Saturday, 30 June 2012

Broken Windows and Epiphanies

                Today involved an interesting event that enabled me to practice self-control and being the “bigger” person, as well as discover a little bit about myself.
                While I was in the middle of a baseball game, my wonderful sister came to watch my brother and I in our stellar performances (haha), as well as visit with my two beautiful girls who were behaving amazingly well during my play time (no sarcasm!). She wasn’t planning on staying long and there was only about 45 minutes left in the game in any case. Being the good aunty that she is, she took my girls to play at the nearby park and while she was away, two ball players waiting for the next game decided to start warming up their pitching and catching arms. This is a normal occurrence at any ball field during any tournament. What baffles me is why they would line up directly in front of a low fence with a number of cars behind it. Perhaps they were avoiding all the potential people in the opposite direction, or maybe they weren’t confident in the pitcher’s ability to hit his mark and didn’t want to have to run for the ball on that open field. I can’t be sure. Regardless, with many spectators there to see, the pitcher missed his target and chucked that ball right over the fence behind the catcher, straight into my sister’s car window.
                Broken windows are not an uncommon incident near any ball field and one parks their vehicle in foul territory at their own risk. While Sheila was parked in foul territory and realized the risks of her car getting hit by a ball, I am quite sure that she was not anticipating the reckless and thoughtless actions of the surrounding ball players with their wild arms. Please tell me that you have the common sense and decency not to throw a ball directly in line with a vehicle, especially if it’s not your own.
                This was a witnessed event and yet the man (we’ll call him Number 55 as that’s what was on the back of his Instigators team jersey) was not concerned with his actions or whose car it might be and so he did not seek out whom the owner was to apologize or even acknowledge his mistake.
Being the big sister that I am, I stuck up for my sister and I asked who did it. Number 55 confessed and admitted the break was unintentional. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind helping out by chipping in a couple bucks or so, to which he replied that the window was broken with zero intent and therefore he would pay zero dollars. He did not express any remorse whatsoever, and when questioned by me about doing the right thing, he only insisted on insulting me (thinking it was my car) for parking in that particular spot. I told him to work on his aim as I walked away.
I was raging on the inside at this point but what could I do? My game quickly ended and I talked to a few people who were in touch with the team running the tournament to see if the insurance they must have would cover something like this. I’ll have to get back to you on this point as I’ve heard no answer as of yet. Essentially though, nothing was done and I needed to vent some serious anger at the injustice of the situation as well as the lack of decency in certain members of the human race in general. I opted to stay and watch Number 55 play his game in order to verbally vent my frustration on him. Before you get excited about the example this would set for my children, I sent them home with my sis and her nicely garbage-bagged-and-taped window. It’s always nice to see that where there is indecency in humans, there are also those who are kind, compassionate, helpful and supportive. Thanks to those who helped out.
So as I was standing watching Number 55 pitch his game, throwing fireballs at him with my eyes and thinking of many colourful sentences to use on him, a couple of other thoughts creeped into my head. One was my Dad’s voice saying, “Sheila doesn’t seem that upset about it so why are you?” The other thought was how I was going to feel once I’d verbally raged on this man as much as I could. I thought how ashamed and disappointed I would feel for letting it get to me, for losing control, and for stooping to his level.  I thought how much I wouldn’t like myself afterwards for doing such a thing. So I didn’t. Even when Number 55’s catcher went up to bat and hit a foul ball that almost went onto the road and one of the guys on the bench said, “Now are you sure that wasn’t intentional?” I almost lost it but I walked away and left the field instead.

So my question to you now is, where did that anger go? As I’m writing this, I can feel the anger as much as I did when it was happening. So how am I going to get rid of it? I don’t want my rage to be repressed only to blow up later or show up in some physical form such as high blood pressure or something of the sort. Actually, I just answered my own question. As I wrote it, it poured out of me and onto the paper! The anger is still there if I want it, but definitely on a much more even keel than previously. More like burning embers than a raging fire. Awesome!

Maybe everyone can look forward to regular venting session from me now… J


  1. Rise above the "event" and look at the bigger picture. The anger is not in the event itself. We both know a window can be fixed. But the anger comes from a man (men) with an attitude of "I don't care".

    Ask yourself if you have ever met a man (men) who has been unaccountable for his choices and not been willing to fess up to his mistakes and apologize for his wrong doings?
    Now you know where the anger comes from.

    The walking away that you chose just means you have grown inside enough to know that some people are just assholes and you just have to walk away.

    If you fight an asshole with words or fists the people watching have a hard time distinguishing which one is the ahole.

  2. Ummmmm, I'm pretty sure an electronic journal is a GREAT way to get out anger and frustration. While not as fun/detrimental as drinking or eating.....very rewarding indeed.

    My 201 Insight class is called: Remember, just like toothpaste... once it is out of the tube (or your mouth), you can never put it back in!

    You should be proud of how much you have grown, Sarah!