Last week, I described to you my saga of a recent poolside predicament. You can catch up on the details here. For whatever reason, this is the kind of situation that is often challenging for me to deal with. Basically, what happened is that, while on vacation, I got into a nasty disagreement with two women over some poolside lounge chairs. After much back and forth between us, the whole altercation did not end peacefully….at all. The women were extremely rude to me, and kept the chairs for themselves. I acted out on them in a passive-aggressive manner, which kept me from resolving the dispute with any semblance of U Love.
I mentioned in last week’s post that I would tell you about some of the antics I went through to annoy the women who had seized our pool chairs. My behavior may seem kind of silly at first glance, and if you think about an adult woman (me) stooping to these depths to get back at the women, it’s actually kind of embarrassing. Especially so in my case because I write a blog about how to maneuver these kinds of situations with unconditional love!
Rebecca, I have to admit, gets a big chuckle out of playing back to me the whole unpleasant poolside scene. She makes it clear in the telling of the events that she was never supportive of my behavior during any of it (except when I initially claimed the chairs for ourselves, of course). At the time, Rebecca’s response to the women, which was far more diplomatic than mine, should have been my barometer. Rebecca generally makes much better choices in these situations than do I.
As the story goes, the women and I scuffled over who should get those pool chairs. At Rebecca’s urging, I eventually backed down and relinquished the chairs in order to stop the argument. But, I wasn’t happy about the outcome. So, for the rest of the afternoon, I proceeded to make unkind, sarcastic comments about the duo to everyone in sight. I made sure I spoke loudly enough for the remarks to be heard by the two women, and also by everyone else in the general vicinity.
As I sat scowling in my chair, I peered at the two women who had settled into what should have been my family’s seats. Then, I noticed that there was some excess space between Rebecca’s chair and the chairs next to her (the ones now being occupied by the two women). A plan started to unfold in my brain, one meant to invoke displeasure for the women.
In my retaliatory mind, I thought that if I squeezed my chair into that small opening, my chair would nestle right up against the women’s chairs, practically squeezing them out of the space I felt they had stolen from me. I would be sitting virtually within inches of the women, sure to get their attention and make a strong point about my disgust for their behavior. Plus, all the better for them to hear my snide comments, I thought. Now, that should really annoy them.
As I further surveyed the scene, I realized that I could take this even further than my original plan, which would allow me to create maximum discomfort for these women. (You should know that these retaliatory actions were being completely supported by the people around me….. which doesn’t say much for their U Love meter either!)
I saw that not only could I fit my chair into the row in front of me, but, if I moved all the chairs in that row closer together, then I could fit my husband’s chair into the row, too. All our chairs would then be smack dab next to each other, with no extra room in between. It seemed to me that encroaching upon their space in such an invasive manner would be a just fate for these two women.
So, when the women were in the pool, I sprung into action. I quickly made the necessary adjustments to the row in front and shoved our chairs right next to Rebecca’s. Yikes! That new arrangement caused major close quarters. It allowed no excess room even to walk between the chairs. Getting into them was going to be quite difficult. I couldn’t wait to see the response by the women to my latest maneuver.
When the women exited the pool, they saw that the chairs had been moved very close together and that my husband and I were now sitting right up against them. To get into their chairs, they would have to crawl into them from the front, on their hands and knees in a very unladylike position. The disapproval on their faces was unmistakable; their fury glaring. Yet, they remained in snobby silence, with their noses stuck high in the air, struggling to ignore my blatant affront. All the while, I sat quietly, snickering inside of me.
I surmise that they figured out by that point that I was not going to back down from our quarrel, even if I was going about it in a (not so) passive manner. Though my conscience was telling me that I was acting in a completely un – U Love manner, I ignored it. It felt so good…..for the moment. I finally felt some vindication! Yet, it lasted only momentarily; and, then, I felt quite foolish at all my childish behavior. As I took a step back and looked at how petty I had acted, I could feel my spirit wilt like a bed of lettuce abandoned in the hot sun.
OK, you get the picture. I have been writing this blog long enough to have known what God’s unconditional love response should have been in this situation. I showed none of it to these women. Instead, I let my fleshy desires get in the way of U Love. This was not my finest moment in life, nowhere near. But…. there is hope for me, yet, as you’ll see in next week’s post. I was able to make a comeback. Please join me next week for the encouraging conclusion to this story.
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