I passed the CPA exam.
I passed the New York bar exam.
I passed the New Jersey bar exam.
But, I failed another test, recently.
It was more like a pop quiz.
It happened like this.
I'm not an extremely religious person but I like going to church on Sunday. I particularly like going to 7AM mass because it's virtually empty and there's no singing. (I could do without the musical numbers in church.)
A couple of Sundays ago, the sermon was about rude people. The priest told a story about how he held the door for a young woman at the bank and she just walked right through, never uttering a thank you, applying makeup as she walked past him.
He acknowledged that this is the kind of stuff that makes our blood boil, that we want to call people out on it. We might wonder why we bother being polite when the rest of the world is rude. Why should we make the effort?
He answered this by offering that if we're the type of people who pray, who feel a relationship with a higher power, then we've been called by a higher power to rise above these things. Don't be rude back. That's not the answer. Continue to hold the door for others. Continue to be kind.
I left church and went to Walgreens.
As I was picking up paper towels, a tall, heavy set, gray haired man, pulling a suitcase on wheels yelled to the young male Walgreens employee standing near me stocking shelves.
"What aisle has the 2 liter Diet Pepsi?" he barked.
Just like that. He didn't preface with an "Excuse me" or even a "Hi."
My blood boiled.
I went back to paper towel shopping.
When I got in line, there was only one cashier. That was fine. It was 8AM on a Sunday morning. I passed the time reading the covers of UsWeekly, People and InTouch. Then, I heard wheels behind me and heavy breathing.
It was the rude man. He was standing a little too close. I moved up. He moved up. I moved up again. He moved up again.
Then, he barked over my shoulder to an employee walking by. "Can you get some more help? You have to open another register."
The person nodded and, presumably, went to get another cashier but they weren't fast enough for wheely soda man.
As the customer in front of me finished paying, wheely soda man directed me. "Go. Go. Go."
I turned around. This moment was the equivalent of the final essay question.
I said "Go ahead of me." Plus 10 points!
Followed by "Because you're fucking annoying." ... Minus 1,000 points.
And another 1,000 points off my final grade for actually using the real F word, instead of my usual, more polite (in my opinion) Jersey girl 'frigging.'
He went ahead of me, grunting an "Okay," as he carried his soda and wheeled his bag.
Another 1,000 points deducted for giving him the evil eye. Yes, I know, less than fifteen minutes after leaving church.
Ugh, I am so ending up in summer school.
But, in the spirit of Stop and Blog the Roses, today, I am grateful ~
that you can fail a test - perhaps even a mid term - and not fail the course.
Whew! Sharpening my pencils and vowing to do better next time.
Fern Ronay relocated to Los Angeles in 2014. Her first novel, Better in the Morning, the story of a single 29-year-old Manhattan lawyer who is guided in her dreams by her dead Italian grandparents, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Follow the hashtag #BetterInTheMorningBook on social media and follow Fern on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @FernRonay.