the other car) can go,” or even – and admittedly it’s a mouthful – something like “She and I are connected. Yes, I have to stop, but she gets to go and that’s a good thing for the both of us because she can get to where she needs to go without having had to stop at this intersection.” In other words I have a sense for the common good, which has benefited by her being able to go and which benefit outweighs any detriment I might have suffered by not being able to go. Because why? Because we are connected by our common humanity and something that is of benefit to one is of benefit to all. Further, thoughts and actions that acknowledge our intrinsic connection are good in and of themselves, which only adds to it.
Or, if you were in the mood for elegant simplicity in your reframing, you could say, “Sometimes you go, sometimes you stop. It all works to God’s greater glory.” Which, in fact, it does.
Or you could pound the steering wheel in frustration. It’s never worked before, but hey, there’s always next time.
Whether you’re pounding or reframing, you are BELOVED, today and always and even in the very act of pounding.
*OK, there were – and still are, thanks be to God – pasties (and the a in pasties rhymes†with the a in cat or you’re going to be embarrassed and trust me on this) but only Yoopers knew what a pasty was or that you could purchase pasties in heavenly places called pasty shops (Jean Kay’s? Lawry’s? Dobber’s?). And in any case Yoopers of all people didn’t run around using words like savory.
†Question: Why in HECK doesn’t the h in rhymes come after the y instead of in front of it? Wouldn’t that make more sense? And while we’re at it why not leave out the h altogether? I mean really, has the h in rhymes ever really helped anyone?