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Running Low on Eggs?

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My husband and I have a favorite local eatery where we like to have breakfast. It’s not a chain, but it’s close to home when we wake up starving and they make great eggs. It’s always packed on the weekends.

So there we were this weekend, about to enjoy our order. I was in mid-sentence when I noticed my husband wasn’t listening to a word I’d said. And while that’s not unusual, what had captured his attention sure was.

A senior female was going off on both the cashier and one of the waitresses, gesturing wildly, highly animated. I couldn’t make out what she was saying, but from her demeanor and the way her face was twisted into a gargoyle mask, I gathered she was pretty hot about something.

As she stormed past us to her table, her lips were still moving. In her wake I heard, “they were supposed to be SPANISH omelets.”

“Wow,” I thought. “We are wrapped really tight.”

I’m always fascinated by human nature, especially when it’s so often not quite human in nature. I confess I have had a moment or two I am not especially proud of when I too have lost my composure. The tenth time a local video store didn’t have my reserved movie; the time an upscale department store clerk couldn’t deign to check out my purchases because she was immersed in conversation with her BFF on the black rotary phone at the register. That tells you how long it’s been since I really lost it.

I was sharing those memory morsels with my spousal unit when I realized it had been almost twenty years since those temper tantrums. Perhaps I’m maturing? Nah. But I am learning.

In the years since I let my wrath rain down I’ve discovered there are circumstances and events a lot worse than a movie missed or a preoccupied salesperson. I dare say I could probably cope with a breakfast order than wasn’t just so — especially in a crowded restaurant where I was lucky to get a seat in the first place.

I was itching to go over and enlighten the lady with the short fuse when it occurred to me. Whatever it was that caused her to manifest such a toxic fit it probably wasn’t the omelet. It usually isn’t.

My friend Leah has an expression for those times when we’ve used up our entire arsenal of coping skills, “we’re out of eggs.” I don’t even remember the origin for that expression but it has stuck with me. Sometimes we just can’t take the one more thing, whatever that thing might be.

I held my tongue and let the mean woman at the adjoining table live. I’m not sure about her omelet, but she was clearly all out of eggs. What she really needed was one thing to go right, and probably some grace.

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