Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Me at My Worst

One night a few months ago Mr. Brown Eyes and I decided to go out to eat before meeting up with one of his friends. It was past dinnertime and hunger gnawed at our stomachs as we drove around looking for the restaurant that we wanted. After half an hour of driving up and down the same street, flipping U-turns, and calling my parents to look up the address for us, we finally found it--shadowy and empty, with  boards in the windows. Like it had been closed for a long time.

We sighed. Our stomachs growled.

With our mutual indecisiveness, it would be hours before we both agreed on a place to go, so we chose the nearest restaurant, whipped into the parking lot, and darted inside. Then we realized we forgot Baby Brown Eyes, so we went back outside and retrieved him.

Just kidding. We didn't really forget Baby Brown Eyes.

But we could have. That's how hungry we were.

However, for me, by the time we pushed open the doors of the restaurant, it was too late. The hunger-crabbiness had descended upon me, that moment when the anger of my growling stomach takes root in my brain and transforms me into a monster. My stomach gave up its fight and I no longer felt hungry, just mad at the world. I looked over the menu and nothing sounded remotely appetizing.

Mr. Brown Eyes ordered his meal, but when the waitress looked at me I just shook my head.

"You're not going to order anything?" Mr. Brown Eyes asked.

"No," I answered flatly.

"You need to eat something," he said. He knows my hunger-crabbiness all too well. The idea of me going all evening without eating probably filled him with dread.

I knew he was right. I knew my mood would get worse and worse, but even as Mr. Brown Eyes' food came, a part of me would not give in and have some. He offered me a bite of a warm, fluffy biscuit, but I shook my head, stared at the table, and sulked. When Baby Brown Eyes started fussing in his carseat I let Mr. Brown Eyes deal with him, distracting him by giving him a spoon to play with. Then I felt like a bad mom for ignoring my baby and started crying.

The people around us probably thought I was evil, psychotic, depressed. At the very least they probably felt bad for Mr. Brown Eyes. I am not proud of the way I behaved. But it hit me, as I contemplated the various ways people might have been judging me, that I am guilty of the very same thing. That I make judgments about people who seem rude or unfriendly when maybe, like me, they're not usually like that. Maybe, like I was that night, they are not at their best. And just like I would never want anyone judging me when I am at my grumpy, sulky, emotional worst, I would hate to do the same to anyone else.

So the next time someone seems a little unfriendly and I'm tempted to write them off as as a great big jerk, I am going to try and consider that maybe they are at their worst, and underneath it is certainly a person worth loving.

To finish the rest of the story, Mr. Brown Eyes didn't say a word about how stupid and childish I was being. He just patiently drove home with two crybabies in the car, accepted my apology for ruining the night, gave me a kiss and told me he loved me, and built me a fire in our fireplace while I finally got something in my stomach.

 I think it's safe to say I married the most amazing man on earth.

Oh, and Baby Brown Eyes stole the spoon from the restaurant.

Serves them right for having gross food,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

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