Yesterday was a terrible, awful, no good, very bad day. And I broke several rules in the Pastor's Wife Handbook. I didn't commit murder or throw my middle finger in someone's face--but I contemplated it. I've been long stripped of my halo so I'm sure that my room in heaven has been moved to the dungeon. That is, if God worked that way and if heaven had dungeons. Luckily for me I'm saved by grace.
It all started when, in the middle of my Morning Quiet Time with God, it popped into my head that I had never transferred our large chunk of money that goes toward our taxes each month. I looked in the check book, didn't see the transfer, and wondered how our finances were so desperate if there should have been an additional large amount in there. I was edgy. I was emotional. And our car, which has been in and out of the shop because the air conditioner doesn't want to work, had been dropped off again the previous night. I got the call that it would be between 200-300 dollars to fix it. Thus far the warranty has covered everything. Apparently our warranty didn't cover the tube that was leaking. So I called the warranty company. I was reading my paperwork and it certainly seemed that it should have been covered. The first guy, John at Century Service, gave me the run around as he tried to explain it to me. I asked for his supervisor. Then I left a message. I used words and phrases like verbiage, jargon and integrity of your company. I may have used them in coherent sentences. I may not have. I was so incensed that I'm not sure I was thinking clearly.
My son, who was clearly picking up on my own stress, decided to have the fit to end all fits. He, probably searching for security when his caregiver had clearly lost all ability to reason, begged for his pacifier. I'm trying to break him of having it as often as he begs for it so I refused to give in to his demands. He sobbed and screamed and tears flooded down his little face. I tried holding him. I tried distracting him. He continued to cry. And then the phone rang. It was Steve. (At least I think that's what he said his name was. And that name is not changed to protect the innocent.)Let me just tell you that I am not sure I have ever dealt with a more condescending and arrogant mongrel in my life. Granted, I had left a scathing message on his voice mail. Granted, I was not being the picture of sweetness and light during our conversation. Granted, it ended up being explained that I was, indeed, wrong. But it was the way he explained to me that I was wrong that really got me. Honestly, his words were spouting legal drivel but his tone was saying, "Hey, lady, you are quite possibly the dumbest person I have ever spoken to. Clearly you dropped out of high school after your freshman year. Clearly you've never even stepped foot on a college campus. Clearly you didn't spend three years of your life working for a radiator company. Clearly you are a complete idiot and I blame that, in large part, on the fact that you pack more estrogen than testosterone and were born as, forgive me, the weaker sex."
I wanted to scream at his tone of voice. I wanted to demand that he stop talking to me like I was his five-year-old daughter. I wanted to...well...I wanted to throw my middle finger in his face. That might have been the better solution because he wouldn't have been able to see it. I mean, I suppose I could have said, "You can't see me but I'm flipping you off right now." Which would have been really mature. But what I did instead, because I'm an eight-year-old masquerading as a pastor's wife, was shove that phone right up to the mouth of my tantrum throwing toddler and let him scream right into it. For about ten seconds. And as I brought the phone back up to my own level I could still hear Steve from Century Warranty Services yapping with misogynistic undertones. So I simply hung up on him.
And then I was so disappointed in myself. I was in the shackles of money and other stresses of the day. My child had snot pouring out of his face and was beside himself. He was having a temper tantrum but I wasn't handling it. It's not even that I wasn't handling it well. I flat out wasn't handling it. I had just resorted to elementary tactics of dealing with an adult situation. If I could have pulled Steve's hair and kicked him in the groin, I probably would have. So I started to sob. This, incidentally, made my son stop. I lifted him up onto the counter top and I told him we needed to pray. As I bawled through a prayer about forgiveness for my actions and peace over our finances, I realized what a pair my son and I were. He with his tantrum over a pacifier and me with my tantrum over money.
With a little help from Grandma, who I called to make Garrett's tantrum stop--it had started up again--as well as The Pioneer Woman and her delicious candy cookie concoction, we survived until nap time. Wait, had I mentioned that this all happened before nap time? We had lunch. We baked because chocolate fixes everything and then I put Garrett down. I sat down to get to the bottom of why our check book was so low if I had never transferred that money. And there, hiding as the last entry on the previous page, was the transfer.
And it made the 250 dollars spent on the car seem like a smaller problem. A problem, still, but not epic. Not the colossal earth shattering situation I had made it out to be. It made the other stresses of the day seem slightly less taut. It made Condescending Steve seem less...no it didn't. I'm still upset with Steve. I don't take kindly to someone thinking less of me because I am a woman. And I'm upset with myself because I only succeeded in fueling his gross misunderstanding of females.
But I think God orchestrated the missing tax money. I think that, while I was alone with him, he threw a curve ball of thought into my head knowing that I would overlook the final entry on the previous page. He knew that, with the way my day would go, finding that amount in the afternoon would bring more joy than the candy cookie concoctions.
And that's saying something.