Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Perspective

This is hardly an original thought but I just had it brought home to me in a new way and while it's fresh in my mind I thought I'd jot it down...

I just dropped Maizie off at school while driving our minivan which I have had to drive pretty much nonstop since Buo got his license. A woman had kind of parked at random in the middle of the lane where one is not supposed to park and walked her child inside. (In her defense, she did smile.) What this means for the rest of us is that we could either try to squeeze in behind her or pull around her and attempt to parallel park between her and the guy who was parked incorrectly in front of her while fifteen little children attempted to make it into their classes in thirty seconds running like ants exiting an anthill that has just been kicked.

But I digress.

I opted to squeeze in behind her and let Maizie out the door. I had, of course, pulled foward fairly closely so that the two other automobiles behind me (neither of whom wished to attempt the parallel parking thing) could also drop their children off. Problem? I am now stuck. The woman in front of me had not yet returned and the people behind me? Not moving either. So I begin manuevers to exit.

Here's where my little epiphany occured. I inched back, wiggled the wheel, inched forward, wiggled a bit more, back, forward, back...you get the picture, and finally edged my way out. I breathed a sigh of relief and thought, "There really had been enough room. Guapo would have zipped right out of there. I always sweat these tight fits only to find out they're really not that tight..."

And then it hit me...

El Guapo and I are not what could reasonably be termed "tall" people but he is still several inches taller than my 5' 2" frame. When he looks over the hood of the car he's actually seeing the same thing I see but from five or six inches up which isn't actually the same thing I'm seeing at all, is it? I've been 5'2" since I started driving so things have always looked this way to me and it's how I've always looked at things. When El Guapo says, "Just pull forward already!" it's really never occured to him that I can't see that I'm safe from my angle. And when he makes what I think is a tight turn I'm not aware that he can see that he's got room.

Now, I'm usually pretty bad at analogies. (They start out strong but usually fall apart about 2/3 of the way in.) But...I think we do this quite a bit in lots of areas of our lives. We pass judgement on each others' lives, follies, foibles, mistakes, actions, and opinions without ever stopping to consider that from where they are standing it is a perfectly reasonable and valid response, no less valid than ours. Sometimes we can help each other see that a particular response is overly cautious and sometimes perhaps not cautious enough. Either way, at least in theory, there is communication and growth on both sides.

Plus, also, I am SOOOO using this the next time somebody tells me I'm a bad driver.

1 comment:

Carla said...

i love this one ... i love to read the things you write ... mom